Skip to main content
US Flag An official website of the United States government

Connect with the Peace Corps

If you're ready for something bigger, we have a place where you belong.

Follow us

Apply to the Peace Corps

The application process begins by selecting a service model and finding an open position.

Peace Corps Volunteer
2 years, 3 months
Log in/check status
Peace Corps Response
Up to 12 months
Log in/check status
Virtual Service Pilot
3-6 months
Log in/check status

Let us help you find the right position.

If you are flexible in where you serve for the two-year Peace Corps Volunteer program, our experts can match you with a position and country based on your experience and preferences.

Serve where you’re needed most
Virtual Service Pilot

Co-design Disaster Risk Reduction Program into University Curriculum

Activity/project background

Partner: University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) (Government)

Established in 1978, the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) is a state university based in Davao City in Mindanao. USeP offers graduate, post-baccalaureate, and undergraduate academic programs in various areas of study. The university is committed to carrying out its functions in research, instruction, production, and extension.

Due to their geographical location, the USeP campus is generally vulnerable to various natural and man-made disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and structure fires. The university has an existing Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) strategy, and a dedicated staff that addresses the disaster vulnerability of the university. However, disaster resilience is not mainstreamed in instruction, which USeP believes is necessary as it underscores individual roles and shared responsibilities of its stakeholders, especially students, in preparation for unprecedented risks and mitigating disaster consequences.

As USeP integrates DRRM into its National Service Training Program (NSTP), which is a mandatory civic education and defense preparedness program for college freshman, the university recognizes that its faculty members must be well-versed in the basic and various disaster resilience strategies that they will impart to their students. Therefore, technical support from a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) in designing a DRRM-integrated NSTP curriculum and training of teachers will significantly contribute to USeP’s attainment of its commitments to research and extension.

The USeP has not previously collaborated with the Peace Corps. The university understands that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year volunteer.

Engagement and tasks

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

• Assist in identifying and developing appropriate courses suitable for the design of a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM)-integrated National Service Training Program (NSTP) curriculum for teachers
• Provide recommendations and expert insights into developing strategies for the integration of DRRM in instruction
• Co-develop guidelines in the integration of DRRM into the NSTP curriculum
• Provide a series of at least five (5) teacher trainings in how to teach DRRM-integrated courses

VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week. This engagement is estimated to be 6-10 hours per week.

Online collaboration will generally occur between 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Philippine time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and email 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: Bachelors’ Degree in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management or any environment related degree

• 2 years of experience in disaster risk reduction management program/project implementation
• 2 years of experience teaching or conducting trainings on DRRM to students in a university setting

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 Disaster Risk Reduction and Management or any environment related degree

• Background in climate change adaptation
• Teaching experience in tertiary education
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

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 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.

Does this sound like the virtual engagement for you?
Get started on your journey.