Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of efforts to reduce disasters and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in both developed and less developed countries. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG), UNDRR has over 100 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and in regional offices. Specifically, UNDRR guides, monitors, analyses and reports on progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, supports regional and national implementation of the Framework and catalyses action and increases global awareness to reduce disaster risk working with U.N. Member States and a broad range of partners and stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, parliamentarians and the science and technology community.
The internship is for a period of two to six months depending on the needs of each office. The internship is UNPAID and full-time. Interns work five days per week under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned.
Responsibilities will depend on the individual’s background, the intern’s assigned office as well as the internship period. Duties may include, but are not limited to:
- Assist in drafting and preparing background documents, reports, issue briefs, talking points, articles, presentations etc.
- Attend and summarize conferences and meetings.
- Support organization of meetings and conferences, side events to strengthen strategic engagement with UN system partners.
- Assist in data collection of disaster risk reduction practices.
- Conduct research and provide analysis on relevant disaster risk reduction and sustainable development issues.
- Support research on risk knowledge and analysis on DRR-related topics.
- Assist in maintaining databases.
- Support the review of key publications.
- Support the work on Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, Sendai Framework Monitoring, Words into Action, Making Cities Resilient, International Day for Disaster Reduction, World Tsunami Awareness Day etc.
- Assist in preparing training and learning events and other capacity building initiatives for Disaster Risk Reduction.
- Speaks and writes clearly and effectively
- Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately
- Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication
- Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience
- Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed
- Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals
- Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others
- Places team agenda before personal agenda
- Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position
- Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings
- Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients ” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view
- Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect
- Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions
- Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems
- Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects
- Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client
To qualify for an internship with the United Nations Internship Programme, the following conditions must be met:
- Applicants must meet one of the following requirements: (a) be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher); (b) be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent); or (c) have graduated with a university degree (as defined above) and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one year period of graduation;
- Be computer literate in standard software applications;
- Have a demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter; and
- Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views.
Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in spoken and written English is required for this internship. Knowledge of an additional official UN language is an asset. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish are the official languages of the United Nations Secretariat.
Potential candidates will be contacted by the hiring manager directly for further consideration.
Completed online application (Cover Note and Personal History Profile) is required. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
The Cover Note must include:
- Preferred duty station(s) for the internship.
- Title of degree you are currently pursuing.
- Graduation Date (When will you be graduating/ have graduated from the programme?).
- IT skills and programmes that you are proficient in.
- Top three areas of interest.
- Explain why you are the best candidate for this specific internship.
- Explain your interest in the United Nations Internship Programme.
In your online Personal History Profile, be sure to include all past work experiences, IT skills, and three references.
Due to the high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted.
A person who is the child or sibling of a staff member shall not be eligible to apply for an internship at the United Nations. An applicant who bears to a staff member any other family relationship may be engaged as an intern, provided that he or she shall not be assigned to the same work unit of the staff member nor placed under the direct or indirect supervision of the staff member. For purposes of this instruction, "child" means (i) the child of a staff member; (ii) the child of the spouse of a staff member (stepchild); and (iii) the spouse of a child of a staff member or a staff member's spouse (son- or daughter-in-law). "Sibling" includes the child of both or either parent of a staff member and the child.