Our justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) internship contributes to sustainable development and supports equality for all individuals and groups. Working in global development areas such as education, health and access to skills and resources, interns will deliver projects and might also have the chance to conduct data collection that will shape new initiatives in JEDI.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to achieve a better future for all by tackling the world’s most pressing global issues. In order to sustainably address poverty, climate change and other challenges, development interventions need to look at the fundamental injustices that create unequal outcomes in these areas. JEDI is at the heart of many SDGs as it ensures all individuals and groups – especially the most marginalised – are respected, represented and have access to the resources and legal protections they need to enjoy a good quality of life. In the post-Covid context and following the Black Lives Matter movement, it is more important than ever for global development initiatives to deliver on this promise.
GVI’s JEDI internship program examines and supports social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in the countries where we work. JEDI is both a stand-alone development topic and an important cross-cutting theme. For this reason, we apply a life-cycle approach to our JEDI program, allowing participants to learn how to identify and understand exclusion and injustice across a range of development areas (such as education, health, gender, income-generation and employment). Given that marginalisation and systemic injustice is very contingent on the context, the specific focus areas will depend upon the priority issues identified by our local partners and the community. We are guided by our partners’ and the community’s conceptions of equity, justice and inclusion. Our internships allow participants to work in collaboration with these partners and, under the supervision of GVI staff, to support existing JEDI initiatives or to develop and implement new projects.
Your internship will typically begin with an introduction to JEDI in relation to the community where you’ll be based. This could include sessions led by GVI staff and our partners, as well as reading and observation of program activities and other interventions our partners are running. As a part of this introduction, you might also deliver information relative to the specific issue in workshops and other interactive forms – helping you gain a sound understanding of how it relates to JEDI. You might deliver English language classes to groups and individuals who are excluded from economic opportunities related to tourism, or hold meetings with girls or women where they can discuss topics related to their reproductive health and rights. Along with improving your knowledge and practical experience in social justice and equity, you’ll also strengthen your communication, planning and facilitation skills.
Interns will also get involved in project implementation or other activities which build work experience with NGOs as well as leadership skills. Where GVI partners with organisations that conduct work in JEDI, you can use or develop your fundraising, marketing and social media skills by creating innovative content such as blogs and Instagram stories. As well as making a direct tangible impact on the partner institution, you’ll gain valuable real-life experience in managing social impact organisations. As JEDI is a new and growing program area, you might also have the chance to support data collection that informs and shapes future projects. This can include using techniques that are tailored to community engagement, and compiling and presenting reports and summaries to GVI staff and partners. You can also take on leadership responsibilities on base and support team building, resource organisation and communications. Internships are supervised by staff and we encourage you to be creative in executing your internship project as you immerse yourself in learning what social justice and inclusion means to the community.
Internship activities take place onsite during weekdays at our partner locations or at the GVI base. Interns also participate in routine team meetings and are supported individually to conceptualise and deliver their intern project. You’ll be working with participants from all over the world who are equally passionate about inclusive global development. Gain context-specific knowledge of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion while developing a global perspective and network. As the development sector continues to address the structural inequities in development organisations and the programs they implement, your internship experience will position you to apply this multi-cultural perspective and the transferable project management skills to your career.
In keeping with equity and inclusion in our program design and implementation, GVI created ten ethical commitments. Taking guidance from our partners, we work to understand and respect their conceptions of injustice and inequality, as well as their priorities in how to address these. Ultimately, our internships and other programs support our partners in achieving their own objectives.
Given that JEDI aims to elevate and address the needs of vulnerable or underrepresented groups, ethical engagement with partner organisations and the community is critical to this internship program. Our stance on orphanage volunteering stipulates that none of our programs include volunteer work with orphanages. We have also developed a child and vulnerable adult protection policy, which governs how we work with those groups. Over and above this, we seek guidance from our partners on how best to engage with the community in instances where GVI staff or interns will be doing so directly. Any data collected or results generated must be shared with and owned by partners.
We align our programs, impact measurement and management approach to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Given the cross-cutting nature of JEDI, this internship program could contribute to many of the UN SDGs. However, the most important are UN SDG 4: Quality Education, UN SDG 5: Gender Equality and UN SDG 10: Reduced Inequality.
We operate justice, equity, diversity & inclusion internship programs in the following countries:
Access to quality education is not yet a reality for all children in Ghana and neither have women achieved equality with men in their economic rights and opportunities. Interns will contribute to GVI Ghana’s work in promoting diversity and inclusion amongst students at our partner schools. You could also support GVI’s work on gender equality and data collection on topics related to women’s employment and income inequality as well as other areas related to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
When you’re not working on your internship you can take in the natural surroundings of the base, and get to know the history and culture of its location.
Our base in Ghana is located in Kokrobite, on the shore of one of the country’s most popular beaches. Kokrobite beach is known for its white sands, tropical views and bustling markets. You can visit the Academy of African Music and Arts to learn about (and try your hand at) Ghanaian music, drumming and dance. Or simply enjoy the sea view or take surfing lessons. The area also offers many restaurants and cafes. For participants interested in nature, the Solo Monkey Sanctuary is a short drive from the base. Or you can venture further to the Kakum National Park.
Both DEI and JEDI aim to create environments that improve representation for marginalised groups and ensure they are included meaningfully in processes and decisions that affect them. JEDI, in emphasising justice, seeks to address exclusion at its root, while DEI focuses more on recognising diversity and creating processes to support underrepresented groups to participate and function in their surroundings. JEDI acknowledges systemic disadvantages and seeks to directly dismantle them.
If you are passionate about equality and contributing to making global development work for everyone, this internship is a great way to gain practical experience. We don’t require any specific professional or academic qualifications for you to join a program. While we welcome anyone on this internship, it always helps if you have some familiarity with global development or human rights in general.
Yes! While justice, equity, diversity and inclusion may seem like a new concept in global development, a number of movements – gender equality, human rights, localisation and others – have already been part of international development for many years. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are currently bringing equity and justice to the centre of the global development agenda. GVI’s JEDI internship will help you gain critical thinking and analysis skills to understand development issues from the perspective of the underrepresented, and provide you with the communication, facilitation and project management skills to begin to make an impact in this area.
Here are some resources to learn more about justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in international development: