Senior Volunteer: Technical expert in volcanology or seismology or geophysics, Ecuador (Organizational Development and Capacity Building) [VOL4AID_GVC_ECU_VOL_SR]

— 1 positions
Deployment dates: 
Quito, Ecuador

The EU Aid Volunteers initiative

The EU Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps – EU Aid Volunteers and related legislation create a framework for joint contributions from European volunteers to support and complement humanitarian aid in third countries.

Therefore, the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative provides opportunities to European citizens and long-term residents, from a wide range of backgrounds and with a diversity of skills and professional experience, to get involved in humanitarian aid projects, support the provision of needs-based humanitarian aid in third countries and engage in volunteering opportunities, through deployment and online-volunteering.

The initiative focuses on strengthening the European Union's capacity to deliver needs-based humanitarian aid by providing professional support through the deployment of trained volunteers to people in need. Furthermore, it aims to strengthen the capacity and resilience of vulnerable communities in third countries, through the implementation of joint projects between experienced humanitarian operators and local organizations in third countries.

The EU Aid Volunteers programme offers:

  • Opportunities for European citizens to become EU Aid Volunteers in humanitarian projects worldwide, showing solidarity with those who most need it,
  • Professional support by trained and well-prepared volunteers to communities affected by disaster,
  • Capacity building for local staff and volunteers of organisations in countries hit by disasters,
  • Technical assistance for organisations based in Europe to strengthen their capacity to participate in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

More info available here:


Active European citizens in response to humanitarian challenges​ - VOL4AID project

Alianza por la Solidaridad (Spain), GVC (Italy), La Guilde (France), and Action Aid Hellas (Greece) are non-governmental organisations with sound expertise in management of humanitarian action and volunteering worldwide. Now, together with their partner Ecuasol (Ecuador) they are implementing the project: “Active European citizens in response to humanitarian challenges: EU Aid Volunteers strengthening capacities and resilience of communities affected by humanitarian crises in third countries – VOL4AID”.

The project’s objectives may be summarised as:

1) To engage European citizens in complementing and contributing to Humanitarian Action 

2) To ensure high quality management of EU Aid Volunteers by the project participants.

3) To secure the capacities and upgrade the management systems of hosting organizations and local partner organizations for EU Aid volunteers’ deployment, and contribution to their humanitarian interventions.

4) To promote among the European citizenship innovative new ways of engagement in volunteering in humanitarian action (online and employee volunteering).

In this framework, a total of 61 volunteers will be deployed to Colombia, Haiti, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guatemala, Senegal, Lebanon, and Cambodia.

FAQ’s in Spanish

FAQ’s in English

In the framework of this project GVC deploys 3 volunteers to Ecuador for capacity building activities.

Global Security
Pickpockets and Armed robbery can be a constant hazard throughout Ecuador, but especially in Quito, Guayaquil and in remote areas. Sexual assault against foreign women have also increased in the city of Montañita and express kidnappings - short-term opportunistic abductions, aimed at extracting cash from the victim - also occur, particularly in Quito and Guayaquil.
Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.
Cases of locally transmitted Zika virus have been confirmed in the last 3 months as well as cases of the Chikungunya virus (mainly in Esmeraldas, Manabi and Guayas coastal provinces). Dengue fever cases have been reported in Los Rios, Manabi, Guayas, Orellana and Sucumbios provinces.
Parts of Ecuador (including Quito at 2,800m) are at high altitude. If you plan to travel to altitudes over 2,500 meters discuss the risks associated with travelling to high altitude with your doctor before you travel.

Natural Disasters
There’s a high risk of earthquakes in Ecuador. In April 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the coast between Manabí and Esmeraldas provinces. Hundreds of people died and there was widespread damage to infrastructure. There’s still a high risk of aftershocks. A state of exception (giving additional powers to the government) remains in place in the provinces of Esmeraldas and Manabí. An aftershock on 19 December 2016 with a magnitude of 5.7 caused further casualties and damage to infrastructure in Esmeraldas.
More information is available from the Ecuadorean National Risk Management Agency and the National Geophysical Institute. See Natural disasters
-Volcanic activity
There are a number of active volcanoes in Ecuador. The Cotopaxi volcano has experienced renewed activity in August 2015 and restrictions are in place (climbing Tungurahua, Reventador, Chiles and Cerro Negro volcanoes is forbidden). However, volcanic activity has been moderate to low over the last months. The local authorities have allocated official shelters throughout the vulnerable areas and early warning sirens have been installed in The Chillos and Tumbaco valleys and in other surrounding areas.

The volunteer will be hosted by Fundación Plan Ecuasol, responsible of coordination and implementation of activities at national level. The volunteer will also work in direct coordination with local implementing partners aiming to building local community resilience to disasters.

GVC values:
We uphold the Humanitarian Principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independency.
We affirmatively engage the most vulnerable communities.
More information is available here:


Under the supervision of the Deputy Director of the Ecuasol Foundation, and in coordination with other volunteers around the country, the volunteer will be deployed for 3 months to reinforce an awareness-raising program about seismic risks, based in Quito but traveling within Ecuador regions, where long-term volunteers are based.

Awareness raising

In cooperation with the Ecuadorian government and local authorities/municipalities, along with the IRD (Institut de Recherche et de Développement) based in Quito and its partners, as well as the local office of ECHO, the volunteer will bring his/her expertise geophysics and/or vulcanology and/or seismology in order to strengthen the knowledge of the current deployed volunteers in several regions of Ecuador, working on an awareness-raising program about seismic and volcanic risks.

Risk assessment

The volunteer makes a situational analysis of the risks of the region: volcanic or seismic and/or landslide and/or tsunami. He/she will discuss closely with the volunteers and local experts and communities to confirm the real risks in the region. He/she will confirm to which extent communities lack basic information, activities or tools to respond to the natural disaster. He/she will help raise awareness of the risks. He/she will support and train, where necessary, the expert volunteer in each visited region. He/she will build the capacity of the mission in this regard.

Reports and continuity of the action

The volunteer will capture valuable information and provide a short report to ensure continuity of the actions.

Communication and Awareness on EU Aid Volunteers Initiative

The Volunteer shall:
a. Promote local volunteerism in disaster risk reduction, prevention and response;
b. Train local volunteers on organization and implementation of volunteer-based activities, when applicable;
c. Promote partnerships and collaboration between local and European organizations;
d. Draft and publish articles describing volunteer's experience in the field;
e. Gather audiovisual materials to be used in a public awareness activity in the volunteer's local community in Europe;
f. In coordination with the NGOs partner of the project, organize and execute a public awareness activity once back in Europe.

Required competences


  • Degree (doctorate) in geophysics (expertise in volcanology and/or seismology)


  • Fluent in Spanish written and spoken
  • Good knowledge of English


  • Good interpersonal, social and team working skills
  • Strong sense of initiative and autonomy, ability to work independently
  • Good communications and pedagogical skills, outgoing nature, sense of diplomacy
  • Good ability to adapt to an environment with a high natural disaster risk
  • Humility, interest in local communities, empathy


  • Desirable previous experience in developing countries
  • Prior volunteer experience is an asset
  • Relevant work experience in order to perform required duties
Selection criteria
Applications are made directly within the sending organisation, please check out the how to apply section.

The candidate for EU Aid Volunteers must be a citizen of the EU or a third country national who is a long-term resident in an EU Member State, and must have a minimum age of 18 years.

Candidates must satisfy the requirements set out in Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps ("EU Aid Volunteers initiative"), which include having a minimum age of 18 years old and being a citizen of EU or a third country national who is a long-term resident in an EU Member State.

GVC applies a policy of equal opportunities and accepts applications without distinction on the grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Availability for training in presence starting from mid October 2017, availability for deployment starting from February 2018

Condition of service

The Volunteer will attend a 30-hours online training and a 10-days in presence training before her/his deployment.
The contents of her/his training will be decided according to the competences of the Volunteer and the needs of the hosting organization.
The on-site training costs (EU travel, full-board accommodation, and the course itself) are fully covered by the training provider. Travel outside the EU will be covered only for:
- EU citizens who legally reside in a non-EU country for long-term or forever (i.e. who live in that country);
- EU citizens who are on a temporary assignment in a third country that lasts more than 18 months (i.e. who work in a third country).

Please note that additional candidate volunteers will be trained above the number planned for deployment, to create an additional pool to cover drop-outs and unforeseen needs.

Length of Deployment:
• 3 months
Deployment duty station:
• Quito, Ecuador, with missions in the field
Conditions of service during deployment:
• A monthly Subsistence Lump Sum (463,19 Euro per month) intends to cover basic needs and local transport.
• Accommodation, Visa fees, insurance and airfares will be covered.
• The working calendar will be corresponding to the agenda and system established in the field.
• For each month of voluntary activity two days of rest are foreseen.
• For each month of deployment 100 euro of post deployment resettlement allowance are foreseen.

Conditions related to in-presence training:
• If a candidate volunteer is working outside of the EU, travel costs will be fully covered if EU citizens legally reside in a non-EU country for long-term or forever (i.e. who live in that country);
• EU citizens who are on a temporary assignment in a third country that lasts more than 18 months;
On the contrary, only travel costs from an EU country to the training venue shall be covered if:
• EU citizens on a temporary assignment in a third country that lasts less than 18 months
• EU citizens selected by the same organization or affiliate with which they have an on-going assignment in the third country if this assignment is longer than 18 months.

Please note that additional candidate volunteers will be trained above the number planned for deployment, to create an additional pool to cover drop-outs and unforeseen needs.

Selection process

To apply, the candidate shall fulfill the Application Form online, attach the CV, a Motivation Letter and the Self-Assessment Questionnaire.
• Shortlisting and interviews of the candidates: from 16/06/2017 to 24/07/2017.

In case of changes of the dates, the candidates will be notified.

• After the shortlisting, the preselected candidates will be notified and a Skype interview will be fixed;
• The selected candidate/s for each vacancy will be notified by 01/08/2017. Once selected, the candidate/s will be contacted by EACEA to organize the participation to an online and in-presence training;
• Only one candidate will be selected as the Volunteer for the effective deployment: the final decision will be taken after the training, according with the feedbacks of the trainers.

Date of training
Training will take place in the Netherlands at mid October 2017. Training sessions will be mainly in Spanish, though a good command of English is necessary.
Pre-deployment preparation and induction
Pre-deployment briefing is foreseen at GVC HQ in Bologna before the departure. Two days of specific training are foreseen in Ecuador at her/his arrival.
Deployment is foreseen to start on 01/02/2018, depending on the needs of the Hosting Organization and of the Volunteer
Post-deployment activities
Within 3 months after return from the mission