VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through international, national and community volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. Our high-impact approach brings people together to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and action to change lives and make the world a fairer place.

Due to the long preparation time required (four months on average), we are continuing to recruit new professional experts who wish to share their knowledge with their colleagues and volunteers in Africa and Asia. In this way, we will be prepared with a pool of experts ready to work together on our future plans. In the meantime, we try to continue our work through the support of e-volunteers. Click here for more information about how we battle Corona.

The purpose of this role is to build up and retain the capacity for social accountability programming within the organization.

As a VSO volunteer, you will immerse yourself in a new culture, face fresh challenges, and develop your expertise while doing something truly fulfilling. The local office’s need will decide your exact job description.

Role overview

The Social Accountability Adviser will help the country office of VSO to develop a clear framework for constructive citizen and government engagement, and the concrete tools/methodologies to utilize, which could then be mainstreamed among its partners.

There should be awareness of and a focus on sensitivity to cultural contexts of the partners to ensure that interventions and products are appropriate and relevant to the cultural/historical realities of its partners. A number of VSO partners may have existing initiatives on constructive engagement, good governance, anti-corruption, and transparency agenda.

You will also provide technical and capacity-building support for VSO partners (CSOs and primary actors) for citizen groups monitoring of government’s use of public resources, using Social Accountability tools and approaches, including youth engagement.

Skills, qualifications and experience required

The Ideal candidate has;

  • Proven experience of using Social Accountability Tool
  • A commitment to community-led processes of social change
  • Understanding of participatory approaches to working with communities
  • Understanding of or experience in community development
  • Strong understanding of rights-based approach to development
  • Recognition of the role of power and politics (vested interests) in constraining locally-led change
  • Understanding of evidence-based influencing and advocacy
  • Strong listening and observation skills
  • Good facilitation skills using participatory processes and techniques
  • Willingness to learn and unlearn
  • Self-aware and reflective
  • Ability to step back and allow others to lead

Besides these skills, you need to be open-minded, respectful, resilient, and adaptive to new situations. It is important that you can facilitate positive change, build sustainable working relationships and are willing to seek and share knowledge.

For further information about this job, download here the detailed job description.

Terms & conditions

The experience of a placement is a one-of-a-life-time experience and will benefit you in multiple ways. You will have the chance to learn to work with people from different cultural backgrounds. There is often the opportunity to develop your teamwork-, leadership- and management skills. This can be helpful for career opportunities after your placement.

VSO will cover and support you in all preparations: training, visa, work permit, registration in-country, flights, vaccinations, anti-malarial treatment, PEP treatment, medical and security clearance. In-country VSO will provide induction and support in placement, arrange secure accommodation (often shared with another VSO professional), full medical insurance (including repatriation cover), medical indemnity insurance, work-related travel costs and a living allowance which will enable you to live a basic but healthy lifestyle, but which is not sufficient to cover ongoing commitments at home.

What we do at VSO

Our programs focus on the areas of health, education and livelihoods, with an increasing emphasis on resilience building, social accountability, gender and social inclusion. We believe progress is only possible when we work together and that strong partnerships are crucial to delivering positive change. That’s why we work with over 500 partner organizations, from local and national governments to businesses, NGOs, funders, charities and community groups. Currently, over 30% of our people are recruited from within the country in which they work, and we continue to grow the share of community and national volunteers involved in our programs. We also send increasing numbers of volunteers from one developing country to another. However, our vision has remained the same; to build a world without poverty.


The world currently faces challenges on a scale not seen in a century. As a global organization, efforts to control COVID-19 will certainly result in changes to VSO’s activities and operations in the coming months. At this moment we are not sending international professional volunteers abroad. We have dedicated teams monitoring the situation, working across locations, programmes and projects to ensure we respond appropriately and responsibly – and that no one is left behind. We’ll continue to recruit professional volunteers and maintain a talent pool, to be prepared to work with them in the face of this uncertainty to plan for the future and build a fair world for everyone. If you have any questions about our current programs and where we currently operate, don’t hesitate to contact our recruiter Kirsten.

VSO nieuw

VSO Nederland

VSO is een internationale ontwikkelingsorganisatie die door duurzame kennisuitwisseling werkt aan een rechtvaardiger wereld zonder armoede. …

VSO heeft zo’n 900 vacatures per jaar in Afrika en Azië. VSO’ers werken in vrijwel alle beroepsgebieden: onderwijs, gezondheidszorg, business en management, IT, techniek en natuur (van landbouw tot visserij en natuurbeheer).

Wereldwijd werken er op dit moment zo’n 1.700 VSO’ers aan armoedebestrijding, waaronder 120 Nederlandse VSO’ers. Sinds de oprichting, in 1958, hebben meer dan 43.000 vakdeskundigen hun kennis en ervaring gedeeld in 140 landen. Vanuit Nederland zijn er totaal 1.500 VSO’ers uitgezonden.


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