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Intern for 10th anniversary of International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10)
Application deadline: 01 April 2012


The description below refers to various internship opportunities, or durations from between three to six months on an ongoing basis. Please indicate your concrete availability between March 2011 and July 2012.


The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the United Nations programme that supports sustainable human development globally through the promotion of volunteerism and the mobilization of volunteers. It operates against a background of growing recognition that volunteerism brings benefits to both society at large and the individual volunteer; that it makes important contributions, economically as well as socially; and that it contributes to more cohesive societies by building trust and reciprocity among citizens. Universal and inclusive, UNV embraces all types of volunteer action while holding to the values of free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity, which are the foundations of volunteerism.

The United Nations General Assembly designated UNV as the focal point for the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers which was launched on 5 December 2010 and runs during 2011.  Therefore UNV in partnership with NGOs, governments, civil society and the private sector will facilitate the preparation, implementation and follow up activities for the International Year of Volunteers 10th anniversary.

UNV is headquartered in Bonn, Germany and has approximately 150 staff positions – the majority in Bonn with some dozen positions in different UN peacekeeping missions, and other Headquarters locations (e.g. New York and Tokyo). In the field, UNV has country office teams, composed of UNV Programme Officers (UNV volunteers) and Country Office Assistants, in many of the UNDP country offices.  The major organizational groups within UNV are:

•    The Office of the Executive Coordinator (OEC);
•    The Evaluation Unit;
•    The Corporate Planning and Performance Unit;
•    The Volunteer Programme and Management Group (VPMG) comprising the Peace and Development Divisions; Volunteer Recruitment Resources Section (VRRS); Volunteer Knowledge and Innovation Section (VKIS); supported by a Quality Assurance Unit;
•    The Partnerships and Communications Division (PCD);
•    The Management Services Division (MSD) comprising sections for Information Support Services, Finance, Human Resources, as well as Units for Common Services and Administration.

The intern(s) will be based in the OEC office under the supervision of the International Year of Volunteers +10 Project Manager, however s/he will liaise with all sections of UNV in headquarters and in the field as well as with other UN organizations and partners in civil society at an international level.

Duties and responsibilities

Under the overall guidance of the Project Manager, the intern will support the implementation of the project. The project team is particularly interested in people with communications and research skills and experience, though interns will be assigned duties primarily depending on the needs of the project at the time of the internship.

Depending on the competencies and interests of the intern, assignments may include:
•    Collecting and analyzing background materials on volunteerism and volunteering.
•    Developing reports or policy briefs with reviews of practices, lessons learned, and recommendations on good practices in relation to volunteerism.  
•    Researching, collecting, analyzing and editing partnerships documents related to IYV+10.
•    Assisting with researching, preparing and disseminating communications materials.
•    Writing materials in English, French or Spanish.
•    Monitoring international media and information sources to systematically collect, document and share IYV+10 related news, articles and stories.
•    Responding to external enquiries and assisting with the information flow within the team.
•    Supporting initiatives to enhance internal communication and the visibility of IYV+10 in UNV HQ and Field Units.
•    Assisting IYV+10 activities in the fields of virtual networks, social media and online facilitation.
•    Taking minutes and preparing presentations for in-house committees.
•    Performing other duties as required.

The intern is also expected to strengthen his/her knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and other publications.

Learning opportunities for the intern

•    General understanding of the work and mission of UNV, and of volunteering’s contribution to development effectiveness;
•    Insight and hands-on experience in UNV’s role in facilitating and promoting the impact of volunteering;
•    Insight and hands-on experience in organizing and running communications campaigns; and
•    Becoming more familiar with working in an international organization and in a multicultural environment

Minimum Qualifications & Experience

  • Currently enrolled in a Master’s degree programme in either: social science or political science (particularly with a specialization in international development); communications, public relations, media or journalism; knowledge management; business administration; or any other related field. (Please note that only candidates who will be returning to their studies upon the completion of their internship qualify for an internship with UNV.)
  • Enthusiastic about the role of volunteerism in peace and development and a ready to learn.
  • Strong interest in development cooperation and in the work of UNV.
  • Good oral and written communications skills and demonstrated research abilities and interest
  • Previous experience in communications, journalism or running campaigns, as well as experience in developing countries is desirable. Knowledge of the UN work environment an advantage.
  • Internet proficiency as well as proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) is required. Experience with the development of statistics, charts in Excel and Web 2.0 tools (especially social networking) an asset; also familiarity with web content management systems, desktop publishing and/or media editing software.
  • Experience in volunteering a strong asset.
  • Fluency in English is required; Fluency in French or Spanish an asset

General Terms and Conditions

  • UNDP Conditions of Service for interns (http://www.undp.org/internships/) apply for interns working at UNV Headquarters.
  • The Internship Programme operates on a non-remunerative basis. Costs and arrangements for travel, visa, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of the intern.
  • The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment with UNV but to complement an intern’s studies. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of an internship.
  • UNV accepts no responsibility for the intern’s medical insurance or for costs arising from illness during the internship. Interns are required to provide proof of medical insurance coverage.
  • Only short-listed candidates will be contacted and called for a motivational interview that will take place on an ongoing basis.

Applications (CV & cover letter in English) should indicate in the subject line (Subject: Internship + Month of availability) your concrete availability between July 2010 and July 2012  (For example, Subject: Internship Sept-Dec 2011).  Applications should be sent via e-mail to Simona[dot]Costanzo[at]unvolunteers[dot]org 

UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)