JICA Ogata Research Institute

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Working Papers

No.201 Personal Determinants of Volunteering for Former International Volunteers: A Case of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers

The present study examines values and personality traits as personal determinants of volunteering among former Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs).

A total of 228 former JOCVs, who participated in a two-year internationalvolunteering program approximately ten years ago, completed an online survey about what their days of volunteering had contributed over the previous year across ten domains of volunteer activities: values (Self-transcendence and Openness-to-change), personality traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism), and socioeconomic status (age, sex, marital status, personal income, household income, and work hours).

Results show that the former JOCVs with higher levels of Openness-to-change contributed more days of volunteering in domains of education and international development. On the other hand, Self-transcendence, which conceptually overlaps with altruism and is well known to predict volunteering, had no association with volunteering in any domains. Furthermore, higher Extroversion and lower Neuroticism and Conscientiousness were moderately related to volunteering.

Our findings suggest that civil society organizations may benefit from soliciting former JOCVs’ contributions by emphasizing the change-making aspects of volunteering to match their values.


Keywords: Former international volunteers, Values, Personality, Global civil society

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