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Market Assessment Specialists

Location: Various Locations Worldwide
Last Date: July 31, 2010


VSO is an international development charity that works through volunteers. Our vision is a world without poverty in which people work together to fulfil their potential. We bring people together to share skills, creativity and learning to build a fairer world.

What’s the context and purpose of the role?
You’ll be working with local producers to improve access to and participation in relevant markets. Poor and marginalised women, men and young people frequently face strong barriers to entry to markets. Local initiatives may fail, due to lack of research, prohibitive entry costs or failure to understand the value chains associated with their products. You’ll use your understanding of markets in developing countries to work with poor communities, undertaking research to identify opportunities to improve their livelihoods. By understanding the dynamics affecting their business and customer base, you’ll uncover opportunities for business expansion through new products, entering new markets or creating new niche markets for products.

We are currently working across a range of products and crops in several different countries:
Tajikistan – vegetable crops in East Khalton
Bangladesh – milk production in the Dinajpur and Rangpur Districts
Cambodia – agricultural products in Kratia, Steng Treng and Phnom Penh
Guyana – farine and cassava products in Region 9
Malawi – tea production in the Thyolo and Mulanje districts

What do the roles involve?
Ø Undertaking research into the market opportunities for local products.
Ø Identifying key sub-sectors or value –chains in these markets.
Ø Providing business analysis and recommendations on value chains.
Ø Identifying barriers and market failures preventing the target group from gaining a greater share of market.
Ø Providing analysis on how to circumvent these barriers.
Ø Training staff on how to undertake market assessments.

What skills, experience and personal qualities are needed for the role?
Educated to degree level in Agribusiness, Economics, Business Management or a related field, it’s essential that you have a clear grasp of developing markets for poor communities. You’ll have experience of working in a developing country and will have wide-ranging management experience, including business development planning and project management. You’ll be comfortable managing a research project and working in a participatory manner with a wide range of stakeholders. Experience of working with the crops/products referred to above would be an advantage, but experience of value chains analysis and market assessment in developing countries is the key.

And the rest…
We’ll ask you to commit 3-6 months to make a sustainable contribution to our development goals. In return, we’ll give you comprehensive financial, personal and professional support. We'll provide you with extensive training before your placement, and our financial package includes a local living allowance, return flights, accommodation, insurance and more. When you return to your home country, we'll help you to resettle and many of our returned volunteers stay involved with us long after their placement ends.

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