Lay involvement in public health programmes occurs through formalised lay health worker (LHW) and other volunteer roles. Whether such participation should be supported, or indeed rewarded, by payment is a critical question. With reference to policy in England, UK, this paper argues how framing citizen involvement in health only as time freely given does not account for the complexities of practice, nor intrinsic motivations. The paper reports results on payment drawn from a study of approaches to support lay people in public health roles, conducted in England, 2007-9.
The humanitarian sector has grown enormously over the past two decades. Some fear that professionalisation comes at the expense of altruistic volunteering. This may be a valid concern if altruism is the product of organisational culture and individual experiences rather than an innate trait. This paper examines advances in evolutionary biology and neurology that provide evidence in support of both the nature and nurture arguments, echoing earlier insights from social sciences.