Health managers

Good managers are the invisible heroes of quality healthcare. That's no less true in the developing world than it is in the UK.
Roles are generally longer term, ranging from one to two years, but we also have occasional short term assignments for up to six months.

For most roles you’ll need to have at least three years' experience at mid-to-senior management level in a primary care organisation, NHS Trust or Health Board, or private healthcare provider (five years experience in the case of short-term placements).

You’ll need to have experience of managing strategy, people and budgets. For some roles, you’ll need public health experience, especially experience in health improvement.

What you’ll be doing

You could be working to develop hospital management systems, facilitate staff development, and help colleagues with strategic planning and resource management. Or you might assist a district health authority to better coordinate and manage community-level initiatives. 

Whatever form your placement takes, you’ll be strengthening systems that save lives.

  • Example role

Please note this is just an example placement to illustrate the kind of roles that may come up in your skill area. To view our live roles, click ‘Get started’ below.

Health centre management adviser

Although Cambodia today is enjoying peace and stability, the country is still recovering from war, displacement and the massive depletion of its human resource base during the Khmer Rouge period. Health indicators in Cambodia are poor compared to the rest of South East Asia. Often, illness and death occur from conditions that are preventable or treatable. The government lacks the professional skills needed to develop public health services and staff are poorly trained. Cambodia has an urgent need for qualified health professionals and improved management of health services.

As a management adviser at Samrong Referral Hospital, you’ll strengthen the management capacity of the hospital and surrounding health centres, and increase the accessibility and quality of health services in this rural province.

What you'll be doing

  • Working closely with the hospital director, mentoring and advising staff on all aspects of hospital and health centre management
  • Assisting with the development and review of the annual operational plan
  • Supporting the director and senior staff in human resource management, project implementation and planning, monitoring and evaluation
  • Working with the hospital and surrounding health centres to improve referral systems

What you'll need

You’ll need a degree-level qualification and at least three years’ experience in a senior management role within the health sector. Broad management skills and practical experience of human resource management, financial and project management is also essential. You’ll need the ability to work on your own initiative with little supervision and have excellent communication and inter-personal skills.

Most senior staff will speak basic English or French, but a willingness to learn the Khmer language will greatly enhance your working and social relationships with colleagues. You’ll need to be patient, flexible and sensitive to the new culture you’re living and working in. A sense of adventure is also beneficial, as you’ll be visiting other health centres in the area by motorbike! (CUSO-VSO will provide training.)

And the rest...

Cambodia is a small country in South East Asia, bordered in the west by Thailand, in the east by Vietnam and in the north by Laos. Most of the country’s area is flat and only 10-30 metres above sea level. You’ll be based in the quiet town of Samrong in north-western Oddor Meanchey Province, one of the most beautiful but disadvantaged areas of Cambodia, where the population suffers a high rate of preventable morbidity.

We’ll ask you to commit to 24 months to understand the challenges on the ground and make a sustainable contribution. In return, we’ll give you comprehensive financial, personal and professional support. We'll provide you with extensive training before your placement, and our financial package includes a local living allowance, return flights, accommodation, health insurance and more. When you return home, we'll help you to resettle and many of our returned volunteers stay involved with us long after their placement ends.

Next steps

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Empowering women in Tajikistan

Volunteer and business woman (Tajikistan - Secure livelihoods)

Economic opportunities are limited in Tajikistan so large numbers of men are leaving the country to find work abroad. According to official estimates, approximately one seventh of Tajikistan’s population works abroad, leaving almost as many women to support family by themselves. These women are in urgent need of work but lack the skills and opportunities to make a decent living.



What skills do volunteers need?

It’s vital you’re experienced in your professional field and able to train and advise colleagues in your area of expertise.