Location Paske, Laos
Start Date Sep – Nov 2017 (flexible)
Length of Placement 12 Months
Language Requirements English
English Reading: Level 3, Writing: Level 3, Speaking: Level 3
Language Scale: http://www.cusointernational.org/languageratingscale
Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only
The overall purpose of the placement is to provide support to smallholder farmers in Laos in strengthening their capacity to improve the implementation of new or existing rice varieties and collective economic initiatives to grant farmers access markets. Additionally, we want to improve and diversify farmers’ incomes exploring market potential for improved/diversified production and upgrading of value chains for their rice and crops productions. It is hoped that new potential markets including access to export and inter-provincial trade will be developed as well as the adaptation of low cost sustainable agriculture techniques that are resilient to the impacts of climate change.
The aim of this placement is to further develop the quality of the rice production and marketing channel (written reports and case studies) in order to share learning and best practice generated by partners and volunteers within Cuso International programs. The volunteer will work collaboratively with the Country Office team to meet the goal and strategies, partners, beneficiaries and staff.
The volunteer will work collaboratively with the Agriculture Section, PAFO Champasak and Cuso International Country Office team to meet the goal and strategies, partners, beneficiaries and staff. The volunteer will also be involved in developing and improving the marketing systems for the partner organization.
This placement will support the work of Cuso International Laos in Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth (ISEG) and governance, with a particular focus on sustainable livelihoods for all, access to finance, training, and capacity building opportunities. There will also be a focus on how far services are provided for youth, women as well as men in the area, given the importance placed by Cuso International on the inclusion of women and socially excluded groups.
As a volunteer, you will:
- Assist Agriculture Section in conducting the baseline survey in the selected target villages for the proposed project
- Assist Agriculture Section in planning and implementing of the project proposed to MAF
- Provide technical expertise to private sector actors, such as the development of business and marketing plans including the standards to improve the quality of rice and other crops.
- Develop marketing strategy, including the identification of entrepreneurs for product development, promotion, and sales
- Network with other relevant organizations (governmental, NGOs, research institutions, private sector, etc.)
- Mainstream gender and social inclusion in partner organization project and in all placement activities both with farmers and other stakeholders. This should be in relation to marginalized groups (people living with disabilities, indigenous minority groups, and people living with HIV/AIDS).
Essential Academic Qualifications:
BA in marketing, business administration, Agricultural Sciences, Horticultural Production, or a related field is desirable
Essential Professional Background:
- Two or more years of experience developing marketing campaigns/research (planning, implementation, analysis/reporting)
- Experience and proven competencies in community development, farmer facilitation, and application of market research activities
- Knowledge in market supply and value chain development
- Volunteer is required to learn Lao and get the basic survival to better communicate with government colleagues and villagers/farmers at the target communities/sites
Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office (PAFO) Champasak
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is the State authority in charge of agriculture and forestry development. Its duties include implementing forest management according to laws, national guidelines and strategies, as well as developing a plan of action for proper forest use and conservation. The MAF has established Provincial Agricultural and Forestry Offices (PAFO) across the country. The placement partner, the Agriculture Section, works under the auspice of the PAFO in Champasak Province.
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 (Return flight, emergency medical insurance, vaccinations)
- 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.