A case study of building repair

A case study of building repair - Integrating Volunteerism...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Integrating Volunteerism with Professionalism—A Case Study of Building Repair Yu Leuk Choi Hong Kong Former Senior Civil Servants Association Business & Professionals Federation of Hong Kong Email: [email protected] Abstract Economic core voluntary work (ECVW) is defined as the class of voluntary work that is economically significant and is performed more effectively by volunteers only. ECVW is essential to sustainable community service but is difficult to identify. The paper reports a case study of building repair that demonstrates the identification and implementation of ECVW. The encountered problem is high tender price that the owners cannot afford. The root causes are shown to be incompatible contract practice and lack of trust. A volunteer group introduced a new system that satisfactorily solved the problem. It is concluded that integration of professionalism and volunteerism is essential to the expansion of voluntary service. Retired professionals have a special role in ECVW. Introduction Community service has to be viable economically as well as financially for long-term continuation. Optimum delivery of the service may be through a combination of voluntary and paid workers. But it is important that the opportunity cost of the volunteers’ time be included in economic evaluation to fully reflect the true cost of the service. Voluntary work already accounts for a significant share of GDP in certain countries. For example, in Kazakhstan the share is 4% to 14% [Leigh 2002]. If voluntary work is to increase, it should result in extra value added as well as being effective in community building. It must not result in a net displacement of regular workers. Sustainable voluntary work therefore must include a “core” component that is necessarily carried out by volunteers, viz. the same effect cannot be achieved if paid workers perform the work. Further, core voluntary work should generate other new economic activities that can be performed by either voluntary or paid workers. For a given split between the two classes of workers, a certain critical volume of core voluntary work must be attained to avoid adversely affecting the regular job market. The critical core voluntary work component is essential for a community service to be socially and economically sustainable and hence also politically sustainable. However, there seems to be no report hitherto that bears evidence of core voluntary work having been performed. Traditional voluntary services contribute to community building mainly through social work. In a study by University of Hong Kong 2002, recreational activities, visiting, counseling, baby-sitting and elderly care are found to account for more than half of volunteering participants. These voluntary works help bridge the gap between the rich and the less privileged but are unlikely to generate other significant economic activities. It is thus not surprising that only 1/7 of all voluntary workers are professionals or semi-
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 03/26/2012 for the course CIVIL 6049 taught by Professor Can'tremember during the Spring '12 term at HKU.

Page1 / 8

A case study of building repair - Integrating Volunteerism...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online