Internship: Observatory of Public Sector Innovation

Are you eager to work on innovative projects and push the boundaries of what’s possible in the public sector? The OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector Innovation is searching for multiple talented individuals to join our team for a six-month internship experience in Paris (with the possibility to extend to 12 months)!  

The deadline for application is Friday, 22 September 2023, 23:59 CET (instructions below).  

The OECD Internship Programme is designed to provide highly qualified and motivated students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to gain valuable experience and hone their analytical and technical skills in an international environment. Preference will be given to interns being able to commit full-time, on-site for a period of six months.  

At OPSI, we value curiosity and learning and we try to ensure that project tasks match both the needs of the team at the time and the interests of our selected candidate(s).  

Potential internship focus areas are:  

  • Mission-Oriented Innovation: Identifying and analysing examples of mission-oriented innovation policies, with a particular focus on governance of mission-oriented approaches.
  • Innovative Capacity: Supporting governments to develop strategies for public sector innovation, particularly in Latvia and Romania.
  • Measuring Public Sector Innovation: Supporting the development and piloting of a new Innovative Capacity Measurement survey instrument to help benchmark, understand and compare public sector innovation across countries.
  • Anticipatory Innovation Governance: Helping governments prepare for change by institutionalising strategic foresight.    
  • Behavioural Science: Helping governments apply behavioural science by convening a global network of practitioners, developing standards and tools, and conducting policy research and analysis.
  • Governance of Public Sector Innovation: Explore strategies, formats and actions that Governments use to enable innovation through their core functions (eg. audit, procurement and funding).  
  • Innovative Public Services: Identifying and analysing examples of innovative approaches to design and delivery of public services, and those which promote co-creation, iteration, replication and scaling (eg. Innovation labs, incubators and accelerators, hackathons and bootcamps, etc.).  
  • OECD Declaration on Public Sector Innovation: Work with government teams to contribute to adoption of the declaration, and support initiatives to apply and/or improve the ‘Innovation Playbook’.  

Tasks and competencies 

Tasks will vary across different internship positions but are likely involve the following competencies:  

  • Written communication: Preparation of notes, reports, blogs and case studies. Creating engaging online content and monitoring communications performance is also beneficial.  
  • Secondary research: Carrying out desk research, supporting literature reviews and identifying global best practices.  
  • Primary research: Carrying out interviews and collecting, organising and analysing qualitative and/or quantitative data. Supporting facilitation of research workshops.  
  • Operations support: Planning and participating in meetings and events. Designing and co-ordinating online research workshops.    
  • Understanding of public sector innovation: Demonstrable interest/awareness of one of more of the focus areas described above.  

Additional specific expertise: 

  • For the ‘Behavioural Science’ focus area we are seeking interns with a background in or knowledge of behavioural science theory and research methods. This includes a focused study in a behavioural science discipline (e.g. psychology, economics, sociology, anthropology, neuroscience or similar) and/or experience with primary research (e.g. experimental evaluations, quantitative data analysis or qualitative methods). 

Pay and benefits  

  • Full-time OECD Interns are paid a taxable allowance of EUR 1000 per month.  
  • Full-time interns earn 2.5 days of leave per month.  

Candidate requirements  

  • Must be enrolled in a full-time degree programme (in a related field or discipline) for the entire duration of the internship  
  • Must be a citizen of an OECD Member country  or OECD Accession country (Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru or Romania); preference will be given to candidates from under-represented Member countries 
  • Strong preference given to candidates able to commit full-time (40 hours per week) for a period of 6-months  
  • Fluency in English (knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese, Latvian, Lithuanian or Romanian would be an asset)  
  • If selected, the candidate must be able to obtain a Memorandum of Agreement between their school and the OECD, which governs the terms of the internship  

Note: The OECD seeks to recruit a diverse workforce and as such, review of applications will take into account the nationality of applicants.  

How to apply 

  1. Submit your application to the OECD centralised internship application by Friday, 22 September 2023, 23:59 CEST. 
  2. E-mail us at to let us know that you have applied to the position. Please also: 
  • State your optimal start and end date. 
  • Indicate if you have a preferred focus area(s) (see “potential areas for public sector innovation projects”). 
  • Confirm your enrolment in a full-time degree programme for the full duration of the internship. 

If you have any other question, you can reach us at