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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Program Start-Up Volunteer, CUSO International, Vientiante, Laos

Program Start-Up Volunteer

The purpose of this placement is to support staff, volunteers and partners in understanding GESI (Gender Equality & Social Inclusion) under VOICE, establish a strategy and plan for mainstreaming gender as well as develop concepts for projects that address gender equity, empowerment of women and girls with socio-economic development.
Deadline: Open Until Filled
Location: Vientiane, Laos
Organization: CUSO International 

About Cuso International

Cuso International is an international development organization that works to reduce poverty and inequality through the efforts of skilled volunteers. Each year, we place volunteers from North and South America in developing countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.
Volunteers collaborate with local partners on health, education, environment, social justice and livelihoods projects, sharing knowledge and experience to create sustainable change.

About Cuso International Laos

Cuso International has been working in partnership with the Government of Laos PDR since 1987, setting up a small office in 1992 and successfully implementing a number of programmes in sustainable agriculture over the past ten years, including the Sustainable Integrated Agriculture and Forestry Project (funded by CIDA) and the Farmer to Farmer Training Programme (Canada Fund) in Salavan and Sekong Provinces.
The focus of development work has been on sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition together with natural resource management. Cuso also played a prominent role in civil society development with the direct support of a number of local organisations, such as, the Sustainable Agriculture and Environment Development Association, Gender and Development Association and Huam Jai Asasamak (SAEDA, GDA and HJA) in the areas of sustainable agriculture, gender and national volunteering. In 2008 Cuso merged with VSO and commenced a six year period of collaborative work in Laos under a Cuso-VSO “strategic alliance”, which ended in March 2014.
These programmes, together with decades of experience from working with local government have helped in realizing successes in supporting rural communities in sustainable agriculture and have informed the strategy now being implemented by Cuso International with a view to a new round of programming for the next five years, pending final DFATD approval.

The volunteer's role

The purpose of this placement is to support staff, volunteers and partners in understanding GESI (Gender Equality & Social Inclusion) under VOICE, establish a strategy and plan for mainstreaming gender as well as develop concepts for projects that address gender equity, empowerment of women and girls with socio-economic development.
The volunteer will:
- Familiarize self with Cuso International documents and approaches for gender mainstreaming and Gender Equality & Social Inclusion (GESI) programing and review previous CUSO-VSO and Cuso International Laos research studies, country papers, CEDAW activities, training & partnerships relating to gender in Laos as well as consult with all stakeholders.
- Work with programme staff to develop a strategy and implementation plan for mainstreaming gender and applying GESI more effectively in Laos.
- Train and coach other volunteers, staff and partners regarding gender concepts and mainstreaming and developing a training manual or package in consultation with the Cuso International Gender Advisor and building on the in Country Training gender materials.
- Work with program staff to scan new potential partner organisations working on gender equality and develop a long term placement partnership with Gender Development Association as well as support staff in applying gender perspective in their projects for gender empowerment and/or value chain development.
- Provide e-volunteering support to local partners and Cuso International after the field placement.

Essential Academic Qualifications:

University degree in Social Sciences with specialization in Gender studies

Essential Professional Background/Competencies:

- Minimum 3 years of experience in gender mainstreaming and gender programing, preferably with a range of stakeholders (community and civil society organizations, INGOs, national and local governments).
- Demonstrated experience leading or working in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
- Understanding of participatory approaches to to gender mainstreaming and gender training skills.

Desirable Academic Qualifications:

M. A. in Gender Studies or Administration, Business, Social Sciences or related field

Desirable Professional Background/Competencies:

- Practical skills and experience of gender programming, gender mainstreaming and strategy development for large and complex programmes and/or projects.
- Experience of working in a developing country and/or for international development organization.
- Understanding of Cuso International strategies, approaches and documents for gender ainstreaming, Gender Equality & Social Inclusion and Inclusive & Sustainable Economic Growth.

Important information for candidates

• Training and Financial Support: Our training and support package covers the costs of being an overseas volunteer, allowing you to enjoy a modest but healthy lifestyle while you volunteer abroad.
This includes:
- Attendance at a Cuso International assessment day (candidates must cover the first $150 of the most cost-effective travel expenses and accommodation costs)
- Travel and accommodation costs associated with pre-departure training
Return airfare and visa/permit (this includes a return flight in the case of a family emergency)
- Coverage for required vaccinations, medications and comprehensive health insurance
- Accommodation while overseas
- A modest living allowance, which varies depending on the country where you are placed
- Quarterly payments to support you in your placemet
- For placements requiring Spanish language, substantive in-country language training is provided for those who already have intermediate knowledge.
• Fundraising: We ask each volunteer, regardless of placement length, to raise a minimum of $2,000. All volunteers receive support in their fundraising efforts by a member of the resource development team to help achieve this fundraising goal over the duration of the volunteer journey.
• E-volunteering: Depending on the nature othe placement, the volunteer might be required to provide e-volunteering support to the local partner or Cuso International before or after the field placement.
To apply visit: 

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