Org. Setting and Reporting
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.
Assist in data collection of disaster risk reduction practices and sustainable development issues; preparing reports, best practice examples and briefings based on data collection, research and analysis.
Support the organization of internal and external meetings, events, webinars and expert group meetings.
Assist in preparing training and learning events, maintaining databases, content of UNDRR partner workspaces, websites and mailing lists. Provide logistical and administrative support during meetings and conferences.
Attend and support the facilitation of discussions, meetings and development/implementation of projects.
Assist in data analysis for knowledge products and documents for disaster risk monitoring and climate risk analysis.
Support the development of UNDRR input papers, support the wider climate change portfolio, including the rollout of CRM work in target countries.
Support national DRR strategy process and synergy with the climate change adaptation agenda, engaging peer reviewers and managing follow up and reporting throughout the process.
Assist with communications and social media campaigns. Support the finalization of the Regional Assessment Report and any other knowledge products for the Global Platform. Support the preparation of the Words into Action publication.
Support activities related to the UNDRR work plan, support the work of the E-STAG for example by assisting with ad-hoc working groups on particular themes or topics.
Support the implementation of various projects in the region, in close coordination with the focal point and other Regional Offices.
Support outreach to cities and partners, advocacy and contributions to key milestone events.
Support various projects and/or work programmes: Making Cities Resilient (MCR2030), the Global Platform (GP), World Urban Forum, UNFCCC Global Stocktake (GST), Global Goal on Adaptation, the Risk Knowledge activities. Assist the work of the EU team in interest representation with EU institutions, with particular focus on the European Commission DG ECHO, DG INTPA, DG NEAR, the European Committee of the Regions and, where relevant, the European Parliament.
Communication: 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.
Teamwork: 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.
Client orientation: 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, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:
(a) be enrolled in, or have completed, a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
(b) be enrolled in, or have completed, the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum bachelor’s level or equivalent).
Interested candidates must be pursuing or pursued their degree in areas related to this Job Opening.
In addition, interested candidates must:
- Be computer literate in standard software applications including MS Suite (Word, Excel, Power Point);
- 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.
No working experience is required to apply for the United Nations Internship Programme. Your training, education, advance course work or skills should benefit the United Nations during your internship.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in 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 may be contacted by the hiring team directly if further information is needed during the review of their application.
Due to the high volume of applications received, only candidates who have been identified as potential will be contacted.
United Nations Considerations
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants may be requested to undertake the internship remotely in view of constraints regarding visa issuance, international travel and access to UN premises. Applicants must be prepared to undertake the internship remotely for a part or the entirety of the internship.
UNDRR encourages interested persons from every geographic location to apply for these positions.
Interns are not financially remunerated by the United Nations and are responsible for all internship-related expenses that they incur. The United Nations accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness incurred during an internship. Therefore, upon award of an internship, interns are responsible for securing adequate insurance coverage and are required to sign and return a statement confirming their understanding and acceptance of these conditions of service.
There should be no expectation of employment by the United Nations upon completion of the internship.
Interns may not apply for or be appointed to any position in the Professional or above categories and for positions at the FS-6 and FS-7 levels in the Field Service category during the period of their internship and for the six months immediately following the expiration date thereof.
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 of the spouse of a parent of a staff member (that is, also half- and step-sibling).
The internship is a full time, and the work hours during the internship shall be determined based on individual discussion between the intern and the supervisor(s) taking into consideration the minimum requirements of the Organization and the time difference between the hosting office and the location of the intern.
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.
Completed online application (Cover Note and Personal History Profile) is required.
Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
- The cover note must include:
- Date of availability.
- Title of degree you are currently pursuing.
- Graduation date (when will you be/have graduating/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.
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.