DFA Logo

This content from the
Department of Foreign Affairs
has moved to Ireland.ie/irish-aid. If you are not redirected in 5 seconds, click here.

Skip to main content

This content from the Department of Foreign Affairs has moved to Ireland.ie/irish-aid

Development Internships

Applications are invited for paid internships, which may arise in the Development Cooperation and Africa Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

These internships are designed to provide the successful candidate with the opportunity to gain practical experience in the Government’s international development assistance programme (also known as Irish Aid) in the Department of Foreign Affairs. Internships will be for a duration of at least 12 months, commencing in the autumn of 2021 or a later date. All internships will be based in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Limerick or Dublin.

Development cooperation is integral to Ireland’s foreign policy.  The aid programme represents a very significant commitment of public funds, with €868 million budgeted for Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2021. Ireland’s programme is recognised internationally for its strong focus on relieving poverty and hunger, for its partnership approach in some of the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and for its effectiveness.

The role of Development Intern involves primarily working with development specialists who provide technical support to the Government’s international development cooperation programme (Irish Aid), in the Department of Foreign Affairs. The position will offer the opportunity to work as part of a highly motivated and skilled team, in a range of disciplines of relevance to the policy objectives of the aid programme. More information can be found at www.irishaid.ie or www.dfa.ie and in the following key policy documents: A Better World –Ireland’s Policy for International Development and Global Ireland - Strategy for Africa to 2025

The Department of Foreign Affairs is committed to a policy of equal opportunity.



Have at a minimum a second class honours undergraduate degree in international relations, including development, or one of the following areas: 

  • Accounting and Public Financial Management
  • Agriculture  and Rural Livelihoods
  • Climate Issues
  • Development Management/ International Relations
  • Development Research
  • Economics/Business/Private Sector
  • Education
  • Environment / Climate Change
  • Food Science
  • Gender, Equality and Diversity
  • Governance
  • Humanitarian Response / Human Rights
  • Nutrition
  • Public Health including HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases
  • Statistics / ICT
  • High level of oral and written communication skills are essential, including excellent applied writing skills.
  • A strong interest in Ireland’s foreign policy, including knowledge of Irish Aid.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, initiative and good judgement.
  • Good administrative, organisational and computer skills.
  • Flexibility and capability to work both independently and as a member of a team.


  • A knowledge of global development issues and an understanding of the economic, business, trade and political context in which development interventions are successful.
  • An understanding and appreciation of the complex environment in which the Department of Foreign Affairs (including Irish Aid) and its Missions operate.
  • Experience of working in the developing world
  • Experience of working in the area of community development either at voluntary or professional level.

Job Specification:

The precise range of duties will vary over time according to the exigencies of the planned and ongoing programmes, but will include the following:

  • Provision of support in a sector or on a thematic issue of relevance to the programme;
  • Contribute to oversight and monitoring of approved budgets and programmes;
  • Provide input into briefings, speeches and reports, as required;
  • Work as part of a Unit or cross-unit team and  with other colleagues across the Department;
  • Contribute to policy discussions of relevance to the Irish Aid programme with other donors, civil society and other development actors;
  • Support the Department’s staff in international networks and at international/national meetings of relevance to the international development assistance programme;
  • Contribute to the Units technical support and advice to field operations;
  • Undertake research and data analysis on behalf of the unit, to inform decision-making;
  • Support the public information and communications/outreach work of the organisation
  • Undertake other functions as requested by the Head of Unit/Line Manager.

 Internships may arise in one or more of the following units of Development Cooperation and Africa Division, although candidates may also be assigned to other roles as needs arise:

  • Africa Unit
  • Business Support Unit
  • Civil Society & Development Education Unit
  • Climate Unit
  • European Union Multilateral Unit
  • Global Programmes Unit
  • Horn of Africa Unit
  • Humanitarian Unit
  • Policy Unit
  • United Nations Multilateral Unit 

Application Details:

Application forms can be requested from devintern@dfa.ie. The deadline for requesting application forms will be 17.00 on 6th August, 2021.

Completed application forms should be marked Development Specialist Intern Application in the subject line and addressed to devintern@dfa.ie. The deadline for applications is strictly 17:00 (Dublin time) on 9th August 2021.

Applications received after the closing date for applications will not be considered.

The pay rate applicable is the first point of the Executive Officer salary scale. There is no entitlement to Civil Service status.

Selection Process: Selection will be on the basis of a written test and competitive interview. If a large number of applications is received, candidates will be short listed for interview on the basis of information supplied in their application. Interviews will be conducted via video conference.

Citizenship Requirements

Eligible candidates must be:

(a)   A citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA consists of the Member States of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway; or

(b)   A citizen of the United Kingdom (UK); or

(c)   A citizen of Switzerland pursuant to the agreement between the EU and Switzerland on the free movement of persons; or

(d)   A non-EEA citizen who is a spouse or child of an EEA or UK or Swiss citizen and has a stamp 4 visa; or

(e)   A person awarded international protection under the International Protection Act 2015 or any family member entitled to remain in the State as a result of family reunification and has a stamp 4 visa  or

(f)    A non-EEA citizen who is a parent of a dependent child who is a citizen of, and resident in, an EEA member state or the UK or Switzerland and has a stamp 4 visa

It should be noted that any attempt, direct or indirect, by or on behalf of a candidate to influence the selection process will automatically disqualify the candidate.

Code of Practice

The selection process for appointments will be conducted in accordance with the Code of Practice for Appointment to Positions in the Civil Service and Public Service.Complaints/requests for review will be considered in accordance with the procedures set out in the Code of Practice which can be accessed by visiting www.cpsa.ie.

« Previous Item | Next Item »