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New directions for the Australian volunteer program

The Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) Program brand has officially been retired.

AYAD was the former brand of the youth stream of the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, an Australian Government initiative supporting skilled Australians to live and work overseas.  

The AYAD Program commenced in 1998 with the deployment of 44 young Australians to countries in the Asia and Pacific regions. By early 2014, over 4300 AYADs had been mobilised to 23 countries in Asia, Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa regions.

Scope Global has managed the AYAD Program since 2002, and oversaw the program’s expansion to offer more than 400 assignments to young Australians aged between 18 and 30. 

In February 2014, the Australian Government decided to retire the AYAD brand and manage all youth volunteers under the AVID program brand as of 1 July 2014.

The decision was based on a recommendation from an evaluation of the AVID program by the Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE), which found that maintaining both the AVID and AYAD brands led to confusion both overseas and in Australia.

Scope Global is now working with the government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the other AVID Core Partners, to determine how volunteering opportunities for young Australians will be continued to be offered.

As of July 1, all young Australians interested in Australian Government volunteer opportunities will be redirected to Scope Global AVID website. Volunteer assignments which are suited to early career professionals (i.e. requiring 1-3 years professional experience) are listed on this webpage.

While the AYAD brand has been retired, Scope Global believes that our 12 years’ experience working in the youth volunteering market through our effective management of the AYAD Program will help us shape the direction of any youth volunteering initiatives in the future.

Research has shown that youth volunteers have contributed greatly to the overall AVID program objectives, including:

  • Capacity development outcomes for Host Organisations. The ODE Evaluation (2013) and the preceding AYAD Program Review (2012) both found strong evidence of capacity building outcomes achieved by youth volunteers.
  • Public diplomacy outcomes, by strengthening people-to-people and organisation-to- organisation linkages through partner countries.

The AYAD Program also provided young Australians an opportunity to directly engage with the Australian aid program, which lead to personal and professional development outcomes and in many cases on-going engagement in the international or community development sectors. Recent (2014) Scope Global research of AYAD alumni indicates 43 per cent of returned AYADs surveyed now work in Australian government departments and agencies or international NGOs. 

Key AYAD facts:

  • Scope Global has supported more than 4300 young Australians to live and work overseas in 23 countries throughout Asia, the Pacific and Africa
  • More than 2000 overseas organisations, including grassroots NGOs, education institutions and multilateral organisations, hosted an AYAD
  • More than 4000 returned AYADs are part of Scope’s Australian Volunteers Alumni Community
  • More than 350 Australian organisations supported one or more young Australians on their volunteering journey

 

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