INTERNSHIP TITLE: Policy and Advocacy Intern
INTERN WORKSITE LOCATION : Washington, DC Office
DATES OF INTERNSHIP: January 2024 - May 2024
HOURS PER WEEK: 32 hours/week
INTERNS SUPERVISOR & CONTACT INFORMATION:
2 roles with same title and responsibilities, but with separate supervisors - Policy Advisor
FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR THE INTERNSHIP: $2600/month
Mercy Corps responsibilities
For the duration of this internship assignment the intern will receive:
- Training and supervisory support
- Access to Mercy Corps online tools
- Access to the Mercy Corps office during work hours
- All other tools, materials and communication requirements for this project
Intern will remain responsible for all costs associated with:
- Laptop for working remotely
- Accommodation, travel and living expenses
PROJECT DESCRIPTION :
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
The Mercy Corps Policy and Advocacy team serves as the main interface between Mercy Corps and external partners (particularly the U.S. government) on issues of foreign policy. The team seeks to advance Mercy Corps’ values and interests by promoting policies that support our mission. We work to inform and shape policy in a number of ways, including:
- Congressional Advocacy : direct meetings with key U.S. House and Senate offices, participation in briefings and hearings, review and commenting on draft legislation, active participation in discussions related to the foreign aid budget and relevant foreign policy issues, and linking Members of Congress who are traveling with our teams in the field.
- Administration Advocacy : meetings with Administration offices such as in the State Department, USAID, the National Security Council, etc., ongoing communication with key partner agencies in the US government on foreign assistance, participation in joint consultations and briefings together with partner NGOs in DC.
- Joint work with NGO partners : active participation in coalition working groups and other coalition efforts organized in DC on priority issues or countries for Mercy Corps, drafting of joint documents, organizing joint lobby days on Capitol Hill.
- Organizing DC visits for visiting Mercy Corps field staff : scheduling relevant policy & advocacy meetings for visiting staff and accompanying them to ensure adequate preparation and follow up to these visits.
- Publications : preparing and disseminating policy briefs on key issues, circulating information on Mercy Corps programs to key policy makers, participating in joint documents and sign-ons with other NGOs, working with field staff to draft joint articles on policy-related issues for publication.
The intern(s) will support and participate in the work of the Policy and Advocacy team. Areas of focus may include:
- Supporting internal strategizing regarding U.S. federal actions and broader strategic planning for campaigning and advocacy, including summarizing reports, briefings, and hearings.
- Supporting the preparation of briefings, presentations, graphics, databases/spreadsheets and memos.
- Improving a robust and principled humanitarian response to the various crises.
- Reviewing, summarizing, and categorizing relevant news articles.
- Thematic topics, such as food security; peace and governance; climate; and humanitarian assistance.
- Understanding the linkage between international policy, programming and outcomes in the humanitarian and development field.
- Understanding core elements of the U.S. policy process, including the roles of Congress, USAID, State, and the White House in development policy-making.
- Knowledge of key qualitative and quantitative resources related to U.S. development policy.
- Understanding specific policy issues, as listed above, or according to the interests of the intern.
The Intern will support the PA team through the following activities:
- Conduct policy and practice analysis in support of Mercy Corps advocacy initiatives
- Assist in drafting advocacy documents such as reports, briefing notes, talking points, petitions, social media, or factsheets on relevant policy issues
- Attend meetings and Congressional hearings of interest to Mercy Corps and report back on key issues
- Assist in organizing meetings with Congressional offices, Administration officials, and other contacts, and in maintaining a database of key interactions
- Review external and internal reports and publications and summarize relevant findings
- Assist in communicating policy and advocacy updates to the broader Mercy Corps community through Mercy Corps’ intranet system, weekly newsletter, and website
- Coordinate with other Mercy Corps teams, such as Research & Learning, Technical Support Unit, Communications, and select country teams
Students interested in this internship should submit a resume and a cover letter . In your letter, you are encouraged to discuss any experiences relevant to the projects outlined. You may wish to describe your career interests (specifically as they relate to policy and advocacy, humanitarian aid, or development) and discuss your previous work and educational experiences demonstrating these interests. A short additional writing sample (under five pages) is preferable, but not required.
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE:
The Policy and Advocacy is seeking an intern to support the breadth of the team’s portfolio. If qualified, the intern may have the opportunity to specialize in one or more areas, though engagement in all areas will be expected.
All interns should have the following core qualifications:
- University degree in progress or recently completed (within 1 year) in relevant discipline in International Relations, Public Policy, Public Administration, International Development, or related field
- Availability to serve in the role at a full time rate of 32 hours per week, at least partially during the work day, and at least one day a week in person at Mercy Corps’ Washington, DC office.
- Interest in humanitarian and development issues and policy and advocacy
- Background in policy, international development, and/or international relations
- Demonstrated solid writing, editing, and researching skills
- Ability to multi-task and prioritize in a fast-paced work environment
- Solid computer skills: must be able to work effectively and accurately with MS Word, Excel, Google applications, and email
- Flexible work attitude: able to work productively in a team environment and independently
Potential qualifications for portfolio-specific interests are below (not required, but preferred):
- Previous Administration or Capitol Hill experience or knowledge of Congressional processes, or campaigning for electoral candidates or issues
- Other specific thematic expertise in food security, climate, peace and governance, or humanitarian assistance
- Regional expertise in the countries where Mercy Corps operates
Mercy Corps interns represent the agency both during and outside of work hours and are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Mercy Corps Diversity Statement
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme . We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
As part of our commitment to keeping our community safe and providing a safe working environment, Mercy Corps has a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for US interns based in Mercy Corps US HQ offices. Interns must be fully vaccinated per CDC requirement or have an approved exception, either (1) sincerely held religious convictions, or (2) a disability that prevents them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination and comply with regular testing, within 10 business days of starting. Failure to comply may impact your internship.
Mercy Corps Headquarters: 45 SW Ankeny Street, Portland, Oregon 97204
Mercy Corps : https://www.mercycorps.org/
In your statement, you are encouraged to discuss any relevant experience, and demonstrate your interest. Your application will be reviewed by the Mercy Corps team and shortlisted candidates will be contacted directly for interviews.
WEB SERVICES: Interns are automatically provided and Mercy Corps email address, as well as access to The Hub, Workplace and the Digital Library .