US - Research and Learning Intern
Mercy Corps - Washington, DC

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INTERN WORKSITE LOCATION : Washington D.C.

DATES OF INTERNSHIP: October - December 2014 (dates flexible)

LENGTH OF INTERNSHIP: 12 weeks for 20 – 30 hrs/week

FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR THE INTERNSHIP: This is an unpaid internship

Mercy Corps responsibilities

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

Computer

Work station

All required office supplies

Access to DL, the Hub, etc.

Intern responsibilities

Intern will remain responsible for all costs associated with:
Lodging in Washington D.C.

Transport to and from the office (aside from work-related taxi/transport costs)

Living expenses

All other costs associated with this internship

PROJECT DESCRIPTION :
The Research and Learning team enhances Mercy Corps’ ability to deliver high impact programming and to learn from that programming by supporting the generation and use of high quality data for decision-making. Increasingly, Mercy Corps is employing rigorous, quantitative and qualitative methods as part of its research and impact evaluations to generate accurate estimates of program effects and to test key theories of change. Mercy Corps requires a highly skilled Research and Learning Intern to support these efforts.

The primary objective of the Research and Learning Intern will be to provide support to the Research and Learning team on ongoing research projects in the areas of youth and conflict, governance and resilience. This support will contribute to the production of accurate and credible findings around key research and evaluation questions.

Specific assignments will be agreed and reviewed on a regular basis with supervisors. Activities to be undertaken by the Research and Learning Intern will include, but not be limited to:

Inputting to research and evaluation designs, including reviewing data collection instruments, especially those developed to generate composite measures or indices

Researching and identifying cutting-edge quantitative and qualitative methods that can be used in program evaluation

Conducting inferential statistical analyses to test and generate hypotheses

Complete one DM&E Tip Sheet or learning module on a research-related topic meant to promote better practice in the field

The intern will also have an opportunity to develop and work on a project related to their area of interest. The project will be identified in collaboration with supervisor and can be related to an ongoing research initiative being undertaken by Mercy Corps or can focus on research into ways that Mercy Corps can improve its approaches in program evaluation and conducting rigorous studies on key theories of change.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
It is expected that the intern will get significant exposure to the conducting of research and evaluation in the developing world. He or she will gain a greater understanding of the field of evaluation, and have the opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of monitoring and evaluation.

The intern will also gain exposure to Mercy Corp’s technical teams’ strategies by working on specific research projects that evaluate theories of change within different sectors. This knowledge will be valuable not only from a monitoring and evaluation perspective but also if the individual has interest in program design and development.

Additionally the intern will be encouraged to take part in any Mercy Corps internal trainings (e.g. M4P training, Governance and Partnership training, Design Monitoring and Evaluation Webinars).

DELIVERABLES :
The deliverables will vary by assignment. Typical products will include:

Reviewed data collection instruments and plans

Complete one DM&E Tip Sheet or learning module on a research-related topic meant to promote better practice in the field

Outputs for the statistical tests run and explanations of the statistical tests and procedures used

Accessible narrative, and where possible graphic representations of key findings

IDEAL CANDIDATE SHOULD POSSESS THE FOLLOWING QUALIFICATIONS :
Graduate degree, complete or in progress, in international development or other relevant discipline

Demonstrated skills in applied research and statistical analysis

Skilled in both qualitative and quantitative research and analysis methodologies

Proficiency using STATA, SPSS or other statistical analysis package

Demonstrated ability to explain research findings, both visually and in writing

Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills

Good organizational skills and ability to work under time constraints

Self-motivated and able to work without close supervision

LIVING CONDITIONS:
The intern will be based in Mercy Corp’s Washington D.C. office. No field travel will be required for this internship. Housing is not included, but assistance in obtaining housing can be provided.

Mercy Corps interns and volunteers 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.

Required Skills

Required Experience