By Clare Urquhart

Hello from Geneva, Switzerland! I am currently working as an Intern at Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. Gavi is an international organisation whose goal is to ensure that no child is left behind in accessing immunisation and health services. The organisation is dedicated to making sure that fragile countries have access to vaccines at affordable prices, and provides ways for countries to have sustainable health systems through Gavi support. I currently work within the Vaccines & Sustainability department, a department focused on ways to make vaccine processes sustainable for countries. This involves creating sound policies, financing mechanisms and monitoring and evaluation frameworks. Within the Vaccines & Sustainability department lies the tiny but mighty policy team, a team of less than 10 extremely dedicated individuals designing the framework for which Gavi carries out its practices. In short, the policy team is the team that decides what policies are necessary and true to ensuring that countries have affordable vaccines at national and subnational level.

My internship is centred around the Gender Policy Review, the process of understanding what gender-related barriers exist in accessing immunisation. This involves understanding the economic, social, cultural, and political barriers that children, caregivers and their networks face in accessing vaccines. My work involves analysing existing Gender policies published by partners, understanding monitoring and evaluation frameworks that Gavi can use to evaluate the effectiveness of the gender policy across the organisation, as well as many other tasks ranging from planning and executing a Gender Workshop to participating in country and CSO consultations. This internship has really opened my eyes to how dynamic international organisations are in day to day activities, and how simple projects involve a significant amount of teamwork and coordination.

My role as an Intern for the Policy Team involves working closely with all members of the team at all times. The team is truly that – a team! We have bi-weekly meetings to go over findings from research, updates on policy review processes and we are constantly bouncing ideas off of one another to ensure that best practices are outlined in all of the policies under review. We also have coffee catch-ups bi-weekly to hear about new tasks individuals and groups are working on in other areas of Gavi. There is no doubt that most of us have too many things on our to do lists, however, we take the time to learn from one another.

My internship so far has been amazing, and I am given the chance often to apply what I’ve learned through the MAGG programme, as well as improve other skills related to public policy. The subjects that we encounter on a regular basis can prove to be overwhelming, but Gavi staff both inside and outside of the policy team. It feels so good to be apart of an organisation that believes that gender equality is integral to their everyday work.

I can’t wait to continue to learn and develop my skills whilst fulfilling my dreams of working for a global health international organisation.