INTERN - Urban Law and Governance [Temporary]

  • Added Date: Wednesday, 29 July 2020
  • Deadline Date: Wednesday, 12 August 2020

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.

The Policy, Legislation and Governance Section (PLGS) is one of the five sections/units of the Urban Practices Branch of UN-Habitat. This Section works on Policies, Legislation and Governance for sustainable urban development. The Section plays a critical role in implementing the relevant UN-Habitat Assembly resolutions, the relevant Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.

Legislation is one of the four drivers of change identified in the UN-Habitat Strategic Plan (2020-2023). The drivers are required to deliver services and products that will lead to change or drive results and will ultimately result in the achievement of the objectives of the Strategic Plan. It calls for clear and transparent legal frameworks for urban development to further establish appropriate rules and regulation systems that respond to real needs, actual capacity and available resources. These can provide solid, forward-looking frameworks to guide urban development, based on accountability, the rule of law and clear implementation mechanisms, which can be continuously enforced as part of efforts to harness the transformative force of urbanization. UN-Habitat will promote relevant legislation which are based on equity considerations that leave no one and no area behind as well as foster gender equality, which in turn reduces poverty and enhances shared prosperity; and appropriate building and urban regulations, designed to strengthen climate action and improved urban environment, and to address effective urban crisis prevention and response.

The Strategic Plan also recognizes the importance of effective urban governance in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. It draws attention to the need for multi-level governance; decentralization; accountability and transparency; and inclusivity, participation and promotion of human rights in cities and human settlements. It also highlights the role of capacity building in effective governance systems by tasking UN-Habitat with assisting local governments to effectively capture domestic revenue, improve fiscal decentralization, manage urban displacement and utilize frontier technologies.

The intern will be required to operate off -site and no travel request will be approved, either as part of on boarding, nor during the tenure of internship.

The UN-Habitat Urban Law and Governance internship is for 6 months.

The Internship is UNPAID and full-time.

Interns work five days per week (35 hours) 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 direct supervision of the Human Settlement Officer (PLGS), the intern will:

- Assist in carrying out research and studies on a range of urban legal topics;
- Analyze and present the data gathered from diverse sources;
- Contribute to written outputs e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies and inputs to publications;
- Assist in the population and maintaining of UrbanLex database;
- Review and produce summaries on existing courses in urban law to support the Unitโ€™s effort to produce training packages on urban law for local authorities;
- Assist with the production of communication materials and updates for the Unitโ€™s websites;
- Assist in organizing expert group meetings, consultative and other meetings and conferences; support outreach activities;
- Perform any other duties as may be required.


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 a Bachelor's degree, Masters, Ph.D or equivalent

Be computer literate in standard software applications.

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 Area of Study;Law, International Diplomacy, and related subjects

Work Experience

Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the Programme. Are you a student in a Bachelorโ€™s (final year), Masterโ€™s or Ph.D. Programme or equivalent, or have you completed a Bachelor's degree,Masters or equivalent?


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For this vacancy, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Arabic and French is desirable.


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

Special Notice

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.

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.

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