Location Cross River, Nigeria
Start Date Jul - Sep 2017 (flexible)
Length of Placement 12 Months
Language Requirements English
English Reading: Level 4, Writing: Level 4, Speaking: Level 4
Language Scale: http://www.cusointernational.org/languageratingscale
Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only
The Financial Inclusion Advisor will work with the Financial Inclusion manager, partners as well as program staff, and local youth volunteers to develop and implement defined activities to enhance the overall objectives of the financial inclusion component of the project.
The general goal of the placement is to support the project’s efforts to strengthen the capacities of partner financial service providers (mostly microfinance banks) to develop youth inclusive, gender sensitive and environmental responsible financial products and services which will be accessible by youths for new and expanded businesses employing best practices within the natural resource sector.
As a volunteer, you will:
- Research and analyze the evolving local market for financial products and services; and identify and assess the financing needs of the project’s youth clientele and other agricultural value chain actors – with the view to providing evidence based market information to the project’s partnering financial institutions;
- Continue the work done to identify, screen and build relationships with local organizations (other microfinance institutions, banks, credit unions, guarantee funds and other potential partners) to develop and expand access to financial products and services for youth clients;
-Support the implementation of capacity building activities for partnering microfinance banks, including product development;
- Support the development and initial deployment of Management Information Systems (MIS) to ensure internal and external transparency and reporting of financial performance of partner microfinance banks (Note: this activity is dependent on funds available for MIS by the banks);
- Propose new financial solutions for the project’s value chain participants such as embedded finance to youth farmers, and facilitate their implementation by designing, testing, adjusting and ensuring affordability and sustainability of those solutions;
- Work closely with the project team to increase access for youth to appropriate financial products and services through partner and non-partner financial institutions
Essential Academic Qualifications:
- Minimum Bachelor’s degree in finance, economics or business administration or minimum three years’ experience in a related field;
- Minimum five years’ experience in bank lending, agricultural finance, microfinance, along with experience in value chain development, enterprise development, financial product designs, alternate financial solutions such community savings and lending groups and digital financial services and some exposure to investment would be an advantage;
-Experience in microfinance, enterprise development and financial products design;
-Experience in training, mentoring and institutional capacity building with financial institutions or other private sector organizations.
Essential Professional Background:
-Experience working with financial institutions to facilitate product development with focus on but not limited to renewable energy financing;
-Experience in providing capacity development training for financial institutions;
-Experience developing and delivering gender equality interventions;
-Experience working cross-culturally, and within a developing country context.
Cuso International Nigeria Program Office
Cuso International has supported Nigeria’s development priorities since 1961 through their work in the education, health, HIV/AIDS, livelihood, youth employment and entrepreneurship sectors. Cuso International is now executing the YouLead project in Nigeria that is supported by the Government of Canada.
The YouLead project is designed to promote youth employment through job creation and entrepreneurship in the natural resources sectors — agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and ecotourism — as well as to support state government institutions in developing natural resource policies and programs. YouLead will support skills transferal and growth in the small business sector by matching experienced Nigerian and Canadian professionals with Nigerian youth.
Cuso International is currently exploring opportunities to widen their scope of work in Nigeria with the potential of implementing a health program in Cross River State that could expand to the Lagos State over the next 5 years. The main goal of the health program would be to increase the quality and gender responsiveness of health services for women, children and youth by ministries, departments, agencies and civil society organizations.
Cuso International terms and conditions allow you to lead a modest and healthy lifestyle while being effective in your placement. This support package will cover basic living expenses for one volunteer and is not intended to cover home-based expenses (ex. loans, support payments, etc.) or luxury items such as imported items in placement or international personal travel.
- Modest monthly living allowance (varies depending country)
- Accommodation while in placement
- Return airfare and visa/work permit costs
- Cost of required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and health insurance
- Pre-departure training and in-country orientation
- Travel and accommodation for reintegration debriefing weekend
- Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer
- Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return
- Cuso International assessment day (Candidates must cover the first $200 of the most cost-effective travel expenses and all accommodation costs).
- Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and for in-country orientation
We ask each volunteer, regardless of placement length, to raise $2,000. All volunteers receive support from Cuso International to help achieve the goal through fundraising. If the volunteer chooses not to fundraise or is unable to achieve the fundraising goal, he/she can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor to support our work.
Depending on the nature of the placement, volunteers are encouraged to provide e-volunteering support to the local partner or Cuso International before or after the field placement. Volunteers also have the option of requesting support from an e-volunteer to help them with their work while they are in placement.
Residency and Citizenship
The majority of Cuso International volunteer applicants are residing in Canada at the time of application and during the pre-departure process. Occasionally we received applications from volunteer applicants who are residing outside of Canada at the time of application. In both instances, between your application date and placement start date, we must be able to contact you and you must be able to contact us easily and promptly throughout the process.
We may require your passport and would need to be aware of your current place of residence and any travel plans you may have during this time. You will also require unrestricted access to Canada during this time for assessment and training, as applicable.
Leaving your country of residence can have significant effects on your citizenship status in that country. It is your responsibility to research the consequences of travelling to Canada during the pre-departure process if you are living outside of Canada and of leaving your country of residence for a placement with the immigration authority where you live.
By applying to this placement, you accept full responsibility for any consequences related to your citizenship, residency and immigration status or penalties as a result of travel to an assessment day, training course, international placement or other Cuso International related travel.
You must check the implications that apply to you, but examples include:
- Canadian permanent residents may need to make arrangements with immigration authorities before travelling. These arrangements allow them to travel without risk to their status in Canada. Without them, residency status may be withdrawn.
- Citizens of other countries, including those visiting Canada on a visa, may have travel restrictions.
My name is Harsh Sodhi, and I am currently enrolled in the full time MBA program at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Last year, Rotman entered into a partnership with Cuso International, whereby, in order to get hands on experience, students who have completed their first year of school can be placed in different parts of the world where Cuso International has a footprint. I spent 10 weeks working with Cuso International on the Youth Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Access and Development (YouLead) project in Calabar, Nigeria.
The YouLead project aims to create employment for youth, specifically in the agribusiness sector, in Cross River State. Project goals include training 12,000 people in the basics of running a business, creating 4,500 new businesses, and creating 2,000 jobs in already established businesses. My specific contribution to the YouLead project is in the form of providing business development support and advice. As such, the work I have done includes site visits to three new Local Government Areas, the creation of a financial literacy pack, data analysis of the project’s grant giving process, and recommendations on how to improve training materials.
As a result of the analysis conducted, the grant process is undergoing a review to make it more effective. Further, the financial literacy pack will ensure that entrepreneurs who were not practicing any form of bookkeeping will now accurately track the financial performance of their businesses, thus opening up avenues of credit from financial institutions.
I am very happy that I have been able to make this contribution and hope that the work I have done will have a long term impact in the lives of the people in Cross River State.