VEGA Volunteers

We believe that America’s greatest resource is its people, and in its efforts to help other countries develop, the United States should harness Americans’ wonderful spirit of volunteerism.

VEGA’s brand of volunteerism is a unique and highly cost-effective way to transfer skills to clients in emerging markets in need. A demand-driven approach is used to structure practical, results-oriented technical assistance and training missions. By building a relationship with the host and conducting a thorough needs assessment, VEGA Members create scopes of work that benefit the host and match the right volunteer to the project. After assignments end, we evaluate lessons learned, measure immediate results and monitor what the impact is going forward.

Learn more about what volunteer assignments look like and the impact they create under OUR IMPACT.


VEGA Volunteers:

  • Are expert practitioners with unique sets of skills and experience;
  • Build lasting relationships with their in-country counterparts;
  • Provide capacity building far beyond the original scope of their assignments;
  • Have over 15 years of experience in his or her field. Two-thirds or more have a graduate degree in their profession.


Typical VEGA Volunteer Assignments:

  • Executive Level (1 week: Bankers, Senior Executives and Senior Lawyers)
  • Senior Level, most common (2-3 weeks: City/County Managers, University Professors, Agribusiness Managers, Cooperative Managers, Trade / Marketing / IT specialists)
  • Student level (2 weeks – 1 year: Higher education study abroad programs, scientific studies, consulting practicums, disciplinary field schools, international internships)
  • Mid-Career (1-2 years: Recent graduates from MBA and master’s degree programs, typically with five years of experience). This includes VEGA Member IIE’s Emerging Markets Developing Advisor Program (EMDAP).
  • There is a growing demand for “virtual volunteers” who can provide expert assistance to local entrepreneurs and business ventures (e-mentoring) via email, SMS, Skype and other means.


Qualities of a VEGA Volunteer:

  • Expertise: VEGA volunteers are professionals in the fields in which they are providing technical training, enabling them to achieve instant rapport with their clients;
  • Commitment: VEGA volunteers frequently remain in contact with their host country clients long after individual assignments are completed and continue to conduct support activities in the U.S.;
  • Flexibility: Experienced volunteers can be deployed quickly to respond to urgent client needs;
  • Experience: VEGA optimizes program impact by utilizing both the experience of repeat volunteers and the fresh up-to-date knowledge of qualified first timers