Seven x AfID volunteer Julie Anderson celebrated by CIPFA28.03.2019

International opportunities

Volunteer engaging with local customs in UgandaAccounting for International Development (AfID) offers CIPFA members the opportunity to use their skills to support a broad range of nonprofits globally. Volunteer assignments from two weeks to 12 months form part of AfID’s ongoing strategy to build the financial management capacity of organisations in more than 50 countries.


We caught up with CIPFA member Julie Anderson, Finance Manager at NHS Grampian, Aberdeen, and longstanding AfID volunteer since 2012.


“I first volunteered as part of a career break, using my employer’s career break policy, when travelling and doing something different was my motivation. I now volunteer during my annual leave as the satisfaction and enjoyment I take from each assignment means so much to me,” Julie said.


Through various assignments, from three weeks to six months, Julie has supported a range of education, community empowerment, democracy, health and social enterprise organisations in India, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Vietnam, Malawi and most recently spent her seventh AfID assignment supporting a centre for children with disabilities in Uganda.


“Volunteering has been a very rewarding experience with so many exciting adventures that make a difference.”


Last November, Julie spent four weeks supporting Kyaninga Child Development Centre (KCDC) in Uganda. The organisation works to fill a gap in established health care provision by providing community-based physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Her role was to
share knowledge, experience and good practice tools to develop the finance skills of staff.


“The breadth of skills and experience developed while working in the public sector as a CIPFA accountant have been invaluable when tackling the challenges of the organisations I have worked with through AfID.”


She supported the team by reviewing the robustness of financial governance and reporting; mentoring on preparing for and managing external  audit; upgrading the financial system; training staff on the financial system and Excel; and advising on strategy and policy developments.


“This has developed me as a person and has stretched my skills in a way that no training course could provide. My employer has a more rounded and resilient employee who adapts easily to the challenges their role throws at them.


“I gain so much from each experience that undertaking volunteer assignments is now part of my life. Being a better employee and a global citizen is a bonus that I believe benefits all.”


AfID has now arranged assignments for over 1,300 accountants from 50 countries, providing over 250,000 hours of one-to-one support to more than 500 non-profit partners globally.


Original article featured in the March 2019 edition of CIPFA's Spreadsheet Magazine.