Support NGO with Project Writing and Project Management Skills

Activity/project background

Partner: Union of Associations of Paraplegics of Montenegro (Local NGO)

The Union of Associations of Paraplegics of Montenegro (SUPCG) is a non-governmental (NGO) humanitarian organization that operates at the national level, with headquarters in Podgorica.
The association was founded in 1997 to bring together persons with paraplegia and other persons with physical disabilities with the aim of their full affirmation and integration into society. The areas in which SUPCG is active include human rights, strengthening of civil society, social protection, health care, education, employment of persons with disabilities, accessibility, culture, and sports.

SUPCG is also one of the founders of the regional network in the field of disability (BIDF Network), which, apart from Montenegro, includes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Macedonia. The goal of the Network is to encourage competent ministries and government bodies dealing with disability policies in their home countries to cooperate, connect, and include in the regional process of harmonizing national legislation with the UN Convention.

To strengthen the capacities of both employees and volunteer staff, it is necessary to constantly improve knowledge and skills so that the results of the organization's work are at a higher level. SUPCG staff has expressed a great need for technical support and training in project cycle management and proposal writing in English to increase the competitiveness of the organization. On a rolling basis, the organization applies for funding through various opportunities that aim to enhance the quality of life of persons with disabilities. Thus, the organization is seeking a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to support two (2) employees and two (2) volunteers with strengthening their skillsets.

SUPCG has not worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer or a VSPP but understand that the role of the VSPP is very different from the two-year volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

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

• Plan for the implementation of project writing training for two (2) employees and two (2) volunteers in the Union of Associations of Paraplegics to be held once a week covering the following topics:
• 1) Co-assess current project design and proposal development processes
• 2) Co-develop a skills training program on the following topics: project cycle (management), logical framework development, and project proposal and budget development
• 3) Co-facilitate or conduct training for two (2) staff and two (2) volunteers for 2-4 hours each week
• 4) Co-develop a project proposal or concept note as a practical learn-by-doing example

This engagement is expected to be approximately 27 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 will take place during normal office hours, from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Montenegro time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, WhatsApp, and email for regular communication and collaboration.

The VSPP will have regular communication and cooperation with the organization with employees who are not younger than 18 years old.

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

• Experience in fundraising and/or grant management for non-profit organizations
• Experience working with a non-profit/NGO in project design or management, capacity building, or community mobilization
• Experience working with individuals with different backgrounds

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: Project Management Professional (PMP) certification OR bachelor’s degree in humanities, public policy, or social sciences

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Language: Basic Montenegrin/Serbian/Bosnian/Croatian

• Experience in non-governmental organization management
• Experience working on fundraising strategies for non-profit organizations
• Experience working with people with disabilities
• Knowledge of legal regulations in the field of persons with disabilities

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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