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

Train University Faculty on Peace Studies & Climate Change Research

Activity/project background

Partner: Bukidnon State University (BukSU) (Government)

Bukidnon State University is located in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines. In 2022, the university established the Kalandang Taw Center for Peace Studies (KTCPS), along with three other research centers, to address and respond to context specific research needs. Kalandang Taw in the local dialect means “our collective peace.” The KTCPS envisions itself to be a research hub for peace and conflict studies, especially to work on niche conflict issues affecting indigenous peoples and their co-existence with the tri-people realities of Mindanao.

The university would like to explore addressing peace and conflict issues by 1) engaging in research to map out the existing conflicts in Bukidnon, 2) evaluating how the threats of climate change will affect or trigger these conflicts, and 3) explore which strategies can be positioned to address these conflicts. Currently, there is a lack of expertise and experience among university researchers related to peace research and climate change, particularly in the tools, methods, and strategies for multidisciplinary research and response.

Therefore, Bukidnon State University seeks a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to train and provide technical support to the research center faculty and staff on peace and climate change studies. During this engagement, the VSPP will conduct a series of training with around 6-10 faculty members involved in KCTPS research.

Bukidnon State University has previously worked with the Peace Corps and a VSPP. 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:

• Review existing faculty/staff technical capacity and provide guidance on functional requirements of the newly established Center for Peace Studies of the university
• Conduct a series of at least five (5) training events for research center faculty and staff on peace and climate change studies in areas to be determined by the counterpart and VSPP, such as 1) training needs assessment; 2) conflict mapping; 3) impact of climate change on vulnerability and conflict; 4) developing multi-disciplinary research for community-based adaptation strategies; 5) writing grant proposals/submitting proposals to appropriate research grant agencies

VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week. This engagement is estimated to be 6-8 hours per week.

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

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, 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: Master’s degree in peace and conflict studies or related field

Experience:
• 2 years of experience conducting research
• Experience conducting virtual trainings to adults

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: Doctorate degree in peace and conflict studies or related field

Experience:
• 5 years of experience conducting research
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• 2 years of training experience on peace and climate change studies
• Experience with one or more of the following topics: 1) training needs assessment; 2) conflict mapping; 3) impact of climate change on vulnerability and conflict; 4) developing multi-disciplinary research for community-based adaptation strategies; 5) writing grant proposals/submitting proposals to appropriate research grant agencies

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.

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