Product Design And Development Specialist - Volunteer in the Philippines

Contact Information for Applicants:
Name of Organization: 
Cuso International
Opportunity Description + Organization Information: 

Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only

Location Diit, Tacloban City and Basey, Philippines

Start Date Jul 2018 - Jan 2019(flexible)

Length of Placement 6 Months

Language Requirements English

The Volunteer’s Role


As the Product Design and Development Specialist, you will support two membership-based organizations which support entrepreneurship, employment and income generation to women and people with disabilities, their families and their communities. Tacloban City Persons with Disabilities Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TAPDICO) and Basey Association for Native Industry Growth (BANIG) were both greatly affected by Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Yolanda, one of the deadliest cyclones to ever hit the Philippines in 2013. Both organizations came back stronger after the disaster, a testament to the resilient nature of Filipinos. As they continue to recover, they need technical support to create new designs and products that are responsive to market trends and buyer’s preferences. As the Product Designs and Development Advisor, you will play an important role in ensuring the competitiveness and continuity of these two businesses which provide income and employment for poor and small scale entrepreneurs. BANIG is skilled in making colorful handicrafts using natural materials while TAPDICO is skilled in making tables and chairs for school-aged children. Both organizations are less experienced on the business side. They need a technical expert to help them to innovate with existing line of products, develop new innovative designs and products to meet consumer’s buying needs and preferences. You will also support and capacitate them in conducting market research, identifying and developing new markets for their products, developing marketing strategies and in managing customer relations.

As a volunteer, you will:

- Review of existing product categories, product catalogues, showroom design, business operations, production process and marketing plans

- Conduct research on current market trends (color, designs, materials, competitors, different marketing channels, etc.)

- Support the organizational interest in developing new products, innovations or designs based on currently available tools, equipment, techniques and materials

- Support capacity building at different levels of the organization



Support Package

- Modest monthly living allowance (varies depending country)

- Accommodation while in placement

- Return airfare and visa/work permit costs

- Cost of required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and health insurance

- Pre-departure training and in-country orientation

- Travel and accommodation for reintegration debriefing weekend

- Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer

- Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return

- Cuso International assessment day (Candidates must cover the first $200 of the most cost-effective travel expenses and all accommodation costs).

- Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and for in-country orientation


About us

Cuso International is a non-profit international development organization, working to improve the lives of people living with poverty and inequality around the globe. Each year we mobilize hundreds of volunteer professionals who work with local partners to create positive, lasting change. Established in 1961, Cuso International is a registered charity in Canada and the United States.






Essential Academic Qualifications:

- A university degree in Fine Arts, or another related area or equivalent professional/volunteer experience



Essential Professional Background:

- Minimum of 3 - 5 years’ experience in business, ideally with skills in product design and development

 - Excellent written and verbal communication skills

- Ability to adapt and apply business knowledge and techniques to grassroots organizations


Monday, June 18, 2018 (All day)