Australian Embassy

Australian Volunteers for International Development

About the AVID Program

The goal of the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is to contribute to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in Mongolia.

AVID has a long history in Mongolia. Since 1998 over 300 volunteers have mobilized through the program. Every year the AVID program supports the deployment of around 22 skilled Australians to undertake volunteer assignments aimed at improving the capacity of host organizations in sectors of high priority to Australian and Mongolian governments. These volunteers also promote positive people-to-people links between individuals, organizations and communities in Mongolia and in Australia.

Program Focus – Sectors

From 2017, AVID Mongolia will continue to support assignments and placements which are developed to support Australia’s Aid program in Mongolia by contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

Whilst future assignments will retain the flexibility to respond to changing Australia and Mongolia priorities, priority sectors will include:

  • improving educational outcomes;
  • supporting a well-managed extractives sector;
  • improving the lives of people with a disability;
  • protecting children, vulnerable and minority groups;
  • protecting and advocating for human rights;
  • eliminating violence against women and working to achieve gender equality;
  • supporting private sector partnerships to achieve development outcomes.
  • supporting local agri-businesses;
  • supporting the health sector, especially in the area of HPV vaccinations, fighting STIs;
  • Implementing public-private partnerships to support development and public diplomacy objectives; and
  • Supporting priority sports diplomacy and sports for development priorities.

Achievements of Volunteers in Mongolia

Volunteers have provided considerable assistance across a broad range of sectors in Mongolia and with over 300 assignments since 1998 it is impossible to provide a full list of all the achievements. However, the following examples provide a flavour of the important work Volunteers in Mongolia undertake.

  • Dr Robert Clegg was an Air Pollution Researcher in the School of Engineering and Environmental Studies at the National University of Mongolia from June 2015 to June 2016. He utilised his organic chemistry background to provide technical support to staff and he utilised his networks to help acquire modern analytic equipment. This represents a significant improvement to the educational and research capacity of the university. Without such equipment research into the chemical fallout of Ulaanbaatar’s severe air pollution in the winter is near impossible.
  • Kerry Agostino was a Research Assistant at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations from January until April 2016. Kerry worked within sustainable agricultural productivity and improving livelihoods to promote the production of pulses to wheat farmers and the animal feed industry. This increased awareness of the nutritional qualities of pulses for human consumption and also provided recipes appropriate to Mongolian food culture.
  • Rachel Connor worked as an Economic Development Officer at The Asia Foundation from June 2015 to February 2016. She supported staff to collaborate with the private sector and conduct high-quality economic research to help establish the Women’s Business Incubator. This work for the women’s entrepreneurship project involved working together with TAF staff and Project Partners to conduct strategic planning for activities and budgets for the next two-three years of the project.
  • Tara Aynsley was a Policy and Advocacy Officer at the Mongolian Youth Federation from September 2014 until September 2015. Mongolia’s national peak youth body is a very influential organisation with a widespread network of countrywide offices and the “training ground” for future government leaders. As a result of the Tara’s work, the organisation has improved event management, internal processes and external relations. DFAT consulted with the Federation when doing pre-election research through Tara’s connections.
  • Casey Hawkey was a Ground Water Management Officer for the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism in Sainshand (eastern Gobi). He supported the USD25 million Mining Infrastructure Investment Support Project funded by the Australian Government and World Bank to strengthen the water authority’s ability to manage groundwater.

Interested in having a volunteer in your organisation?

Volunteers are placed within host organisations and work with counterparts and colleagues to contribute to building capacity within the organisation.

Australian volunteers mobilised through the AVID program work with a range of host organisations including non-government organisations (NGOs), civil society and humanitarian organisations, government agencies, educational institutions, private sector enterprises and United Nations agencies.

If you are interested in having a volunteer in your organization, please contact with Australian Volunteer International(AVI) through: