Making Volunteerism Work

Client: Doctors of the World
Faculty: Jo Ivey Boufford
Team: Melissa Kushner, Soma Mandal, Irene Pavlis, Seeta Persaud
Year: 2006
Doctors of the World-USA (DOW) is a global health organization dedicated to mobilizing volunteer physicians to provide services where health has been hindered by human rights violations. The Capstone team has been asked to evaluate DOW’s current volunteer strategy and offer recommendations on how to formalize and improve their volunteer use, particularly as it pertains to health capacity building. Qualitative and quantitative research methods were used in an effort to understand volunteer use both at DOW and other similar global health organizations. The preliminary results indicate that in order for DOW to fulfill its mission, the current volunteer program requires significant improvement and ultimate expansion. Some recommendations for improvement and expansion include increasing volunteer use in program design and implementation, improved volunteer management systems, and creating and implementing an effective organizational development plan.