To strengthen IICA’s technical cooperation through professional visits that enable specialists from academic or research institutions, international centers, government organizations, private-sector entities and non-governmental organizations to share knowledge and experiences with the Institute, with the aim of fostering agricultural competitiveness and sustainability, as well as improving living conditions for rural dwellers in IICA member countries.
A “professional visit” will be understood to be a period during which a professional from an academic, scientific or research institution, a governmental organization or a private or non-governmental international organization, will collaborate, either in the member countries or at IICA Headquarters, on a program or project implemented by IICA, and will be incorporated into the Institute’s activities during a fixed period of time.
There are four different types of visiting professionals. Depending on the participant’s profile, the characteristics of the professional visit that will be conducted, and the amount of resources that may be allocated, the participant will be categorized as one of the following:
A professional who holds a doctoral or master’s degree in areas directly related to agriculture and addressed in IICA’s 2014-2018 Medium-term Plan. This type of professional visit may be carried out in any of IICA’s member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), with a duration of three to twelve months (longer visits will be prioritized). Associate professionals must be related, in one way or another, to institutes with which the Institute has signed agreements and will be individuals with experience, who will participate directly in an IICA technical cooperation project during their visit and will receive financial/logistical support from IICA or other external funding sources.
A professional who wishes to carry out a short applied research project, or a science-related doctoral or master’s thesis project while collaborating with IICA. The student’s area of specialization and research must coincide with the Institute’s needs and priority areas of work. IICA enables post-graduate students to become immersed in the reality of the LAC region while preparing their thesis projects; at the same time, the Institute benefits from students’ capacities. The duration of this type of professional visit is defined by agreement with the technical or cross-cutting program involved. The visit may be carried out at Headquarters or in any IICA member country in LAC. The post-graduate student will work under the supervision of an IICA professional, and his or her responsibilities will be clearly defined. This type of visit enables IICA to offer the necessary conditions to facilitate the students’ work and research.
A scientist or student who wishes to participate in this initiative, and for whom the conditions of the visit will be defined on a case-by-case basis. This type of visit does not require IICA funding, and may apply to scientists and upper-level university students who are willing to carry out voluntary work in priority areas or topics of interest to the Institute. The visit may be carried out at Headquarters or in any IICA member country in LAC.
An IICA retiree who, either voluntarily or in exchange for financial compensation, wishes to share knowledge and experiences in topics prioritized by the Institute. The professional visit may be carried out at Headquarters or in any IICA member country.
Candidates are selected based on their professional experience and their ability to contribute their knowledge and experience with the aim of strengthening the technical cooperation that IICA offers to its member countries in LAC, within the framework of the 2014-2018 MTP, program-specific projects, and the IICA Country Strategies. Consequently, candidates will be selected based on the fulfillment of at least one of the following criteria:
The selection process will include a review of the candidate’s background (which will be contrasted with proposed objectives) and an evaluation of his or her competencies and professional and academic background. All candidates must also have international medical insurance.
All selected participants will sign an agreement with IICA that establishes the objectives of the professional visit, the responsibilities of both parties, the unit or program to which the participant will be assigned, and the person responsible for supervising the professional visit.
Depending on the type of professional visit and in order to ensure that it will be successful, IICA can offer participants some or all of the following benefits:
Note: Any other specific benefit would be granted by the Director General.p>
The Center for the Promotion of Technical Capabilities and Leadership will be responsible for coordinating the process of monitoring and evaluating each professional visit. The corresponding unit will conduct the evaluation for internal purposes, in order to determine if the professional made the expected contributions, in accordance with the terms that were agreed upon. If requested by the organization to which the professional belongs, the unit will also complete and submit a report, following the requested format.
Additionally, if applicable, the unit that hosted the professional will recommend that the specialist be incorporated into IICA’s database, so that he or she may be taken into consideration for future consultancy opportunities.
Once the professional visit has ended, and for quality-control purposes, the participant will be asked to submit a technical document on the research and activities that were carried out, or a report on the activities that were developed.
CTL will be responsible for following up on and monitoring professional visits as a whole and within each modality, in order to identify lessons learned, successful experiences and best practices, as well as to promote adjustments and provide necessary information and input to facilitate decision-making.