Women's Enterprise Field Support Officer Volunteer (Laos)

  • Vientiane, Vientiane, la
  • Full-time

Company Description


Good Return’s mission is to enable those living in poverty to achieve economic empowerment. We do this by working in partnerships that innovate and strengthen financial services and provide economic opportunities for those living in poverty across the Asia Pacific Region.

Our work focuses on promoting responsible inclusive finance, building financial capability & consumer empowerment, and developing smallholder agribusiness solutions. We also deliver interest free loan capital raised from the Australian public. Together these powerful tools empower people to create lasting change for themselves. 

Good Return is an initiative of World Education Australia, an international development agency accredited by Australian Aid and a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID). Good Return has no religious affiliations. Visit www.goodreturn.org.au for more information.


We have been working in partnership with various Financial Service Providers across the Asia Pacific Region since 2010. Our current partners are located in Cambodia, Nepal, Laos, Philippines, Solomon Islands,  Fiji, Tonga & Samoa.

Our partnerships are based on a shared mission to provide responsible microfinance services to people living in poverty as well as build the financial capability of their clients. Our partners are committed to improving their social performance management systems, which includes implementing the seven client protection principles. For more information Social Performance Management & Client Protection:

  • http://www.microfinancegateway.org/p/site/m/template.rc/1.11.48260/1.26.9231/
  • http://www.smartcampaign.org/about-the-campaign/smart-microfinance-and-the-client-protection-principles

Please visit our website (www.goodreturn.org.au) for further information on our partners.

World Education Laos (WEL) is a field office of World Education, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in the United States. World Education is dedicated to engaging and empowering communities, families, and individuals through programs in education, health, mine action, and economic development. World Education Laos’ programs are designed to build capacity, promote self-sufficiency, and increase inclusion of all persons in Lao PDR. In 2017, World Education Laos, through funding from the U.S. State Department, established the first-ever Women’s Entrepreneurial Centre in Laos. The Centre is located in Vientiane Capital, and aims to foster the development of women-owned sustainable businesses.

Job Description

FSO Program Objectives

The objectives of the Field Support Officer (FSO) Volunteer Program are for FSOs to:

  • Gain valuable experience living and working in a developing country as part of a professional team
  • Assist with the implementation of Good Return and partner objectives and specific programs
  • Strengthen relationships with partners by enhancing communication and coordination
  • Support Good Return’s communications and marketing

The FSO Program has enabled previous volunteers to build their careers in the international development sector, with a number now in paid roles both in Australia and overseas.


1. WEL Women’s Entrepreneurial Centre (WEC) activities:

Within Vientiane, Laos as appropriate:

  • Assist with the curriculum design and delivery of enterprise development and financial management training sessions for the WEC in Vientiane in collaboration with WEC staff
  • Support quarterly reporting, assisting with English editing and input as needed
  • Support implementation of project work for the WEC as required
  • Collect case studies, blogs, general reporting and engagement with social media for Good Return and WEL

2. Good Return activities:

  • Review and share enterprise development curriculum/ideas/learnings with GR to assist with CAFE Enterprise Development Module Cambodia and Nepal
  • Identify potential enterprise development and economic empowerment program opportunities for GR in Laos, including opportunities for the CAFE (Consumer Awareness & Economic Empowerment) initiative
  • Research these opportunities for duration, scope, personnel requirements, outputs and budget as appropriate and prepare proposal documentation
  • Support implementation of economic empowerment initiatives as appropriate

3. Partnership Support

  • Support effective communications between partner organisations and Good Return team
  • Promotion of Good Return partnership (within Good Return, externally)
  • Research and production of content for print and digital including (but not limited to):
    • Long-form interviews & case studies for marketing & promotional materials
    • Feature stories for e-newsletters
    • Short blogs, photographs and video for the Good Return website

In Q2 2019, World Education Laos will receive confirmation on the end date of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Centre, so there is possibility for the second half of the placement the position may assume responsibilities under other projects with an economic empowerment and social inclusion focus and further support program development opportunities.



You must be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency to apply for this position. Applicants not meeting this requirement will not be considered.


  • At least 3 years of work experience (paid or unpaid) relevant to Good Return’s program areas, such as international development, finance/banking or adult education
  • Experience in coaching, training or mentoring
  • Interest and understanding in gender equality issues
  • Independent living or travel experience, preferably in a developing country
  • Self-motivation and desire to learn
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong writing skills and an ability to adapt content for various channels and audiences
  • IT skills, particularly Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Experience working in a cross-cultural context, especially within teams
  • Teamwork skills


  • Experience living and working in a developing country (preferably in the Asia Pacific region)
  • Knowledge of/experience in monitoring and evaluation
  • Foreign language skills (especially Asia Pacific languages)


  • Independence and resilience
  • Cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • Patience, tolerance and open-mindedness
  • Responsible (for own actions, upholding integrity)
  • Initiative and ability to adapt to isolated settings with limited resources
  • A sense of humour!



  • Induction training at Sydney office (4 days)
  • Health check and vaccination expenses
  • Visa expenses
  • International airfares at the commencement and conclusion of the assignment

Settling in:

  • Initial accommodation arranged; it is the responsibility of the FSO to secure long-term accommodation
  • First 2 monthly allowance payments paid in advance to assist with set-up costs in-country
  • Orientation support (negotiating lease agreements, shopping options, etc.)

During assignment:

  • Support, monitoring and security guidance from Supervisor and Good Return regional & Sydney offices
  • Monthly allowance (to cover living and accommodation expenses)
  • Language allowance
  • Travel insurance
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Debrief following conclusion of placement

Additional Information

The placement will commence in-country in July 2019. Applicants must be available for a four day induction course (held in May 2019 at Good Return’s Sydney office), prior to the commencement of their placement. Later commencement dates and/or periods of less than 12 months will not be considered.

Good Return will provide international airfares, certain pre-departure medical costs, visa expenses, insurance and a monthly living allowance (including accommodation costs).

How to apply:

Applications can be submitted by selecting the 'I'm interested' link below.

Applicants should provide a CV and a cover letter that clearly states your Australian citizenship/permanent residency status, and addresses the selection criteria listed in the full position description, along with your phone and Skype contact details. Cover letters can be included in the messages section or uploaded together with a CV file.

Please indicate in your cover letter which role/s you wish to be considered for, but apply only for your preferred role (you do not need to submit multiple applications).

We would love to hear how you heard about the position.

Enquiries can be directed via the Good Return website https://www.goodreturn.org.au/contact

Applications close: COB Monday 28 January 2019

Note: Interviews are expected to start early February. It is still possible to apply after that date.

Note: Good Return is a child safe organisation. The successful candidate will be required to comply with our child protection policy and will be subject to pre-hire checks.