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Australian Volunteers for International Development

How we are helping

2017-18 Budget Estimate:
$42.6 million

The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program provides opportunities for skilled Australians to contribute to the Australian Government's aid program.

The AVID and the new Australian Volunteers programs were allocated a total budget of $42.6 million for 2017-18.

In 2017-18 the AVID program will:

  • support approximately 950 volunteers in 26 countries;
  • place 97 per cent of volunteers in the Indo-Pacific region; and
  • expand the Returned Australian Volunteer Network (RAVN).

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The new Australian Volunteers program

The contract for the delivery of the new Australian Volunteers program was signed on 13 July 2017 between DFAT and AVI, in consortium with Cardno and The Whitelum Group. This new program will replace the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, which will continue until 31 December 2017. Extensive planning has taken place to ensure a smooth transition from AVID to the new Australian Volunteers program by January 2018. 

The new Australian Volunteers program will build on the Australian Government's investment in international volunteers over the past 60 years. The program will retain and enhance a number of core elements developed under AVID and the Returned Australian Volunteer Network (RAVN). The new Australian Volunteers program will build on the development and public diplomacy outcomes of the existing AVID program, and foster innovation, flexibility and collaboration.

DFAT thanks current delivery partner, Scope Global, for the significant contributions that they have made to Australian Government international volunteering programs over the past 16 years. DFAT also thanks Australian Business Volunteers and the Australian Red Cross for their contribution to Australian Government international volunteering programs. Without the dedication, ideas and passion of all partners, the AVID program would not have been as successful and effective as it is.

Arrangements have been made for on-assignment volunteers to move to the new program. AVID delivery partners, Scope Global and AVI, will contact all volunteers who are currently on assignment or yet to mobilise under the AVID program to inform them of any changes that may affect them during the transition to the new program.

Questions on the new program can be emailed to volunteers@dfat.gov.au.

About the AVID program

The AVID program supports the deployment of Australians to undertake volunteer assignments aimed at improving the capacity of host organisations in sectors of high priority to Australian and partner governments. Volunteers also promote positive people-to-people links between individuals, organisations and communities in developing countries and in Australia.

The goal of the AVID program is to contribute to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction and advance Australia's reputation and relationships in partner countries.

The objectives of the AVID program are to:

  • support the capacity of host organisations to deliver effective and sustainable development outcomes focused on economic growth and poverty reduction, and
  • promote a positive perception of Australia in the Indo-Pacific region.

In 2015-16, the AVID program supported 1,345 volunteers across 29 countries, including 567 new volunteers.

Since 2015-16, the AVID program has had a greater focus on the Indo-Pacific region.

Volunteering opportunities are available in Bhutan, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Indonesia, Laos, Lesotho, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Palau, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Nepal, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

The AVID program is delivered by DFAT in partnership with AVI and Scope Global.

Are you interested in volunteering? Visit the Volunteer page.

Becoming a volunteer

A wide range of professional skills are needed to contribute to development. Most assignments require qualifications and demonstrated professional experience.
The sectors most commonly requested by overseas partners include:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fisheries
  • Business and management
  • Communications, marketing and media
  • Community and social development
  • Disaster and emergency management
  • Education and training
  • Health
  • Information technology
  • Law and justice
  • Skilled trades

Advice on responsible volunteering is available on Smartraveller.

Host organisations

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.

Host organisations provide management and support to Australian volunteers and identify the objectives of the volunteer assignment. Host organisations are responsible for:

  • providing supervision
  • identifying opportunities for skills or knowledge transfer by Australian volunteers
  • providing a safe and secure working environment with adequate workplace facilities and resources
  • ensuring that the volunteer assignment assists sustainable development and capacity building.

More information about host organisations

Australian partner organisations

To encourage greater community involvement, Australian organisations can partner with host organisations. This is a great way for Australian organisations to develop new relationships with organisations overseas, or to strengthen existing links. Australian partner organisations include government departments, educational institutions, NGOs and private sector enterprises.

More information for Australian partner organisations

Responsible volunteering

If you are looking to volunteer through other programs, advice is available on Smartraveller about responsible volunteering. Thoroughly research the organisation that you plan to work with, particularly when working with children.

Last Updated: 10 August 2017

Responsible volunteering

If you are looking to volunteer through other programs, advice is available on Smart Traveller about responsible volunteering. Thoroughly research the organisation that you plan to work with, particularly when working with children.

Returned Australian Volunteer Network

The Returned Australian Volunteer Network brings together Australian Government-funded returned volunteers since the 1960s, providing networking, engagement and professional development opportunities.


Delivery partners

Scope Global logo


AVI logo