Two and a half months in already! To say time has gone quickly during 2020 seems an oxymoron, but here we are. I’m really happy to say I’m the 4th Jersey Overseas Aid International Development Intern and am very excited to see how the next year pans out.
Despite being from Jersey, I’ve been out the Island quite a while. My experience before the internship was eclectic to say the least, involving teaching in China, working with refugees in mainland Europe and eventually working for a charity in the UK for the last two and half years. With the world becoming more uncertain and my desire to work in International Development becoming more set, I decided that I needed to learn a lot more about what goes on behind the scenes of projects and this internship is the perfect way to do it, hopefully with a bit of in-country experience as well!
As you’ve probably seen in the blogs from the previous interns Lauren, Becki and Faye, the JOA International Development Internship is designed to give invaluable experience in the field of international development over a year, and is split into the 3 main sections. The first section is 2 months in working in Jersey with JOA, learning the role played by a donor organisation and how JOA represents Jersey on the international stage. This part of the internship allows interns to develop a deeper understanding of JOA’s work, as well as a more holistic summary of how the sector operates and how different international organisations interlink. This is followed by 4 months working with a partner organisation and a 6 month overseas placement.
I am excited to be working with Send a Cow for this section, a charity that works with smallholder farmers (among many others) in Africa to develop community-wide strategies to increase agency and improve their futures. Originally, I was meant to be based in Newton St Loe – their main offices near Bath – but the current plan is that I will work remotely and hopefully be able to travel over in late Spring. During this part of the internship I hope to work with many different teams, learning about their programmes and how they are planned, fundraised for, implemented and then finally evaluated and learned from. For the final 6 months of the internship, the plan is that I will travel to Rwanda and Ethiopia to work with the in-country programmes, getting a hands on introduction to working in the field, with all of the challenges and rewards that come with it. Hopefully this will be possible as I am really looking forward to this opportunity!
Although it has only been 2 months, so far I’ve learnt a lot in the internship! JOA has streamlined its international development funding over the past few years to focus on three main areas: Dairy for Development, Conservation Livelihoods and Financial Inclusion, which each have a strong link to the Island’s history and Jersey’s identity. After focusing on getting my head around the different areas JOA supports, I then had the chance to look at the projects themselves and learnt how to monitor and evaluate project reports, track a project’s progress and see when and why interventions are made. I was able to talk to people working within the projects about challenges they’d faced and how they had overcome them and heard about their plans for the rest of the project and beyond. I was also involved in the first stage of JOA international development grant selection process, reviewing the 2021 cohort of project concept notes and giving my opinion, whilst learning new ways to analyse the concept notes and what to look out for.
I’ve really enjoyed my few months with JOA, and am now excitedly moving onto the next step of the internship. Whilst I’ll be working from home for the first part, I cant wait to get stuck in at Send a Cow and let you know what I do there!