Promoting Public Health’s Future Leaders
PAHO interns at a briefing at the Organization of the American States (OAS) - Summer 2009
The development of leaders in international public health is essential to carry out this mission. PAHO is committed to provide an enriching experience for those young professionals who choose to join us in this endeavor.
Dr. Carissa F. Etienne
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recognizes the importance of a new generation of public health leaders who have an understanding of global health issues and the role of international organizations in achieving the Millennium Development Goals MDGs and other health issues. In this regard, the PAHO Internship and Practicum Program (IPP) aims to train young and energetic individuals entering the field of public health and who are interested in providing services to the Organization on a voluntary basis. PAHO interns/volunteers are matched with appropriate technical or administrative programs based on their personal interests and skills. Placements opportunities include PAHO Headquarters in Washington DC, PAHO Country Offices, as well as the Pan American Centers in the North and South America or in the Caribbean region.
Interns/Internship vs. Volunteers/Practicum
While trainees are either interns or volunteers, it is important to distinguish one from the other.
Interns at the event " Violence against Women" 2014
Intern helping at the DC Fiesta 2013
An intern is an individual who is at least 20 years old, completing the last year of an undergraduate program or enrolled in a course of study relevant to PAHO’s work at a graduate or post-graduate level; and who agrees to provide assistance to PAHO/WHO without remuneration. Interns do not have the status of PAHO/WHO staff members and cannot represent the Organization in any official capacity.
An Internship is an arrangement between PAHO/WHO and an intern (student) whereby an individual's educational experience is enhanced through practical assignments and exposure to the work of the Organization. Internships are not intended for work of a continuing and/or operational nature, nor for work generally performed by a staff member. Internships are approved for a specific period of time, traditionally ranging from two to six months.
A volunteer is an individual who is at least 20 years old and whose experience and professional background enable her/him to make a valuable contribution to the work of the Organization. She/he is expected to have finished her/his studies. She/he could be on sabbatical leave from her/his government or her/his employing institution and be available for a clearly defined period. Volunteers do not have the status of PAHO/WHO staff members and cannot represent the Organization in any official capacity.
A practicum is an arrangement between PAHO/WHO and an individual(volunteer) whose experience and professional background would allow him/her to make a contribution to the work of a technical program, could be authorized to carry out specific activities on a voluntary basis on PAHO/WHO premises under the supervision of a staff member. Practicums (volunteers) last between two months and one year.