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  • Women in Nepal

    Reproductive Health Program Fuel and Firewood Initiative Intern (Fall 2010)

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    BACKGROUND: 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.

    ABOUT THE FUEL AND FIREWOOD INITIATIVE: 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.

    ABOUT THE INTERNSHIP: 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.


        • Work with Senior Program Officer, Women’s Refugee Commission, to conduct a baseline analysis of household energy-related programming worldwide, including type and location of initiative, implementing organization(s), donor(s), project cost and timeline, etc.;
        • Develop a comprehensive spreadsheet for analyzing and monitoring existing and new household energy-related programming in humanitarian settings worldwide;
        • Under the guidance of the Senior Program Officer, Fuel and Firewood Initiative, develop sectoral fact sheets and other IEC materials for the Fuel and Firewood Initiative;
        • Assist with IASC Task Force SAFE dissemination process and workshop follow-up as needed;
        • Work with webmaster to provide updates and annotations to the website of the International Network on Household Energy in Humanitarian Settings (the “Fuel Network,” www.fuelnetwork.org) on a periodic basis;
        • Assist in the creation and management of the Fuel Network’s Advisory Committee;
        • 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 communication skills, including telephone and interview skills;
                • Excellent computer skills, including internet research, Microsoft Word and Excel;
                • HTML skills a plus.

                REPORTS TO: Program Officer, Reproductive Health Program, Women’s Refugee Commission

                POSITION: Fuel and Firewood Intern – Fall 2010

                LOCATION: New York, NY

                TIMEFRAME: September 2010 to either December 2010 or May 2011 (start & end dates negotiable) 

                DEADLINE TO APPLY: August 27, 2010

                **Please note that this is an unpaid internship**

                To apply please submit a résume and cover letter via e-mail to:
                Abigail Gacusana, Program Coordinator
                E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                For more information on our Reproductive Health Program,
                please visit http://www.womensrefugeecommission.org/programs/rh

                The Women’s Refugee Commission considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability.
                The Women’s Commission is an equal opportunity employer.