Water Resources and Climate Resilience Intern

Mercy Corps
Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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LENGTH OF INTERNSHIP:  January - April 2020

20 hours/week

Availability: M-F 9am-5pm (flexible); potential to extend through August

INTERN SUPERVISORS: Senior Advisor-Water and Climate Program Manager, Environment Technical Support Unit


Mercy Corps responsibilities

For the duration of this internship assignment the intern will receive:

  • Training and supervisory support
  • Workspace within the MC office in Washington, DC
  • Access to Mercy Corps online tools
  • All other tools, materials and communication requirements for this project to be undertaken

Intern responsibilities

Intern will remain responsible for all costs associated with:

  • Travel to and from Mercy Corps HQ
  • Maintaining their personal computer which will be used for the internship
  • Accommodation, travel and living expenses
  • All other costs associated with this internship


Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian and development organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.

Mercy Corps’ Technical Support Unit (TSU) is a key part of the Program Department. TSU subject-matter experts help set agency strategy and provide consultation – from assessment and design through project implementation and results measurement – to field offices worldwide, in some of the world’s toughest places. TSU team members lead research, foster organizational learning, represent Mercy Corps to external audiences, and develop partnerships. This internship will work with the TSU’s Environment Team and will support ongoing water and climate activities within the agency.

The Intern will work with the Water Advisor to carry out research into conditions and trends of water resources and river basins in Africa, the Middle East, and other regions. The intern will compile bibliographic information and read/review major global studies, policy papers, modeling efforts and academic research to inform climate and water programming in Mercy Corps countries. The intern will explore local and international water initiatives and programs of donors, foundations, non-profits, corporations and civil society providing concise summaries for HQ and country staff.

Additional activities of the internship will focus on Mercy Corps’ work on climate change and disasters. The intern will gain an understanding of our climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction programming through the review of weather and climate services programs within Mercy Corps, desk research and interviews with program staff, and assist in further developing internal and external online resources to support program teams in the field.


  • Familiarity with programming needs and operations of a large humanitarian/development agency
  • Understanding of the process of program development in the water and climate sector
  • Knowledge of trends in climate adaptation and water governance/management globally
  • Familiarity with the major global institutions working on water and climate solutions
  • Expertise on water management and responses to climate change in specific basins/countries in Africa and the Middle East.
  • Gain experience in a multi-cultural work environment, coordinating and communicating with a global team across time zones and geographies, many of whom operate in complex, challenging environments


  • Complete annotated literature review of water security issues in Iraq (February)
  • Complete review of groundwater management and governance in arid regions of East and West Africa (March)
  • Compile data sets on SDGs, water scarcity and related water security indicators for Mercy Corps countries (April)
  • Compile summaries of existing weather and climate information services programs within Mercy Corps (March)
  • Analyze and identify potential donor opportunities for weather and climate information services funding (April)


  • Enrolled or recently graduated (no more than 1 year) from a Bachelors or Master’s degree program, preferably in geography, geology, environmental science, international development, economics or other natural or social science field related to the internship
  • Strong reading, writing, and researching skills (in English, French an advantage)
  • Strong communication, multi-tasking, organizational and prioritization skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word and Excel, as well as Zotero or similar bibliographic database

Mercy Corps interns and team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours and are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.