About the organization
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance – International IDEA – is an intergovernmental organisation 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 organisations and agencies and regional organisations engaged in democracy building.
International IDEA develops comparative research and knowledge products, assists in democratic reform, and influences policies and politics, focusing on three main impact areas: electoral processes, constitution-building, political participation and representation. The organisation also addresses how issues of gender, diversity, sustainable development and conflict and security interact with democracy.
The intern, under the guidance of the mentor and other staff members of the Secretary-General’s Office, performs the following tasks:
a) Conducts desk research on topics related to democracy, democracy support and development policy narratives and trends.
b) Supports and draft communications (such as letters, articles and presentations) for the Secretary-General’s Office, for the website and social media channels;
c) Works with the Secretary-General’s Office to develop and strengthen relations with Member States and partner organisations;
d) Assists with planning and conducting meetings, conferences and seminars on democracy-related topics, both internal and with external partner organisations;
e) Assists with taking minutes and follow-up on the contacts established by the Secretary-General’s Office;
f) Supports the planning and organisation of the meetings of the governing bodies which supervise and advises the organisation (Council of Member States, the Steering Committee and the Board of Advisers);
g) Supports the outreach and contacts with the diplomatic community in Stockholm, both to International IDEA’s 33 Member States and the representation
h) Researches relevant Member State policies and priorities and updates the donor profiles, which are vital to successful resource mobilisation efforts;
i) Monitors and proactively take part in events in Stockholm and webinars about democracy and related topics. Reports back to the Secretary-General’s Office and liaises with peer organisations to seek out entry points for engagement with International IDEA;
j) Writes and supports the development of the outcome and output reports of the Secretary-General’s Office;
k) 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.
l) Performs other tasks as requested by the supervisor and other SGO staff members.
Expected outcome/learning opportunities
The intern will benefit from the position by:
Understanding the opportunities and challenges to democracy and democracy support in the world today, both at a global, regional country-specific level;
Gaining a first-hand insight into top-level 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 central donors;
Developing familiarity with the tools and methods used for supporting democratic institutions and actors;
Learning about and connecting the dots between high-level strategies, annual programmes, day-to-day activities and results achieved;
Applying your university knowledge to analyse and present to colleagues the democracy policies and the priorities of the major donors and multilateral institutions supporting democracy;
Gaining a direct insight into the working processes and the organisation of an intergovernmental organisation, including to understand 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 give 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.
Qualifications and required skills
For this internship, we are looking for a student enrolled in a programme focusing on social science; political science; international relations; human rights law or development studies or a related field. Other key skills required include:
Analytical, drafting and problem-solving skills;
Communications and writing skills, and a willingness to learn how to formulate and summarise 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 package (including Excel);
Language skills: Fluent written and oral English required.
Merit skills and experiences
Spanish, French or Arabic language skills would be an asset;
Knowledge of information management systems would be an asset.
The internship position will be full-time during 31 August 2021 to 15 January 2022 (or as agreed with the Mentor and the University).