Senior Volunteer Climate change adaptation and ecosystem-based management

European Commission

, , CO

Project description:



Alianza por la Solidaridad (Spain), GVC (Italy), La Guilde (France), and Action Aid Hellas (Greece) are non-governmental organisations with sound expertise in management of humanitarian action and volunteering worldwide. Now, together with their partner Ecuasol (Ecuador) they are implementing the project: “Active European citizens in response to humanitarian challenges: EU Aid Volunteers strengthening capacities and resilience of communities affected by humanitarian crises in third countries – VOL4AID”.

The project’s objectives may be summarised as:

1) To engage European citizens in complementing and contributing to Humanitarian Action 

2) To ensure high quality management of EU Aid Volunteers by the project participants.

3) To secure the capacities and upgrade the management systems of hosting organizations and local partner organizations for EU Aid volunteers’ deployment, and contribution to their humanitarian interventions.

4) To promote among the European citizenship innovative new ways of engagement in volunteering in humanitarian action (online and employee volunteering).

In this framework, a total of 61 volunteers will be deployed to Colombia, Haiti, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guatemala, Senegal, Lebanon, and Cambodia.

More specifically, ActionAid Hellas will deploy 2 volunteers to Alianza por la Solidaridad Colombia.

– Humanitarian context
The Peace Agreement with FARC-EP was approved by the Parliament in November 2016. It implies advancing in the demobilization in footpath areas (“veredales”) and transition points, in order to disarm former combatants and making them ready to retake a civil life, and start to implement the agreements in the different territories.
All the aforementioned does not imply the direct start of the peace in the territories. The peace process implies social changes in the population and the strengthening of civil society and public institutions. To guarantee the peace, the territories needs social services; education, health, infrastructures, economic opportunities and more. Alianza por la Solidaridad Colombia implements actions in far-away and difficult-access areas in the Departments of Valle del Cauca, Cauca y Nariño, which are mainly inhabited by Afro-Colombian and indigenous peoples living a humanitarian crisis, in great need for protection and basic needs assistance. The work focuses on comprehensive protection, water, sanitation, hygiene, and food aid in rural and urban zones. Emergency humanitarian assistance (food, water, hygiene, educational support) is provided to recent displaced people in remote areas. They also receive psychological and legal assistance. The population is also supported regarding water and sanitation needs.
Simultaneously, the organisation implements longer term activities in issues of rehabilitation and recuperation under the framework of peacebuilding, in order to build communitarian protection spaces for children, teenagers, and youngsters through sportive and cultural initiatives.
Additionally, Gender-based violence is one of the main challenges for Alianza Colombia. That is why the organisation works in partnership to strengthen institutions for assisting women and creating assistance itineraries for them.
Alianza Colombia Works hand in hand with institutions, communitarian organisations, and population with the aim of improving capacities, covering gaps in protection and assistance issues, and supporting the construction of a suitable atmosphere to ensure respect for human rights.

– Security conditions
Alianza Colombia has solid security plans adapted to the different contexts. These must be known and scrupulously respected by all staff, including volunteers.
Security plans include rules to be followed during every field trip, concerning -amongst others- time limits, communication, transport, behaviour towards communities, armed people or in case of checkpoints, reporting, etc.
The security framework will be complemented by Action Aid Hellas own safety and security policies.

More information available in:

Technical tasks

a. Support Alianza Colombia’s office in Biodiversity integration and Ecosystems-based Adaptation (EbA)
b. Support to the preparation of methodology and implementation of practices related to a proper use of water regarding risks and needs assessment in the areas of work.
c. Raise awareness in the communities about the importance of an efficient use of water from the source to the moment of consumption, in order to promote a change in attitudes in that respect.
d. Support the identification and check-up of existent water coverage and water treatment measures, in order to assess current conditions and propose measures according to the sanitation and purification needs.
e. Prepare a strategy for the composting of faecal sludges in order to reduce the contamination of soild and surface water in case of events such as prolonged drought and torrential rain.
f. Support the identification, mapping and delimitation of protected areas, and the recharge of water sources and connected groundwater which must be protected or rehabilitated, including the evaluation of socioeconomic and environmental conditions, and the use of land of areas surrounding such sources and recharging zones, together with the technical team, communities and institutions.
g. Realisation of activities associated, among others, to the design and implementation of climate-change adaptation measures aiming at the conservation and adaptive management of supplying micro-basins.
h. Support the preparation and implementation of guidelines for the protection or ecologic rehabilitation of every protected area, and recharge identified water sources and groundwater so that they adapt to specific conditions. This includes the identification of mechanisms to foster the participation of landowners in this initiative.
i. Prepare a strategy to integrate events information (prolonged droughts and torrential rains) in the decision-making on land use, productive practices, and planning processes, in order to increase resilience of rural communities to cope with water variability.
j. Technical support to the identification and elaboration of proposals on climate change ecosystem-based adaptation measures so that they are integrated in the policies, strategies and investments related to water supply infrastructure and services for rural communities.
k. Support the review of information and the development of a baseline during the evaluations of current vulnerability and future climatic risks of water supply systems.
l. Design of an adaptive management plan for the river basin, together with the technical staff of Alianza.
m. Together with the local technical staff, participate in the preparation of an strategy for viability and sustainability of the adaptation process and adaptive management plan.
n. Support reports writing at the internal and external level.
o. Support the implementation of other specific activities and report writing of the project.
p. Participate in any other activity related to volunteer’s mission and requested by the country coordinator.

Coordination tasks

a. Participate in team coordination meetings.
b. The volunteer will work in close collaboration with the technical staff of Alianza Colombia, the different partners, and the EUAV project team.

Communication and Awareness on EU Aid Volunteers Initiative

a. Draft and publish articles describing volunteer’s experience in the field.
b. Gather audio-visual materials to be used in a public awareness activity conducted by the volunteers’ community in Europe.
c. Organise and execute a public awareness activity once back in Europe, in coordination with the partner NGOs of the project.

Required competences

1. Studies.

University degree in Engineering, preferably Agricultural Engineering or Environmental Sciences.


2. Experience.

– At least 5 years experience in: use and handling of water sources; design, supervision and planning of projects to build drinkable water networks; WASH and humanitarian action (emergency, protection); development with components of preparation, mitigation, response and disasters risk awareness.

– Knowledge and experience in issues of disaster risk reduction.

– Experience in gender issues, institutional strengthening, planning, active citizenship, and advocacy will be an asset.

– Knowledge on the implementation of minimum standards for gender violence prevention and response in cases of emergency.

– Experience in risk management under gender approach will be an asset.

– Knowledge of participatory tools and methodologies for planning, monitoring, and evaluation.

– Proven experience in participatory processes facilitation at different levels and with different audiences (community and local institutions).

– Experience in similar works in Latin America will be an asset.


3. Languages.

Spanish C1

English B2


4. Skills:

– Design of strategies, programs and projects.

– Capacities to use the logical framework approach as a tool for projects design and monitoring.

– Mastery and experience in gender equality and its application to vulnerable and marginalised population.

– Excellent skills for institutional relations, teamworking, organisation and planning

– Capacity to adapt and work in varied situations and with different situations and people/groups.

– Ability to designs and attain clear goals, aligned with agreed strategies, and to prioritise activities and assignments, according to institutional definitions.

– Good people skills, communication and conflict solving abilities.

– Excellent computer skills (Microsoft Office, AUTOCAD, GIS, e-mail and internet)

– Excellent written and oral communication and capacity to easily write reports and documents.

– Teamworking abilities


5. Other competences:

 – Knowledge and interest in issues such as humanitarian action, gender, human rights, peacebuilding, etc.

– Developing and maintaining collaborative relationships

– Volunteering mind-set

– Managing oneself in a pressured and changing environment

– Demonstrating leadership

– Achieving results

– Understanding the humanitarian context of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and applying humanitarian principles

– Operating safely and securely at all times

– Managing projects in humanitarian contexts

– Communication and advocacy

– Technical competences resulting from specialised knowledge related to humanitarian action

– The volunteer will be evaluated on his/her reliability, working initiative, autonomy, efficacy, efficiency, group work and punctuality.