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New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs : Services : The difference between a community internship and a community project Skip to Access Key assignments for this site
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The difference between a community internship and a community project



So, what is the difference between a community internship and a community project?

Community internships are a very specific type of community development intervention, designed to achieve both a specific capacity-building outcome for a host community organisation, and a relationship-building outcome between sectors or organisations.

Community Internships ARE:Community Internships ARE NOT:
specifically designed to place experienced and skilled people from the public and private sectors - or sometimes from the community and voluntary sectors – in capacity-building secondments to strengthen or develop the operations of community organisations.academic projects to place students in study or work experience environments, for example, thereby enabling the student to complete a study programme or work experience study requirement.
an opportunity to recruit a skilled and experienced person to provide a capacity or capability building outcome for the operations of the community organisation such as developing systems and providing training for staff and volunteers in how to use them, e.g. someone to design the training manual and then trains staff/volunteers to do cataract operations in their communitiesan alternative to a project grant to enable a community organisation to bring in a project contractor to undertake a specialist project or deliver a programme on their behalf, which does not provide a capacity or capability building outcome for the operations of the community organisation, e.g. someone to conduct cataract operations in the community and then leaves (with their skills still their own).
an opportunity for Interns to gain relevant career experience, skills, networks and community perspectives from working with a community organisation, which in turn will enhance their role when they return to their usual workan opportunity to create a permanent position within the organisation, using an internship grant as a “start-up” wage for a permanent or ongoing position within the organisation.
Positive relationship-building opportunities, whereby public and private sector agencies can improve their understanding of specific communities, by placing experienced staff into professional development or sabbatical experiences in community settings, who will, on their return, influence/inform the planning and delivery of policies and services based on their experiences, or whereby community and voluntary sector agencies can build relationships/services between organisations.Only about capacity building benefits to the host community organisation – achieving the CIP goal of building relationships and understanding between sectors and between organisations is also a key factor in community internships.

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Last updated: 03/06/2005