Volunteer Communications Intern - Securing Water for Food (SWFF)


Organization Information

Launched at the 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm, Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of The Netherlands (MFA-NL) collectively. Through Securing Water for Food, our goal is to source and accelerate innovations in the following areas that will enable the production of more food with less water and/or make more water available for food production, processing, and distribution:

  • Water Efficiency and Reusing Wastewater. Especially when targeted at the food value chain, this is an area that will become a greater necessity as water availability is threatened by competition between industrial, agricultural, and energy uses. Improving water efficiency and reuse has tremendous potential water-saving benefits that may have multiplier effects at various levels of a country’s economy.
  • Water Capture and Storage. These systems are in high demand in many regions where rain occurs at limited times. With projected increases in rainfall variability due to climate change and increased demands for food production, capture and storage systems at various scales are needed to secure water supplies throughout the year and build resiliency to drought and floods. 
  • Salinity and Salt Water Intrusion. In coastal areas, over pumping and rising sea levels are leading to saltwater intrusion, forcing farmers to use marginal quality water for irrigation. With more than 30% of the world’s population living in coastal areas and drawing food supply from fertile deltas, urgent solutions are required to reduce the impacts of salinity on the quality of aquifers and food production.

Location - All work will be completed remotely. Work will be coordinated by the SWFF communications team and other representatives from USAID. All positions are volunteer.

Job Description

The Securing Water for Food (SWFF) Grand Challenge for Development (GCD) (http://securingwaterforfood.org/) is seeking volunteer communications interns to promote SWFF by developing content for its Twitter account and providing research support to SWFF awardees and founding partners . SWFF awardees may also require assistance with creating promotional materials for their innovations. Grand Challenge communications interns should be undergraduate seniors or graduate students with a background in communications, technology, development, entrepreneurship, business, or water/food security. They should expect to work an average of 5-10 hours per week starting as soon as possible and ending at a negotiated date (dependent on applicants’ availability).

This opportunity will allow you to:

  • Work with USAID’s Global Development Lab Innovation and Acceleration Team
  • Identify and carry out activities related to the GCD and Prizes teams
  • Promote projects by developing content for the GCD’s multi-platform social media campaign
  • Develop promotional materials for SWFF awardees

Interns will begin by speaking with the SWFF communications team about their roles, responsibilities, and expectations. Following this discussion, interns will start working between 5-10 hours/week for a negotiated period of time (dependent on each person’s availability). Interns may work on a number of different communications projects including posting SWFF updates to social media outlets, writing research reports for SWFF awardees and founding partners, publishing short pieces in the SWFF and GCD newsletters.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Weekly tweets and other uploads to social media.
  • Research reports for awardees and founding partners
  • Producing SWFF newsletters and articles
  • Support as needed to campaign efforts for upcoming round of SWFF

Job Qualifications:

  • Current university undergraduate senior or graduate student with a background in communications
  • Additional experience is one/some of the following subjects is also desirable: technology, development, entrepreneurship, business, and/or water/food security
  • Strong communicator, both written and verbal
  • Experience in content generation – both short form (i.e. tweets) and long form (i.e. blog posts and articles)
  • Detail- and deadline-oriented
  • Efficient time management skills as well as an ability to dedicate sufficient time to SWFFrelated tasks
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to multitask and work with minimal supervision
  • Flexibility and a positive work attitude
  • Working knowledge of and experience using Twitter

How to Apply:

Send a cover letter and resume to swffinterns@gmail.com.


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.