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  • Women in Nepal

    Fuel and Firewood Initiative Intern, Summer 2011

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    Since 1989, the Women’s Refugee Commission has advocated vigorously for laws, policies and programs to improve the lives and protect the rights of refugee and displaced women, children and young people—bringing about lasting, measurable change.


    Displaced people living in camps are provided with the bare essentials for survival—basic shelter, food and water. The food distributed by humanitarian agencies, typically dried beans, rice or whole grains, must be cooked before it can be eaten. However, cooking fuel is generally not provided. As a result, displaced women and girls must regularly find firewood to cook food for their families, or to sell to make a meager income. Each time they leave the relative safety of the camp to search for firewood, they risk being raped, beaten, even killed. The longer a camp exists, the farther refugees must travel to gather wood, increasing the risk of attack. Firewood collection also causes environmental degradation and burning wood indoors releases toxic smoke, causing respiratory infections that kill more people every year than malaria.

    The Women’s Refugee Commission launched its Fuel and Firewood Initiative in 2005 to address this multi-sectoral problem. We and our partners in the InterAgency Standing Committee Task Force on Safe Access to Firewood and alternative Energy in Humanitarian Settings have made significant progress in the past four years—though measuring the extent of this progress has proven difficult due to the general lack of baseline data. The objective of this internship is therefore to conduct a baseline survey of existing and planned household-energy related programming and funding in humanitarian contexts.


    This internship is suited to students of international affairs, international development, public policy, global public health or other similar fields with the desire to obtain experience in a professional humanitarian advocacy organization. It will provide the opportunity to work closely on household energy-related policy issues, attend internal organizational presentations and contribute to the long-term objectives of the Fuel and Firewood Initiative. The Fuel and Firewood initiative will make every attempt to respond to the relevant interests and educational goals of the intern.


    • Conduct research on new content and manage outreach to potential new partners, including through the online discussion forum, for the International Network on Household Energy in Humanitarian Settings (the “Fuel Network,” www.fuelnetwork.org);
    • Work with webmaster to provide updates and annotations to the Fuel Network website on a periodic basis;
    • Assist Senior Program Officer for the Fuel and Firewood Initiative in the management of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Humanitarian Working Group, its Gender Coordinating Committee and of the Fuel Network’s Advisory Committee;
    • Assist with IASC Task Force SAFE dissemination process and workshop follow-up as needed;
    • Attend relevant meetings and conferences;
    • Other tasks as required. 


    • Bachelors degree required, Masters student preferred;
    • Excellent research, data collection, analysis and writing skills;
    • Previous professional and/or academic experience in humanitarian/public policy, household energy and/or international development required;
    • Knowledge of the UN humanitarian system strongly preferred;
    • Excellent computer skills, including internet research, Microsoft Word and Excel;
    • HTML skills a plus;
    • French language ability a plus.


    Reports to:                    Program Officer, Reproductive Health Program

    Position:                        Fuel and Firewood Intern, Summer 2011

    Location:                       New York, NY

    Timeframe:                    May 2011 – August 2011 (start & end dates negotiable)

    Deadline to Apply:        April 22, 2010



    To apply please submit a résumé and cover letter via email to:

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    For more information on our Fuel and Firewood Initiative,
    please visit http://www.womensrefugeecommission.org/programs/firewood and www.fuelnetwork.org