Thoughts from an agricultural development gal in Ghana

EWB is hiring!

Hello fine people!

Whether you’ve been a long-time loyal reader or you’re new to this here blog scene, I hope I’ve painted an exciting picture of this complex work we call international development. Now, here’s your chance to get involved: EWB is hiring!

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Positions Available now! To apply, go http://ewb.ca/volunteer

In Agriculture:

Team Position Location
 Agriculture Value Chains Market Development Field Officer Ghana, Zambia and potentially Tanzania
Market Development Project Manager Ghana, Zambia and potentially Tanzania
Business Development Services Business Growth Specialist Potentially Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia
Public Sector Agriculture Development Seeker of New Models for Impact Ghana
Public Sector Agriculture Development Leadership Development Ghana
Entrepreneuriat Rural Agricole (Français) Agriculture Capacity Building Officer Burkina Faso

In Water and Sanitation:

Team Position Location
Water and Sanitation District Capacity Development and Decentralization Policy Analyst Malawi (This position is only available in the winter, not the fall. The start date will be in February 2012.)

In Governance and Rural Infrastructure:

Team Position Location
Governance and Rural Infrastructure  District Capacity Development and Decentralization Policy Analyst Ghana

What does it mean to be an EWB African Programs Staff (APS)?

These volunteer positions provide APS with incredible opportunities for professional growth as a social change leader, all while creating lasting impact in rural Africa. Being an APS means working with purpose, collaborating with African partners, and having a life-changing experience. EWB’s African Programs Staff are humble entrepreneurs that become powerful change agents working as part of a larger movement for Africa.

What do APS do?

All of EWB’s work is designed to help our local partner organizations do what they do better. Our APS add value to partners in a variety of ways including executing on project specific work, building management capacity, improving learning and accountability systems, increasing skills of field staff and creating stronger connections between different stakeholders.

Where are APS working?

EWB is currently working in Ghana, Malawi, Burkina Faso, and Zambia, and with new projects in Tanzania and Kenya.

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Maybe you’re thinking, “but I don’t know anything about development” – no problem! EWB has one of the best pre-departure and in-country training programs around. You will be a junior development expert within months, armed with a continuous learning mindset to keep adding to your knowledge base.

Maybe you’re thinking, “but I’m a development professional, I’m not sure about volunteering” – no problem! Are you sick of working in a bureaucratic organization that stifles your creativity? Do you wish you had the freedom to go out and explore your own ideas? Are you fed up with the way the development industry works? So are we! EWB allows development professionals to gain hands-on field experience leading their own initiatives while working to change the way development happens. That’s an opportunity.

Maybe you’re thinking, “but I’m old, this seems like an opportunity for young people” – no problem! EWB hires staff from all walks of life, from new grads to professionals with 20 years of experience. If you have the right attitudes, you will fit right in to our energetic, hard-working and resourceful teams.

Maybe you’re thinking, “but I don’t know if I can handle living in Africa” – no problem! Trust me, you can do anything if you put your mind to it and you’re well-prepared. You will challenge yourself in ways you never have before and you’ll come out the other side with the experience of a lifetime.

Maybe you’re thinking, “but I don’t know whether I’d be good at it” – no problem! That’s for us to decide 🙂 Apply and find out if the fit is right!

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When do I need to apply? When do these positions begin and end?

Applications for all of the above positions are due on July 3rd, 2011. Within two to four weeks of this closing date, all applicants will be contacted and interviews with selected candidates will begin. Training and departure for these positions will begin in mid-October 2011. All positions require a minimum commitment of one year.

Not ready to make the commitment yet? Don’t worry. EWB opens new rounds of applications several times a year. Think about what this opportunity means for you, then check back for the next round of applications!

How do I get more information? How do I get involved?

Of course, if this sounds like an exciting opportunity but you have questions or concerns, please get in touch using either the comments section or the Contact form in the tab above. I’m happy to talk to anyone about my amazing job and your opportunities to work with EWB!

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Details on EWB’s work in Africa

Having Impact in Governance and Rural Services

EWB believes in the potential of public services such as water, education, and agriculture extension and ensuring that people who aren’t yet well connected to markets can still get the support needed to grow their business and raise a healthy family. EWB is working with governments who are far ahead in terms of decentralization and minimized corruption (currently this work is happening in Ghana and Malawi). We work with them to continue the process of decentralization. We work with them to develop state of the art monitoring tools that can guide resource investment at all levels. We work with them to invest in their management and field services to ensure that the services provided are backed by talented leaders.

Creating Change in Agricultural Businesses

In Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia, EWB is investing in the agriculture sector – the main employer and export earner in most developing countries – as a way to unlock African prosperity. Historically, Western aid has focused on dispersing subsidized fertilizer, hybrid seeds, and machines, or purchasing products from farmers as a functioning private sector would. Regrettably, these efforts simply distort markets and prevent private sector growth. There is no reward for the innovation and risk required to work in the private sector, so the cycle continues. So EWB is addressing the underlying issues, working with existing organizations that have the ability to greatly impact the agricultural sector, fostering entrepreneurial, private sector growth and helping farmers develop new business skills. These organizations include – NGOs, private businesses, impact investors and major donors.

Driving Results in Water and Sanitation

EWB believes that the persistent water and sanitation challenges in Malawi, and in much of the rest of the developing world, are due to inefficient investment rather than lack of investment. EWB realizes that while drilling wells is an important part of the solution, it will never be long-term without a systemic approach. So EWB focuses on changing the system to support these outputs. One example is the creation of a simple water-point mapping and monitoring system that relies on coordination withexisting government programs to get the data. In short, it identifies broken outputs, the places where new outputs are needed most and the best location for them (strong water supply). The water mapping system is now functioning in 11 out of 28 districts in Malawi with plans to expand countrywide. EWB is also working with the government and communities to create functioning business models for water delivery, then sharing their findings within the sector and with the national government, influencing change.

Become a part of this important work by applying for one of the unique new African Programs Staff (APS) positions available in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania or Zambia.

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