On June 11, 2016, the USAID Promote: Women in Government team and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) Afghanistan Institute of Rural Development (AIRD) partnered together to launch the six-month civil service internship training for 117 interns.

Interns began their journey by completing an application, written exam, and panel interview. Upon successfully finishing the recruitment process, these women officially became USAID Promote: Women in Government interns. Chosen from a pool of more than one thousand applicants, these interns represent diverse and competitive educational backgrounds. The top educational backgrounds among successful applicants were law, literature, and psychology. The leading professional areas of interest included human rights, management and administration, and international relations.

During the program, interns will learn the five core civil service functions (human resources, project management, civil service law, policies and procedures, procurement, and financial management), in addition to intensive computer and English courses. MRRD/AIRD briefs interns on ministry operations and current development projects underway in Afghanistan to illustrate how the government coordinates with donors to improve its service delivery. Interns have direct access to qualified trainers, fully-equipped classrooms, a contemporary library, and new computer labs. Interns receive dynamic learning approaches through interactive presentations, group work, discussions, debates, analyses, and case studies. These trainings and resources allow interns to sharpen their skillsets to most effectively work in the Afghan civil service. As one intern expressed, “I would like to learn how to write professional CVs and interview tips to prepare for available job opportunities in the government.

Optimism among interns is high. As one woman reported, “the transparent recruitment process opens this internship opportunity to all interested female interns. I am intern today and will be a civil servant employee tomorrow. The nepotism-free internship program gives me the hope and motivation to be a future government leader soon after completing this one year internship program.