Global Fund (Co-sponsored with the Harvard Global Health Institute)

Please Note: This internship is co-sponsored. This means that the funding for this internship is provided by two institutions at Harvard. The Primary Affiliation is with HGHI, and the Secondary Affiliation is with the IOP. The primary institute will be the point of contact during the application and internship onboarding process, and applications for this placement will be processed by HGHI.

Please note HGHI's application instructions to ensure you meet all the requirements. The intern selected for this internship will have the benefits and obligations of an intern in both of programs.

The Global Fund is a 21st-century partnership organization designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. Founded in 2002, the Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases. The Global Fund raises and invests nearly US$ 4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in countries and communities most in need.

Summer Project

Since the adoption of its Strategy, Investing to End Epidemics, 2017-2022, the Global Fund has joined with country stakeholders, technical partners and other donors in a major effort to expand investment in programs to remove human rights-related barriers in national responses to HIV, TB and malaria. As part of its efforts to operationalize its strategy, the Global Fund launched the Breaking Down Barriers project provide intensive support to 20-selected countries to introduce and scale up Global Fund investment to programs to address human rights-related barriers.

Through these efforts, a great progress has been made in raising awareness on human rights barriers and increasing investment on effective human rights programs in the current funding cycle. However, a detailed analysis would be needed across the portfolios to better understand the inclusion of human rights from the application phase to the actual grants.

Under close supervision of the Senior Human Rights coordinator and advisors, the summer project will require an intern to conduct a detailed analysis of the Global Fund funding applications and grant budget documents to understand to what extent human rights analysis and investment are included the Global Fund grants.  A similar analysis on the NFM1 has been conducted, which found that while the analysis of human rights is strong at the funding application phase, much of the investments on concrete human rights programs was lost at the grant-making phase. The outcome of the project will enable an important comparison between the previous and current cycles to show the trajectory of the human rights awareness and investment from the application to the grant-making phase; and the lessons learned from the analysis will inform the human rights work at the secretariat.  

The intern will also have the opportunity to support other important works, including the Global Fund Breaking Down Barriers Mid-term assessment analysis.


The intern will be expected to review the previous analysis and studies on the funding application analysis; review and improve the structure of the data bank (excel) which should be used to record the information from the funding application materials; build the data bank for analysis. Brief output of the internship is:

  • Improved Funding application analysis tool (excel);
  • 5 – 7 page report, including: 1) methodology of the analysis; 2) outcome of the analysis (including summarizing human rights inclusion in the current cycle; and the comparison with the previous cycle; interesting country/programmatic examples; and lessons learned and key recommendations. As an annex, a complete data bank, which contains the extracted data from the funding application and grant documents should be submitted.
  • Presentation slides based on the analysis


An intern should have strong background on qualitative research and analytical skills. A person with strong interpersonal and organizational skills will also be given preference, as well as those with prior knowledge of human rights issues in HIV and TB; programs to address those barriers as illustrated in the Global Fund technical briefs; and HIV and TB programs, more broadly. Those who have experience working on human rights and/or with key populations (either on health or social issues, e.g. LGBTI rights) will be strongly favorable.

Work Environment

The intern will work at the Global Fund office. Flexible arrangements (e.g. working from home) can be discussed with the supervisor. The intern will have access to equipment required to perform his/her/they work.


On a scale of 0 to 5, the level of internship supervision from very little (0) to a great deal (5) will be a 3.

2019 Intern Reflection:

Interning in the Community, Gender, and Rights (CRG) department at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria this summer has been an absolutely extraordinary experience. Working across governments, civil society, technical agencies, the private sector, and affected populations of these three diseases, the Global Fund partnership mobilizes and invests over US $4 billion a year to support programs in more than 100 countries. Within CRG, particular focus lies on the impact of these diseases on key and vulnerable populations; for HIV, key populations are: men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people, people who inject drugs, and people in prisons and other closed settings.

My project this summer is conducting a qualitative midterm assessment of a $1.2 million year-long technical assistance program provided by FHI360/LINKAGES to six countries. The focus of this program is to support better prevention, testing, treatment, and linkages to care for HIV key populations. As part of this project, I am developing a questionnaire tool and interviewing country stakeholders across multiple levels -- ranging from representatives from the Ministry of Health to the technical assistance providers -- in order to solicit input on the program. I have also worked on reviewing country-specific budgets/investments and disease performance indicators as background for this assessment. The ultimate output will be a report that synthesizes key lessons learned in the delivery of this program. Outside of my project, I have had the opportunity to attend department meetings as well as events such as Brown Bag sessions, which present interesting global health topics in relation to the Global Fund. I would highly recommend this internship to those who have an interest in better understanding the mechanisms of global health delivery from multiple perspectives, especially with regards to human rights and impacts of global investments.

Cynthia Chang '20

2018 Intern Reflection: 

This summer, I am incredibly lucky to be working at The Global Fund in Geneva, stationed in the brand-new Global Health Campus right next to the UN, the World Health Organization, and more. The Global Fund is the world's biggest global health funding agency, distributing over $4 billion annually to more than 100 countries. I work specifically within the Community, Rights, and Gender Department, which effectively serves as an internal policy and strategy advocate to make sure that marginalized voices are heard and involved in funding decisions. I learned about The Global Fund when I was doing research abroad with an NGO that fights for the rights of transgender individuals living with HIV. As it turns out, that NGO received funding from The Global Fund! Needless to say, it is fascinating to be able to work at the other end of the global health spectrum and understand more about what actually goes on behind the scenes.

My summer focus lies in analyzing The Global Fund's investments in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) programming, as GBV is a known risk factor for contracting HIV. This means going through investments and meeting people representing dozens of countries. I've been able to meet incredible, accomplished people from all over, as The Global Fund is a pinnacle of the global health field across the entire world. My own office has about 25 people but about 20 nationalities. I've never had the chance to meet tuberculosis doctors from Uganda in the same day as lawyers from Kazakhstan and transgender advocates from South Africa, and being in such a diverse environment is a treat. I wish I could stay here for a few more months, just so I could start to meet everyone!

Jared Perlo '19

2017 Intern Reflection: 

This summer, I had the opportunity to work with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in Geneva. The Global Fund is a partnership that raises and invests billions of dollars in programs run by local experts in-country to fight these epidemics. I worked in the Community, Rights, and Gender department, which focuses on engaging vulnerable groups and civil society in Global Fund activities. I reviewed assessments that were completed in multiple countries on gender-related risks and barriers to care for TB. I analyzed these assessments comparatively across the countries to examine trends in TB and synthesize recommendations for programmatic responses to these barriers. My sociology courses at Harvard were a good foundation to understand inequalities and apply research skills to this analysis. I learned a lot about the role gender plays in the TB epidemic, and the critical thinking necessary to effectively address these issues with interventions. I enjoyed focusing of on a few main project deliverables to complete, while also learning about other projects ongoing at the company.  

The Global Fund is a rapidly evolving company with an exciting, dynamic, and flexible office culture. There are many work streams across  departments from country grant management to technical assistance. I am particularly interested in the intersection of medicine and public health, and I reached out to advisers at The Global Fund who had medical degrees and was able to talk with them. There are also brown bag lunches on cross-cutting topics periodically, offering opportunities to learn more about new issues. I am inspired by my colleagues' and the company's commitment to ending the epidemics. I would recommend The Global Fund to anyone who is passionate about global health and saving lives efficiently, and wants to learn about effective strategies to do this.

Sarah Rahman '18 

This summer I am interning with the Global fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB), and Malaria. The Global Fund is a funding organization which raises and invests in health programs in communities in need around the world. As an intern I am supporting the Monitoring and Evaluation Country Analysis team within the Strategy, Investment and Impact Division. I am researching factors associated with HIV, TB, and malaria epidemic resurgence in order to provide critical insight for future health policies and disease prevention, as well as contribute to critical databases. This consists of evaluating past cases studies of epidemic resurgence, analyzing trends, organizing and evaluating collected data, participating in funding application review processes.

This project is quite broad, but I am collaborating with others (many of whom work at the World Health Organization(WHO)) to produce the most helpful report possible. I have my own desk within a shared room with other interns, which is nice for meeting other people within the office. It should be noted that the Global Fund is smaller than the WHO or UN so there is not the same type of large intern community, but you do have the opportunity to get to know your colleagues and people working within the other departments! My project is individualized and flexible and I have been given a lot of freedom in direction and format. My background is in anthropology and global health, but a solid understanding of statistics, data management, evaluation theory, and technology would be beneficial for this internship. This internship provides experience in research and statistical analysis as well as exposes you to how various fields work together (from politics, finances to health). 

Sophia Kaufman '18 

Geneva, Switzerland