Program, Performance and Quality Team Community Accountability and Reporting (CARM) Internship

Mercy Corps
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Mar 23

Position description

DATES OF INTERNSHIP: May - August (flexible)

LENGTH OF INTERNSHIP:  3 months at 30 hours/week – with possibility of extension into fall/winter at approximately 15 hours/week

INTERNS SUPERVISOR & CONTACT INFORMATION:  Director of Program Performance and Quality


Mercy Corps responsibilities

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

  • $670/month stipend
  • Workstation within Mercy Corps DC office headquarters
  • Access to Mercy Corps online tools

Intern responsibilities

Intern will remain responsible for all costs associated with:

  • Living expenses
  • Transportations costs
  • Intern should expect to provide own laptop but if not possible, arrangements can be made to have one provided
  • All other costs associated with this internship


Mercy Corps alleviates poverty, suffering, and oppression and works to build secure, productive, and just communities in over 40 countries around the world. Our Operations Department supports field-led work that delivers measurable impact. 

The Program Performance and Quality (“PaQ”) Department is a newly integrated team consisting of monitoring and evaluation functions, program management, gender integration, and a global data management software (called Tola), which is under development.  The team’s approach supports both foundational and cutting edge adaptive management approaches to program management, with design, monitoring, evaluation and learning functions as key processes and benchmarks to ensuring evidenced-based decision making for quality program implementation. The team works across a wide spectrum of stakeholders both internal and external to Mercy Corps, as well as diverse technical program approaches and sectors. While the specific roles and responsibilities of this position may evolve over time based on the needs of the team, and the agency, they should include the following below.

This internship will play a lead role in establishing Mercy Corps’ Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism (CARM) support initiative for our global field programs.  Building off of some existing exemplary  efforts in the field, this intern will establish a centralized resource back of tools, resources and best practices for CARM systems, providing training to field staff, and be a 1:1 resource to field staff for coaching and troubleshooting the set-up and management of CARM systems. This internship will begin full-time for 3 months, to do a lot of the resource and tool development, and will extend for part-time over another 6 months, to serve as the agency’s point person and field support role for CARM. Specifically the intern will:

  • Collect and learn about field program teams which are implementing CARM systems in the field, noting strengths and weaknesses of various models;
  • Research peer agencies and other external best practices for CARM or similar systems;
  • Discuss with select field staff not using CARM systems, about what their needs and constraints are, in establishing CARM systems;
  • Review current monitoring and evaluation best practices to explore integrated vs. stand-alone CARM systems;
  • Design a CARM toolkit for field programs and country offices, building off of the above researched resources, including practical templates, samples, and budget guidance. Toolkit should include multiple options for CARM models, depending on budget, staff resources, and local context;
  • Be available to provide 1:1 coaching to field teams for pre-planning for the establishment of CARM systems, and then help in setting them up and maintaining them;
  • Intern will liaise closely with the Program Performance and Quality team (including program management, M&E, and gender advisors), plus Mercy Corps’ ethics team and protection advisor at HQ.
  • Coordinate and participate in a Mercy Corps internal CARM workshop, with key stakeholders, likely in September
  • Beyond this role, the intern may be asked to support other general tasks for the PaQ team, such as exploring capturing and sharing lessons learned as a systematized practice in programs, with tools and guidance. Other tasks could include note-taking and meeting coordination, conducting research, and representing Mercy Corps at external events.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:  The intern will gain skills in understanding, establishing, and supporting CARM systems, and the issues surrounding successful accountability practices in field programming. He/she will gain first-hand exposure with our field programs, and will build his/her experience in coordinating information, and writing and disseminating key agency resources.  The intern will also gain overall knowledge in effective program management, data systems, monitoring and evaluation, and gender integration.


  • Finalize and disseminate an agency-wide CARM guidance note and toolkit, closely linked with our ethics team’s processes and procedures for handling complaints. Where possible, include examples from other agencies.
  • Create a library of CARM resources from other programs- slide decks, guidance tools, templates, examples
  • Produce a summary report of feedback of best practices, strengths, weaknesses and challenges of implementing CARM systems in the field, with recommendations for potential new policies on CARM at Mercy Corps
  • Agenda and logistics planning, plus a workshop summary, of the internal CARM stakeholder workshop


  • Graduate study complete or in progress in international relations, human rights, development or related field.
  • Experience conducting research and analysis from primary and secondary data.
  • Experience and interest working on program management and quality
  • Experience writing case studies, internal communications, and vibrant storytelling
  • Ability to present projects to peers and others as part of representation.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills.
  • Experience in international development and monitoring and evaluation


  • Self-starter and ability to be managed remotely.
  • Flexibility in a non-hierarchical environment.
  • Multi-tasker with the proven ability to organize and prioritize competing priorities
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles, follow procedures, and meet deadlines
  • Flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving
  • Ability to learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results
  • Understanding for diverse cultural, political and religious environments and be able to work successfully in those environments.
  • Maintaining a sense of humor in stressful situations.

Application instructions

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