Support Ukraine City Government Staff Identifying a Sister U.S. City


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

Partner: City Development Institute of Zaporizhzhia (Government)

City Development Institute (CDI) of Zaporizhzhia is a municipal department within Zaporizhzhia City Council in Ukraine. It was established in September 2015 and has pursued various projects for Zaporizhzhia. Currently, with direction from Zaporizhzhia City Council, the department would like to establish a sister city partnership in the United States through Sister Cities International, an organization founded in 1956 dedicated to creating global relationships based on cultural, educational, information, and trade exchanges.

The City Development Institute requests the support of a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to strengthen the capacity of the department to learn more about the Sister Cities International program and to research U.S. cities that may be an appropriate partner with Zaporizhzhia. Together they will complete the research, present the findings to the department staff, and work together to complete the application to join the program.

Additionally, CDI staff would like assistance from a native English speaker to review their English webpage to make it more attractive to international partners, and to participate in an English conversation club.

City Development Institute of Zaporizhzhia has not previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer. However, the Host Partner Counterpart has, and she understands 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:

• Support staff to research and to present findings about Sister Cities International to City Development Institute of Zaporizhzhia specifically the organization’s mission, goals, requirements, and procedures for initiating a city partnership
• Research with staff potential U.S. cities about that are similar to Zaporizhzhia and potentially become a sister city
• Support staff in the Sister Cities International application process, specifically with communication
• Co-facilitate communication with interested municipalities in the U.S.
• Provide feedback to the department’s English webpage used to attract potential international partners
• Participate in a weekly conversational English session with staff

This engagement is expected to be approximately 12 weeks. The VSPP is expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place between 3:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. Ukraine time. Specific times will be determined during orientation. The Host Country Partner will provide interpretation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to email, Zoom, Messenger, Telegram, 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 public administration, foreign relations, business administration, law, or a related field

• 1 year of experience in city council, international business, international NGO
• 6 months of experience in partnership development

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

Education: Master’s degree in public administration or a Master’s degree with an emphasis in non-profit management or business administration

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Language: Intermediate Ukrainian

• 6 months of experience establishing sister city partnerships
• Virtual Service experience in Ukraine
• Experience of promoting a brand via social networks or website

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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