Intern
Open Society Foundations - New York, NY

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The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.

We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check.

We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights.

We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.

We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.

Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.

The Open Society Eurasia Program works to deepen civil society, uphold human rights, and maintain space for independent debate and discussion in Eastern Europe (Moldova, Ukraine), Russia, the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). The program is advanced through grantmaking, advocacy and research, regional initiatives, and close engagement with local Open Society foundations. We believe that a vital civil society is fundamental to the promotion of democratic governance and government accountability.

Throughout the region, the program works with a wide range of partners from all sectors of civil society, with a particular focus on the following:
  • Promoting human rights;
  • Combatting corruption;
  • Strengthening independent, alternative, and social media;
  • Securing access to justice for marginalized groups;
  • Creating and maintaining platforms for debate and civic engagement;
  • Integrating local actors into the global exchange of ideas.

Purpose of Position
The objective of the internship program with the Eurasia Program is to train participants on some of the methodologies used by public interest advocacy groups like Open Society to closely monitor the social, political, and economic environment in the region.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities
Interns will be instructed, and receive hands-on training, in the promotion of human rights, civil society, rule of law, and access to information, including but not limited to, the identification of an injustice to be remedied, the formulation of a comprehensive action plan, and the research and writing involved in studies associated with the program. The interns will receive their training in the context of the Eurasia Program.

With close supervision by an assigned mentor, interns will learn about the various tools available for researching issues and engaging in oral and written persuasive techniques related to human rights related initiatives.

Over the course of the internship, they will gain an in-depth understanding of the region’s NGO sector and human rights community—ranging from strategic litigation to cultural initiatives to online platforms for debate and discussion.

Interns will receive hands-on research and writing experience by assisting Open Society in monitoring regional Russian and English language news outlets for information on the political, social, and economic context relevant to the Eurasia Program; translate short documents from Russian to English; and provide summaries and critiques of grant reports. Interns also will learn the communication skills that are required in international grantmaking initiatives like the Eurasia Program by, among other things, assisting in the drafting of related correspondence and participating in conference calls.

Education / Experience
For this internship program, Open Society is seeking individuals currently enrolled in a relevant graduate/undergraduate/law degree program who are highly motivated and have demonstrated excellence in prior endeavors.

Upon acceptance, interns will need to provide a letter from their university indicating that they are receiving credit and/or funding for the internship.

Skills Required
  • Strong communication, interpersonal, and computer skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to write effectively and analyze and summarize complex information;
  • Desire to function in a team environment;
  • Ability to multi-task while remaining attentive to detail;
  • Proficient in Russian and/or other regional languages.

Compensation
Unpaid; lunch is provided.

Application Instructions
Please send a letter of interest and resume experience by May 23, 2014, to internships@opensocietyfoundations.org . Include the internship code in subject line: Intern-EP.

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