What is VOCTEC?

The Vocational Training and Education for Clean Energy (VOCTEC) is new program by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that aims to improve sustainability of renewable energy infrastructure in developing countries by increasing awareness, knowledge and capacity of local stakeholders to operate and maintain decentralized clean energy systems. The program is implemented under the leadership of Arizona State University together with its partners from Appalachian State University and Green Empowerment, and focuses mainly on solar, wind, and micro-hydro energy systems.

Why is VOCTEC important?

An abundant supply of renewable energy is critical for the health and well-being of any nation and its people. Clean energy drives low emission economic growth and prosperity, but in order to build and maintain the infrastructure for clean energy, a nation must ensure that those who manage and operate its facilities have the skills necessary for the job and the ability to transfer those skills to future generations as time and technology progresses. Many clean energy investment projects in developing countries, however, fail because their beneficiaries lack the knowledge, training and capacity to install, operate and maintain these systems. VOCTEC addresses these critical issues by increasing awareness, knowledge and capacity of local stakeholders in developing countries.

What does VOCTEC provide?

The VOCTEC program embraces the concept that the sustainability of renewable energy infrastructures in any community is a social issue with a technical component, rather than the other way around. The program designs and delivers customized in-country multi-tier training and educational programs aimed at multiple levels, including short term training for skilled workers, longer term training for educators and engineers, and energy policy workshops aimed at community leaders and policy makers. Every individual training program is customized and localized to the respective country's requirements and fully implemented and delivered in close coordination with the local USAID mission. Other training modules and support services include gender sensitivity training to achieve maximum access and participation among women in vocational education and subsequent employment; in-country training facilities development; and certification and accreditation support for in-country and regional institutions and organizations. In addition, an online learning, collaboration and dissemination platform, which builds off of a unique technological and educational infrastructure, promotes best practices and analysis of outcomes and experiences.

What renewable energy technologies are considered?

The technological focus is of the VOCTEC program is on the design, installation, operation and maintenance of distributed energy systems, specifically on solar PV, micro-hydro, wind systems, and hybrid systems, utilizing one or more of these three technologies along with fossil-fueled generators.

Who can benefit from the VOCTEC program?

The program is open to all developing nations in which USAID provides assistance either through in-country missions or regional offices. We have been working with various USAID missions in developing countries in Latin America, Africa, South-East Asia and other regions.

How to participate in the VOCTEC program?

As an interested country or party, please work closely with the local USAID mission or regional USAID office or contact the VOCTEC program office for project inquiries. The USAID Mission or regional USAID office will send a detailed request to the VOCTEC program office and the USAID VOCTEC Agreement Officer's Technical Representative (AOTR) outlining the scope of work, available budget and any specific requirements desired. The AOTR and VOCTEC team will work with the Mission to reach an agreement on the program description, budget, and level of effort. Subsequently the USAID Mission funding the activity will issue an Associate Award to Arizona State University. These Associate Awards are quickly and easily executed, as they have been pre-competed through the leadership with associates (LWA) award. The Associate Awards are directly managed by the USAID Mission, have budget and reporting requirements separate from core funding requirements, can be created anytime during the life of the LWA award (which ends in April 2016) and may last up to five years.

Where can I get more information about VOCTEC?

For more information or any VOCTEC related inquiries, please contact the VOCTEC program office either by using the web-based inquiry form, by email or by phone.