Local Government or Civil Society Organization Advising Volunteer
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Peace Corps domestically and internationally.
The information provided for each assignment is subject to change, including the tentative departure date.
Ukraine is one of the oldest nations in Europe, yet it’s one of the youngest democracies. Located in the heart of Europe, Ukraine is famous for its rich and diverse culture, stunning landscapes, fertile soil, flavorful cuisine, yet tragic history. Most importantly, it is famous for its proud people who value freedom above everything. It is because of their love for freedom that Ukrainians continue to resist Russian hybrid aggression, much like they have been for the past 400 years. “Resilient” is the adjective used frequently by Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) to describe Ukrainians. Despite the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and active conflict instigated and fueled by the Russian government in the eastern part of the country, Ukraine remains one of the safest Peace Corps countries with the largest number of serving Peace Corps Volunteers who can’t help but eventually fall in love with the country and its people. Based on the 2019 Security Incident Questionnaire Crime Data Report, overall crime level against PCVs in Ukraine is 45% (global average is 53%) and serious crime level is 10% (global average is 17%), which makes PC/Ukraine one of the safest Peace Corps Posts globally.
Peace Corps began its program in Ukraine in 1992. Initially, the project was called Business Development. At that time, the project aimed to support Ukraine’s transition to a free market economy. As the country changed, so did the project priorities.
The current challenge for local governments and civil society organizations is the lack of capacity, especially the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to facilitate sustainable community development that is rooted in civic engagement, cross-sector cooperation, use of local resources, transparency, accountability, and the sense of ownership of their community.
The Peace Corps Ukraine Community Development project will strengthen organizational capacity, project design and management practices, and cross-sectoral collaboration at the local level by assigning Volunteers to local government bodies or civil society organizations that facilitate community development.
The goal of this project is for local governments and civil society organizations to lead sustainable community development efforts.
1. Strengthen organizational systems and promote organizational learning.
2. Improve organizations’ project design and management practices.
3. Promote collaborative engagement among organizations and community stakeholders.
Volunteers may be assigned to help their Ukrainian counterparts cultivate new economic opportunities to benefit their communities and improve strategic and operational planning, resource development, and internal management. As a response to the newly emerging environment, the areas of activities Volunteers may be assigned include sustaining volunteerism, facilitating fundraising, developing charity and philanthropy, tourism, and assisting with local government reform on decentralization.
Decentralization is the most significant reform that aligns with the Peace Corps’ goals in Ukraine. This and other reforms strengthen civil society and encourage civic engagement at local levels. The legislation transfers powers from the Office of the President and Cabinet of Ministers on the national level to local governments, empowering them to be more effective in delivering services to the community. It also gives local governments more budgetary powers in the delivery of their community services. As promising as the reforms may sound, they also present a set of challenges, such as lack of trust, communication and collaboration among various stakeholders in the community, inconsistency that hinders sustainable organizational development, lack of knowledge and skills associated with organizational and/or community development, occupational fatigue, and limited human and financial resources. This is where the Community Development Volunteer’s diverse cultural and professional background will be an asset.
COVID-19 Volunteer Activities
In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.
Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline and 2 years management or organizational development experience with nonprofit organizations
• Master of Arts/Master of Science degree with an emphasis in Non-profit Management, Public Administration, or Organizational Development
• 5 years professional work experience with nonprofit organizations in a management or organizational development capacity
• 2-5 years of paid or volunteer experience in organizational development or project design and management;
• 2-5 year of paid or volunteer experience in developing communication strategies, designing and coordinating networking events, local advocacy or campaign work, and/or network or partnership building;
• Good understanding of contemporary management approaches (such as Lean Six Sigma, Scrum and/or similar methods), frameworks and applications;
• Experience conducting Organizational Capacity Assessments, and other standard analyses, and other asset-based assessments;
• Ability to lead non-formal community club discussions on one or more of the following topics: civic engagement/education, financial literacy, urban design and planning, public spaces for community members, environmental issues and recycling, and public speaking;
• Ability to generate and develop creative fundraising strategies;
• Ability to assist with grant writing;
• Experience working with local rotary clubs or chamber of commerce;
• Experience in local government administration or council;
• Information and Communication Technologies abilities;
• Tourism development;
• Ability to mentor, co-facilitate, co-plan, and co-implement organizational development activities;
• Ability to introduce innovative organizational development and time management practices and work alongside Ukrainians to ensure their implementation;
• Good facilitation and presentation skills;
• Good writing skills.
Required Language Skills
There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.
Ukrainian is the native language of the Ukrainians and the official state language. According to most recent polls, some 48.4% of Ukrainians speak Ukrainian at home, while 23.9% speak both Ukrainian and Russian, and 27.3% of respondents speak only Russian in their households. Ukrainian is obligatory for use within government and education system, customer service, medical and social services.
All Volunteers are required to learn Ukrainian during pre-service training. Peace Corps Ukraine offers a strong 10-week pre-service language learning program to get Volunteers started on their language learning journey. In addition, online resources and trainings, developed by Peace Corps Language Staff, will be available during service. The key to success in learning Ukrainian is a positive attitude, practice and systematic work. Trainees must demonstrate, at a minimum, an oral proficiency of novice-mid in Ukrainian by the end of pre-service training.
Prior experience of studying a foreign language will be of use.
• Host Family
Host family stays are required during the 10-week Pre-Service Training (PST). PST host family accommodations provide Volunteers with a safe, private room with basic furniture and shared bathroom and kitchen facilities.
Options for housing at a Volunteer’s permanent site may include an apartment in a dormitory, a private apartment or house, or a part of a family house with separate bathing facilities and kitchen. A host family may be the only option for Volunteers during their service in some communities, subject to changing circumstances due to COVID-19.
The Ukrainian diet is bread-based with lots of wheat and grains; pork and dairy products are typically prepared daily. It is also very rich in fruits and vegetables during the summer, but mostly root vegetables during the winter months. Nearly 50% of Ukrainian households have indoor pets, and cats or dogs can be expected in many homes.
• Diversity Challenges
We encourage you to access our website for more information regarding diversity and inclusion at:
Peace Corps is challenging regardless of where you serve, and in some way or another Volunteers will be a minority and may invite unwanted attention. Peace Corps Ukraine’s Pre-Service Training will address these types of issues in preparation for service, and strive to provide appropriate and timely support utilizing experience and recommendations of former Volunteers and current support and affinity groups.
Volunteers usually walk from home to the first available transportation, and this could take between 10 to 45 minutes. The country is well-served by trains. On shorter routes, Volunteers use mini-buses for inter-city transportation. New policies, procedures, and restrictions are in place to help limit the potential for exposure and transmission of COVID-19. Volunteers will need to adhere to Peace Corps Ukraine’s transportation policy.
The climate in Ukraine consists of four distinct seasons. Volunteers may experience long and snowy winters and hot or rainy summers. Global climate change affects Ukraine as well, making the weather less predictable.
Men and women should bring business casual clothing for work and casual settings. There are abundant second hand shops in Ukraine and Volunteers make good use of them.
• Physical requirements
Communities where Volunteers are assigned in Ukraine are physically challenging and will require Volunteers to be physically fit to walk up and down stairs, ride public transportation, and sometimes use a squat toilet. Volunteers must be able to walk on uneven terrain/pavement and carry their groceries (~20 pounds).
• Service in “clusters”
Peace Corps Ukraine staff will make the best effort to place Volunteers strategically during service so that Youth Development, Teachers of English as a Foreign Language, and Community Development Volunteers will be able to work together on their community projects.
• President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
Peace Corps Ukraine is a member of the PEPFAR team and aspires to do our part to end the AIDS epidemic in Ukraine. During service, Volunteers will have opportunities to take part in PEPFAR clubs and camps.
• Succession Placements
Most Volunteers in Ukraine are placed in succession at an organization or school to conduct different activities over time. Volunteers may be the first Volunteer at their site or they may the second or third in a sequence.
• Internet Access
Internet is available in most places, though the connection speed and consistency can often be lower than to what you are accustomed. 3G internet via cellular network is available in all big cities, most towns, and in parts of small communities.
Policies, procedures, and restrictions are in place to help limit the potential for exposure and transmission of COVID-19 and Volunteers will learn more about these safety recommendations.
Serving in Ukraine
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Ukraine: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.
Peace Corps Ukraine can accommodate couples that serve together in the same or different sector. During pre-service training, couples will live together. In cases when spouses are assigned to different sectors, they may be placed in different nearby communities. In this case, a couple can meet during weekends in one of the communities.
Couples will live together at their permanent site. Spouses have separate work assignments within the same community.
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.
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