For the past 45 years, ACDI/VOCA has mobilized over 12,000 skilled professionals as international volunteers to more than 130 developing countries to improve the capacity of their agricultural, business, and nonprofit sectors. We have built a reputation of quality and professionalism by offering high quality volunteer technical assistance to local farmers and NGOs, cooperative associations and agribusiness support institutions.
We believe that economic impact and measurable results can be achieved through the transfer of knowledge and expertise of highly skilled international volunteers. With proven experience in their area of expertise, ACDI/VOCA volunteers provide targeted assistance to our field projects in areas such as agribusiness, community development and financial services, among others. Each volunteer offers technical assistance to a host beneficiary who is working hard to succeed in their local or regional economy. Volunteers share valuable knowledge and experience during an assignment while gaining new friendships, learning about different cultures and experiencing their field of expertise in a different way.
We offer international experience to graduate and doctoral students while bringing the latest research and innovations to participants of our projects in developing nations. We work with a network of more than 40 universities, including Johns Hopkins, University of California, Davis, Texas A&M, Purdue, Pennsylvania State, Tufts, Duke, University of Minnesota, and Harvard among others, to identify promising student talent. Since 2010, students have gained hands-on experience in finance, marketing, agriculture, communications, gender development, behavior change, and more, during three- to 12-month assignments. Students can earn course credit with approval from their university.
We work with private and public sector partners to design and manage corporate volunteer programs. We help determine employee eligibility, length of assignments, and budgets as well as select countries and assignments, develop scopes of work, integrate employee learning objectives, and provide logistical support and risk management. From 2008 to 2016, ACDI/VOCA piloted the Mars Ambassador Program, a global initiative that connected Mars employees with organizations around the world that supported their business ventures. ACDI/VOCA fielded 481 Mars employees, who engaged in direct, on-the-ground assignments to more than 80 countries for four to six weeks, taking them from cocoa farms in Ghana to rice fields in Cambodia. Group assignments gave some the opportunity to work as a team with a business partner for one week.