Working in international aid and development
Are you interested in working in international aid and development? Opportunities exist for short-term humanitarian and emergency relief work through to long-term development programs. You’d be helping communities build skills and resources and find sustainable solutions to problems such as poverty, as well gaining real-world job experience.
Areas of work
The type of work includes:
- advocacy and human rights
- business planning and development
- disaster recovery
- economic planning
- education – teaching and training in the community, vocational and trade areas
- engineering, civil planning and infrastructure
- environmental sustainability and agriculture
- governance and risk management
- medicine and healthcare and research.
Australian aid – the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is only one of the many Australian Government departments and agencies involved in delivering Official Development Assistance.
Non-government organisations (NGO)
Opportunities exist within non-profit, independent and non-state organisations, which could be faith based or non-denominational.
For-profit organisations usually employ contractors and consultants.
Academic and research
Universities may provide education support and assistance for the research and development of commercial products.
Preparation and self-development
There is a lot you can do to prepare yourself for work in this area:
- volunteer: familiarise yourself with the mission, values and organisational structure of community and aid work settings (this will help you develop practical skills)
- travel independently: independent travel helps you develop self-management, adaptability, and insight into other cultures and customs
- learn another language: this will assist with integration into a local community
- research: identify careers and organisations you may want to work for
- attend industry events: this will help you gain insights into organisations and networking opportunities
- learn to address selection criteria in job applications: this will help you show how your skills, qualifications, values and attributes meet the requirements of the position and organisation
- self-audit: identify your experiences, qualifications, skills, personal motivations and values
- explore further study: studying helps you build your skills and knowledge. Find opportunities to focus on topics relevant to aid work and consider specific courses such as the Master of International Development Practice.