Promote programs in business, government, civil society and leadership are not for every woman. Promote programs are designed for women between 18 and 30 who are willing to complete challenging coursework to better equip themselves to find jobs and become leaders in Afghan society.
The first challenge is the application process. During July, Promote’s Women in Government program announced its internship program through ACBAR and by postings on government and private university sites. They received 226 applications for 25 spots. The program teaches relevant skills to help young women get into government jobs and help them become decision makers.
Two separate committees reviewed applicants against a set of eligibility criteria. The committee members had the qualified applications take a written test and also an in-person interview. The committees made the final selection for the 25 women to start in August.
Interns selected for this project are required to sign an internship agreement and agree to a 30 days probationary period to demonstrate their commitment. Each group of interns will attend an orientation session about the program and its policies before beginning training.
For the second round, the process will be the same. But the competition is steeper. This time, the program received 920 applications. That group was short-listed to 322 who will be interviewed for 200 spots to start the class at ACSI soon.
A well-designed recruitment and selection strategy is key for a smooth and successful internship program. Promote may not be for every woman, but USAID has other programs to help Afghan women around the country start businesses, attend university, or become midwives, teachers and administrators.