Job Posting Details

Volunteer Opportunity - Terms of Reference Co-operative Development Researcher, Malawi, Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada

Location:Ottawa, Ontario
Posting Date:September 17, 2018
Closing Date:until filled
Employment Type:Temporary

WHERE: Lilongwe, Malawi (travel to rural areas required) 

START DATE: Travel to Malawi end of October / beginning of November 2018 

DURATION: 6 months internship with possibility of a 3 to 6 month extension 

REPORTING TO: Program Manager, Malawi 

DEADLINE: Friday, 28th September 2018 

Note: This is a voluntary assignment. Domestic and international economy airfare, ground transport, visa,
travel insurance, out of country accommodation, and a monthly living allowance will be covered by CDF
Canada. Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. 

The INVEST Co-op Malawi Project seeks to improve the economic wellbeing of 50,000 small producers
(Soya, ground nuts, beans, and maize). Through an integrated co-operative approach, the program will
benefit producers by increasing production and productivity, increasing access to markets, and increasing
access to financial services. CDF is partnering with local agricultural, finance and insurance co-operatives
to ensure farmers have access to integrated services from these providers. 

Project Partners:
Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (MUSCCO) is the apex organization for Savings and
Credit Co-operatives in Malawi. MUSCCO provides training, liquidity management, representative and
advocacy services to its member organizations to improved financial, management and governance
capacity. MUSCCOs aim is to improve financial access to the underserved communities of Malawi. 

The Agricultural sector employs nearly 90% of Malawi’s working age population and contributes 30% of
GDP. The majority engage in small scale agriculture which suffers from low productivity due to reliance
on rain fed irrigation, low quality inputs, insufficient agricultural extension services, limited access to
market, and inadequate financial services. These factors are exacerbated by increasingly erratic weather
conditions due to climate change. 

This assignment is part of a capacity building program to strengthen the capacity of the co-operative
sector in Malawi. The assignment will support the development of co-operatives and co-operative
development practitioners in Malawi. Currently, the agricultural co-operative movement in Malawi is
weak and there is no national federation of agricultural co-operatives. The credit union (SACCO) system
is somewhat stronger and is supported by MUSCCO as the apex. There are no national institutes dedicated
to co-operative education or training. Co-operative knowledge and training is primarily undertaken by project funding and lacks coordination, standardization and contextualization. 

The goal for this assignment is to conduct research in the thematic areas of co-operative development, the integrated co-operative model, and the role of coops in addressing issues of gender equality, environmental sustainability, and small producer risk management.

Activities in the assignment include the following:
• Conduct research in the thematic areas as determined jointly by the supervisors and the project team (e.g. Co-operative development best practices in Malawi, analysis of the integrated co-operative model as an economic development methodology, coops as a means for improving gender equity, environmental concerns, and issues of good governance);
• Compile best practices, lessons learnt, experiences and stories on key thematic development areas in Malawi (e.g. Co-operative development, integrated co-operative model, gender, environment, good governance);
• Provide support to the INVEST Co-op Team’s meetings, workshops, conferences, where applicable.
At the end of the placement, the following output will be expected:
• A research report in the thematic areas as determined jointly by the supervisor, project team, and the volunteer;
• A presentation of key findings to project team and stakeholders;
• A research dissemination plan to share key findings.

The successful applicant must possess the following skills, experiences and personal characteristics:
• Undergraduate or graduate-level education in economics, agriculture, public policy, international development, or other relevant social sciences;
• Experience planning and implementing community-based research projects.;
• Experience using both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies;
• Experience with systematic search and screening (e.g. systematic reviews) of research literature.
• Administrative and/or project management experience;
• Strong experience analysing data using MS Excel, particularly using pivot tables;
• Excellent capacity to analyze, develop recommendations and capture lessons learned;
• Experience creating and facilitating group learning/training sessions;
• Knowledge in community participation methodologies;
• Experience and knowledge of co-operatives principles, preferably in a developing context;
• Excellent capacity to analyze, develop recommendations and capture lessons learned;
• Excellent analytical writing skills in English;
• Flexible and adaptable;
• Demonstrated ability and interest in communicating and interacting effectively with people of a different culture;
• Ability to be multi-functional and work in dynamic situations; be flexible and adapt to change;
• Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Please submit a resume and cover letter by September 28, 2018 to . You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Successful candidates will be required to obtain a police-check from their local police/RCMP detachment. No phone calls please. All applicants are thanked for their interest in CDF Canada; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada
Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF Canada) is an international development charity that helps improve the lives of women, men, children and their communities through cooperatives. We envision a world where self-reliant communities flourish. CDF Canada is working with local partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and in Eastern Europe to establish and grow community owned co-operatives that help people achieve more prosperous, self-reliant lives. For over 70 years, CDF has been mobilizing financial resources, volunteers and knowledge — mostly from Canadian co-ops and credit unions — to make the world a better place. For much of that time, CDF Canada worked with partners to help communities move toward prosperity and create more secure lives through community-owned cooperatives. For more information about CDF Canada, visit