Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Search for Common Ground’s International Internship Program

Founded in 1982, SFCG works to transform the way the world deals with conflict - away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving. We work with local partners to find culturally appropriate means to strengthen societies' capacity to deal with conflicts constructively: to understand the differences and act on the commonalities.

Using innovative tools and working at different levels of society, we engage in a pragmatic long-term process of conflict transformation. Our toolbox includes media production – radio, TV, film and print - mediation and facilitation, training, community organizing, sports, drama and music. We promote both individual and institutional change and are committed to measuring the results of our work. We strive to constantly increase our effectiveness through monitoring and facilitated learning. 
Search for Common Ground’s (SFCG) International Internship Program is a summer internship program designed to encourage young people interested in pursuing a field in conflict transformation to gain invaluable field experience. The program is open to students and recent graduates in the USA and internationally, who are self-funded and available to work between 2 and 3 months from end of May 2012.
Search for Common Ground International Interns
·         Serve in a minimum eight week summer internship with a focus on either program learning or program support;
    • Program learning focuses on capturing knowledge and documenting results, best practices, and lessons learned from SFCG activities and tools.
    • Program support involves working with the program teams on aspects of designing and/or implementing conflict transformation projects.  
·         Gain exposure to conflict resolution field programming and apply academic theory to practical realities on the ground;
·         Experience firsthand the operations of an international NGO by engaging with local partners and staff on a daily basis; and 
·         Assist country directors and senior managers with specific projects, including producing a strategic output to assist the country program with its work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible?
To qualify for an International Internship at SFCG, you must meet the following requirements:

·         You must be enrolled full- or part-time in an accredited university. Most positions are geared towards graduate students, although exceptionally qualified rising juniors and seniors will be considered. If you have completed school within the past 12 months you may also apply.
·         Pursuing a degree in one of the social sciences, conflict resolution, international development, media & communication studies, or related field of study.
·         Preferably be fluent in a foreign language relevant to the country where you want to work (notably French, Portuguese, Swahili, Hebrew, or Arabic) with good levels of written and spoken English.
·         You must be self-funded and able to work 40 hours a week.
What key skills is SFCG looking for?
SFCG is looking to receive applications from a broad range of candidates for both the program learning and program support positions. Specific elements that are preferred for program learning interns include previous experience conducting research, monitoring or evaluation. This might include methodology design, quantitative and/or qualitative research methods, and experience in data analysis. Applicants with a journalism/media background are encouraged to apply for the program support positions. Consideration will be given to applicants with strong language skills in the relevant languages of the host countries.
Where will internships be available? May I apply to work in a specific country?
In 2012, SFCG expects to offer international Internships in 16 of its country program offices.  The complete list of internships will not be finalized until after the application deadline but will likely include the following countries: Angola, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor, Guinea, Indonesia, Israel/Palestine (based in Jerusalem), Kosovo, Liberia, Madagascar, Nepal, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.  Depending on security context, there may be internship possibilities in Niger, Nigeria, and Pakistan as well.
*Please note that these posts are tentative and could change depending on the security context which will be re assessed in May 2012.
Please indicate country preferences on your application form but we cannot guarantee your first choice. Much will depend on your language ability and skill set. If you are applying for a non-African Country, you must make this clear on the application subject line.
When do internships take place?

Internships are generally 3 months long, but may vary. Depending on the countries where they are placed, Interns will begin work between May & June 2012 and will complete their internships between August & September 2012. Yearlong internships are available.

Does SFCG fund interns?

SFCG does not provide funding for International Internships. You may wish to explore what funding your academic institutions or national government might offer before applying. While Interns are expected to cover the cost of travel to the program and their daily expenses in the country, SFCG will provide travel insurance with a possibility of paying interns a per diem rate at the same level of local staff for work conducted away from their internship base. For most country programmes, SFCG will also provide accommodation where available. The approximate cost of living differs between locations. This information will be covered in detail during an orientation before departure to the field. Intern candidates are encouraged to apply for funding through their Universities as well as government and private academic funding/ scholarship programs.

How do I apply?

Please submit your application by email by the deadline of February 25th, 2012. Go to to download the application and see other exciting job and internship opportunities. References may arrive by post or email, but should be post marked no later than the 7th March, 2012.

  • All applications and related documents should be sent to
  • For applicants who wish to apply to programs in African country programmes, please address applications to Andrew Clark.
  • For applicants who wish to apply to programs in any other region, please address applications to Agus Galmarini
What is the timeline?
The application deadline is February 25th, 2012. Interviews will be held, either by phone or in person from March 7, with successful applicants informed by March 31st. Orientation in Washington for those able to attend will take place at the end of May, with internships expected to begin in early June. * This year’s recruitment process will strictly abide to deadlines with pre-determined dates for Country Director interviews.
  • Applications due February 25th, 2012
  • Interviews February 26th to March 10th, 2012
  • Placements made March 15th, 2012
  • Orientation May 28-30 , 2012
  • Internship begins June +
Nb. start dates are flexible depending on the needs of the country program and the intern.
What should my application include?
1.       Résumé/CV
2.       1 essay – see page 1 of the application form for the questions your essay should address
3.       Completed application form
4.       An Academic reference from your institution supporting your application 
In addition, applicants with relevant research experience should submit a short sample of their work, including the methodology they used where appropriate.
More information on SFCG and its country programs is available on its website at

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