the job description - Australian Volunteers International

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Climate and Disaster Risk Training Mentor for Engineers
Honiara, Solomon Islands
AVI has negotiated this assignment in good faith with the Host Organisation, and the information contained was
correct at the time of acceptance of the request. However, while AVI takes responsibility for matters under our
direct control, all assignments and arrangements are subject to change due to the inherent low levels of
predictability in developing country environments. This assignment may be amended or withdrawn to reflect
changes in circumstances.
General Details
Assignment Title
Climate and Disaster Risk Training Mentor for Engineers
Host Organisation
Solomon Islands Built Environment Professionals Association
(SIBEPA)
Website of Host Organisation
N/A
Duration of Assignment
7 months (6 months for the assignment and 1 month for
orientation and language lessons)
Start Date
19 April 2016
Pre-departure Briefing Date
10-12 Feb 2016
AVI Assignment Code
10534111
Australian Partner Organisation
N/A
Host Organisation Overview
SIBEPA is a membership-based organisation of construction industry professionals, business owners
and managers, whose primary goal is to offer members the professional development required to
overcome the Solomon Islands’ dependence on expatriate professional input to its construction sector.
The risks associated with disasters are significant to the livelihoods of the people of the Solomon
Islands, and these are increasing as a result of climate change. All Solomon Islanders interact on a
regular basis with infrastructure in the country (such as bridges, road, buildings), most of which is
The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is an
Australian Government initiative. This assignment has been developed by Australian
Volunteers International, a delivery partner for the AVID program.
designed by engineers, and as such would all benefit from improving the robustness of infrastructure
design to withstand increasing hazard risk.
SIBEPA was legally incorporated on November 14, 2011. The trigger for its establishment was the
need for a coordinated response from engineers, architects and planners to the rebuild of China Town
in Honiara after significant fires. The decision was made that the centre would be redesigned as a 21st
century looking commercial centre reflecting Solomon Islands architecture.
At the time, the Solomon Islands did not have an engineering, architecture of infrastructure body, which
would have provided a forum for collaboration between these professionals. A team of engineers and
architects decided to respond to this gap. With advice from the PNG Institute of Architects, a committee
was formed to draft the goals, objectives, and a constitution for SIBEPA to register a professional
association. In 2010 an inaugural meeting for qualified professionals and technical people was
convened to adopt a constitution and elect its first board of executives.
Main Activities
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Professional development for 250+ members
Promote and share construction industry best practice through workshops, trainings, seminars
and liaising with educational institutions and to encourage the on-going development of the
various professions
Coordinating responses to significant infrastructure requirements (e.g. China Town rebuild)
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SIBEPA has over 250 registered members. The organisation currently has no paid employees at this
stage, but has advertised and is in the process of hiring a CEO.
SIBEPA has an office managed by a chief executive officer, who works under an executive board. The
board is re-elected every annual general meeting.
Funding is sourced from:

Membership fees

Initial assistance from Ausaid – 2011

DFAT assistance through RAMSI – 2011

EU-TVET Skills for Life Project Funding to deliver training of women in Contract Administration
and business management- 2013
Assignment Overview
At present, there are no engineers in Solomon Islands with the skills or experience to design a climate
and disaster risk training course for engineers and architects. In comparison to other components of
engineering, consideration of climate and disaster risks is a relatively new area, and as such hasn't
The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is an
Australian Government initiative. This assignment has been developed by Australian
Volunteers International, a delivery partner for the AVID program.
been taught extensively in universities in the Pacific in the past.
Organisations such as Engineers Australia and the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand,
which are equivalent to SIBEPA in their respective countries, both have comprehensive sustainability,
climate change and disaster risk training programmes available to their members. Given the significant
social and financial risks posed by rising sea levels and other climate related events, and the exposure
of built infrastructure to climate risks in the Solomon Islands, SIBEPA believes training local engineers
and architects to understand and respond to these risks is extremely important.
SIBEPA is a member based organisation who provide professional development to engineers and
architects in Solomon Islands. The proposed assignment would be designed to both support this
objective, and train members of the organisation to provide ongoing professional development to
engineers and architects in the months and years after the completion of the assignment.
As climate and disaster risks are becoming increasingly prevalent, and considering the integral role that
engineers and architects can play in reducing the vulnerability of people and infrastructure to these
risks, providing professional development that focuses on these areas is vital.
Assignment Objectives

To design a climate and disaster risk training course for engineers and architects in Solomon
Islands. Engineers and architects successfully completing the training course would be
awarded a ‘risk certification’, which would allow them to engage in bidding for government
funded infrastructure projects.

To train a select group of engineers or architects in Solomon Islands as trainees for the
ongoing implementation of the aforementioned climate and disaster risk training course.
Duties and Responsibilities of the Volunteer
In consultation with their line manager and relevant stakeholders, volunteers complete a work plan in
the first three months of their assignment. The duties below are an indication of the type of work that
may be involved in meeting the Assignment Objectives:
•
•
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Design and deliver a climate and disaster risk training course for Solomon Islands engineers
and architects in conjunction with the Solomon Islands Built Environment Professionals
Association
“Train the trainers” – design and deliver a training course for a select group of engineers and
architects to deliver future iterations of the Risk Certification course (beyond the life of the
volunteer assignment)
Support the integration of the Risk Certification into the Solomon Islands Government
The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is an
Australian Government initiative. This assignment has been developed by Australian
Volunteers International, a delivery partner for the AVID program.
•
tendering process (in collaboration with the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and the
UNDP Pacific Risk Resilience Programme)
As needs arise, provide ongoing professional development training to staff at LBS and
members of SIBEPA.
Assignment Information
Line Manager
Executive Officer, Solomon Islands Built Environment Professionals
Association and owner of LBS Engineering.
Hours & Days of Employment
From 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
The expectation is that the volunteer will work the equivalent of a 5-day week to a maximum of 40
hours per week.
Out of hours work will be required: Up to five evenings or one weekend over the course of the
assignment to deliver trainings sessions to engineers who have work commitments during regular work
hours.
Leave Entitlements
Same conditions and terms as local colleagues apply, including national holidays. However, as a
minimum, volunteers will accrue 1 week of leave for each 3 months of work.
Other Conditions
The volunteer would be required to coordinate regularly with the executives and members of SIBEPA
and with staff from the Pacific Risk Resilience Programme, who will support the integration of the Risk
Certification into the Solomon Islands Government’s tendering processes.
Additionally, the volunteer would be seated (at least initially) within the offices of the LBS engineering
firm, so would have daily interaction with the engineers within this firm.
Language Skills and Level Required
Medium level of Pijin will be required.
Language Support
AVI provides language support during the in-country orientation period. Most often additional resources
for further development later in the assignment will be available if required.
The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is an
Australian Government initiative. This assignment has been developed by Australian
Volunteers International, a delivery partner for the AVID program.
Living as a Volunteer
The people of Solomon Islands are warm and friendly, many living a lifestyle almost unchanged for
hundreds of years. It is a fascinating country with more than 70 living languages spoken and incredible
marine and terrestrial biodiversity. The third largest archipelago in the South Pacific, Solomon Islands
comprises 992 islands.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s Solomon Islands was divided by ethnic tension and violence. In 2003
the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) was deployed to help the Solomon
Islands Government restore law and order. The mission, called ‘HelpemFren’ was successful in
restoring security across the country enabling people to go about their lives free from the fear of
violence and intimidation.
The influence of Christianity has had a greater impact on society and people than other institutions.
Missionaries managed to curb ancestor worship to some extent but non-Christian beliefs still persist
and coexist with Christian concepts. The churches play a very strong role in communal life, especially
in rural areas. Virtually every village has a church building or leader and prayer or church services are
held once or twice a day, and 95% of the population are professed Christians.
The volunteer will be living in Honiara, located on the island of Guadalcanal. It has a vibrant and fast
growing population and has been the capital of Solomon Islands since World War II. Honiara is known
as a melting pot of the over 70 language groups that comprise the archipelago; the country features a
predominately Melanesian population with minority groups of Polynesians, Micronesians, Asian and
Europeans
Honiara has a population of around 100,000. Overall, the country’s population is young, with 50% being
under the age of fifteen. Honiara is also home to the country’s government buildings, commercial
centre and a sea port. There is a National Museum, Art Gallery, markets, botanic gardens and
beaches. Public transportation runs along the main road and up into many residential areas. Honiara’s
climate is warm and tropical, with a wetter season from November to April.
Shopping options:
The local market is great for fresh fruits and vegetables. Supermarkets in Honiara also stock other
goods; canned, frozen, etc. However goods are expensive and not available all the time.
Social and recreational:

Multi-purpose gym (Honiara); Circuit classes, Yoga classes

Pacific Casino Gym (Honiara)

Heritage Park Hotel gym (Honiara)

Swimming at various Hotel pools and beaches, pay for access to them all

Tri Club meet at Kakabona 6am on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Diving and snorkelling (lots of places)http://mundadive.com/home.htm

Hiking and bush walking (lots of places)

HHH (Hash House Harriers) meet Monday nights between 5-6pm at various locations in Honiara
The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is an
Australian Government initiative. This assignment has been developed by Australian
Volunteers International, a delivery partner for the AVID program.
Allowances & Support
These allowance levels are based on the Cost of Living in country. They will be reviewed periodically
and may increase or decrease. Volunteers will be given notice of any change to the allowance level.
Living Allowance
Accommodation Allowance
AUD 1100.00 per month
AUD 900.00 per month
Housing
As housing in Honiara is quite expensive many volunteers choose to share.
AVI will assist the volunteer to find suitable accommodation during the in country orientation program
Other Allowances & Support
All AVID Volunteers receive the following:
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•
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•
•
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Pre-departure Briefing in Melbourne
In-country Orientation on arrival
Pre-departure vaccination expenses
Visa expenses
Pastoral care, assignment monitoring and security guidance
Return airfare to country of assignment
Psychological and medical advice and support services
Re-entry support services
Settling in allowance (assignments longer than 6 months)
Re-settlement allowance (assignments longer than 6 months)
Preparing Your Application
Personal Circumstances Constraints
Whilst we accept applications from people with the following personal circumstances due to security,
cultural, and legal restrictions in the Solomon Islands they may have trouble getting a visa approved.
•
Same sex partners who wish to accompany applicants as part of the AVID program
•
Applicants with partners to whom they are not legally married and who wish to accompany
applicants as part of the AVID program.
The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is an
Australian Government initiative. This assignment has been developed by Australian
Volunteers International, a delivery partner for the AVID program.
•
Applicants with criminal offences including recent DUI.
Selection Criteria
Please begin by writing your responses to the following three questions, in a document headed Response to Selection Criteria:
a. Why do I feel that volunteering overseas is the right thing for me to be doing at this time in my life?
(up to half a page)
b. What are the biggest personal adjustments I’m likely to have to make to be accepted as a useful
colleague and engaged community member in this assignment? (up to half a page)
c. How do I match the Essential Skills & Experience: Write a brief summary of your most relevant
experiences, results and achievements responding to each criteria in the Essential Skills & Experience
section of the Assignment Description.
To find out more details about preparing your application, please visit:
http://www.australianvolunteers.com/volunteer/application-process/
To find out more details about the personal competencies required to be a volunteer, please visit:
http://australianvolunteers.com/volunteer/have-you-got-what-it-takes/
Qualifications, Essential Skills & Experience

Tertiary qualification in engineering or architecture, or equivalent, with experience in
infrastructure development and management


Significant experience working in an engineering role
Good understanding of national, regional and international climate change and disaster risk
management issues, and an understanding of Building Codes.
Experience designing and delivering training courses and providing professional coaching.

Desirable Skills & Experience
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Experience interpreting and designing to criteria identified within climate risk maps
Membership of an engineering association
Experience implementing climate adaptation and/or disaster risk reduction projects in remote
areas and/or the Pacific region
How to Apply
All applications must be submitted online. If you haven’t already done so, you will need to register on
The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is an
Australian Government initiative. This assignment has been developed by Australian
Volunteers International, a delivery partner for the AVID program.
our website prior to applying.
Once completed, please visit www.australianvolunteers.com, log in, select the assignment you are
interested in and follow the prompts at the end of the page.
The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is an
Australian Government initiative. This assignment has been developed by Australian
Volunteers International, a delivery partner for the AVID program.
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