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Position: Climate Change: Coordination & Marketing Advisor
Type: 12-month intntl. position with living allowance, accom., airfare, more (see below)
Organization: Cuso International
Location: Xaythany, Laos, Southeast Asia

Start Date April – June 2018 (flexible)
Length of Placement 12 Months

Language Requirements
English Reading: Level 4, Writing: Level 4, Speaking: Level 4
Language Scale:

Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only.

The Volunteer’s Role

This placement is part of a global Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) research program funded by the CGIAR System Organization. Although housed within the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), the volunteer’s day to day work will be with the implementing partners: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), both part of the CGIAR.

The objective of this project is to engage partners in the development of appropriate tools and the dissemination of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices in two villages in Laos (namely Ban Ekxang and Ban Phailom), selected by CCAFS and referred as climate-smart villages. To this end, the project shall aim for the following outcomes:

  • Policy-makers at provincial and national levels improve their knowledge and capacity to integrate major principles of CSA into development planning
  • Farmers in both climate-smart villages improve their knowledge and capacity to experiment and adopt promising CSA practices into existing local farming systems, which can result in positive agronomic and socio-economic impacts
  • Local agriculture service providers (e.g. government extension services, traders, NGOs) improve their capacity to provide appropriate support to the farmers on CSA practices and to facilitate knowledge sharing and cross learning for further scale-out through best practices.
  • Development organization’s take into account a coherent Climate Smart Village (CSV) approach for planning their Portfolios.

Within the specific context of Cuso International’s work in Laos, the involvement with the CCAFS program fits within the Inclusive Sustainable Economic Growth (ISEG) project which has been funded for the next 5 years by the Canadian government. The volunteers working on this initiative will have the unique opportunity not only to support local villages within Laos but also to network within the region with other stakeholders rolling out the work in their respective areas.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Facilitate collaboration between stakeholders in the CSVs trough improved communication and coordination of research activities,
  • Support understanding, learning and ownership amongst farmers and local government staff in agricultural offices in the districts, using various media tools,
  • Support participatory trials to test new seed varieties and other CSAs while accounting for gender dimensions,
  • Provide technical and logistical support to IWMI in their research activities related to water management (access, storage and use),
  • Work with NAFRI to organize training activities on business start-up and marketing,
  • Contribute to project proposal development to secure additional funds.
  • Identify gender mainstreaming activities and initiatives that directly tackle issues relating to inclusion (people with disabilities, indigenous minority groups, and people living with HIV/AIDS).

Essential Academic Qualifications:

Relevant Degree in related field (e.g.: Marketing, Geography/Environmental Management, Project Management, Community Development, Agricultural Sciences / Horticultural Production)

Essential Professional Background:

  • Experience in conducting market research or assessment for horticulture production or related field.
  • Experience in water management techniques at the farm level,
  • Experience and proven competencies in community development, farmer facilitation and application of social science research
  • Experience of undertaking market analysis or market assessments especially in relation to poor rural communities
  • Experience or knowledge of enterprise & business development and/or agri-business for poor rural communities

About Our Partner

National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute

The National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute was established in 1999 in order to consolidate agriculture and forestry research activities within the country and develop a coordinated National Agriculture and Forestry Research System under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Vision: The National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute envisions the future where the poverty in rural areas is reduced through improvement of agriculture production systems which support a higher state of food security, increased income for rural farmers, and the utilization of natural resources is managed sustainably.

Mission: The National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute aims to contribute to the goals of the Government of Laos by carrying out integrated ‘research for development’ to overcome specific problems limiting production and causing degradation of natural resources. The National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute will also work closely with different levels of policy-makers to provide feedback and advice to ensure a more supportive policy environment. Finally, the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute will strengthen information and communication systems within Laos so that a range of actors have better access to information and knowledge to make informed decisions at different levels.


  • To develop appropriate methods and technologies to strengthen agriculture production systems for different regions in Laos and focus on ensuring food security as well as income generation opportunities for rural farmers.
  • To develop alternative options for upland farmers to cope and adapt their production systems to the rapid changes occurring in the country.
  • To support the development of improved methods to ensure the sustainable management of land and natural resources.
  • To provide MAF with information and guidance on emerging and globally linked opportunities and problems in the sector.
  • To improve access to information and knowledge of different actors so they can make informed decisions at different levels.
  • Strengthen the capacity of the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute and its local partners to undertake research and provide effective research support activities.

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 (Return flight, emergency medical insurance, vaccinations)
  • 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

How to Apply:

Apply online here:

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GoodWork ID: 44561       Date posted to Mar 9 2018