Co-Train Local Leaders on Water and Sanitation Topics


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

Partner: Regional Directorate of Housing, Construction and Sanitation of Ancash (DRVCS) (Government)

The mission of the Regional Directorate of Housing, Construction, and Sanitation of Ancash (DRVCS) in Peru is to improve the living conditions and health of the population, facilitating access to adequate housing and basic services, including access to drinking water and sanitary sewage disposal. The agency also aims to improve the environment and living conditions of marginalized communities and rural areas by promoting universal coverage, and the quality and sustainability of sanitation services.

The DRVCS’s 2022-2026 Regional Sanitation Plan for Ancash details the regional sanitation goals with the following objectives: 1) serve the population without access to services and prioritize those with limited resources, 2) develop and strengthen the capacities of service providers, and 3) develop efficient and sustainable provisions with a risk management approach in the context of climate change.

To achieve these objectives, the DRVCS seeks the support of three VSPPs to strengthen the capacities of local water and sanitation leaders with innovative methodologies, as identified as a need in the water sector in Peru. The VSPPs are expected to train about 70 leaders in charge of water services management, 70 operators responsible for the water system, and 70 local officials involved in water and sanitation tasks and DRVCS staff in the following training topics: the use of virtual platforms for data-based decision making, the identification of techniques/technologies for water purification in emergencies, and the operation and maintenance of basic sanitation units and the promotion of water valuation.

Through this engagement, DRVCS seeks to close gaps in the provision of sanitation services by improving the quality of water in communities.

DRVCS has not previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteers or VSPPs. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Conduct a joint diagnosis on local leader capacities on the main training topics and the host organization’s resources available for these trainings
• Based on this diagnosis, the VSPPs will co-design a Virtual Training Plan on the main training topics, for local leaders considering session design and resources for this training
• Implement the Virtual Training Plan; co-facilitating session by zoom with the support of the host organization
• Co-evaluate the Virtual Training Plan Implementation, reporting main results and lessons learned.

The DRVCS will manage the necessary materials for the training sessions provided/acquired, according to the requirements of the training plan, and the demonstration materials and supplies for field training sessions.
This engagement is expected to be approximately 24 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts to coordinate and plan will take place during normal office hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time, training sessions would be schedule after office hours or even during weekends. Specific times will be determined during orientation. The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom and WhatsApp for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in sanitary engineering, civil engineering, environmental engineering, agricultural engineering, public health, or related field

Language: Advanced Spanish

• Experience in water, sanitation, and hygiene education
• Experience in non-formal adult education methodologies
• Experience in online training
• Experience in sanitation

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

• Work, academic, or volunteer experience with sanitation and public health
• Experience in health and/or sanitation and hygiene projects in Peru
• Work, academic, or volunteer experience in Latin America
• Experience in rural sanitation

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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