Kyle Burr describes his experience working with TechnoServe in Swaziland to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable households.
Since 2001, TechnoServe has engaged more than 800 Volunteer Consultants on three- to 12-month projects throughout Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and India.
About the Volunteer Consultant Program
TechnoServe’s program gives Volunteer Consultants the unique chance to:
- contribute their skills to help change the lives of those living in poverty
- experience the field of international development firsthand
- build new skills in a cross-cultural and entrepreneurial environment
- and join a global alumni community representing top-tier consulting, industry and nonprofit organizations and graduate schools.
No two projects are exactly alike, but typical Volunteer Consultant roles often involve:
- Assessing markets, value chains and industries, and identifying opportunities
- Crafting business and funding strategies in partnership with one or more TechnoServe clients
- Strengthening the operations and/or organizational capacity of TechnoServe clients
- Researching and writing communication materials such as programmatic lessons learned
- Designing innovative TechnoServe projects and proposals
Other, less frequent projects include exploring the use of new information and communication technology; evaluating long-term program impact and sustainability; and designing and executing strategic research for our clients and partners.
I want to thank TechnoServe for this hugely rewarding experience. I learned that the collective power of many is always greater than any one can achieve alone.
Review our detailed sample project descriptions to understand the skills and capabilities most often required. Volunteer Consultants spend between three and 12 months on the ground. While a salary is not offered, TechnoServe typically covers Volunteer Consultants’ costs to travel to and live in-country for the duration of their projects.
What We’re Looking For
Volunteer Consultants have proven business skills, abilities and experiences that will be of value to our teams, clients and partners on the ground. Desired skills depend on the project but most often include industry analysis, business plan development, financial modeling, operations, organizational development, marketing strategy and stakeholder management.
Volunteer Consultants have a minimum of two to three years of full-time work experience, typically, though not exclusively, in management consulting, financial services or corporate strategy. The successful Volunteer Consultant demonstrates a high degree of enthusiasm, flexibility and strong communication skills.
Their Experience: Thoughts From Our Alumni
"I want to thank TechnoServe for this hugely rewarding experience. I learned that the collective power of many is always greater than any one can achieve alone – just like the power of public-private partnership in the international development field. I am proud to be associated with an organization that changes lives every day. Most importantly, I am humbled and gained new perspectives about how I should live my life. To the new friends I have made – Weebale."
Clinton Wong Uganda, 2014
"It was hugely refreshing to work for an organization that not only finds the answers and makes strategic recommendations, but also does valuable implementation."
Rebecca Grubman Swaziland, 2012
“TechnoServe opened my eyes to the opportunities and challenges in the developing world – nothing else could have given me this depth of experience and so much excitement in such a short period of time.”
Michael Schoenfeld Ghana, 2012
"When I worked as a consultant, I worked hard because I wanted to support my client. At TechnoServe, I worked hard because I knew that I had a chance to make a real difference in the lives of thousands of farmers. It's hard to not be motivated by that."
Stephen Kim Kenya, 2010
We encourage you to read our frequently asked questions and sample project descriptions before submitting your application.
The process for becoming a Volunteer Consultant is highly selective. The Volunteer Consultant Program seeks to align candidate skills and interests with project requirements. We interview applicants in our candidate database as new opportunities emerge. Individual preferences on location and project type are taken into account; however, offers to join TechnoServe are ultimately subject to project needs at the time of application. Please note that some positions require business proficiency in French or Spanish.
If you are looking to take a break from the ordinary and employ your professional skills in a dynamic international setting, please apply now to join TechnoServe’s Volunteer Consultant Program. We welcome applications on a rolling basis.
If you were previously a volunteer consultant and are interested in serving again or would like to contact the program team, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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