Prof Lasker on promises & pitfalls of global health volunteering

Please join us for a Research Colloquium Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 4:10pm in Maginnes Rm 101. Professor Judith Lasker will present her current research, "Hoping to Help: The Promises and Pitfalls of Global Health Volunteering."

Her book Hoping to Help, published this month by Cornell University Press, examines how short-term volunteer trips focused on health programs in poor countries have exploded in numbers and interest in the last couple of decades. Churches, universities, non-profit service organizations, profit-making “voluntourism” companies, hospitals, and large corporations all sponsor brief missions. This talk will discuss the controversy around short-term international volunteering and present results of research--interviews with host country staff, sponsor organization leaders, and volunteers, as well as two national surveys of sponsors and participant observation—that considers the preferences of host country staff compared to the actual practices of trip organizers. It proposes nine principles for most effective volunteer trips.