Search for Common Ground

Search for Common Ground is one of the largest international NGOs working on peacebuilding and conflict transformation. We have 30 offices around the world with over 400 staff. At the HQ in Washington there is approximately 40 full-time staff. There is always a very healthy intern community, with up to 20-25 interns at any one time.

Search is full of committed, enthusiastic and talented individuals. It is a fun place to work and an exciting place to learn. Search offers a rich range of opportunities from Brown Bag lunches, fascinating projects to get involved in, coaching and mentoring and Happy Hours where you can get to know your colleagues in a more relaxed setting.

The Institutional Learning Team

The Institutional Learning Team (ILT) sits at the heart of the organisation. The Team comprises the Chief Programming Officer, DM&E Manager, Senior Research Associate, Learning Portal Content Manager, and the Director of Children and Youth. ILT is a fun team to be part of and undertakes work that spans the full spectrum of work of the organisation. ILT works across every programme at Search for Common Ground (SFCG) either on Design, Monitoring & Evaluation (DM&E) related issues or on learning and cross-fertilisation related themes. The Team is responsible for a) providing leadership on the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation of our programmes b) managing our knowledge and disseminating best practices c) mainstreaming Children and Youth in conflict transformation and d) advancing women and security concerns throughout all our programs.

SFCG aims to enhance organisational effectiveness through our commitment to excellence in DM&E and continuous institutional learning.

To this end, the ILT:

  • Uses ‘on-the-job’ coaching to build the organisational capacity in evaluation
  • Develops practitioner-focused coaching tools
  • Conducts research on key DM&E issues
  • Develops innovative DM&E tools for our media and non-media work
  • Builds organizational DM&E capacity and provides internal training
  • Conducts rigorous internal evaluations
  • Facilitates the utilisation of evaluation recommendations and lessons learned
  • Co-ordinates the biennial evaluations of country programmes
  • Manages and implements internal monitoring, evaluation and reflection processes
  • Leads in supporting the generation, collection and dissemination of information on best practices
  • Supports cross-fertilisation efforts across the organisation

During 2013 we aim to:

  • Provide quality technical support and coaching to our programmes
  • Maintain and increase quality internal and external evaluation
  • Improve the way we share and access information across the organisation
  • Design and implement joined-up indicator systems and monitoring tools

Job Description

Supervised by the DM&E Manager, Senior Research Associate or Learning Portal Content Manager, the intern will provide general support in one or more of the following areas of work. We like to provide interns with a manageable portfolio of projects that will depend on matching the intern’s range of skills and interests with the strands of work available.

In Spring 2013, we seek two (2) interns. 

If you are a student and would like to earn course credit from your internship, we are willing to work with you to develop a rigorous workload that is relevant to your field of study and professional interests.

  • Assisting with development and maintenance of the Learning Portal for DM&E for Peacebuilding ( on web, such as blog posts
  • Conduct research on DM&E as it relates to key peacebuilding thematic areas
  • Drafting Common Ground Approach and Tools methodological guidance notes
  • Updating and maintaining the ILT internal website
  • Assisting the Operational Statisticsprocess
    • Updating and adding to the current indicators list
    • Working with SFCG staff to develop a web work page for output indicator development.
  • Contributing to research and writing of best practices, case studies, and program or thematic brochures
  • Supporting the development of methodologies and tools for data collection activities 

Other potential areas of responsibility include, but are not restricted to:

  • Researching key areas, tools, methods for DM&E; and identifying and tracking latest thinking in the evaluation of peace building fields.
  • Organising meetings, taking notes, and providing logistical support for the DM&E team


  • Education or experience in conflict resolution, international relations, development of governance/public administration fields, social research, or evaluation
  • Senior undergraduate or graduate level preferred
  • Experience in information gathering and research - book, journal and internet
  • Excellent written and oral English communication skills and the ability to draft, edit and proofread
  • French language skills and translation ability an advantage
  • Good computer skills (including Word, Excel, Internet)
  • Require 3 days per week commitment

Preferred Attributes:

  • Proactive attitude and ability to work independently and in a team
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  • Creative and thorough approach to work
  • Interest in evaluation of conflict resolution interventions


The intern should be able to commit to working for SFCG for a minimum of 3 days per week, for at least a 3-month initial period. The ideal starting period for this internship would be in early to mid January 2013, though there may be some flexibility.

To apply please email your (1) Cover Letter, (2) Resume, (3) Contact Information for two References and (4) a two to three-page writing sample to Carolyne Ashton cashton at  as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

In your cover letter, please clearly state why the position is of interest to you, what you can bring to it and what you hope to gain from it.  If applicable, please list any other divisions you have applied to within SFCG.  Please clearly state if you are seeking course credit from this internship and any requirements your University may have for such work. Also, please include the date you can start work, the length of your availability (in months), and the number of hours per week to which you can commit. 

Please apply by December 20, 2012

Please note this is an unpaid internship.

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Replies to This Discussion

I am interested but am not of american citizenship.
Would you sponsor foreign applicants for the J1 visa? Or could I apply with an ESTA visa which does not require sponsorship.


I am a Nigerian and am based in Nigeria. As a Masters student of Peace and Conflict Studies in the University of Ibadan, I am interested in the internship opportunity and experience. Am I also eligible to apply?

What facilities are in place for foreign nationals like me to be accommodated in the interrnship programme.

I await your response soon.

Thank you.

OMOJOLA, A. Lawrence


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