Organizational Development Coordinator

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Project Description

Volunteers in the Community and Organizational Development project provide assistance to community institutions and non-profit organizations to advance their leadership and organizational capacity in order to make a significant impact on sustainable community development. The project aims to strengthen Moldovan civil society organizations and local public institutions (like NGOs, youth community centers, and public libraries) by improving their internal processes and capacity to navigate their operational environments. The project focuses on partnerships with organizations and communities with limited access to external resources and expertise. Assignments are largely in rural locations working with host organizations that tend to routinely have more informal work plans/schedules and may only have basic facilities and minimal staff.

Volunteers in the Organizational Development Facilitator position will have a unique opportunity to experience the challenges and rewards of grassroots civil society and community development in close partnership with Moldovan colleagues by working alongside local partners to support the building of local community and organizational capacity. Volunteers will collaborate with their local partners to assess their organizations together, contribute to the improvement of project planning and management skills, develop internal systems and build monitoring & evaluation as well as strategic plans, while simultaneously engaging in fundamental processes and day-to-day operations. Volunteers will furthermore be involved in the support of local partners in mapping their organizations’ operating environments, establishing strong partnerships with other community institutions, and increasing their visibility in the community. They will also assist local organizations to better target and address the needs of their beneficiaries.

Another major task for the Organizational Development Facilitator will be to facilitate clubs and youth camps that build community members’ skills and contribute to increased civic engagement. This may involve, for example, local volunteer clubs, service-learning programs, and clubs that involve computer skills and coding, English language acquisition, the development of environmental awareness and leadership skills.

Volunteer assignments will be defined by their service of a particular community. Volunteers should expect that their community will be the area of the Volunteer activities and impact throughout service. All Volunteer activities in the community need to be carried out with a local partner(s), be directed to local beneficiaries, and include some element of capacity building.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
• 5 years' professional work experience

Desired Skills

More competitive candidates will demonstrate one or more of the following desired skills:
• Skill/experience in aspects of organizational capacity assessment and development (including, for example, strategic planning, SWOT analyses, monitoring and evaluation processes, etc.)
• Progressively responsible experience working in non-profit organizations or community institutions (including, for example, libraries and organizations focused on community services and/or vulnerable populations);
• Skill/experience in facilitation of trainings and workshops for youth and adults;
• Experience as a mentor to youth and/or professional colleagues;
• Skill/experience in advocacy, public relations, and/or methods for promotion of nonprofits and community institutions;
• Knowledge of community organization and needs-assessment techniques;
• Experience working with diverse segments of community population such as youth, elderly, parents, teachers, public administrators, and local community workers;
• A patient, proactive, flexible, and open minded towards local culture and work.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

This position has no language prerequisite but experience with Romance languages is beneficial for learning Romanian, the primary language taught in Moldova by Peace Corps Language Facilitators during Pre Service Training. Volunteers work closely with professional partners and other community members with limited or no English skills, so it is critical for Volunteers to have good Romanian language skills. Trainees must demonstrate Intermediate Low oral proficiency in Romanian Language at the end of the 10-week training period and continue to develop this ability throughout their service.

Volunteers may, on rare occasions, be placed in communities where Russian is the primary language. Those in this situation will receive training in Russian language but this will be in addition to, rather than instead of, Romanian language instruction.

Living Conditions

Host family accommodations provide a safe private room, food, access to laundry, land-line telephone, access to transportation, and sometimes internet (for an additional fee). Host family stays are required during the 10-week Pre-Service Training period and for an additional 7.5 months in the community of service. A majority of Volunteers live with a host family for the full duration of their service but they may also seek private accommodations after the required 10 months if alternate lodging arrangements are available (unlikely, given rural sites). Regardless of housing options, Volunteers usually form close relationships with their host families.

Communications & Travel:
Some Volunteers will be placed in isolated sites where transportation may not run regularly and where they may be a significant distance away from other Volunteers and from the Peace Corps office in Chisinau. Internet access can be limited due to irregular power supply, poor telephone lines and limited Wi-Fi capabilities.

Professional Appearance:
Moldovan cultural expectations around professionalism include conservative attire and neat appearance. Long, untrimmed beards and mustaches, some hairstyles, visible tattoos, and earrings for men are not accepted in Moldovan culture.

The climate in Moldova is similar to New England, with four distinct seasons. Winter lasts from November to March and can be challenging. This period is characterized by heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures. High temperatures during the summer (sometimes above 90 degrees) can also be challenging, given the lack of air conditioning in most buildings.

Special Considerations:
Peace Corps is challenging regardless of where one might serve and, in some way or another, all Volunteers will be a minority. Volunteers who are members of ethnic minorities may face additional unwanted attention. Peace Corps Moldova’s Pre-Service Training will address these types of concerns to prepare Volunteers for service. Despite limited exposure to minorities, host families and counterparts are generally very accepting of diversity among Volunteers and close relationships are forged without any regard to ethnicity.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has indicated that it will not continue Social Security payments to recipients who live in certain countries where Peace Corps serves (including Moldova) except under very specific procedures that require them to appear personally before a US Consular Officer each month. The Peace Corps program in each of these countries will work to find practical ways to help individual Volunteers who are SSA recipients to fulfill the SSA’s in-person requirements. However, due to the varied geography and Peace Corps’ commitment to site placement based on matching the skills of the Volunteer to the needs of the community, fulfilling SSA requirements will not always be feasible and cannot be guaranteed.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Moldova: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

For the duration of the 10 week pre-service training, couples will train and live in separate host family households in neighboring villages. Once Volunteers move to site, couples will have to be prepared to stay with a host family for the duration of their service. An option to find individual lodging arrangements may exist but is extremely limited. Volunteers serving as a couple will need to be flexible and will be expected to accommodate to the local living standards.

Medical Considerations in Moldova

  • Moldova may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; seizure disorder; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons:none identified. 
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: none identified. 
  • After arrival in Moldova, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot and mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.

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