Business and Operations Advisor


Position: Business and Operations Advisor

Location: Swaziland - Mbabane

Partner: Swaziland Fair Trade - SWIFT 

Starting: August 2018

Duration: 12 Months

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Crossroads International is an international development organization that is working towards reducing poverty and increasing women’s rights around the world. Working with local partners supported by hundreds of volunteers each year, Crossroads leverages expertise and resources, North and South, required to help people overcome poverty and assert their human rights.


Based in Swaziland, Swaziland Fair TradeSWIFT – has entered a partnership with Crossorads since 2015.  SWIFT is composed of companies who produce high quality, high design handcraft in Swaziland. 

SWIFT has a clear mandate to assist and facilitate our membership with capacity building, increased sales, job creation and increasing producer incomes. During key Director interviews with our members it became clear that many of the business owners are so busy “operating” the business that key foundational tasks such as costing, measuring profit margins and production flows are neglected. This can cause serious operational issues especially around cash flow and sustainability.SWIFT would like to implement volunteer mandates whereby two volunteer work separately one with 4-6 SWIFT Level 3 and one with 4-6 Level 2 members.Key project task would  include a proper costs analysis by product, strategies to assist the members to be profitable and a costing manual to be created for each member. 

Members are  looking to perform an in-depth time and motion study for the production of products. The time and motion study would cover all the steps in the production. The aim of the project is two-fold; number one is to improve the current piece rate we pay to our artisans, by having information of the actual time it takes to produce a product. The second aim is to gather information on the timing of our production, and to use this information in developing a new system for payment of the artisans. Where the business works with productions targets for the team as a whole, as opposed to individual piece rate. The second aim is a long term project, and this would be the first step in gathering information.

Mandate historical context:  Swaziland Fair Tarde represents 77 members ranging from Level 0 – who have a marketable product but are not as yet a formal business, Level 1 who are a registered company and have local domestic sales, Level 2 regional or international exporters with a minimum of ten staff and Level 3 large scale exporting companies with sales of more than one million Emalangeni (South African Rand)Our mandate is training, trade and advocacy for our members as well as the promotion and advocacy of Fair Tarde principles.One of the best ways to reach an international audience is a dedicated, well planned and well thought social media strategy which will elevate SWIFT’s reach.



Main responsibilities include: 

  • Cost analysis of member products
  • Creation of a costing manual for each company
  • Best practices training at the end of each placement to capacitate other SWIFT members
    • Working together with the artisans on a day to day basis recording the work that is undertaken
    • Use both quantitative (time recording) and qualitative (diary recording, observation) methods to get an insight into the efficiency and working habits of artisans
    • Systematic recording of the work produced in the production departments
  • At the start of the placement the volunteer would work together with the Managing Director to develop the tools for the time and motion study

Results linked to the mandate:


Each member would undergo a complete cost analysis to ensure profitability and eliminate costly products from the offering resulting in increased cash flow and profit margins. A costing and pricing manual for each member would be produced.


  • Time and motion study from departments; production
  • Update piece rate for the departments, to reflect the actual working hours per product
  • Understand the efficiency of the production, and if there is room for growth with the workforce we have, or if there is a need to hire more artisans
  • Presentation of the findings, which management will use for further development of the payment structure
  • Presentation of findings as a best practices session for other Level 2 or 3 members at the end of each placement



Qualification criteria for selection include:


  • Degree in business, operations or other relevant field
  • Minimum 5 years work experience
  • Readiness to deal with change
  • Ability and willingness to work in rural areas and willingness to work in a non-Canadian socio-cultural and professional settings


Eligibility criteria:


  • Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada
  • Must be 19 years and older
  • Willing to conduct fundraising and public engagement activities before, during and after the placement
  • In good physical and mental health (medical examination required)

Personalized support before, during and after the mandate provided by an experienced and welcoming team. The Crossroads' experience includes the following:


  • Daily living allowance (depending of the country of assignment)
  • Plane ticket and local transport
  • Medical insurance and vaccinations
  • Pre-departure training and re-orientation upon return


To apply for this position, we kindly ask that you fill out Crossroads' online application form.

Please contact our Program officer - Volunteering if you have any question: simidele@cintl.org

We thank all applicants but only those selected for interviews will be contacted


Crossroads International gratefully acknowledges the support of: