Internship for Policy Research and Advocacy, Geneva, Switzerland (Intern)

  • Added Date: Sunday, 15 May 2016
  • Deadline Date: Friday, 20 May 2016

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Location : Geneva, SWITZERLAND

Application Deadline : 20-May-16 (Midnight New York, USA)

Type of Contract : Internship

Post Level : Intern

Languages Required : English

Starting Date : (date when the selected candidate is expected to start) 10-Jun-2016

Duration of Initial Contract : 3 Months

Expected Duration of Assignment : 6 Months


Mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1998, for decades UNDP has provided assistance to disaster-prone countries globally prevent, prepare for and recover from disasters associated with natural hazards. UNDP works through a network of 177 country offices and is one of the largest global public-sector actors in the area of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). UNDP's DRR and recovery programmes spread over 163 countries with average annual expenditures over US$195 million, with similar scale programming also on climate change adaptation and mitigation. UNDP plays an important and unique role in supporting high risk countries to achieve their development goals by reducing loss to life and assets, and by strengthening long term resilience. UNDP works with governments at national and local levels to ensure that climate change and DRR responses are nationally-led and owned, as well as integrated into national development planning.

At UNDP, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and sustainable development are one and the same. Disasters, while linked to natural hazards, are exacerbated by poor, risk-blind development decisions that expose people and communities to risk. Conversely, disasters destroy development gains and trap people in poverty. It is clear therefore that sustainable development cannot happen without DRR. UNDP's work integrates issues of climate, disaster risk and energy at the country level, focusing on resilience building and ensuring development remains risk-informed and sustainable. To do this we assist governments in systematically and comprehensively delivering on risk-informed development through the communication, reduction and management of risk.

Over the period 2005-2014, UNDP has invested 1.7 billion in building resilience and providing support to countries in DRR and recovery. Under the new UNDP Strategic Plan for the years 2014-2017, the focus on DRR is reflected against two corporate outcomes: Outcome 5: Countries are able to reduce the likelihood of conflict, and lower the risk of natural disasters, including from climate change;

Outcome 6: Early recovery and rapid return to sustainable development pathways are achieved in post-conflict and post-disaster situations;

To support these outcomes, as well as the Hyogo and Frameworks for Action (HFA) and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), the UNDP Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction team (CDT), under the new Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS), has developed three strategic objectives on Disaster and Risk Reduction:

  • Understanding and communicating risk - to support local governments on DRR awareness, risk assessment/risk information database and establishment of early warning system;
  • Reduce risks - to support governments to have appropriate legislative, policy, institutional and financing mechanisms at the national and sub-national levels; and,
  • Manage the remaining risk - to help countries manage and mitigate remaining risk through preparedness measures, pre-disaster recovery planning, recovery programming and the implementation of post-disaster needs assessments.

Duties and Responsibilities

The internship will be part of the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Team (CDT) under the overall umbrella of the CDT Climate and Disaster advisor based in Geneva with reporting and working closely with CDT personnel, the intern will perform one or more of the following duties and responsibilities: Maintain and actively update collection of climate change and disaster risk reduction donor policies and mapping of program activities;

  • Research and analyse the climate change, disaster risk reduction and renewable energy priorities and policies of major international donor agencies;
  • Research and analyse critical development issues in support of CDT programmes, including participation in relevant meetings organized by partners in/around Geneva;
  • Support the regular updating of CDT's resource mobilization guide;
  • Develop advocacy and communication materials for partnership meetings;
  • Support CDT efforts to manage communications and correspondence with key program stakeholders;
  • Manage and implement online and social media strategies of the team;
  • Any other activities as requested.


  • Effective Communication skills with staff at all levels of the organization and initiative taking abilities;
  • Very good analytical and writing skills;
  • Demonstrated abilities of sensitivity, tact and diplomacy;
  • Demonstration of cultural sensitivity and appreciation for different cultures and practices;
  • Ability to pay great attention to detail and exercise sound judgment;
  • Ability to work well in a team and project a positive image;
  • Self-motivation and ability to recommend options for resolution of issues;
  • Strong service orientation.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Enrolled graduate student in economics/ sociology/ development studies/ political science/ international relations or related programme;
  • Excellent speaking and writing skills in English. Familiarity with in another UN official language (Spanish and/or French) is an advantage;
  • Strong computer skills (Word, Excel) and experience using online tools such as Google Doc's.

Conditions of the Internship:

  • Interns are considered gratis personnel. They are not staff members;
  • Interns are not financially remunerated by UNDP. The costs associated must be borne by the nominating institution, related institution or government, which may provide the required financial assistance to its students; or by the student, who will have to obtain financing for subsistence and make his or her own arrangements for travel, accommodation, visa, etc.;
  • Internship duration can be extended up to six months.

Candidates who are selected must submit the following documents:

  • Letter of intent/motivation;
  • Letter confirming University enrolment;
  • letter of endorsement from the university;
  • Copy of the previous school transcript;
  • Copy of prior degree certificate;
  • Copy of passport;
  • Documentation of health insurance coverage for duration of internship;
  • Health certificate from doctor;
  • Complete and sign the UNDP Application Form for Internships.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

This vacancy is archived.

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