Volunteer host organisations

Organisations can apply through the AVID program to host a volunteer. Host organisations are in developing countries with which the Australian Government has a development partnership, specifically the AVID program.

By hosting an Australian volunteer, organisations will have access to skilled and experienced people who can meet current needs in their work plans. They can also provide training and mentoring of staff to expand the capacity of the organisation to meet its future needs. In addition to their skills and expertise, Australian volunteers are recognised for their flexibility, innovation and enthusiasm.

Types of host organisations are:

  • local non-government organisations
  • international non-government organisations which are locally registered and managed
  • community-based organisations
  • national and provincial government agencies
  • educational institutions, including schools, universities and vocational and training colleges
  • multilateral agencies
  • private sector enterprises (micro, small and medium enterprises).

Organisations seeking to host volunteers are required to undergo a comprehensive assessment by one of the AVID delivery partners. The delivery partner will work with the organisation to assess whether they are eligibile to host an Australian volunteer.


Some of the main criteria for determining whether an organisation is eligible to host a volunteer are:

  • whether the identified needs align with the development strategy for Australia's aid program in that country
  • how the organisation will benefit from the volunteer assignment
  • whether there is potential for the benefits from the volunteer assignment to continue after the assignment has finished
  • the capacity of the organisation to manage and support the volunteer
  • the capacity of the organisation to provide appropriate work facilities which meet the AVID safety and security standards
  • having a child protection policy which meets the AVID standards.

A volunteer will work with colleagues in the host organisation to address an identified need or area of work. Generally a volunteer is placed with an organisation for 12 months, although it can be shorter or longer depending on the need.

The role of the volunteer and specific assignment objectives are agreed between the host organisation and the AVID delivery partner. The assignment is then advertised and a competitive, merit-based recruitment process is undertaken by the delivery partner. Host organisations may be consulted in the final stages of candidate selection.

It can take between six to 12 months from the time of approval to become a host organisation to the arrival of a volunteer.


Responsibilities in hosting a volunteer include providing:

  • appropriate and available staff who will be motivated to work with the volunteer and benefit from the skills transfer
  • a supervisor who can guide the volunteer in their work as well as an orientation to the organisation and the local area
  • assistance identifying suitable accommodation
  • an appropriate workspace
  • any equipment required for the volunteer to complete their assignment
  • work related travel expenses whilst on their assignment (such as accommodation, transport and food when travelling for work).

For some host organisations, single volunteer assignments are conducted to meet a specific need, other organisations benefit from several assignments by volunteers with different skills sets over several years.

If you would like to know more about hosting a volunteer, please contact one of our AVID delivery partners.


"The Pacific Youth Council has benefitted immensely from the Australian volunteers. They bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise, experience and talents and have enhanced communication and publicity in our organisation. They have also shared their expertise with other youth councils through training in Tonga and Vanuatu. Our organisation has grown to have more visibility because of Australian volunteers."

-Tarusila Bradburgh, Coordinator, Pacific Youth Council, Fiji