Volunteer Role: Social Accountability Advisor at Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)

Volunteer role: Social Accountability Advisor

Type of role: Advocacy policy and research
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
Application Closing Date: 18 Aug 2019
Interview date: ASAP
Start date: 16 December 2019

VSO is the world’s leading international development organization that works through volunteers to fight poverty. Working in 24 countries around the world, our unique role in international development is to place committed volunteers with carefully selected organizations where their skills can have the greatest impact. As a VSO volunteer you’ll live and work in some of the world’s poorest communities. By sharing your unique skills and experience you’ll help generate new ideas and new ways of doing things, helping the communities you work in lift themselves out of poverty. We’re not about delivering quick fixes, but instead we focus on long-lasting, sustainable change, that will impact generations to come. Join us as a VSO volunteer and help us work towards our vision of a world without poverty.

Role overview

The Social Accountability Advisor will build up and retain capacity for social accountability programming within the organization.

Skills, qualifications and experience


  • Bachelors or Master’s degree in Governance or a related discipline of social science, with a proven affinity of social awareness.


  • Experience with reviewing current development programmes on governance and social accountability and identifying areas for improvement.
  • Knowledge and practice of social accountability tools and processes such as community scorecards, participatory budgeting, and social audits, etc.
  • Knowledge and or practice of political economy analysis to support accountability programme design would be a strong asset.
  • Experience in facilitating citizen-state engagement and dialogue
  • Understanding of participatory approaches to working with community development
  • Strong understanding of a rights-based approach to development
  • Recognition of the role of power and politics(vested interests) in constraining locally-led change
  • Understanding of evidence-based influencing and advocacy
  • Strong listening and observation skills
  • Good facilitation skills using participatory processes and techniques
  • A commitment to community-led processes of social change
  • Willingness to learn and unlearn
  • Self – aware and reflective
  • Ability to step back and allow others to lead


  • Experience of working abroad
  • Experience of working in Pakistan or South Asian context
  • Contextual awareness of SA issues in the area

Competencies and Behaviour

At VSO we believe progress is only possible by working together. Whether you want to join us as an employee, or as a volunteer working in your own country, overseas or online, our selection process includes an assessment based on these core competencies:

  • Ability to be open-minded and respectful
  • Ability to be resilient and adaptive to new situations
  • Ability to facilitate positive change and build sustainable working relationships
  • Ability to seek and share knowledge

Equal Opportunities

VSO promotes equal opportunities and values a diverse workforce.


As a VSO volunteer, you will be sharing your skills with local communities on a full-time basis. VSO will cover your travel, vaccinations, accommodation, and medical insurance costs, along with a local living allowance which will be paid in local currency. This allowance meets reasonable living expenses in the country, but will not be enough to send money home. You will also receive some financial support to contribute to your on-going expenses at home.

VSO works with some of the poorest communities in the world which mean accommodation varies and will be basic.
Some background about VSO

Much has changed since VSO started 60 years ago. We’ve gone from being a UK charity to a truly global development organization. In 2016/2017 alone, we worked with over 7,000 volunteers from all over the world and from all backgrounds to deliver services that had an impact on the lives of almost 2.6 million people in the 24 countries where we work. Our programmes focus on the areas of health, education and livelihoods, with an increasing emphasis on resilience building, social accountability, gender and social inclusion. We believe progress is only possible when we work together and that strong partnerships are crucial to delivering positive change. That’s why we work with over 500 partner organizations, from local and national governments, to businesses, NGOs, funders, charities and community groups. Currently, over 30% of our people are recruited from within the country in which they work, and we continue to grow the share of community and national volunteers involved in our programmes. We also send increasing numbers of volunteers from one developing country to another. However, our vision has remained the same; to build a world without poverty.

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