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Overseas Volunteer Opportunity - Colombia
Second-Tier Co-op Governance Specialist



WHERE: Bogota and Antioquia, Colombia
START DATE: A two-week period between January and March 31 of 2018 (exact timing to be negotiated with the successful candidate)
DURATION: A one to two-week (7-14 days) mission with 2 travel days plus preparatory work and correspondence from Canada.
REPORTING TO: Jessica Sunter, Program Officer for Colombia
DEADLINE: January 5th, 2018

Note: This is a voluntary assignment. Domestic and international economy airfare, ground transport, visa, travel insurance, out of country accommodation, and a meal/incidental allowance will be covered by CDF Canada.  You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.


The Improving Economic Performance of Agricultural Co-operatives (IMPACT) project, is a five-year, CAD $15,309,473 project funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The project is being implemented by the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF Canada) in partnership with GESTANDO, a Colombian business incubator from the co-operative sector.

The project will end on September 30th, 2019. The project supports sustainable, private-sector driven business activities of co-operatives and associations in the agricultural sector. The objective is to build the capacity of these associations and co-operatives so that by the end of the project they will be financially sustainable, with expanded product sales both locally and internationally. The IMPACT project is working with 14,000 farmers (cocoa, coffee, fruits and vegetables, plantain and dairy farmers) in 10 departments across Colombia. When considering the impact on their immediate families and communities, the project is expected to reach 84,000 men, women and children.

CDF Canada’s Colombia Country Director resides in Bogota, Colombia. The project has a staff of over 50 people, including approximately 15 people located in the office in Bogota, and field staff in each of the 10 departments where the project is active.



Over the last few years, several IMPACT project co-operatives in the department of Tolima have amalgamated and formed second-tier co-operatives. CDF Canada is looking for a Canadian who can provide governance training to these organizations.


The specific activities of the assignment include:

  • Participate in CDF Canada’s volunteer orientation process (both on-line, via SKYPE and possibly at CDF Canada’s offices in Ottawa) prior to travel to Colombia.
  • Travel to Tolima, Colombia to meet with the second-tier co-operatives to provide governance coaching and training. Agenda to be determined prior to mission in collaboration with local project staff who will accompany the volunteer throughout the mission.
  • Prior to return to Canada, debrief the project team in Bogota of main activities of the mission and overall conclusions, as well as any recommendations.
  • Upon return to Canada, debrief Ottawa-based Program Manager.
Submit to CDF Canada a written report on activities undertaken, general conclusions and recommendations.


The successful applicant must possess the following skills, experiences and personal characteristics:

  • Proven second-tier co-operative governance experience.
  • Experience creating and facilitating group learning/training sessions.
  • Knowledge in community participation methodologies.
  • Experience with agricultural co-operatives is as asset.
  • Demonstrated ability and interest in communicating and interacting effectively with people of a different culture.
  • Must be able to handle difficult situations with patience, tact and professionalism.
  • Preferably, some experience working in a developing country context.
  • Spanish a preferred asset.



  • The mission includes travel to the north and south rural areas of the department of Tolima, with breathtaking scenery on some bumpy roads (and simple accommodations, simple food choices).  
  • The volunteer will be accompanied at all times by local project staff, and will travel to the communities with local project staff. 
  • A Spanish-English interpreter will be provided if needed.


Please submit a resume and letter of intent by end of day January 5th, 2018 to Volunteer Manager, Laurie Tennian, You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Successful candidates will be required to obtain a police check from their local police/RCMP detachment.   No phone calls please.  All applicants are thanked for their interest in CDF Canada; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


The Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF Canada) is an international development charity that helps improve the lives of women, men, children and their communities through cooperatives. We envision a world where self-reliant communities flourish. CDF Canada is working with
local partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and in Eastern Europe to establish and grow community owned co-operatives that help people achieve more prosperous, self-reliant lives.

For over 70 years, CDF has been mobilizing financial resources, volunteers and knowledge — mostly
from Canadian co-ops and credit unions — to make the world a better place. For much of that time, CDF
Canada worked with the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and other partners to help
communities move toward prosperity and create more secure lives through community-owned cooperatives.

CDF and CCA amalgamated in 2017 under the CDF Canada brand. For more information about CDF Canada, visit


Notice to Candidates 
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