Volunteerism and World Development: Pathway to a New World
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Allen Jedlicka proposes a revolutionary new approach to the development problems faced by much of the world. Arguing that government controlled bureaucracies are not effective in addressing the social and economic concerns of developing nations and regions--because they are more concerned with organizational survival than with helping people--Jedlicka develops an alternative solution that relies on volunteer efforts. He asserts that, free of the corrupt influences that affect bureaucracies, volunteers are often more successful in directly helping their target audience because the environmental factors that impede that process--greed, institutional survival, and indifference--are not present. Jedlicka shows how such a volunteer effort can be organized and mobilized, demonstrates the facilitating role that must be played by government in any such process, and calls upon the education system to foster a commitment to volunteerism in the nation's young people.
The author begins by showing why bureaucracies are inherently incapable of helping to create true world development. He goes on to offer an extended discussion of why volunteers are more appropriate to accomplish that objective. As Jedlicka notes, people volunteer and work for nothing because they want to help other people--not because they want to enhance their careers or perpetuate the organization. Volunteers, therefore, are more committed, more interested in actually helping people, and, argues Jedlicka, more effective. In order to encourage the development of a volunteer ethic, Jedlicka proposes that the educational system be used to inculcate the values of volunteerism beginning with the very young. He shows how the federal government can be used to provide equipment and logistical support to volunteer efforts and demonstrates how to use participative management techniques to run voluntary organizations. The end result of educational training, government assistance, and committed management, Jedlicka asserts, will be a vastly more effective aid to development than has heretofore been available to the peoples of the Third World. Students of economics and international relations will find Jedlicka's work a provocative look at development problems and solutions.