Lao Hamutuk

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Policy on international volunteers at Lao Hamutuk

Lao Hamutuk appreciates the interest of international volunteers in working with us to support equitable and democratic development in Timor-Leste. Such an experience can be rewarding and productive for both Lao Hamutuk and the volunteer.

However, our experience with international volunteers over many years has prompted us to establish guidelines and mechanisms for selecting and working with volunteers. We are a relatively small organization with a principal focus on building the capacity of Timorese people to do the kind of work we do, so we are fairly selective regarding international interns or volunteers. We want people who will be able to work effectively and share skills quickly, and who will not require a lot of support or training. Although all of our staff speak some English, Tetum is the working language in our office and Bahasa Indonesia is understood by most.

Receiving a volunteer requires similar non-monetary support to receiving a new staff member. While the compensation is obviously different, the requirements and skills we look for are essentially the same, and the application process is almost identical. You can read it at

We accept two categories of volunteers:

1. Participation as a full staff member (we are a non-hierarchical collective)

The person must commit to at least 30 hours/week, and share in all the responsibilities of LH staff -- learning Tetum, participating in staff meetings, helping with administrative work, etc. They must commit to stay for at least three months, and sign a contract.

2. Participation focused on a particular topic.

This can be full-time or part-time. They don't have to participate in staff meetings, but can do so if they wish to. They can focus on one or two areas of research, but don't have administrative responsibilities. For a very capable person (i.e., someone with language skills who has lived in Timor-Leste previously) we could accept a commitment as short as two weeks, but it is better for a month or more.

All volunteers must be ready to help with La'o Hamutuk's work, and must understand and agree with our mission, vision, priorities and activities. They should represent LH well when they meet with others. LH will assign a staff person to work with each volunteer and coordinate her/his work, and all staff will help as necessary. LH can pay expenses relating to volunteers' work with LH, but not travel costs. When volunteers use LH's resources or equipment, they have the same responsibilities as other staff.

Further information about Lao Hamutuks work, including our annual reports which describe our mission and work, is available on our website.

If you are interested in interning here, send us a cover letter, CV, writing sample and references to, and we will interview you and consider your application.

Thank you.

The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (Lao Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua D. Alberto Ricardo, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
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