Rurality stories: How we recruit our field officers

Rurality country coordinator, Prasad Vasudevon, shares his thoughts about an interview conducted to find the next Rurality field officers to be based in Sabah, Malaysia. 

About 3 months ago, Prasad together with Marianne, our senior Manager from Switzerland, conducted interview sessions in Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu Malaysia. After receiving more than 150 applications, they selected 26 people for a phone interview and then reduced this number to 8 potential candidates to meet personally. All of them, locals from the state of Sabah, attended the one day interview with our country coordinator and senior manager. They were able to give a good overview of their personalities and motivations through a less formal interview.

group activity

The session started with activities to break the ice, presentations about TFT and Rurality, as well as individual introductions. During a fun group activity, the candidates had to work together to build a “wonder gadget” with whatever objects they had with them. They designed a device that would sort out the Fresh Fruits Bunches (FFB)’s quality, and identify pesticides that are harmful to the environment.



Although it was just a model, it was nice to see the creativity and innovation that show up when a group of young people come together to discuss solutions to worldwide challenges” Prasad says. Spending a whole day there made it possible for individual interviews, allowing to gather some more personal thoughts from the candidates.

Following these sessions, two new field officers, Lisa Yambau and Lakarim Lanika joined the Rurality Malaysian team in 2016! They are currently working with palmoil smallholders in Sabah.

malaysian team

Lisa has a Bachelor in Arts (Social Sciences) with a Major in Sociology and Social Anthropology. She has experience in Social Impact Assessment for development projects (housing development, quarry, sand mining, esplanade, jetty, government’s building, palm oil, rubber estates, logging, roads construction & forest reserves).

Lakarim has a Masters degree in Wood Science and Technology. He was working at the KLK (Kuala Lumpur Kepong) company as an assistant manager in upkeep and maintenance (harvesting, FFB, ect…).

Welcome to Rurality!