Christopher Banks

Impact: Our Volunteer

Chris, an Economics and International Relations graduate, wanted to get experience of working overseas and an insight into development. Chris gained valuable experience of working with donors and fundraising, as well as significant technical expertise. 

Impact: The Placement

MTDS needed help with donor relations, fundraising and project support. As a result of Chris' placement MTDS gained significant funding to develop their projects and a toolkit for future communications and funding applications. 


2Way Development Volunteer: Chris Banks

Before volunteering with 2Way Development, Chris had gained a degree in International Relations and Economics, and had developed his French language skills. He had also gained experience in management, marketing and strategic planning through a position as a business development executive and work experience at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

He was motivated to volunteer by a desire to live overseas and to explore the opportunities for working in the international development sector. Chris wanted to work in a small, growing organisation and to gain a real insight into local development work. 

The Match

Chris’ business experience, French language skills and desire to work in a growing organisation making a real impact meant that he was a good match for MTDS and he joined them on a six month placement in 2009. He spent his time writing funding proposals, managing partner and donor relations and supporting existing projects. He highlights this variety as one of the best aspects of his placement: “I was given the freedom to work in several capacities and to learn new skills.”

Impact: Chris’s Career Progression

After his placement, Chris went on to study for a Master’s in Industry, Trade and Development and now works as a Business Change Analyst for Deutsche Bank, which involves applying his academic and theoretical knowledge as well as using the skills he learned during his placement. He commented: “categorically, yes, my placement helped me to get my current job.” In the long term, Chris is hoping to apply the skills and knowledge he has developed during his time in financial services to the development sector, specifically trade facilitation and private-sector development. 


“Volunteering in this capacity is one of the best things you can do.” 

“I really believe that it’s when you push yourself out of your comfort zone you get the best experience.”

2Way Development Partner: Morocco Trade and Development Services

Morocco Trade and Development Services (MTDS) was founded in 1993. It focuses on ‘ICT for development’, meaning that it uses its technological expertise to create solutions to social challenges, such as education, human rights and knowledge-sharing within civil society.

MTDS achieves its objectives mainly through the foundation and management of the following web portals: 

  • Education: is a community web-portal designed to improve education in Morocco by facilitating the exchange of ideas, information and dialogue within the education sector.
  • Youth support: is web portal created to help young Moroccans enter the job market by giving them information and support during their orientation, training and job search.
  • Civil Society: is a platform for Moroccan civil society to share information and exchange ideas. Government agencies, private companies, civil society organisations and the public can combine to form partnerships and achieve socio-economic improvements. 

Impact: The Placement

  • Chris submitted a number of proposals, and was successful in gaining 300,000 DH (approximately £22,000) of funding for the project.
  • He created a database of funding organisations for MTDS and a toolkit for future funding applications.
  • Chris also learned a range of IT skills during his time at MTDS and helped with project support.