Engineers/architects voluntary remote internships for assessment of health facility construction projects At Shelter Centre

This internship is suited to experienced construction professionals, with experience across the construction industry, seeking to explore a career in the humanitarian sector, or make a humanitarian contribution. The interns will participate in humanitarian projects directly, with leading agencies, such as our ongoing analysis of health care facilities in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) sections around the world with the objective of improving the implementation of projects.

Experienced professionals with a range of skills wishing to contribute remotely to humanitarian activities are sought to join a dynamic and diverse global team for full-time internships, although applications are welcome also from candidates who have some prior commitments but are available almost full time. The reason for this is that we work in teams and it otherwise becomes difficult to arrange meetings across availability and time zones.

We are seeking pragmatic engineers/architects with understanding of the different construction project phases, from conception to implementation, with particular experience in project and contract management in a multi-stakeholder environment, ideally with focus on health facilities.

In addition to technical capability, teamwork, empathy, an ability to function and add value in overcoming challenges is essential to join a dynamic and diverse global team. The successful candidate(s) will remotely join and support a talented and diverse multiskilled global humanitarian team.


Shelter Centre,, is a small international humanitarian NGO registered in Switzerland which does not implement operations alone, but instead collaborates with agencies in direct support of their operations, as well as building capacity in the sector. Shelter Centre is dedicated to supporting collaboration, consensus and capacity throughout the global technical humanitarian community of practice. We serve the global technical community of practice through regular global practitioners’ events and resources.

These voluntary positions are for those committed to a future career in humanitarian action, seeking experience and opportunities to inform their decisions in identifying directions. Our people are the foundation to our work and we offer weekly bilateral personal development opportunities. Giving the opportunity of professional growth, former volunteers have gone on to work with donors, UN agencies, the Red Cross Movement, INGOs and CSOs.

Additionally, volunteers are expected to contribute to a series of ongoing projects, including but not limited to:

  • collaboration with MSF worldwide on the analysis of their medical infrastructure projects
  • concept development of innovative new emergency shelter approaches

Main responsibilities and tasks

Informed by preliminary feedback, the intern will participate in the development of the various projects mentioned. This may involve activities including, but not limited to:

  • understanding the contexts and audiences, as Shelter Centre always recognises affected populations as the primary responders
  • desk review of health facility construction project documentation
  • participate in key informant interviews
  • provide inputs for developing methodologies
  • collaborate on report writing providing inputs based on construction background
  • data and document management
  • statistical data analysis using MS Excel
  • design development of innovative shelter structures

Applicants should also be flexible and motivated to work on other projects and activities, which may range from supporting operational technical work to collaborations with agencies.

Desired education, skills and experience

  • experience in working on health facility projects, including all medical and support activities
  • experience working in the construction industry such as contract management, environmental impact assessment, – topography and quantity surveyors, electrical supply and distribution, HVAC, water supply and utilities
  • experience at national level, around the world, in the private sector, humanitarian sector or civil society
  • experience working within varied cultures around the world and in remote areas
  • experience in project management
  • ideally, a university (or accredited professional institution) degree in Engineering (civil, structural, mechanical) or Architecture
  • proven experience in statistical analysis
  • knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research and analysis methods and ease with handling quantitative data

Required education, skills and experience

  • commitment to humanitarian action
  • experience in general construction and/or design
  • understanding of and experience working with construction contracts
  • proven experience in project management of construction projects
  • excellent research and writing skills, including methodologies and analysis
  • strong organisational skills and demonstrated experience in project management, multi-tasking, prioritising and working accurately to set deadlines
  • proven ability to work effectively and harmoniously in a team of colleagues of varied cultural and professional backgrounds
  • fluent spoken and written English (minimum Level C1 proficiency)
  • general computer literacy, including in Microsoft Office and GoogleDrive

In-kind time contributions will be gratefully considered from engineering firms, universities and research bodies.

What do interns get?
Interns are the foundation to Shelter Centre’s work and weekly bilateral personal development opportunities are offered in exchange. The interns are further supported by their manager through a personal weekly mentoring session including the review of curriculum vitaes, cover letters, job opportunities, references and writing personal reports. The team also benefits from regular personal development events involving external speakers, conferences, celebrations and other activities organised by and at the request of the interns.


We are seeking full-time volunteers, to work remotely a total of 40 hours per week taking into consideration different time zones. Flexibility is a key consideration, bearing in mind that the collegial team is based and operates across multiple time zones to support our stakeholders and constituents from the disaster/conflict front lines to the headquarters of donors and agencies. Please ensure that you specify your core time availability, and any flexibility in your application. The availability sought is a minimum of three months.

The positions are virtual, meaning interns will work from home. Shelter Centre will only consider applications from individuals who hold or are likely to obtain a valid permit which allows them to reside and undertake internships in their country of work. Shelter Centre has been working online across the globe by developing a collaborative way of working for over a decade.

Successful candidates will bear their own insurance, accommodation and living costs. Travel is not required.

How to apply

To apply please send your CV and cover letter to

Closing date: 15th August 2021 (midnight, Geneva time, CEST)

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