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Public Policy Advisor

CUSO International


Location:  Bogotá, Soacha, Medellín, Quibdó, Cali, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Colombia
Start Date: Feb - Apr 2018 (flexible)
Length of Placement: 12 Months
Language Requirements:
Spanish Reading: Level 4, Writing: Level 4, Speaking: Level 4

Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only

Due to funder restrictions, support for accompanying partners/dependents is not available for this placement

The Volunteer’s Role

Have you always wanted to work in the government industry and be involved in making a difference in the community at the same time? Here's your chance!

Cuso International Colombia is partnering with Colombia's local governments to find a volunteer like you to work with and guide them in strengthening their design and implementation of employment, gender-sensitive and socially-inclusive strategies, policies and programs to benefit the population in a vulnerable situation, especially young people, women and victims of the armed conflict.  

In this role, you'll evaluate current employment strategies, policies and programs created by Colombia's local governments. You will  provide recommendations on how they can implement them efficiently, design them to increase access to employment opportunities, support knowledge-sharing and share best practices with other local governments.  

We are currently looking for 7 volunteers under this role, each to be placed with a different local government. A volunteer will love and work in either Bogotá, Soacha, Medellín, Quibdó, Cali, Cartagena or Barranquilla for the length of placement. Depending on the recruitment and arrival of each volunteer, you will work together to ensure cohesive policies for each region.   

* This placement is funded through the Sustainable Colombian Opportunities for Peacebuilding and Employment (SCOPE) program of Cuso International. For more information on the project, please visit:

As a volunteer, you will:

- Assess and evaluate current strategies, policies and employment programs of the local government.

- Develop employment policies and programs for vulnerable populations.

- Advise on the design and strengthening of an employability strategy for public sector entities.

- Support in implementing the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) model developed by the SCOPE Project.

- Evaluate good practices and lessons learned among local government partners.

Essential Academic Qualifications:

- Degree in social or political science, sociology, international or community development, gender studies, education or related field.  

- Desirable: Coursework in public policy, employability or gender issues, and/or international development.

Essential Professional Background:

- Skilled in project design, strategic planning, and capacity building.  

- Experience in field visits and community work, preferably in Latin America.  

- Desirable: Experience in designing/implementing gender and social inclusion strategies and/or working with vulnerable populations in Latin America.

About Our Partner

Alcaldías en Colombia

The Municipalities have defined the instruments that allow the control for the realization of their plans, programs and projects, through a management of quality, efficiency and effectiveness.

The local government formulates, implements and evaluates policies aimed at strengthening productivity and competitiveness of companies, generating quality employment opportunities and food supply in the city, through the management and institutional coordination of economic development policies. The improvement of international economic integration and the provision of business development services, financing, decent work and science, technology and innovation, which allows improving income levels, food security and food sovereignty and the quality of life in urban territory And rural areas of the city.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Cuso International terms and conditions allow you to lead a modest and healthy lifestyle while being effective in your placement. This support package will cover basic living expenses for one volunteer and is not intended to cover home-based expenses (ex. loans, support payments, etc.) or luxury items such as imported items in placement or international personal travel.


    Support Package

    - Modest monthly living allowance (varies depending country)

    - Accommodation while in placement

    - Return airfare and visa/work permit costs

    - Cost of required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and health insurance

    - Pre-departure training and in-country orientation

    - Travel and accommodation for reintegration debriefing weekend

    - Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer

    - Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return

    - Cuso International assessment day (Candidates must cover the first $200 of the most cost-effective travel expenses and all accommodation costs).

    - Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and for in-country orientation

    - Bonus: Additional return flight home or cash in lieu after 12 months of service for volunteers who extend for another 6 months


    We ask each volunteer, regardless of placement length, to raise $2,000. All volunteers receive support from Cuso International to help achieve the goal through fundraising. If the volunteer chooses not to fundraise or is unable to achieve the fundraising goal, he/she can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor to support our work.


    Depending on the nature of the placement, volunteers are encouraged to provide e-volunteering support to the local partner or Cuso International before or after the field placement. Volunteers also have the option of requesting support from an e-volunteer to help them with their work while they are in placement.

    Residency and Citizenship


    The majority of Cuso International volunteer applicants are residing in Canada at the time of application and during the pre-departure process. Occasionally we received applications from volunteer applicants who are residing outside of Canada at the time of application. In both instances, between your application date and placement start date, we must be able to contact you and you must be able to contact us easily and promptly throughout the process.

    We may require your passport and would need to be aware of your current place of residence and any travel plans you may have during this time. You will also require unrestricted access to Canada during this time for assessment and training, as applicable.



    Leaving your country of residence can have significant effects on your citizenship status in that country. It is your responsibility to research the consequences of travelling to Canada during the pre-departure process if you are living outside of Canada and of leaving your country of residence for a placement with the immigration authority where you live.

    By applying to this placement, you accept full responsibility for any consequences related to your citizenship, residency and immigration status or penalties as a result of travel to an assessment day, training course, international placement or other Cuso International related travel.

    You  must  check the implications that apply to you, but examples include:

    • Canadian permanent residents may need to make arrangements with immigration authorities before travelling. These arrangements allow them to travel without risk to their status in Canada. Without them, residency status may be withdrawn.
    • Citizens of other countries, including those visiting Canada on a visa, may have travel restrictions.
  • Apply to placement here.


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