Find out more. Do more. Stay connected.

About us What we do Working Groups Media RESSOURCES Members



Overseas Volunteer Opportunity - Colombia
Co-op Governance and Business Leader



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.



Three dairy associations in the IMPACT project recently amalgamated and formed a new dairy co-operative – Cooperativa Alagro. The new organization is working hard to position its product called Lechenela with a new brand LALOLA, and is now reaching more than 8 supermarkets in the eastern region of Antioquia and in the city of Medellín.

CDF Canada is seeking a Canadian co-operative leader/manager with experience with co-op amalgamations to provide governance and business support to Alagro. This will include review of the business plan with the board and strategies for its implementation within the framework of the amalgamated organization. As well, the assignment will include a workshop with the board of Alagro and coaching to the manager and employees.


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 Antioquia, Colombia to meet with the Alagro dairy co-operative to provide support around strategic business planning and governance.
  • Prior to returning to Canada, debrief the project team in Bogota of the main activities of the mission and overall conclusions, as well as any recommendations.
  • Upon return to Canada, debrief Ottawa-based Program Officer.
  • 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:

  • Experience as a leader/manager of a co-operative, preferably from the dairy and/or agricultural sector.
  • Experience in governance issues related to mergers or amalgamations of co-operative businesses.
  • Experience in the implementation of business plans including marketing and sales.
  • 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.



  • Rough conditions in rural areas (simple accommodation, simple food, bumpy roads).
  • The volunteer will be accompanied at all times by 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 
Please mention that you saw the ad on the CCIC web site
  • Employment
  • 10-point agenda
  • Istanbul Principles
  • Code of Ethics
  • Become a Member
  • CCIC Publications
  • Employment