Volunteering with AWN

The Aid Workers Network is an all-volunteer-lead initiative. The people who contribute to the forum, read and respond to emails sent to AWN, create new pages, update information for the advice section, and handle administrative and technical tasks that keep AWN running are all unpaid online volunteers -- most are professional aid workers who donate their expertise and extra time, often while they are working in a developing country under contract with an aid agency, to help keep the AWN web site operating. Volunteers contribute from their own home or work computers.

Why do these professionals donate their precious time to the Aid Workers Network? A number of reasons:

  • they want to give back to other aid workers, so that lessons aren't lost and, instead, successes can be built on and problems avoided.
  • It puts them in even greater contact with other aid workers, increasing their networking and collaboration opportunities.
  • It's a way to apply skills and knowledge they aren't currently applying in the field.

Want to volunteer with AWN?

Everyone who posts questions and comments to the Aid Workers Network forum, or who makes suggestions about improvements to the AWN site, is already a volunteer to AWN! Providing answers to questions posted to the network is vital to the success of AWN, so thanks to everyone who contributes questions, answers, ideas or insights about development/aid work.

But if you want to do even more with AWN, there are a number of ways you can help, right from your own computer. Simple, short-term tasks for online volunteers (all positions are UNPAID) include:

  • researching and drafting new advice pages

  • identifying web sites that should link to AWN

  • identifying online discussion groups that might like to know about AWN

  • identifying organizations that might want their staff to participate in AWN

  • translating an advice page into other languages, and proofreadng the translations of others

  • providing project-specific web site technical help (our system is built on CiviCRM & Drupal)

  • web page design/redesign

To express interest in a short-term assignment (your own ideas for such are also welcomed), please send an email to volunteer@aidworkers.net, with your full name, a description of why you are interested in this position and why you feel you are qualified for such. A CV is optional, but not mandatory. If in your email you demonstrate the appropriate qualifications and interest for a short-term assignment, you will be asked to complete an online orientation (via email, with an optional video), and then he or she will be asked to sign an agreement accepting the assignment.

AWN also has ongoing high-responsibility online volunteer roles, which volunteers take on for at least six months (and these positions are UNPAID):

To apply for any of the above high-responsibility tasks, please click on the task link and see the application guidelines.

Of course, AWN is also interested in welcoming new board members. AWN board members are responsible for the governance of AWN, for its overall strategies, and for the mobilization of resources for AWN. Candidates for the AWN board should already be registered as users of the AWN site, and have a professional background in aid, relief and development. Candidates should have an instant messaging account, and be familiar with using iVisit or Skype. If you are interested in being a board member, please email volunteer@aidworkers.net, with your full name, a description of why you are interested in being an AWN board member, a summary of your experience with AWN so far, a summary of your professional background in aid, relief and development, and your CV. Candidates may be asked to complete a board application form as well, and be interviewed by current board members