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Internships: Democracy Program

  • Carter Center interns.

    Interns selected by the Democracy Program help promote democratic transition and consolidation through projects involving election monitoring and mediation, technical assistance to strengthen civil society, and international standards for democratic elections. (Photo: The Carter Center)


The Center's Democracy Program is founded on the belief that strengthening democratization is the best means to advance human rights, support sustainable economic opportunity, and resolve political conflicts. The program's goals are to support democratic transitions and consolidation through projects involving election observation and mediation, technical assistance to civil society organizations working on democracy and elections, and efforts to advance the rule of law and adherence to standards for democratic elections based on international human rights law.  The program is deeply committed to the protection and advancement of broad-based human rights values and inclusive political participation.

Number of Interns per Semester: 6-8

Internships are available in the following areas:

+International Election Observation

The Democracy Program’s election observation activities focus on countries that are undergoing transitional elections, emerging from conflict, and/or at risk of backsliding in their democratization process. As of January 2020, the Democracy Program has monitored 110 elections in 39 countries, including recent missions in Tunisia, Zimbabwe, and Sierra Leone, as well as two Native American nations.

Expected Projects

  • Provide country research and political analysis, and briefing materials as needed
  • Provide in-country support on/around Election Day
  • Backstop and support implementation of election observation missions (EOMs)
  • Support tablet and database system used in election observation data gathering and analysis
  • Provide logistics supporting preparing for international EOMs

+Support to Domestic Citizen Observation

The Democracy Program currently provides long-term support to civil society partner organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia, Tunisia, Myanmar, and Honduras to bolster their ability to foster credible elections, promote equal political participation, expose corruption, and promote confidence in democratic processes and institutions. These projects provide technical and financial assistance to partner organizations to conduct citizen observation projects while strengthening their development. In between election cycles, citizen observation organizations can apply knowledge and resources developed during election observation work to advocate for electoral reform. Such activities could include supporting increased youth engagement, monitoring violence against women in elections (VAWE) and women’s participation, political transition monitoring, traditional and social media monitoring, conflict and electoral violence tracking, strengthening the participation of marginalized groups, assessing the quality of key parts of the electoral process, and reporting to international human rights bodies.

Expected Projects

  • Support democratic consolidation and civil society building projects
  • Provide country research and political analysis as needed
  • Support Democracy Program staff providing technical and administrative support to in country offices; this could include assistance on financial procedures and logistics support.

+Digital Threats to Election Integrity

The Carter Center's Democracy Program, recognizing the growing digital challenges to democratic systems, invites applications for internships within its Digital Threats to Democracy initiative. This program offers an exceptional opportunity to explore and address the complex effects of social media on democracy, including challenges like content moderation and the pervasive influence of mis/disinformation. We're searching for innovative and motivated interns, passionate about preserving electoral integrity in the digital era and equipped with skills in software coding, qualitative or quantitative research methods, data analysis, or data visualization. Interns will engage in meaningful activities, such as program evaluation, thought leadership, and original research, contributing significantly to developing innovative strategies that enhance democratic resilience against digital threats. Join us in this critical endeavor to uphold the integrity of democratic processes.

Preferred Qualifications

(Qualifications depend on current program needs and sometimes vary across projects.)

  • Background in political science, international affairs, democratization, law, human rights, or other related areas
  • Foreign language skills (particularly French, Spanish, or Arabic)
  • Strong writing and editing skills
  • Overseas work or research experience
  • Computer skills (e.g., experience with advanced Excel, database, web design, and tablet/phone applications)
  • Experience coding in R or an equivalent language, including the ability to create new packages and use existing ones to analyze program data (for Digital Threats Project)
  • Experience with data visualization tools (R, Power BI or other programs)

Typical Projects

  • Provide support on drafting concept notes, proposals, reports, memorandums, and other documents or materials
  • Conduct research projects as needed by project staff
  • Track news and current events in countries of interest; provide analysis and daily updates
  • Support tablet and database systems used in election observation data gathering and analysis
  • Provide support for the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network
  • Document translation (most often, either French, Spanish, or Arabic)

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Internship Deadlines

Fall 2024
Application deadline: June 17, 2024
Start date: Aug. 27, 2024

Spring 2025
Application Opens: Late August/Early September 2024
Application Deadline: October 14, 2024
Start Date (Orientation): January 14, 2025

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