Position Detail

Design for Health Intern
Arlington, VA US
On Hold


  • Are you a US Citizen or US Permanent Resident?
  • Are you able to participate in a field experience, which may involve domestic and/or international travel and overnight stays for up to 2 weeks?





INTERN TITLE: Design for Health Intern
HOST ORGANIZATION: Center for Innovation and Impact, Bureau for Global Health, United States Agency for International Development
LOCATION: Arlington, VA
POSITION LEVEL: Master’s level


SALARY: $1,826 bi-weekly (exempt, salaried position)


Sustaining Technical and Analytic Resources (STAR) is a project of the Public Health Institute (PHI) supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Health (GH) Bureau. Its purpose is twofold: (1) Through individual fellowships, STAR will help strengthen the capacity of diverse American and low-and-middle-income country (LMIC) health professionals at all levels to make innovative contributions to global health (GH); and (2) STAR will create ground-breaking opportunities for both US and LMIC GH academic institutions and other groups, including professional associations, to create systems for open-access knowledge sharing, resulting in effective partnerships. STAR’s individual and institutional participants are contributing to the development of self-sustaining systems and tools that will produce global citizens with the full spectrum of relevant health competencies. STAR is managed by the Public Health Institute and implement in partnership with Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH).


USAID has a long-standing record of success in the development, introduction and scale-up of high-impact health products and interventions in low- and middle-income countries, yet working in these markets presents a variety of challenges. With myriad life-saving health technologies readily available in the 21st century, too few are accessible to people of disease-burdened, low-income countries. Those health technologies and interventions that do reach the last mile in places like sub-Saharan Africa often take years, or even decades, to get there. Because successful product development and introduction requires viable public and private markets with clear pathways to achieve scale, the Agency must rely on cutting-edge thinking to push boundaries and address formidable barriers to adoption, from limited user demand to market failures, which can prevent innovative technologies from reaching those most in need.


The Center for Innovation and Impact (CII), in USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, encourages business-minded approaches and accelerates impact against some of the world’s most important health issues. CII invests seed capital in the most promising ideas and applies rigorous, market-oriented approaches to cut the time it takes to transform discoveries in the lab to impact on the ground.


The Design for Health Intern (Intern) will be assigned to the Market Access Team, which applies the most successful private sector principles and practices to the challenge of scaling global health innovations. Our approach includes planning for introduction and scale; designing and launching market shaping initiatives; utilizing nontraditional approaches like innovative financing and human-centered design (HCD); and leveraging the private sector.


Recently, CII partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to develop resources to support the understanding, appropriate use, and effectiveness of design in global health. These resources are available online at www.designforhealth.org. These public goods provide guidance around when, why, and how design can be used in global health, as well as a strategic roadmap outlining priority activities that can advance the appropriate application of design in global health.


CII is seeking an Intern to continue the development and maintenance of these resources, as well as support the design and standing up of a Community of Practice around HCD in global health. The Intern’s responsibilities may include: building out and maintaining the Design for Health resources, strategizing ways to disseminate and implement the resources, and supporting the structuring of a Community of Practice to continue the momentum of this work, as well as internal and external partners/experts who will provide input and support throughout the process, including USAID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, PATH, IDEO, Thinkplace, Veryday, and others. Through this role, the Intern will gain a deeper understanding of how design thinking and approaches can be incorporated into global health programming, and how organizations are exploring ways to strengthen design application in global health.


Reporting structure:
The Design for Health Intern work closely with the Senior Market Access Advisor, who will also serve as her/his onsite manager.


Essential Duties:

  • Support the build out / finalization of select Design for Health resources, including a strategic roadmap that outlines priority activities to advance the appropriate application of design in global health.
  • Maintain and update the Design for Health website and resources based on input from the global health community.
  • Track progress of the use of Design for Health resources and strategize ways to disseminate and better incorporate these resources into USAID’s and other donors’ work.
  • Support the design proposal for a Design for Health Community of Practice.
  • Support liaising with other communities coordinating around design, such as HCD Exchange (a group that facilitates collaboration and tackles key strategic questions around applying HCD for adolescent sexual and reproductive health programming) to ensure coordination with Design for Health community and to support the build out of any overlapping work.
  • Support the development of additional Design for Health resources to build out for the global health community.
  • Support the design of a convening of global health practitioners, designers, donors, and implementing partners in the fall to continue the work behind Design for Health.


Internship Output/Deliverable:

  • Finalization of select Design for Health resources and dissemination of all Design for Health resources into USAID’s and other partners’ work.
  • Updated Design for Health website and resources.
  • Initial proposal for the design of a Design for Health Community of Practice.
  • Initial plans for additional Design for Health resources.


Anticipated learning outcomes: *required 10% time

  • Identify and describe the core attributes of the STAR global health competencies; defined as development practice, cross cultural awareness, communication, capacity strengthening, ethics of public health, health equity, gender equality and global burden of disease. 
  • Gain exposure to global health programming and human-centered design through global health programming. 
  • Apply effective communication skills across a broad network of peers and advisors within global health to support learning and professional development. 
  • Develop a global health focused career plan with a mentor. 



  • Currently enrolled master’s or other post-bachelor’s degree candidate in a program related to design; or completion of such degree within the last 12 months.
  • Demonstrated experience with design approaches, particularly toward development.
  • Familiarity with web design platforms such as Squarespace.
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Cloud and other design-related platforms.
  • Strong communication, writing, and synthesis skills.
  • Ability to participate in a field experience, which may involve domestic and/or international travel and overnight stays for up to 2 weeks. .
  • US citizenship or US permanent residency required.


Additional skills (preferred):

  • Background in social sciences preferred.


The Public Health Institute offers a comprehensive benefits package including learning programs.


Position subject to availability of funds.



All applicants are required to apply for this position through STAR’s online recruitment system at https://recruitment.ghstar.org/, which allows you to create a profile and upload a CV/resume and cover letter. All online applications must be submitted by April 30, 2019 by 5:00 pm Eastern time.


Public Health Institute is proud to be an EEO/AA employer.