Position Description: Program Coordinator

Basic Function of the Position:

The Program Coordinator (PC), under the supervision of the Program Director (PD) of the country program Site Team and with guidance from the International Programs Director and Team members in the San Francisco Office (SFO), provides necessary support to ensure the development of FSD volunteers, support to host organizations, and programmatic support.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

A. Volunteer Support (approximately 40% LOE)

  • Participate in placement activities, matching volunteer skills and interests with community and partner organization needs.
  • Assist volunteers in improving their skills development, project development support, social and cultural adaptation, through the provision of technical support, cultural insights, and direction to relevant and available resources.
  • Travel regularly and extensively throughout the Program Area to support volunteers at their sites.
  • Assess and address issues of communication and work relationships between host organizations and interns to facilitate development of community-driven projects and successful completion of program plans with mutual satisfaction of the intern and host organization.
  • With the Site Team, identify, maintain and distribute, as appropriate, relevant educational information and materials to volunteers through orientations, workshops, weekly talks, and other appropriate avenues.
  • Be thoroughly versed in FSD policy and procedures and communicate and enforce policies accurately to volunteers, partner organizations, and host families.
  • With Site Team and in coordination with PD, promptly support safety and security procedures and documentation.
  • Document and maintain updates of all participant activities for SFO.

B. Administrative Support (approximately 25% LOE)

  • Assist with and maintain Program records and files, and perform routine administrative tasks.
  • Contribute to Site Team routine communications to SFO on details of the Program activity.
  • Assist in the collection and analysis of data on Intern, Host Family, and Host Organization performance, and in the preparation of reports on Program development activities.
  • In coordination with the PD, review Program related correspondence and ensure interested parties are kept informed.
  • Provide translations when necessary.

C. Project Planning and Support (approximately 15% LOE)

  • In conjunction with the PD, develop Internship opportunities following the established requirements for internship sites, housing and safety.
  • Assist the PD in maintaining communication with sponsoring organizations and institutions working in the field of community-based, locally oriented, sustainable development.
  • Provide support to PD in the development of community-based organizations, including supporting capacity building activities for local NGOs.
  • Assist in preparation of program documentation, including: Host Organization Profiles; Pre-Departure Country Packet; Program Proposals; Program Guides; Internship Project Plan; Weekly Monday Reports to the SFO; Program Evaluations and Reports; Grant Project Evaluation and Follow Up Reports; and information on the Program for potential applicants.

D. Training (approximately 15% LOE)

  • Support the development and implementation of high-quality, technical trainings for volunteers, partner organizations, and host families. Trainings include, but are not limited to: strategies for cross-cultural integration, FSD program requirements, project development and management, and grant writing.
  • Participate in the evaluation of each volunteer, host family and host organization as well as the assessment of the training design, and recommend improvements.
  • As instructed by PD, support volunteers in the development of competitive grant proposals submitted to SFO.

E. Other Duties and Activities (5% LOE)

  • Perform other related duties as assigned by the Program Director or International Programs Director.
  • Provide relevant feedback to SFO for Programs strengthening.

Expected Outcomes:

  • FSD is represented in program site locations as a technically sound, operationally efficient, professional community-based development program that brings added value to program partners and communities.
  • Volunteers are supported in development of technical skills for supporting community-driven sustainable projects.
  • Program documentation is well organized and maintained.
  • Volunteers have viable, practicable assignments that are aligned with volunteer objectives and competency, host organization’s capacity and priorities, and the community needs and resources.
  • Trainings address volunteer, partner organization and host family needs and prepare them for successful internships and family home stays. Trainings set realistic expectations, provide accurate information in a timely manner, and enable volunteers with strategies and tools to manage challenges and achieve program objectives.
  • Safety and security issues are addressed in a timely manner, documented, and communicated to SFO.
  • New partners are thoroughly prepared for work with FSD Interns and Volunteers, meeting FSD internship site, housing, and safety requirements.
  • Good working relations are developed with sponsoring organizations, institutions, host families, and communities.
  • All FSD policies and procedures are implemented and reinforced.

Supervision and Guidance

The Program Coordinator functions under the direct supervision of the Program Director and in coordination with the International Programs Director and the Managing Director. The Program Coordinator performs many of the designated job functions with general independence. Performance Planning and Reviews will be conducted to assist in successfully meeting the objectives set out in this Position Description. Evaluation of the position will be provided on a bi-annual basis.

Desired Qualifications

  • Education: A university degree in International Development, International/Regional Studies, Business or related field.
  • Prior Experience: Minimum of two years living or working in a developing country. Minimum of two years working internationally or within a development organization or similar experience.
  • Language Proficiency: Spoken and written fluency in both Spanish and English, for Latin American Programs. Spoken and written fluency in English and a commitment to achieve proficiency in the local language within four months of arrival in East Africa and India.
  • Knowledge: Good working knowledge of sustainable development and the host-country’s culture/history/current events; demonstrated ability to maintain working level contacts with NGO officials and host families; and experience and skills in facilitation of training events;
  • Skills and Abilities: Ability to represent FSD effectively and professionally with host organizations, host families, local officials, FSD Volunteers, and International Sponsors (Donors, Academic Sponsors). Capability to supervise FSD volunteer performance and provide technical assistance as needed. Counseling ability in Cross-Cultural and performance evaluation situations. Organizational and administrative skills. Excellent computer skills in word-processing and database management. Motivation and commitment to work effectively as part of an cross-cultural team. Excellent interpersonal skills. Readiness to travel extensively. Demonstrated ability to exercise good judgment under normal as well as complex, low resource, and often stressful conditions.


Fellowship stipend commensurate with the cost of living in the host country. Limited health insurance. Transportation to and from country of service. Four weeks of vacation: two mandatory over the New Year holiday and two weeks during the year.