Astounding demand for book on service

By Philanie Jooste

Good analytic information about service and volunteering is in huge demand. This emerges from the usage statistics of the Service Enquiry website, which have just been released.

Published in English and Spanish, the first edition of Service Enquiry has been downloaded a remarkable 11 216 times in the last 19 months.

The English language edition of the book was published in September 2003 and the Spanish translation in June 2004. The book can be downloaded free of charge from the website ( where hard copies can also be ordered at $25.00 per copy.

Service Enquiry focuses on the latest developments in service policy and programmes, and on the impact of service on democratic values, citizenship and socio-economic development. It documents and analyses the experience of service and volunteerism in different parts of the world.

The first edition – published by the Global Service Institute, USA, in partnership with Volunteer and Service Enquiry Southern Africa (VOSESA), South Africa – features contributors from Argentina, Austria, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States, writing about various issues, from youth policy and youth service to service as a response to September 11. The book consists of four parts and sixteen chapters.

English language edition
The interest in the English language edition of Service Enquiry has been remarkable and the entire book has been downloaded 7 753 times since in was launched in September 2003. Readers showed the most interest in Chapters 2, 15, 13, 1 and the Prelims. Two of the most read chapters (Chapters 1 and 2) were written by American authors, while one (Chapter 13) had South African origin and another (Chapter 15) was from the Philippines.

Spanish language edition
The Spanish language edition of Service Enquiry was released nine months after the English language edition in June 2004. The interest in the Spanish version was also astounding and it confirmed the publishers’ suspicion that there was a great need for information about service and volunteering among Spanish speakers.

The entire book has been downloaded 3 463 times since it was launched. The interest in specific chapters is very different from the English language edition: Chapter 16 (authored in Argentina) was the most popular, followed by Chapter 11 (Argentina), Chapter 10 (UK), Chapter 12 (USA) and the Prelims. (See the graph below for a breakdown of the number of downloads per chapter.)

The website usage statistics for the first edition of Service Enquiry demonstrates the need for information in the field of service and volunteering. It is evident that there is a substantial readership and that the numbers are boosted by the fact that the publication is available free of charge, as very few hard copies (at $25 per copy) of the book were ordered.

The second edition of Service Enquiry, which will focus on Latin America, is expected to be published by the end of 2006.

Inside Service Enquiry


Chapter 1: Civic Service Worldwide: A Preliminary Assessment
Amanda Moore McBride, Carlos Benítez, Michael Sherraden & Lissa Johnson (USA)

Chapter 2: The Post-Cold War Environment for National Service Policy: Developments in Germany, Italy, Russia and China
Susan Stroud & Tatiana Omeltchenko (USA)

Chapter 3: National Youth Policy and National Youth Service: Towards Concerted Action
William D Angel (Austria)

Chapter 4: Rethinking Community-Based Learning in the Context of Globalisation
Ahmed C Bawa (South Africa)

Chapter 5: Taking People Out of Boxes and Categories: Voluntary Service and Social Cohesion
Arthur Gillette (USA/France)

Chapter 6: Senior Volunteers: Solutions Waiting to Happen
Elisabeth Hoodless (UK)


Chapter 7: Theoretical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Civic Service
Leila Patel (South Africa)

Chapter 8: University-Based Community Service, Foreign Debt Relief and Sustainable Development
Victor Arredondo Álvarez (Mexico)

Chapter 9: The Impact of Service Projects on Micro-Enterprises in Mexican Marginalized Communities
Alejandro Mungaray Lagarda & María Dolores Sánchez Soler (Mexico)


Chapter 10: What Should We Call ‘Civic Service’? A Commentary
Ian Pawlby (UK)

Chapter 11: ‘Service’ and ‘Solidaridad’ in South American Spanish
María Nieves Tapia (Argentina)

Chapter 12: Understanding ‘Service’: Words in the Context of History and Culture
Natasha Menon, Amanda Moore McBride & Michael Sherraden (USA)


Chapter 13: Youth Service for Employment: The Umsobomvu Youth Fund Initiative in South Africa
Penny Foley (South Africa)

Chapter 14: September 11, Service and Activism: A Longitudinal Study of American High School Students
James Youniss & Ed Metz (USA)

Chapter 15: Developing Citizenship through Service: A Philippines Initiative
Edna A Co (Philippines)

Chapter 16: Service-Learning in Argentina
María Nieves Tapia & María Marta Mallea (Argentina)