Humanitarian System Equity Fellow – Zolberg-IRC Fellowship Summer 2021

  • Anywhere

Project Description:

In its Strategy 100, the IRC committed to significantly expand partnerships with local actors and to put clients at the center of its programming. With an expected increase of 25% of the number of projects designed and implemented together with local partners, there is a growing demand from IRC Country Programs to share capacity on how to center clients in their work. Local actors are connected to and trusted by the communities we serve, with expertise and experience of ‘what works’ in each context. In the last five years, the IRC developed tools, approaches and mechanisms to engage clients in the design and implementation of the services provided to affected populations. Now, we see a need to define the tools and approaches to share capacity on how best to engage clients through the process of assessment, design and implementation of partnership programming.

Working with the Governance Technical Unit, the Fellow will help advance Client-Centered Programming in Partnership research priorities, contributing the understanding of strong joint feedback mechanisms. This Fellow will also contribute to understanding the many nuances when working with different of actors (civil society organization, government, private sector), and provide insight into how partners can share capacity on client feedback mechanisms. This work supports the IRC’s strategic commitment to providing ­clients and partners greater influence over program design and delivery.

Potential areas of focus and/or deliverables: 

  • Identify key issues pertaining to client participation in program design and delivery and develop a summary of findings of existing approaches.
  • Using 3-5 IRC Country Programs as examples, develop a summary of existing feedback mechanisms when working in partnership with local actors, outlining challenges, opportunities, roles and responsibilities (IRC and partners’ staff), cost and level of time and effort.
  • Develop a tool (e.g. FGD or KII interview guides) to collect perspectives and expectations on capacity sharing to inform the of a technical support.
  • Identify how the IRC’s own work can be more guided by partner understanding of communities.

Student skill-sets sought:

  • Background in International Affairs, Public Policy, Sociology, Politics, Organizational Change Management, Nonprofit Management, Transdisciplinary Design, Strategic Design and Management. PhD candidates preferred but MA candidates with research training and/or research work experience will also be considered.
  • Public, private or non-profit sector experience with client and/or partner-experience focused work or with client-centered / client-responsive practices. A desire to learn more about capacity sharing, partner- and client-responsive programming
  • Familiarity with the humanitarian and development sectors desirable but not essential.
  • Ability to conduct literature reviews and rapid evidence reviews.
  • Ability to conduct qualitative data analysis and write a research report.
  • Strong oral and written English communication skills.
  • Command of another language such as Arabic, Spanish and/or French would be an additional asset.

Work Environment: This fellowship will work directly with the Airbel Impact Lab’s Governance Technical Unit, and will interact frequently with IRC Country Offices.  This fellowship is remote.

Fellowship Length: Fellowships are 35 hours/week from June 14, 2021-August 20, 2021 (10 weeks).

How to apply: The deadline to apply is Monday, May 18, 2021. Please submit one document containing a cover letter, CV/resume and two work samples (writing and/or design portfolio – 3-5 pages maximum per sample) to Catherine McGahan,

Interviews will be conducted in late May and early June.

Requirements: Students must be a matriculated graduate or PhD student at The New School.  Students who will graduate in Spring 2021 are not eligible.

Team: Airbel Impact Lab, Research and Innovation at the IRC. With over 70 million people displaced, the world is facing an unprecedented crisis. To address the evolving and growing nature of this crisis requires not just more aid, but new thinking. There is a lack of proven, cost-effective, scalable services for people affected by crisis. In some cases, there is a lack of evidence on what works. In others, evidence shows existing solutions are effective, but we need to find new ways of delivering them at scale in fragile states. That’s why the IRC created the Airbel Impact Lab. Our goal is to find and advance breakthrough solutions — with people and ethics at the center of all we do.

To apply for this job email your details to

Scroll Up Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: