WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Under the Congressional Hunger Center's Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Program, ACDI/VOCA is hosting a fellowship devoted to women's empowerment in the leadership and management of agricultural cooperatives in Paraguay. Eligible candidates for the Hunger Fellows program typically have worked or volunteered in a developing country and possess a relevant graduate degree or equivalent experience. The selected fellow will serve from September 20, 2013 to August 30, 2015, and the application deadline is Friday, January 11.
About the Leland Fellows Program
During each two-year fellowship cycle, 12-15 Leland fellows are placed with international development organizations to work on a variety of food security issues, such as agricultural development, nutrition, natural resource management and agribusiness development.
The program begins with one year in a developing country. Fellows spend the second year doing policy work, usually at the headquarters of the organization they worked with in the field. Fellows apply their in-country knowledge to help develop sound organizational and governmental food security policies. The field and policy assignments are developed by the host organization and are designed to be complementary.
ACDI/VOCA Fellowship in Women's Empowerment
During the field year, ACDI/VOCA's Leland fellow will work on the Paraguay Cooperative Development Program (CDP). CDP seeks to increase the incomes of the rural poor through technical assistance to producers and cooperatives. Cooperatives are important institutions in the country's rural economies, yet women make up only 15–20 percent of positions on co-op boards of directors. Without greater representation on these boards, women´s interests are not likely to be adequately represented in activities and resource allocation.
To address this issue, CDP in Paraguay has developed a gender strategy that focuses on increasing women´s access to leadership and decision-making positions in rural cooperatives. The fellowship field assignment will strengthen the CDP development approaches from a gender perspective by building on community recommendations. During the policy year, the fellow will integrate his/her insights from the field into ACDI/VOCA's broader organizational learning and policy development.
ACDI/VOCA is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes broad-based economic growth, higher living standards and vibrant communities in low-income countries and emerging democracies. Based in Washington, D.C., ACDI/VOCA has worked in 145 countries since 1963 and currently manages approximately 84 projects in 40 countries.
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