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Peace Corps Volunteer
2 years, 3 months
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Peace Corps Response
Up to 12 months
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Virtual Service Pilot
3-6 months
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Virtual Service Pilot

Educate Town Council Officials about Economic Development in the U.S.

Activity/project background

Partner: Sosnytya Town Council (Government)

Sosnytsya is a community of approximately 6,000 residents in Chernihiv Region, Ukraine. Currently, Sosnytya Town Council is implementing the following projects: 1) infrastructural project funded by USAID to modernize the community market, improve water supply and drainage services with the provision of an excavator, energy-efficient well pumps and automated control system; 2) youth development project to install street gym equipment; 3) health project to improve medical services with the help of new equipment; 4) cultural heritage preservation project; 5) a renewable energy project funded by GIZ and German government; and a 6) social taxi project.

The organization is interested in learning about the structure, management, operations, and best practices of similar sized communities in the United States, as well as their approaches to local economic development. The Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) will facilitate sessions on local government in the United States and collaborate with 2-3 staff members who are responsible for local community economic development and investments. Their level of English is quite basic, and the team is looking for an interpreter to make the virtual engagement more effective.

The organization has collaborated with the Peace Corps. They understand 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:

• Design a series of presentations about the functions of local government in the United States, its structure, management, budgeting, examples of activities related to local economic development and international partnerships
• Facilitate a series of presentations about local government in the United States
• If time allows, build the capacity of staff to identify and apply for available funding opportunities

VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week. This engagement is estimated to be 5-8 hours per week including preparation.

Online collaboration will generally occur twice a week between 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Ukraine time on Tuesdays and Thursdays, each session lasting for about an hour. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to email, Zoom, and WhatsApp 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: Bachelor’s degree in any field

Language: Basic Ukrainian

Experience: 2 years of experience working in the areas of public administration or local economic development

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 public administration or related field

Language: Intermediate Ukrainian

• 3 years of professional work experience with local government in management or organizational development
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• 1 year of experience with fundraising

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?
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