Comhlámh: Volunteer Engagement Project Officer (Maternity Cover)

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                                                        {Maternity cover}

Volunteer Engagement Project Officer

Job Title:      Volunteer Engagement Project Officer

Reports to: Programme Manager

Location:     12 Parliament Street, Dublin 2

Comhlámh is the Irish Association of Volunteers and Development Workers. Our mission is to foster good practice and critical engagement in volunteering and action for development. Comhlámh is committed to being the leading independent voice and source of information on volunteering for development in Ireland, and the coordinator and advocate for good practice in this area.  We work to promote and support volunteers and development workers to critically engage in volunteering and action for development, and to create societal and attitudinal change on development issues.

We are seeking to recruit a Volunteer Engagement Project Officer (VEPO), who will play a key role in supporting all strategic areas of Comhlámh’s work and coordinating an Erasmus+ funded project on active citizenship (Key Action 2 – adult education). The ideal candidate will have a background in international or community development, excellent communication and project management skills with experience of coordinating international partners, and experience of working to develop and facilitate adult education training curriculums. S/he will ideally have worked or volunteered in the global south, have experience of using consultative and participative approaches to build consensus among a range of stakeholders, and a strong interest in supporting the continuous engagement of volunteers in social justice and international development issues. The VEPO plays a critical role in enabling and motivating Comhlámh members to become involved in development action that draws on, and is informed by, issues and interests they identify.  

The position is initially being offered on a 6-month maternity cover basis, with the possibility of an extension. This is a 4-day a week role, which will be subject to ongoing sustained funding. It is offered on a contract basis for six months, at the Project Officer scale, which on a 4 day basis ranges from €24,000 to €36,000.

Application Procedure:

Please apply with a covering letter (max one page) outlining how you meet the criteria and a CV to [email protected], entering PO – Volunteer Engagement Project Officer & (the location where you saw this advertisement) in the subject line. Closing date for receipt of applications is Wednesday 6th April at 17:00 GMT.

Interviews will take place on Friday 15th April.   

Description: The Volunteer Engagement Project Officer will be based in Comhlámh’s Dublin office and will report to the Line Manager. The main role of the Project Officer for the duration of the maternity cover will be to coordinate an Erasmus+ funded project, Volunteering for the Future, which involves partners in Czech Republic, Germany and the UK.  Additionally, the VEPO will provide support for Comhlámh membership and work with the Training and Education Project Officer to deliver training for returning international volunteers and development workers.  This position involves some evening and weekend work, as well as a small amount of international travel.

In a context where the profile of international volunteers is becoming younger and the length of overseas placements is decreasing, a focus on the “return” stage of the volunteer lifecycle is extremely important, and the VEPO is central to this. One of the main priorities of the role is the provision of supports for returned volunteers and development workers, to help maximise the huge potential of overseas placements to facilitate global learning.

Specifically, the responsibilities will include the following:

A: Deepen public understanding and grow supports for responsible, responsive international volunteering

As coordinator of the Erasmus+ funded project “Volunteering for the Future”,

  •         Lead partners in 3 countries to deliver all identified activities and outputs within the agreed timeframe;
  • Coordinate all draft and interim reporting on the project, in line with requirements set out by the National Agency and agreed with partner organisations;
  • Contribute to research on international volunteering and active citizenship, coordinate and contribute to the development of a pan-EU curriculum for volunteers, and subsequently localize this for the Irish context;
  • Lead on the design and coordination of transnational partner meetings, and contribute to the development and facilitation of training courses for national and international volunteers, including the identification and recruitment of participants;

In addition to coordinating the Erasmus+ funded work, the VEPO will

  • Organise, deliver and evaluate a range of post-return courses for volunteers & development workers – Coming Home Weekends and “Moving Forward” days – in conjunction with the Training and Education Project Officer;
  • Support debriefings for returned volunteers and development workers;
  • Support other organisations and networks to deliver global justice and activism training programmes that encourage returnees’ ongoing involvement in development issues;
  • Co-deliver and evaluate the “Be the Change” course, in conjunction with other team members;
  • Contribute to the delivery of training and information sessions to other key groups, in partnership with other team members;
  • Motivate and encourage volunteers to become involved in development action;
  • Strengthen and contribute to national networks on development education and global justice issues (especially EIL’s Global Citizen Award assessors’ panel)

B: Contribute to the development and implementation of good practice standards among Irish VSAs

  • Convene and support the Volunteering and Dev Ed group, ensuring that its perspectives inform the ongoing evolution of good practice in international volunteering, including through the promotion of the Learning Journal for volunteers;
  • On occasion, provide training of trainers/upskilling for VSAs, to ensure that post-return supports are mainstreamed into their programmes.

C: Increase Comhlámh’s membership base and strengthen their engagement

  • Provision of support and mentoring for Comhlámh membership groups, including the Trade Justice group;
  • Support the extension of member groups throughout Ireland, including through working with the Northern Ireland group, and contributing to funding applications and reporting to relevant donors.


  • Monitoring and evaluating programme activities;
  • Supporting the Comhlámh communications strategy through social media, blogging, etc;
  • Maintaining records on database on a regular basis;
  • Ensuring that activities are managed within budget where responsibility has been delegated for specific activities and report on expenditure as required;
  •         Contributing towards the effective working of the team through consultation, support and shared working;
  •         Working within the stated Mission, Aims and Objectives, and Policies and Procedures of Comhlámh.
  • Inputting to planning, funding applications, evaluations and reports;
  • Supervising interns and volunteers as required;
  • Representing the organisation externally as appropriate;
  • Carrying out such alternative duties as may be assigned by the Line Manager following consultation, from time to time

Comhlámh has an Equal Opportunities policy and all employees are expected to develop an understanding of and commitment to equal opportunities.

Personal Specification


Qualifications ·      Masters’ degree in Development Studies or related topic or

·      Equivalent acquired learning

Experience ·      An understanding of global development issues and the role volunteers in working for international development

·      Experience of working or volunteering in the Global South

·      Experience of project management and coordination with international partners

·      Donor reporting experience, including monitoring and evaluation

·      Minimum 3 years’ experience of developing and delivering training and facilitation programmes, including the compilation of training manuals;

·      Experience of relationship building with a wide range of stakeholders, including in an intercultural setting

·      Experience of working as part of a team to achieve joint targets

·      Use of social media














Knowledge, Skills and Disposition ·      Excellent facilitation and training skills;

·      Knowledge of development education and ability to communicate development issues creatively;

·      Project management  and delivery skills, including the ability to motivate and inspire partners

·      Strong empathy, interpersonal and communication skills;

·      Research and curriculum development skills

·      Ability to work on own initiative and as part of a team

·      Ability to work to deadlines and under pressure

·      Flexibility in relation to working hours as some evening and weekend work may be required around Ireland

·      Debriefing experience/willingness to undertake training in debriefing













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