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FAQs
1. ABOUT UNV  

What is UNV?
Who is in charge?
Who are UN Volunteers?
What do they do?
In which sectors do they serve?
Where do UN Volunteers serve worldwide?
 

2. ABOUT UNV´S WEBSITES

  • I want to learn more about the UNV programme, what UN Volunteers do in the field and the volunteer recruitment policies. 
  • I wish to start registering in the UNV database of candidates.
  • I have already an account in the UNV database, I want to visit http://myprofile.unv.org to complete my registration and update my information.
  • I have already served as a UN Volunteer (national or international) and am interested in another assignment; I want to visit http://myprofile.unv.org to activate and update my profile.
  • I want to volunteer over the Internet to provide online support to grassroots organizations, international NGOs, governments and United Nations agencies

3. ABOUT HOW TO VOLUNTEER

a. I need information before registering

Am I eligible to register?
Is there an age limit for UN Volunteers?
I am not yet 25 but I am very motivated. Can I contribute to your programme?
Can I volunteer during my holidays?
How do I register?
How can I make sure that I receive your emails?
Will I be asked to upload my CV during the registration process?
Should I submit my registration in all the languages I am fluent in?
Are UN Volunteers staff of the United Nations?
Do UN Volunteers receive any financial and/or other benefits?
How long does it take to be assigned as a UN Volunteer?
How long are UNV assignments?
Does UNV publish a list of UNV assignments?
Can I serve together with my partner?
Can I be accompanied by my family?
Can I choose the duty station I am interested to serve in?
Can I volunteer in my own country?

b. I am creating a UNV account and have some questions

The password I have selected is not accepted. What should I do?
I have problems with the reCapcha image.
I have received a message asking me to verify my email address, what should I do?
I have created an account but have not received any email from UNV, what should I do?
I would like to correct errors in my name, my gender or my date of birth.
Will I receive a confirmation of my registration?
Should I send my CV in addition to registering online?
My profile status shows: "Registration in progress", what does it mean?
I cannot submit my profile.

c. I have a complete UNV profile with roster number and have some questions

I cannot reset my password.
I cannot access MyProfile.
Can I register more than once in the UNV database of candidates?
Since I have registered in the UNV database, I have not had any news from UNV, why?
What happens if I don't visit my profile?
What does it mean if my profile status is "Inactive"?
As my registration in the database of candidates does not guarantee a UNV assignment, is there any way I can start contributing to peace and development worldwide beyond a UNV assignment?
What happens if I am temporarily unavailable for UNV assignments?
How can I confirm my availability?
I want to stay informed about any changes related to the UNV database of candidates. What is the best source of information?
Who selects my profile for a UNV assignment?
I was contacted/called for a UNV assignment. What happens next?

d. I am serving or I have served as a UN Volunteer

How can I update my profile at the end or after my UNV assignment?
After I finish my current UNV assignment will I be automatically considered for another one?
I cannot access or I have forgotten the email address I have registered with, what should I do?
I have served as a national UN Volunteer. Should I register again if I want to serve as an international UN Volunteer?

4. ABOUT HOW TO ENGAGE VOLUNTEERS

I represent an NGO, a government or a UN agency and we are interested in involving volunteers in our programmes, where should we start?


 ANSWERS

1. ABOUT UNV

What is UNV? [go to top]
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide.

Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.

UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UN Volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.

Based in Bonn, Germany, UNV is active in around 130 countries. It is represented worldwide through the offices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and reports to the UNDP Executive Board.

Who is in charge? [go to top]
Read about the UNV Executive Coordinator, Richard Dictus.

Who are UN Volunteers[go to top]
UN Volunteers are women and men with professional skills and academic qualifications or training, who are willing to contribute their time and expertise as international volunteers, outside their own country, or where UN programmes exist in their own country, as national volunteers. Volunteers have proven specialized experience in their professional field and serve in assignments with diverse UN agencies to support peace and development. On average, UN Volunteers serve for 30 months. 80 per cent are citizens of developing and transition countries and the remaining 20 per cent come from the industrialized world. See the statistics.  

What do they do? [go to top]
A description of assignment details the expertise and contribution required of a Volunteer. UN Volunteers are selected based on how closely their professional background, skills and qualifications match the description of assignment. Assignments can involve contributing to technical cooperation with governments, community-based initiatives, humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and electoral and peace-building processes. In addition to professional skills and qualifications, important attributes of a UN Volunteer include a commitment to volunteerism and the UN principles of ethics and integrity. Furthermore, a UN Volunteer needs to demonstrate flexibility, adaptability, emotional stability, cultural sensitivity, as well as a positive attitude towards change.

In which sectors do they serve? [go to top]
UN Volunteers typically contribute to a wide range of sectors. Programme development, project management as well as medical/health assistance feature prominently, as do human rights, information and communication, community development and engineering. To view a more detailed list of the professional backgrounds in demand, please click here.

Where do UN Volunteers serve worldwide? [go to top]
In the year 2012, UN Volunteers have served in 127 countries; 57 percent of them are in assignments in Sub-Saharan Africa, 13 percent in Asia and the Pacific; 13 percent in Latin America and Caribbean; 13 percent in Arab States and 4 percent in Europe and the CIS. 45 percent of the total UN Volunteers were serving in the world’s poorest countries. Approximately 50 per cent of UN Volunteers live and work outside capital cities, frequently in remote towns and villages. They cope with basic living standards that can lack such amenities as electricity and running water. Many duty stations do not allow UN Volunteers to be accompanied by their families.

3. ABOUT HOW TO VOLUNTEER

a. I need information before registering

Am I eligible to register? [go to top]

  • A university degree or higher technical diploma;
  • A minimum of two years of relevant working experience;
  • Good working knowledge in at least one of the three UNV working languages: English, French and Spanish.

In addition, you should be able to demonstrate:

  • A strong commitment to the values and principles of volunteerism;
  • The ability to work in a multi-cultural environment;
  • The ability to adjust to difficult living conditions;
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills;
  • Prior volunteering and/or working experience in a developing country is an asset.

Is there an age limit for UN Volunteers? [go to top]
The minimum age for UN volunteers is 25. There is no upper age limit.

I am not yet 25 but I am very motivated. Can I contribute to your programme? [go to top]
The UN Youth Volunteer modality will give UNV the opportunity to engage youth between 18 and 29 as UN Youth Volunteers to enable them to contribute to global peace and sustainable human development, and also enhance their own skills, expertise and civic engagement capacities. Those opportunities are only a few for the moment. We encourage you to stay informed through our social media and on our website (www.unv.org/youth).  You can also explore opportunities to become an online volunteer (www.onlinevolunteering.org) and donate your time and skills for peace and development over the internet.

Can I volunteer during my holidays? [go to top]
Given that the vast majority of UNV assignments are based on six to twelve month renewable contracts with the expectation that the volunteer serves a year or longer, and due to the fact that the UNV programme is demand-driven, the likelihood that a UNV assignment matches your holiday plans is very low.

How do I register ? [go to top]
You register through UNV's online registration form. If you meet UNV's minimum requirements, you will be able to create a UNV account. After a successful account creation, you will receive an email with a subject line: "Verify your email address". After having clicked on the link provided, you will receive another automatic email confirming the successful creation of your UNV account and guiding you to complete your registration. Once you have filled in all the required fields, you must click on the "Submit My Profile" button to add your profile to the UNV database of candidates. You will then receive your registration email containing your Roster Number.

How can I make sure that I receive your emails? [go to top]
As some of our correspondence is automatically generated, kindly be aware that several email providers and spam filters redirect our emails to users' Spam/Junk mail folders or even block their receipt. We therefore recommend that you add the following two email addresses to your list of contacts before you start registering: ereta@unvolunteers.org and roster@unvolunteers.org .

Will I be asked to upload my CV during the registration process? [go to top]
No. We do not process updates received by email or in the form of a CV. You can only register through UNV's online registration form;and update your profile regularly after having submitted it.

Should I submit my registration in all the languages I am fluent in? [go to top]
No. You choose only one of the three UNV working languages (English, French or Spanish) for your registration. Please note that registrations in French or Spanish will mainly be considered for UNV assignments in francophone or hispanophone countries respectively. If you have the necessary language skills and would be interested in serving in different regions, we recommend that you submit your registration in English. In the UNV registration form you will be able to indicate all languages you speak, including your mother tongue.

Are UN Volunteers staff of the United Nations? [go to top]
No. UN Volunteers serve for a limited period of time on specific assignments. Their conditions of service differ from those of UN staff. However, UN Volunteers and UN staff share common goals such as supporting peace and development.

Do UN Volunteers receive any financial and/or other benefits? [go to top]
The key benefit of being a UN Volunteer is the personal satisfaction the volunteer assignment brings to you as you make a positive impact on peace and development. However, we support you during your assignment in several ways, e.g. through a monthly volunteer living allowance, annual leave, or medical insurance. For more details go to qualifications and conditions of service.

How long does it take to be assigned as a UN Volunteer? [go to top]
The time between your registration in the database and a possible volunteer opportunity varies greatly. Furthermore, given the demand-driven nature of the UNV programme, registration in our database does not imply a positive assessment of your profile nor guarantee that you will be assigned as a UN Volunteer.

How long are UNV assignments? [go to top]
The vast majority of assignments are based on six to twelve month renewable contracts with the expectation that the UN Volunteer will serve a year or more.

Does UNV publish a list of UNV assignments? [go to top]
UNV does not publish a list of available assignments. The majority of UNV assignments are filled by candidates from our database. Therefore, the best way to be considered for a UNV assignment is to register your profile in our database through our online registration form.

Can I serve together with my partner? [go to top]
The UNV programme accepts registrations from couples wishing to volunteer together. However, given that we are a demand-driven programme, it is very rare that couples are selected at the same time for the same duty station. In some cases, when a candidate accepts a UNV assignment in a family duty station, his/her legally recognized partner can accompany the UN Volunteer as a dependent. The partner can then look for volunteer opportunities locally, provided the authorities of the host country do not object.

Can I be accompanied by my family? [go to top]
It depends. The status of the duty station and the requirements of the assignment determine whether or not dependents can accompany the UN Volunteer (family or non-family duty station). Factors considered are for example the nature of the assignment, security concerns or the availability of certain services.

Can I choose the duty station I am interested to serve in? [go to top]
No. In your profile, you can mention preferences for duty stations you believe you are more suitable for. However, candidates are identified for UNV assignments primarily based on the best match between their skills and the specific requirements of the assignment.

Can I volunteer in my own country? [go to top]
Yes, for further details on how to serve as national UN Volunteer please contact directly the UNDP office of your country. Another option is to volunteer over the Internet from home through the Online Volunteering service.

b. I am creating a UNV account and have some questions  

The password I have selected is not accepted. What should I do?[go to top]
The password you select must meet UNV's complexity requirements. You can find details of how to select a password by reading the "Password Policy". Please note that if your typed ReCaptcha text does not match the image, you must re-enter your chosen password and type the newly displayed reCAPTCHA text. 

I have problems with the re-Captcha image. [go to top]
To protect our website from automated software code, you are required to type the text displayed in the reCAPTCHA field. If you have difficulties reading the text, you can use the "refresh" button on the right hand side of the reCAPTCHA field to get a new one. You can repeat the refresh as often as needed. 

I  have received a message asking me to verify my email address, what should I do? [go to top]
The only way to verify your email address is by clicking on the link provided in the email you have received. You can also copy and paste the link into your browser.

I have created an account but have not received any email from UNV, what should I do? [go to top]
If you have not received an email with "Verification of your email" subject line, you might have mistyped your email address or the email has landed in your Junk/Spam folder. In this case, please add roster@unv.org to your list of contacts and start the registering again.

I would like to correct errors in my name, my gender or my date of birth? [go to top]
You cannot edit your name,date of birth or gender. If you realize that there is a mistake, please contact roster@unv.org providing the necessary information to help us locate your profile in the UNV database: First Name, Family Name, Date of Birth, Gender, Nationality and Roster Number if available.

Will I receive a confirmation of my registration? [go to top]
Within 24 hours after having submitted your profile, you will receive an automatic confirmation of your registration in the UNV database and your Roster Number. However, please note that inclusion in the UNV database does not guarantee that you will be offered a UN Volunteer assignment.

Should I send my CV in addition to registering online? [go to top]
No. We are not processing CVs received by electronic or postal mail anymore. The key source of information in order to identify your profile against possible UNV assignments is your UNV online profile. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you enter all details regarding your skills and experience through our web-based registration form.

My profile status shows: "Registration in progress", what does it mean? [go to top]
You have created a UNV account but your UNV profile is not yet completed and therefore you will not be contacted  for UNV assignments. We advise you to return to MyProfile and complete all mandatory fields and then click on the green "Submit My Profile" tab .

I cannot submit my profile.  [go to top]
Once you have completed all mandatory fields and entered detailed information regarding your skills, educational qualifications, professional as well as volunteering experience, you must click on the green “Submit My Profile” tab at the bottom of the site's “Main menu”. If a red message appears, this means that some of the mandatory fields were not filled. Carefully follow the instructions provided. Once you have submitted your profile, a confirmation of your successful registration  will be sent to your email with your UNV Roster number and additional information about being a candidate in the UNV database. 

c. I have a complete UNV profile with roster number and have some questions

I cannot reset my password. [go to top]
UNV is committed to protect its candidates' personal information including login credentials; therefore, we are unable to produce or re-set a password for you. We suggest that you return to myprofile.unv.org and click on “Having problems logging in”. You will be re-directed to our IDM service. Your password must meet UNV's complexity requirements.

I cannot access MyProfile. [go to top]
In order to access your UNV profile through http://myprofile.unv.org, you will need the email address you are registered with and your password. If you have forgotten your password or are not sure about the email you entered in MyProfile, click on the “Having problems logging in?” link located on the login page of MyProfile; you will be redirected to UNV's Identity Management (IDM) service. To proceed, please follow the instructions given on the site to reset your password. If you do not receive the automatic emails, please check your spam and/or junk mail folders.

Can I register more than once in the UNV database of candidates? [go to top]
No. You should only register once in the UNV database of candidates, any subsequent registrations will be deleted upon receipt. To update your existing registration please visit MyProfile.

Since I have registered in the UNV database, I have not had any news from UNV, why? [go to top]
You probably have had no news because your profile has not yet been identified for a particular UNV assignment. This is rather common because UNV receives far more expressions of interest from individuals wishing to volunteer then requests for UN Volunteers. Furthermore, your field of expertise may not be in line with the requests for UN Volunteers we currently receive from partners. Even if your profile matches current requests, there may be many candidates in the database with a background similar to yours who compete for the same type of UNV assignment. In view of these constraints, you may be unable to volunteer with UNV despite your enthusiasm and expertise.

What happens if I don't visit my profile? [go to top]
You should regularly visit your profile, at least every six months or whenever updates are needed. If your profile remains inactive for one year or longer, it will be automatically inactivated. While it is inactive, you typically will not be contacted for UNV assignments. Profiles remaining inactive for two years or longer may be removed from the UNV database.

What does it mean if my profile status is "Inactive"? [go to top]
If your profile status is "inactive", you typically will not be contacted for UNV assignments. Profiles remaining inactive for two years or longer may be removed from the UNV database. In order to change the status of your UNV profile, go to the "Account Setting" located in the upper-right corner of the MyProfile window. Click on the "Edit" button to change your Profile Status to "active", then click on "Update". Please ensure that all other sections of your profile are complete and up to date.

As my registration in the database of candidates does not guarantee a UNV assignment, is there anyway I can start contributing to peace and development worldwide beyond a UNV assignment? [go to top]
Yes, we encourage you to visit UNV's Online Volunteering service at www.onlinevolunteering.org. The Online Volunteering service connects volunteers with organizations worldwide to work together for peace and development - over the Internet. Hundreds of opportunities are available for volunteers to engage in development activities and to provide online support to the work of grassroots organizations, international NGOs, governments and United Nations agencies. 

What happens if I am temporarily unavailable for UNV assignments? [go to top]
You can indicate that you are currently unavailable for UNV assignments by changing your UNV profile status from "Active" to "Inactive". While your profile is inactive, you typically will not be contacted for UNV assignments. You can reactivate your UNV profile any time, ideally not earlier than three months before you are available again. 

To change your profile status, go to the "Account Setting" located in the upper-right corner of MyProfile. Click on the "Edit" button, select "Active" or "Inactive", then click on "Update".

How can I confirm my availability? [go to top]
To confirm your general availability for UNV assignments, it is sufficient to ensure that your profile status is set as "Active" in "MyProfile". We recommend that you regularly visit your profile to ensure that all the information provided is complete, accurate and up-to-date. 

I want to stay informed about any changes related to the UNV database of candidates. What is the best source of information? [go to top]
On our website we regularly post the latest news about the UNV programme. As we are constantly working towards improving our system and procedures, we regularly update our Frequently Asked Questions to provide you with the most current information. We strongly advise you to always consult this page whenever you have doubts or questions about UNV's recruitment procedures.

Who selects my profile for a UNV assignment? [go to top]
Generally, the UNV programme draws a short-list of three to five profiles for each assignment, which we submit to the relevant authorities of the country requesting the services of a UN Volunteer.
The requesting authorities make the final choice and select the candidate who best fulfils their needs and requirements, usually following an interview and/or an in-depth assessment.

I was contacted/called for a UNV assignment. What happens next? [go to top]
In general, we contact between 5 and 10 candidates and invite them to express their interest and availability for a particular UNV assignment. After reviewing the responses received, we draw a short-list of 3 to 5 profiles, which we will submit to the relevant authorities of the country requesting the services of a UN Volunteer.
The requesting authorities make the final choice and select the candidate who best fulfills their needs and requirements, usually following an interview and/or an in-depth assessment. We send an offer to the selected candidate that details the exact conditions of the UNV assignment and all necessary steps that need to be taken prior to his/her departure. Candidates not selected are being informed accordingly.

d. I am serving or I have served as a UN Volunteer

How can I update my profile at the end or after my UNV assignment? [go to top]
You can access and update your profile at any time through MyProfile, however, you will only be able to reactivate your profile shortly after the end of your current assignment.

After I finish my current UNV assignment will I be automatically considered for another one? [go to top]
No. If you are interested in serving again as a UN Volunteer, you must reactivate your profile in the database by changing the status of your profile to active through MyProfile.

I cannot access or I have forgotten the email address I have registered with, what should I do? [go to top]
If you cannot access your inbox but you still remember your email address and your password, you can access MyProfile through myprofile.unv.org and update your email address in the "Account Setting" section. In other cases, by clicking on the “Having problems logging in?” link located on the login page of MyProfile, you will be redirected to UNV's Identity Management (IDM) service. To proceed, please follow the instructions given on the site. If the email address you enter is not the one entered in MyProfile, you will receive an error message and be able to try again with other email addresses you may have. If you still cannot access MyProfile, you can contact roster@unv.org providing the necessary information to help us locate your profile in the UNV database: First Name, Family Name, Date of Birth, Gender, Nationality and Roster Number if available. You can access and update your profile at any time through MyProfile, however, you will only be able to reactivate your profile shortly after the end of your current assignment.

I have served as a national UN Volunteer. Should I register again if I want to serve as an international UN Volunteer? [go to top]
As a former UN Volunteer, you are advised to maintain and use the Roster Number you have served with. Your existing profile contains information on your UNV assignments that will be kept permanently in our database. Therefore any new registration will be removed upon receipt.

4. ABOUT HOW TO ENGAGE VOLUNTEERS

I represent an NGO, a government or a UN agency and we are interested in involving volunteers in our programmes, where should we start? [go to top]
It depends on whether you wish to engage either online volunteers or onsite volunteers:

  • The UNV Online Volunteering service connects organizations working for sustainable human development with volunteers. Organizations collaborate with online volunteers over the Internet to strengthen the impact of their development work.  Thousands of volunteers are ready to provide their support: professionals, students, retirees and expatriates from across the globe volunteer their skills online to help organizations address development challenges.  Visit the Resources section of the Online Volunteering service website for more information about online volunteering and submit your organization’s application to involve online volunteers.
  • Organizations requiring the services of on-site UN Volunteers should address their request directly to the UNDP Office of the country where they are operating. For more information please visit our section Hosting a UN Volunteer.
UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)