Nasema Zeerak, MPA ’18

Internship at the United Nations Population Fund

This spring semester I am interning with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as a resource mobilization intern while fulfilling my MPA practicum requirement at MIIS.

At the UNFPA I work with the resource mobilization team where under the supervision of the chief of the branch, I take direction from the resource mobilization specialist to assist in a wide range of activities. Team members are resource mobilization specialists, resource mobilization analysts, resource mobilization advisors, Program analyst and chief of the branch.

My main responsibility is outreach to specific Member States of the United Nations. This includes researching aid policies and priorities of UN Member States and their international commitments to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. Under this responsibility I undertake background research in support of political, economic and social scanning of UNFPA’s donors, draft and/or update the relevant information documents for key donors, including donor profiles; donor priority countries; areas of interest etc, support the team in drafting meeting minutes, briefing materials and revision of proposals and reports to be submitted to donors, map current areas of work with key donors (co-financing projects).

For instance, one task that I have completed was drafting an analytical paper at the request of Canada on their contribution to UNFPA during the period of 2014-2017. This included researching and compiling information on their contribution and whether this contribution was allocated for core or non-core resources. In addition to that I developed infographics to report on their contribution in program countries.

Another exciting project that I am undertaking is developing and researching content for donor spotlight page project. This project, in a way to honor donor countries, is a page on the UNFPA website that is allocated to that specific donor and it highlights the donor countries support and contribution at a specific time period and it showcases where the contribution was spent. I coordinate content and data figures and compile everything needed to go live on the UNFPA website. This is an exciting project as it allows me to put into practice what I have learned at MIIS.

I have found Finance Function course that I took at MIIS particularly useful as my internship is donor relations/ resource mobilization and I have to apply all the theories I learned in that course to my day to day activities. In addition to Finance function, DPMI, evaluation and leading capacity development courses have been extremely helpful as well in carrying out my responsibilities at UNFPA.

Interning at UNFPA has been incredibly exciting so far. There is so much to learn and grow personally and professionally. As an MPA student aspiring to have a career in international development, it is a great way to connect the theoretical aspects of my coursework with practical application. I definitely have a better understanding of International Development and the UN system, the collaboration of UN and the public sector, and not to mention networking with professionals in the field.

“The UNFPA Resource Mobilization Team,”

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