School of Media Studies

Internship Opportunity: Global Policy Advocacy, Community Development, & Women’s Empowerment Intern

Huairou Commission
Global Policy Advocacy, Community Development, & Women’s Empowerment Intern


The Huairou Commission (HC) is a member-led global network of grassroots women’s community-based organizations working to improve the quality of life for themselves, their families and their rural and urban poor communities in over 45 countries. Focused on a common mission—to build a movement that empowers and strengthens women’s leadership in gender-just, sustainable local development—global network members and secretariat mobilize resources and facilitate strategic cooperation and innovative partnerships to expand grassroots women’s influence in local to global decision making areas determining the plans and resources that are available to develop women, their homes and communities.


HC focuses on ensuring grassroots women’s organizations are recognized and resourced as key actors in the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), poverty eradication efforts, and bottom-up approaches to engendering community development processes. Women leaders of the Huairou Commission are on the front lines of activism around prominent development issues including land and housing rights, natural disasters, resilience building, food security, climate change, HIV/AIDS, safe public spaces, sustainable urbanization, transparent and accountable governance, economic empowerment and gender equality.


The work of the Huairou Commission and its members is guided by a four-part strategy designed to:

  1. Strengthen Grassroots Women’s Organizing and Leadership
  2. Promote Development through Awareness and Locally-Led Initiatives
  3. Build Constituencies and Networks
  4. Influence and Change Public Policy Processes



Internship Description

The Huairou Commission global network is looking for 2-3 enthusiastic and motivated graduate student interns for the Spring 2020 semester who are familiar with women’s policy advocacy, international development policy frameworks and fields of practice to support our global women’s grassroots movement. With the aim to advance the inclusion and leadership of HC’s community constituencies in achieving global policy targets in association with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and sector specific policy agreements (Beijing Declaration & Platform for Action (Beijing +25), Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Conference of the Parties (COP) Climate Accords, the New Urban Agenda, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and other related agreements), hired interns will work on targeted themes/areas of emphasis. Candidates should be supportive of grassroots led social change processes and  grassroots women’s self organizing and movement building and interested in learning the connection of local to global action of global policy frameworks formulation, implementation & review processes.


Student interns will assist with assignments and targeted research focusing on the following themes (with some opportunity to specialize):

1) Beijing +25. In 2020, the global community will mark the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and the 25th anniversary of The Huairou Commission.

2) Sustainable Urban Development and Sustainable Cities

3) Community Driven Climate and Resistance and Disaster Resilient Climate Policy

4) Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality

Tasks may include, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting collation of information on on-going international agencies/United Nations decision-making policy formulation, implementation & review processes, with particular focus on strategic entry points for highlighting grassroots women’s leadership and role, as well as women empowerment and gender in thematic areas identified by Huairou Commission’s member groups and its Strategic Plan;
  • Tracking timelines and draft communication to solicit member organizations inputs into policy formulation, implementation and review processes at global, regional, national, local levels;
  • Consolidating and analyzing responses to current documents related to the policy formulation, implementation and review processes by different stakeholders, including UN member-states, UN agencies, and civil society and constituency groups;
  • Preparing issue briefs or think pieces on related subjects based on views expressed by member groups and emerging critical debate and research in the field; and
  • Providing logistical, and communication support in organizing activities at and participation in international conferences and events related to policy formulation, implementation & review processes.



Ideal candidates have an energetic and flexible attitude, strong writing, analytical thinking, and excellent communication skills, a self-starter/independent work ethic, a fierce attention to detail, and the ability to take initiative, prioritize tasks and assimilate feedback from multiple sources. Specific qualifications include:

  • Graduate-level candidates with research and policy experience in international development, women’s empowerment, UN processes, non profit organizations, etc.
  • Interest and experience in research and writing
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English; Spanish language skills a plus
  • Ability to work independently and cooperatively in a fast-paced environment
  • Knowledge of managing Social Media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook a plus.
  • Excellent organizational and administrative abilities (including computer skills i.e. Microsoft Office, Google Drive) are required
  • Graduate-level training and interests in public policy, planning, community development, community organizing, and women’s empowerment, and preferably:
  • Personal experience in advocating for changes in public/institutional policy
  • Familiarity with the UN system and frameworks, including the Sustainable Development Goals and indicators for implementation, especially in relation to: women’s access to and control over land and property, ensuring inclusive and equitable access to public space and essential basic services, and formalizing grassroots women’s organizations as essential actors to advancing climate and disaster resilient development preferred



The learning focus and benefits of the internship will include:

  1. Participation with HC in the historic 25th anniversary of the United Nations’ Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing +25) supporting women’s rights and empowerment.
  2. Exposure to on-going international policy decision-making, implementation and review processes
  3. Practical experience in connecting local to global action led by grassroots social movement activists to changes in development practice and theory and the implementation of policy accords.
  4. Gaining first hand knowledge of how fields of practice such as accelerating climate mitigation and adaptation, planning cities that guarantee women’s rights and equal access to development and engendering political decision making (local to global are being driven by women lead popular movements.
  5. Active mentoring and coaching by globally recognized grassroots and professional experts in the field of localizing and engendering global development goals and policies to improve the lives and opportunities of women organizing in poor communities across the globe.


The Huairou Commission holds consultative status with the United Nations and actively participates in UN conferences and deliberations. Internships with the Huairou Commission provide access to UN and other global events and processes.


Schedule and Duration

This is an unpaid part-time position anticipated to be 2 to 3 days a week. We require a minimum commitment of 12 hours per week for a minimum of three (3) months/12 weeks. Preference will be given to those who could commit for a longer duration. Travel stipends may be provided. Huairou Commission’s regular operating hours are Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, near the L train with occasional irregular hours during special events and reporting periods starting in early February. Students will have the option to extend their internship if mutually acceptable to both HC and the candidate.  Interns selected will be issued UN badges to attend meetings and conferences relevant to their internship. Selected interns will work under the guidance of the Director of Programs.


To Apply

Please send your resume, short statement of interest, and your availability by Tuesday, February 4th, 2020,  to Please include “Intern – Global Policy” in the subject line.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and in-person interviews will be held in the beginning of February. Feel free to consult our website Women, international students, and those with multilingual skills are encouraged to apply.


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