U.S. FOREIGN ASSISTANCE DATA INTERNSHIP

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InterAction
Published
January 8, 2019
Location
Washington, D.C.
Category
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
Entry Level
Education (minimum)
Bachelor's
Travel Required?
Not specified
Base Salary
Not specified

Description

InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations with a combined donor base of $15 billion annually. Members operate in every developing country and advocate for global change to overcome poverty, exclusion, and suffering by advancing social justice and basic dignity for all. Located in Washington, D.C., InterAction aims to give each of its members the collective power to speak and act on issues of common concern.
InterAction’s Policy Team is seeking two highly motivated students or recent graduates to intern in our Washington, D.C. office to specifically support our work advocating for the U.S. foreign assistance budget. One position is for Winter (February-May 2019) and the other is for Summer (May-August 2019).
While the U.S. foreign assistance budget is less than 1% of the total federal budget, the American public believes that it is more than 28%, thereby reducing Congressional support for critical life-saving international development and humanitarian work. This is, in part, the result of a lack of effective messaging around what foreign assistance is, how it affects the lives of everyday Americans and the constituencies overseas that they care about, and how much of their taxpayer dollars go to these causes. In the second year of 30% proposed budget cuts under the Trump Administration, InterAction seeks to expand its work on data sharing and visualization to improve public perceptions and the positions of members of Congress on this topic.
InterAction’s Public Policy team offers internship opportunities to motivated individuals with a passion for global change. Our team advocates for the public policy priorities of InterAction and its members, primarily with the U.S. Congress and executive branch. The team helps coordinate the policy positions of InterAction members through leadership in several working groups and initiatives. Specifically, the Public Policy Team leads the organization’s work on:

• Budget and Appropriations: The Public Policy Committee (PPC) is the central working group for InterAction’s coalition-wide public policy work. The PPC focuses a great deal on budget and appropriations work and is a forum for information exchange on the full range of policy issues affecting our members.
Democracy, Rights, and Governance Initiative (DRG): The initiative brings together leaders of the DRG community to facilitate collective engagement in the promotion of democracy, human rights, and good governance as a necessary foundation for sustainable development. It seeks to elevate DRG as a key goal of foreign assistance; garner public and private financial support for DRG policy and initiatives; advocate for the use of assistance mechanisms as the primarily method for DRG programming; and engage policymakers on how DRG helps achieve a more peaceful and prosperous world.
• Food Security and Agriculture: The working group supports and strengthens US NGOs that are active in advocacy for international agricultural development and global food security. It focuses on Congressional advocacy to ensure investments are sustained and ideally increased, and that US policy on these issues remains strong and inclusive of US NGO goals and expertise.
• Global Health and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH): These working groups seek to strengthen the “how to” of health delivery and improve US government policies related to WASH. The Global Health working group looks for ways to integrate health across other development sectors, incorporate field perspectives and elevate the health agenda in crisis situations. The WASH group works hard to encourage partnership among private, public and non-profit donors in the water sector.
• Humanitarian Policy and Practice Advocacy: The Public Policy Team’s hill-focused advocacy on humanitarian issues is coordinated with InterAction’s Humanitarian Policy and Practice Team. Together, efforts assure that life-saving assistance is delivered to vulnerable people facing protracted crises or natural disasters. The working groups coordinate multiple NGO’s work on multiple country-based crises, sector-wide focus areas, and develop advocacy strategies with the U.S. government, multilateral institutions, and foreign governments.
Responsibilities for the U.S. Foreign Assistance Data Intern will include:

• Work closely with InterAction’s foreign assistance budget expert to research and examine data regarding U.S. foreign assistance and the federal budget;
• Research and apply ways of organizing large batches of historical data to make it interoperable with a Content Management System (i.e. Salesforce);
• Update a data organization system for 50+ poverty-focused foreign assistance accounts that can be transferred to a Content Management System;
• Explore and present different ways to visualize the data for policy-influencing purposes;
• Identify additional ways that InterAction’s budget data can be shared with a variety of stakeholders, including member NGOs, members of Congress, etc.;
• Attend, summarize, and pick up on action items in budget-related meetings with InterAction members;
• As needed, provide administrative support for meetings and briefings at InterAction and on Capitol Hill, including scheduling, tracking RSVPs, developing and assembling materials, supporting staff in preparing refreshments, ordering catering, and writing summaries of the proceedings;
• Other duties as desired or assigned.
During the internship, you can expect to acquire the following knowledge and skills:
• Improved knowledge of how to translate technical information into meaningful policy change;
• Familiarity with advocacy strategy development and implementation;
• Experience in using strategic data sharing as an advocacy tactic;
• Increased knowledge of the appropriations process on Capitol Hill and members of Congress’ positions on the U.S. foreign assistance budget;
• Exposure to managing fast-paced coalition politics and trade-offs amongst a large consortium of non-profit organizations;
• Familiarity with tools available for Congressional research;
• Professional development support in the form of informational interviews with staff, feedback on resume as requested, networking opportunities, access to meetings and events.

Qualifications of the ideal candidate:
• Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, political science, social science, design, international development, public policy, or a related field;
• Currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in a related field;
• Able to commit to at least 3 days a week of work (24 hours per week), with preference for those who can work full time (40 hours per week);
• Fluency in Microsoft Office Suite, especially Excel, and basic familiarity with Salesforce or similar content management systems, additional computer skills in developing mobile apps, graphic design, or related software a plus;
• Basic knowledge of how legislation gets passed within U.S. Congress;
• High degree of comfort in working with large amounts of information, and patience to synthesize it into understandable forms for non-technical audiences;
• Self-starter and self-motivated;
• Interest or curiosity in how to use data to affect systems-level change;
• Demonstrated ability to manage tasks and meet deadlines;
• Commitment to teamwork, good interpersonal skills, can-do positive attitude, and professional etiquette.

To apply, please send a resume, cover letter and writing sample to ldoyle@interaction.org. Please put “U.S. Foreign Assistance Data Intern Winter OR Summer – YOUR NAME” in the Subject line of the email. Please specify which term you are applying for, either winter (February-May) or summer (May-August).

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