New EU Aid Volunteers initiative: first call for published proposals

Humanitarian organisations need more well-trained people to carry out practical action helping communities affected by disaster. The EU Aid Volunteers initiative enables Europeans to contribute to humanitarian assistance in countries where help is needed.

The EU Aid Volunteers initiative provides opportunities for volunteers to engage in humanitarian aid. In the period from 2015 to 2020, 18 400 individuals will be able to participate in the initiative, including 4 000 who will be deployed by humanitarian organisations to projects worldwide. This initiative is open to a variety of profiles, from newcomers to experienced humanitarian experts.

The EU Aid Volunteers initiative provides opportunities to European citizens and long-term residents, from a wide range of backgrounds and with a diversity of skills and professional experience, to get involved in humanitarian aid projects, support the provision of needs-based humanitarian aid in third countries and engage in volunteering opportunities, through deployment and online-volunteering.

The initiative focuses on strengthening the European Union's capacity to deliver needs-based humanitarian aid by providing professional support through the deployment of trained volunteers to people in need. Furthermore, it aims to strengthen the capacity and resilience of vulnerable communities in third countries, through the implementation of joint projects between experienced humanitarian operators and local organisations in third countries.

The 2015 objectives of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative are:

    To contribute to resilience building and disaster risk management in vulnerable, fragile or disaster affected countries and forgotten crises, including actions in the following stages of the disaster management cycle:
        disaster prevention,
        disaster risk reduction and
        recovery from natural and man-made disasters;
    To prepare the selection, training and deployment of 200 junior and 200 senior professionals in vulnerable and disaster-affected communities in third countries;
    To commence certification of sending and hosting organisations;
    To publically launch the initiative, its network and online volunteering mechanism.

The programme has been launched in 2015 and the Education, Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) is entrusted with implementation of specific parts of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

How to apply?
Organisations! Are you intending to participate in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative?

Follow these steps:
    Become a certified sending or hosting organisation
    All organisations wishing to send or host volunteers under the EUAV initiative must be certified under the initiative. The certification process verifies that the high standards and procedures of volunteer management set to protect and manage volunteers during their deployment under the EUAV initiative can be fully realised and met by all participating organisations. For further details on the application process for certification, including the announcement of the call and guidelines on completing the application form plus annexes can be found under Certification Mechanism.

    Build a consortium of European and third country organisations
    Transnational partnerships are at the core of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative, valued as a means of transferring knowledge, sharing best practice and increasing expertise.  The EUAV initiative is open to consortia of European and third country organisations. Looking for a partner, check out this helpful tool.

    Submit a project proposal for deployment of EUAVs
    This summer, the call for proposals for deployment shall be launched. Certified sending and hosting organisations can apply for funding to deploy volunteers to humanitarian contexts, in support of disaster risk reduction/preparedness activities and emergency response.

    Nota Bene: A project proposal is to be submitted by a consortium for organisations!
    Not certified yet?
    Submit, or be part of, a project proposal for technical assistance for sending organisation and capacity building for hosting organisations.
    Funding is available to support organisations in their preparation for certification, in view of future participation in the EUAV initiative. Project proposals for technical assistance for sending organisations and capacity building for hosting organisations are now being accepted.  Submission deadline: 1 September 2015. Learn more here.

    Nota Bene: A project proposal is to be submitted by a consortium of organisations! The applicant organisation must — at the specified deadline for submitting their proposal — have at least five years of experience of activity within the field of humanitarian aid.

 Volunteers! Would you like to become an EU Aid Volunteer?

Volunteering through the EU Aid Volunteers initiative will offer the possibility to EU citizens and long-term residents living in Europe to volunteer in countries affected by humanitarian crises. Volunteer placements will be based on assessments of humanitarian needs on the ground, so that volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and with different levels of expertise can take part. There will also be on-line volunteer opportunities, open to citizens of all nationalities, which will offer additional ways to participate.

The first publication of the vacancies for volunteers is expected in Dec 2015/ early 2016. Vacancies will be published on the ECHO website as soon as they come available.
How is it managed?

EACEA is in charge of the complete life-cycle management of the strands/actions mentioned above. This consists of the implementation of the programme including the call for proposals, analysis of the grant requests, on-the-spot monitoring of projects, and the dissemination of the projects' and programme's results. More about EACEA.

EACEA works in partnership with the European Commission, DG ECHO. DG ECHO has guided the design and development of the programme in close consultation with EU member states and key humanitarian stakeholders. DG ECHO holds responsibility for the development of the legal framework at the base of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and maintains key oversight for policy, financial and operational elements of the initiative.
For more information about the EU Aid Volunteer initiative or to learn more about volunteer opportunities offered under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative, please visit DG ECHO official website

How to be kept up to date?

To keep up to date, please check this website regularly.
The website will progressively display further information and details throughout 2015.

For details relating to tenders, please consult directly the webpage: Calls for Tender