Support Development of a Volunteer Program

Activity/project background

Partner: Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) (Local NGO)

The Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) has been the umbrella organization for Civil Society in Jamaica since 1940, leading the development of a viable, vibrant, technologically-driven, and transformational voluntary sector. CVSS aims to develop and sustain a national perspective on volunteering, and to recognize and honor the variety of ways people engage as volunteers – from individual acts of helping, to large-scale collective action, to spontaneous response to needs, to structured formal volunteer programs, to those that are driven by the energy of concerned individuals.

The Council provides training for the capacity building and institutional strengthening of its civil society organization members, individuals, and volunteers. The Council has tailored programs and interventions to strengthen civil society organizations (CSOs), including specialized skills and training required to enable them to perform and serve their beneficiaries optimally.

The Council wants to develop a sustainable volunteer management program to further support its members and the entire volunteer sector. A structured approach or system designed to recruit, train, engage, and retain volunteers effectively (within an organization or for a specific cause) is the primary objective. The VSPP is requested to co-develop the volunteer program IPAL (Induct, Place, Assess and Lead) to create opportunities for a diverse group of volunteers to offer their service through a structured and sustainable program, and assist in writing a proposal for funding of this program.

The CVSS partnered successfully with Peace Corp Volunteers on the 2019 National Volunteer Conference but have not collaborated with a Virtual Service Pilot Participant. 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:

• Co-develop a managed Volunteer Program (IPAL – Induct, Place, Assess and Lead)
• Co-assess staff training needs to increase capacity to implement and manage a volunteer program and identify or co-develop learning experiences
• Support the development of volunteer position descriptions and assessment process for applicants

If time allows:
• Co-assess the donor landscape and funding opportunities to support NGOs
• Co-create a project proposal that will enable the CVSS to solicit funding from third party overseas donors (UN Volunteers, Canada Fund, etc) to implement a managed volunteer program

This engagement is expected to take approximately 24 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage in the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, Mondays to Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to email, WhatsApp, and virtual meeting platforms e.g. Zoom for regular communication and collaboration. Dropbox or Google Docs are options for sharing collaborative projects.

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 any field

• 2 years’ experience working with a civil society group or an organization that coordinates a volunteer management program
• 1 year of experience in proposal and grant writing

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 non-profit management, management studies, business administration or a related field

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Strong computer skills including proficiency in Microsoft Office suite, graphic designing using Canva or Photoshop, and the ability to manipulate databases for data entry purposes

Language: Basic Spanish

• 5 years of experience working in civil society with an NGO, CBO, CDO or Foundation
• Have technical knowledge about the landscape in which civil society operates
• Experience working with an international donor funding agency
• Experience with data management
• Experience with project management

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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