Uganda - Energy and Digital Finance Intern

Programming Yumbe, Uganda



LENGTH OF INTERNSHIP: June 2019 - January 2020 (Flexible as long as 3 months minimum)

AVAILABILITY: M-F 9am-5pm (flexible)

INTERN SUPERVISOR: Energy and Digital Finance Advisor 



Mercy Corps responsibilities

For the duration of this internship assignment, the intern will receive:

  • Housing in Yumbe (shared)
  • ISOS Emergency Med-Evac coverage
  • Ground transport in country
  • Visa fees to be (reimbursed by Uganda office)
  • One leave day per month
  • Access to Mercy Corps online tools
  • All other tools, materials and communication requirements for this project to be undertaken


Intern responsibilities

Intern will remain responsible for all costs associated with:

  • International travel
  • Medical costs in addition to standard insurance coverage (vaccinations, if applicable)
  • All other costs associated with this internship



Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.  In Uganda since 2006, the Mercy Corps team has differentiated itself as a forward-thinking, market-driven agency, having implemented or currently implementing over 40 programs in country, valued at over 110 million GBP, and impacting the lives of 2.5 million Ugandans and South Sudanese refugees. In Uganda’s West Nile region, Mercy Corps has broadened our reach and understanding of market-based solutions in refugee and host community settings. Our programs reach more than 11,000 refugee and host community members through smart subsidies (for agricultural inputs), financial services (Village Savings and Loan Associations) and improving linkages to suppliers.


The purpose of this internship is to facilitate the expansion and growth of demand-driven PAYG energy services including, most importantly, access to electricity, to refugee and host communities in the West Nile. The intern will manage feasibility studies, market research and pilot activities within the Bidi Bidi Innovation Centers using existing funding, and act as a liaison between Yumbe based activities and Kampala based colleagues and partners. This internship will demand effective engagement of the private sector, balanced with deep understanding of end user needs and preferences.



At the completion of this internship, the intern will:

  • Acquire experience in grants management of programs.
  • Comprehend the role of program delivery in humanitarian settings
  • Gain experience tailoring energy access program delivery to the specific requirements of humanitarian settings
  • Understand the role of digital financial services in enabling the expansion of energy services
  • Gain experience developing market assessment methodologies and developing private sector partnerships
  • Understand the operational systems of an international NGO in country in implementing emergency programs.
  • Be able to write quality reports, communication pieces, and learning products, and to draft specific program management tools.
  • Acquire experience in developing program proposals.
  • Understand relationships with institutional and private donors (including their procedures and requirements) and partners in country.
  • Gain a general understanding of local social, political, environmental, and economic issues, a basic grasp of their underlying causes in the local context of Yumbe, Uganda and Mercy Corps’ approach to addressing these issues.




The Intern will support Mercy Corps Uganda’s Energy and DFS programs through the following activities:

  • Supporting the daily grants activities, in coordination with the Kampala based Energy and Digital Finance Advisor and Yumbe based staff.
  • Representing Mercy Corps in external meetings and coordination fora;
  • Leading sessions during workshops organized for the program’s teams and partners.
  • Conducting applied market testing of new energy products and services as required.



  • Currently pursuing or recently completed (no more than 1 year) graduate education in economics, business, energy finance, international development, social sciences, international relations or other relevant field.
  • Demonstrated interest or experience in supporting or leading expansion of products and services in emerging/frontier market or challenging contexts.
  • Proven experience working with individuals and teams to quickly build, test, and scale business models, and jointly identify and prioritize key challenges.
  • Experience working with the private sector and building shared value partnerships.
  • Demonstrated interest in humanitarian and emergency response programming and strong motivation.
  • Experience in drafting or supporting report, communication and learning pieces;
  • Strong writing and analytical skills required;
  • Ability to respect Mercy Corps procedures, to meet deadlines, to work independently and cooperatively with team members is required;
  • Patient, calm, and willing to come to work each day with a sense of humor;
  • Demonstrated familiarity with the context of Uganda.
  • English fluency, spoken and written;



Mercy Corps interns and team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours and are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.


Diversity is powerful. To achieve transformational change, we seek out team members with different origins, beliefs, backgrounds and ways of thinking. Diversity helps us unlock complexity.