INTERN - Local Governments and SDG Localization Intern [Temporary]

  • Added Date: Thursday, 25 March 2021
  • Deadline Date: Thursday, 08 April 2021

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.

Established on 2002, through General Assembly Resolution A/56/206, UN-Habitat is the lead agency within the UN system for coordinating activities in the field of human settlement development.
Within UN Habitat, the Urban Practices Branch (UPB) is the Agencyโ€™s hub of knowledge and programme development and it supports governments and local authorities with tested approaches, guidelines, and tools. The Branch has five areas of work which are closely related: (1) Policy, Legislation and Governance, (2) Urban Basic Services, (3) Land, Housing and Shelter, (4) Planning, Finance and Economic Development, and (5) Human Rights and Social Inclusion.

During the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2015, 193 Member States, convened at the Global Summit on Sustainable Development to adopt the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs include 17 goals, 169 targets and 231 indicators. By adopting the SDGs, the international community committed itself not only to drastically address emerging issues and challenges in developing countries but also to improve current living conditions in developed countries through improving elements such as housing and the urban environment. As such, the SDGs are universal and relevant to all Member States. It is increasingly acknowledged that the local level is critical for the overall success of the 2030 Agenda, and the instrumental role that cities play to achieve the SDGs. Many cities and local governments worldwide are developing innovative strategies, policies and initiatives to localize the SDGs. The ambition and work of UN-Habitat is aimed to support them.

Inspired by national SDG reviewing processes including the Voluntary National Reviews, many local and regional governments are turning towards the Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) as main tool to monitor and report on SDG progresses. Moreover, through the VLR tool, local governments are able to raise awareness on the SDGs, guide strategic planning, direct municipal budgeting, increase participation and inclusion of citizens into decision making processes, enhance cross-departmental cooperation. UN-Habitat has developed an increasingly important portfolio around VLRs based on the development of knowledge and guidelines and on direct technical assistance to cities. It does so in partnership with many international partners and especially with United Cities Local Governments (UCLG).
The present internship is aimed at supporting the activities of the UN-Habitat and the Urban Practices Branch on advancing the work on local governments and SDG localization, with a specific focus on Voluntary Local Reviews. The selected candidate will be involved in the production of research and knowledge material; in the creation and consolidation of partnerships with local governments and their associations worldwide; in policy development efforts; in advocacy and communication activities such as meetings, global events and campaigns; and in providing technical support to project formulation and implementation.

The thematic focus will be local governance and SDG localization, and specifically Voluntary Local Reviews โ€“ SDG monitoring, data and indicators.
This post is located in the Urban Practices Branch of UN-Habitat and under direct supervision of the technical focal point for Local Governments and VLRs, Mr. Martino Miraglia and of the Chief of Branch, Ms. Shipra Narang Suri.

The UN-HABITAT Urban Practices Branch internship is for 6 months.

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 willing and prepared to undertake the internship remotely for a part or the entirety of the internship. 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

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.


Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual's background; the intern's assigned office as well as the internship period.

Under the supervision of the technical focal point for Local Governments and VLRs, and of the Chief of Branch, the intern will:
- Assist in developing normative tools and guidelines on SDG Localization and Voluntary Local Reviews
- Assist the development of policy briefs, positions paper and concept notes.
- Assist in planning, preparing and implementing events (meetings, workshops, conferences, Expert Group Meetings, etc.) and support the implementation of specific recommendations arising from these events.
- Assist in the design of training programs and materials related to local governments, SDG localization and Voluntary Local Reviews, especially in partnership with local governments associations.
- Assist with outreach activities and the production of advocacy material.
- Assisting in planning and reporting on meetings with key partners and stakeholders.
- Assist in the coordination of the activities of the Local2030 Initiative secretariat by engaging with relevant partners, organizing meetings and events and developing the content of the LocaL2030 platform.
- Assist on communication efforts related to the activities of the Branch on SDG Localization, local governments and Voluntary Local Reviews.
- Assist on administrative tasks and duties linked to the work of the Branch (development of ToRs; contracts etc.)
- Perform any other tasks relevant to the candidate and UPB, as jointly determined with the supervisor.


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 othersโ€™ 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 โ€œclientsโ€ and seeks to see things from clientsโ€™ point of view. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Identifies clientsโ€™ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions. Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clientsโ€™ 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.


Applicants must at the time of application 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 program (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent);
c. Have graduated with Bachelor's degree, Masters, PhD or equivalent

Have demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter;

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.

Preferred are of Studies:
Currently pursuing or have recently attained an advanced university degree in one of the following fields: Social and Political Sciences, International Relations, Development Economics, Urban/Public Policy, Governance, Legislation, Urban Development, Project Development or Management, Architecture or other related fields etc.

In addition, successful applicants are expected to have demonstrated ability in one or more areas listed below:
- Be computer literate in standard software applications (e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Knowledge of design or web software such as the Adobe creative suite (e.g. Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop) is an advantage;
- Possess strong interests in local governance and local development and is self-motivated;
- Possess strong writing skills; experience with academic writing or reporting is an asset;
- Possess analytical skills; experience with research and/or familiarity with research methodologies is an asset;
- Ability to work and deliver outputs independently in a timely manner, with minimal supervision;

Work Experience

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. For this internship position, fluency in English is required; and knowledge of French or Arabic is desirable.


Potential candidates will be contacted by hiring manager directly for further consideration

Special Notice

โ€œIn 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 willing and prepared to undertake the internship remotely for a part or the entirety of the internship.โ€

Your application for this internship must include:
1. A Completed application (Personal History Profile) and Cover Note, through the UN careers Portal. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The Cover Note must include:

- Title of the degree you are currently pursuing
- Graduation Date
- IT skills and programmes you are proficient in
- Explain why you are the best candidate for this specific internship

Explain your interest in the United Nations Internship Programme, ensure to include all past work experience (if any).

2. Proof of enrollment from current University (if not graduated).

3. A copy of degree certificate (if you have already graduated).

Due to a high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted.

United Nations Considerations

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 โ€œsexual exploitationโ€ 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 โ€œsexual abuseโ€ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term โ€œsexual harassmentโ€ 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 perpetratorโ€™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 โ€œManualsโ€ 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.

No Fee


This vacancy is archived.

Recommended for you