The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)

Placement: Stockholm

About the organization

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance - International IDEA - is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. Its objective is to strengthen democratic institutions and processes. International IDEA acts as a catalyst for democracy building by providing knowledge resources, policy proposals and supporting democratic reforms. It works together with policymakers, governments, UN organizations and agencies and regional organizations engaged in democracy building.

International IDEA develops comparative research and knowledge products, assists in democratic reform, and influences policies and politics, focusing on four main impact areas: electoral processes, constitution-building, participation and representation as well as democracy analysis. The organization also addresses how issues of gender, diversity, sustainable development and conflict and security interact with democracy.

Internship assignments

Internship Activities

The intern, under the guidance of the mentor and other staff members of the Secretary-General's Office (SGO), performs the following tasks:

  • Conducts desk research on topics related to democracy, democracy support and development policy.
  • Supports and drafts communications (eg, letters, articles and presentations) for the Secretary-General's Office, the public website and social media channels.
  • Works with the Secretary-General's Office to develop and strengthen relations with Member States and partner organizations.
  • Assists with planning and conducting meetings, conferences and seminars on democracy-related topics, both internally and with external partner organizations.
  • Assists with taking minutes and follow-up on the contacts established by the Secretary-General's Office.
  • Supports the planning and organization of the meetings of the governing bodies which supervise and advise the organization (Council of Member States, Steering Committee and the Board of Advisers).
  • Supports the outreach and contacts with the diplomatic community in Stockholm, both to International IDEA's 34 Member States and the representations of other countries.
  • Supports and works with the External Relations Team in the Secretary-General's Office with resource mobilization efforts with Member States and other donors as needed.
  • Monitors and proactively takes part in events in Stockholm and online webinars about democracy and related topics. Reports back to the Secretary-General's Office and liaises with peer organizations to seek out entry points for engagement with International IDEA.
  • Writes and supports the development of the outcome and output reports of the Secretary-General's Office.
  • Leads a selected cross-institutional project during the internship (defined together with the intern) which requires collaboration across the thematic issues and active cooperation with the regional and country offices.
  • Performs other tasks as requested by the supervisor and other SGO staff members.

Management and Organization

The Associate Program Officer (Secretary-General's Office) will be the mentor for the intern. International IDEA provides a workstation for the intern. The work arrangement will be agreed with the intern in advance of the internship taking into account the current local recommendations on the Covid-19 pandemic and International IDEA's policies and guidelines on Covid-19 and staff health.

Timing and Work plan

The internship position will be full-time from 16 January 2023 to 31 May 2023 (or as agreed with the Mentor and the University). The intern will work office hours 9 – 17 hrs if not otherwise agreed with the Mentor. Please note that the internship at International IDEA is a full-time position that cannot be combined with other full-time duties such as an academic program.


For this internship, we are looking for a student enrolled in a program focusing on social science; political science; international relations; human rights law; development studies or a related field.

  • Analytical, drafting and problem-solving skills.
  • Communications and writing skills, and a willingness to learn how to formulate and summarize complex issues in an accessible way.
  • Ability to appreciate diversity and work in a high diversity work environment.
  • Ability to assess, manage and structure information.
  • Good interpersonal and cooperation skills.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office packages.
  • Language skills: Fluent written and oral English required.

Merit experiences/competencies

  • Spanish or French language skills would be assets.

Other information

The intern will benefit from the position by:

  •  Understanding the opportunities and challenges to democracy and democracy support in the world today at a global, regional and country-specific level.
  • Gaining a first-hand insight into policy-influencing work on democracy and advocacy and outreach work to strengthen democratic values.
  • Gaining a global network of motivated democracy experts and learning from their collective expertise.
  • Understanding and managing relationships with some of the most influential global stakeholders in democracy support, including partner organisations, think-tanks and donors.
  • Developing familiarity with the tools and methods used for supporting democratic institutions and actors.
  • Learning about and connecting the dots between strategies, programs, day-to-day activities and results achieved.
  • Getting familiar with resource mobilization processes at an intergovernmental organization.
  • Analyzing and presenting to colleagues the policies and the priorities of the major donors and multilateral institutions supporting democracy.
  • Gaining a direct insight into the working processes and the organization of an intergovernmental organization, including understanding the roles of its Member States and Board of Advisers.
  • Following and understanding how senior management and leadership work in a global intergovernmental institution.
  • Understanding the considerations and political discretion of working in the Secretary-General's Office.

The intern will develop analytical and research skills and gain a strong understanding of professional communications and working methods, which will be useful for future positions in global or multilateral institutions. The internship will provide learning opportunities for an interested and talented student to practice and fine-tune many skills required to successfully work at a global level on issues around democracy, the rule of law, human rights and development cooperation

The internship will provide an excellent orientation to the key challenges and policies on democracy, good governance, the rule of law and sustainable development. The intern will work as an integrated part of the team and learn from all team members of the Secretary-General's Office in their different capacities. The intern will work more independently part of the time on a project agreed with the team to develop cross-team collaboration and project management skills. The mentor and intern will schedule regular meetings to take stock of the progress of the internship.

How the internship is related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 5 (gender quality), is mainstreamed in all theamtic work areas of International IDEA and the intern will integrate it in all work processes and outputs, and support training programs on democracy and gender equality for external partners.

Goal 13 (climate action) - ther intern will do desk research, writing and provide support to an emerging program on democracy and climate change.

Goal 16 (peace, justice and accountable institutions) is the primary goal under which all demcoracy support falls. The intern's work will directly support fundraising, outreach and partnerships of the organization's work on strengthening accountable institutions, thus also addressing Goal 17 (partnerships for the goals).

As an intern at The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), you will directly work with these global goals:

Global goal # 5Global goal # 13Global goal # 16Global goal # 17
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