Frequently Asked Questions
What is CDC?
Citizens Development Corps is a non-profit organization that rallies the expertise of senior-level business professionals to provide technical assistance to small and medium sized enterprises in emerging markets throughout the world.
CDC delivers a broad spectrum of products and services to businesses, NGOs, business service providers, universities, local and regional governments and the communities that support them. By targeting interventions at the individual, organizational, and community levels, our programs are committed to creating and implementing high-impact programmatic strategies. CDC is focused on increasing the competitiveness of our clients, building local capacity to deliver innovative goods and services, and promoting sustainable development in emerging markets. CDC directs public and private resources to build vibrant local and regional economies that have the businesses, institutions and the environment needed to compete in the global economy.
What is the history of CDC?
CDC was founded in the early 1990s in response to the collapse of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. Since that time, CDC has helped hundreds of small and medium-sized enterprises succeed in the difficult transition to the global economy.
To learn more about the History of CDC click .
Where does CDC currently operate?
CDC currently has programs in Africa, Central America, Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Caucuses, and Southeast Asia. For more information regarding current programs, please visit Where We Work.
To learn more about CDC's current and past programs click here.
Where does CDC receive its funding?
Citizens Development Corps receives funding from the U.S. and international business communities, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other international donor agencies.
How are Scopes of Work created?
A Scope of Work, or SOW is a description of a CDC assignment. It contains basic information about the client and a description of goals and expectations. Unlike other development organizations, CDC's Scopes of Work are designed in the field and are based on the specific needs of local small and medium enterprises and business support organizations. Typically CDC/Washington does not create SOWs based on the qualifications of specific volunteer advisors.
How are Volunteer Advisors chosen?
When CDC receives a request for an advisor from our field offices, a search of our database of more than 7,500В VAs is conducted to identify candidates whose skills most closely match the needs of the company or organization requesting assistance.В Funding limits on how many projects we can fill each each year determine the number ofВ VAs we are able to send on assignment. While we wish we could arrange assignments for all of the candidates who contact CDC, placement as a volunteer advisor is not guaranteed.
What does it cost to volunteer?
Volunteering costs very little. CDC provides roundtrip coach airfare, expenses incurred en route to the assignment site, immunizations, visa procurement, project materials up to $300, emergency travel insurance, accommodations and a modest per-diem.
To find out more about logistics and travel click here.
What are the typical living arrangements while on assignment?
MostВ VAs stay in local hotels or apartments while on assignment. CDC does its best to ensure that local accommodations are up to "Western" standards. However,В VAs should be aware that some of the conveniences we take for granted in the United States are not always available in developing and transitioning economies.
What impact do CDC Volunteers have?
The impact ofВ VAs on the companies, organizations and communitiesВ assisted by CDC cannot be underestimated. Over the years, CDCВ VAs have had direct and immediate effect on the economies in which they operate.
To read about the impacts of CDCВ VAs on our clients, read Delivering Results andВ Success Stories.
How can I volunteer?
CDC continually accepts resumes from qualified advisors. Click here to fill out an Online Application, and cut and paste your resume. CDC also acceptsВ resumes and inquiries via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). CDC is currently unable to accept resumes via mail or fax.
Due to the volume of resumes received on a monthly basis and the limited number of Scopes of Work, CDC cannot guarantee all applicants will be matched to overseas assignments.
Do I need to speak the language?
There are no language requirements to be a CDC VA, but language skills are definitely an asset and should be noted on your application. For those who do not speak the language, interpreters will be provided at the work site.
May I take my spouse along?
Per USAID regulations, CDC can provide for a spouse to accompany aВ VA on assignments lasting one month or more. Your spouse is welcome to join you if the assignment is for a shorter period of time, but CDC cannot cover travel or per diem costs.
What skills do you look for?
The role of a VA participating inВ a CDC program covers virtually the entire range of business and organizational skills. CDC assignments can be as specific as providing technical assistance to a zipper manufacturer in Russia or as broad as facilitating a general management seminar for a wide range of business interests.
We have learned that when it comes to creating a positive volunteer assignment, the right attitude is just as important as the right skill. We are looking, therefore, for people who are flexible, adaptable, self-reliant - and have an all-important sense of humor. Most assignments are located outside the capital city where living conditions may be less than ideal.
To see a list of currently open assignments click here.
How do I qualify?
If you are a highly motivated professional who possesses a minimum of 10 years experience in your field, has the ability to transfer professional skills and know-how, yearns for adventure, is flexible, patient and carries a sense of humor, and most of all has the desire to dedicate both time and expertise to strengthening the business environment of emerging markets, then you are the type of volunteer that CDC needs.
To see additional requirements click .
How long are assignments?
Assignment length varies by country and funding agreement. Most CDC assignments are between two and six weeks long, with the average being about three. However, on occasion CDC has sent VAs overseas for as long as six months.
MBA Enterprise Corps members are overseas for 15 months, including three months of language and culture training and 12 months of work.
Will I need a passport and/or visa?
Traveling outside the United States requires a passport. CDC is unable to procure passports for volunteers.
Depending on the country and length of stay, a visa may be required. CDC will assist you with all the necessary forms and materials to obtain the visa.