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Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Internships (2 opportunities)

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Legal - Broad
    • Legal - International Law
    • Political Affairs
    • Communication and Public Information
  • Closing Date:

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This posting is for two internships.

The International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) Policy and Advocacy Team advocates for protecting and aiding refugees, the displaced, asylum-seekers, and other victims of conflict. The Policy and Advocacy team carries out, coordinates, and provides guidance on a wide variety of domestic and international advocacy initiatives, including expert briefings, public outreach and education, and communication with the media. IRC advocates represent the IRC with legislative and executive branches of the US government, the media, NGO partner agencies and coalitions, the United Nations, and international financial institutions such as the World Bank. Learn more about the IRC’s Policy and Advocacy team here:


The Policy and Advocacy team seeks two students for the role of Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Intern. One intern is being sought to work with the Humanitarian Aid team; topics that may come up during the internship include solutions to protracted displacement, the Sustainable Development Goals, World Bank financing for refugee hosting nations, and broader humanitarian system and aid reforms.

A second intern is being sought to work with the International team; topics that may come during the internship include a range of humanitarian crises and conflicts, such as those in Yemen, Syria, and Venezuela, among others, as well as global trends and themes related to civilian protection, COVID-19 and humanitarian responses.

Due to COVID-19, this internship will be remote. Despite a remote environment, the intern can nonetheless expect to be fully embedded within the P&A team through a close supervisory relationship with regular check-in meetings and participation in team-wide meetings. The IRC will provide a laptop for internship use in the case that interns do not have access to a computer.


•Conduct research on humanitarian aid effectiveness and reform, ongoing conflicts and crises, and new policy developments and provide written analysis to staff.

•Produce a weekly tracker of press articles, reports and upcoming meetings, events and hearings related to select conflicts/crises and humanitarian aid.

•Attend meetings and events with and on behalf of senior staff, including NGO coalition meetings and congressional hearings, take detailed notes and report back.

•Draft, edit and format policy and advocacy materials such as talking points for meetings, briefs and reports for distribution to key stakeholders.

•Other duties and tasks as assigned related to research, writing, analysis, and advocacy.

Learning Outcomes:

•Will gain experience in policy writing with an advocacy focus.

•Will learn about complex system of factors affecting policy at international and national levels.

•Will have an opportunity to observe and interact with different NGO partners and IRC staff involved in advocacy and policy decisions.

•Will network within the NGO community.

•Will gain a deeper understanding of specific humanitarian crises and the NGO, UN and governmental responses.

•Will learn about process of coordinating advocacy across an international NGO.


•Available to work a minimum of 20 hours per week, for a minimum of 14 weeks between September and December (during the Fall school semester).

•Currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program.

Ideal Qualifications:

•Solid writing, editing, and research skills with a focus on details.

•Interest in and familiarity with humanitarian aid, refugee issues, and humanitarian crises.

•Ability to multi-task and prioritize in a fast-paced work environment.

•Solid computer skills: able to work effectively and accurately with MS Outlook, Word, Excel, email, and internet applications.

•Flexible work attitude: able to work productively in a team environment as well as under minimal supervision, taking the initiative to ask questions as needed.

•Commitment to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the humanitarian field.

•Lived experience with conflict or crisis-driven displacement, resettlement, asylum, immigration or migration is an asset in this role

Application requirements:

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume and 2-4 page writing sample, preferably on a topic relating to global refugee issues, humanitarian aid or conflict and crisis. Please clearly indicate if you have a preference for an internship with the Humanitarian Aid team or with the International team in your cover letter.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Due to the high volume of applications, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.


•Please note that this internship is unpaid but includes a reimbursement of up to $25 per day.

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct.These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability.In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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