Added value of UNV, UN Volunteers and volunteerism

Why partner with UNV?

UNV works with partners to integrate qualified, highly motivated and well-supported UN Volunteers into development programming to contribute to peace, development and humanitarian delivery worldwide.

Who are UN Volunteers?

Typically, UN Volunteers are mid-career professionals, with an average age of 35 years, who combine technical skills and professionalism with motivation and dedication.

The minimum number of years of professional experience required depends on the UN Volunteer category and can range from 0-2 years for UN Youth Volunteers to 15+ years for UN Expert Volunteers; check out our Talent Solutions.

UNV engages interested global citizens for UN entities and thus adds diversity to the UN’s workforce (in terms of age, gender, nationality/geography, language, diversity of background, professional background).

A total of 51 per cent (2019 figures) of all UN Volunteers are women. UNV enables inclusion of people from all walks of life to volunteer and contribute their skills and experience to the work of the UN (e.g. persons with disabilities, marginalized people, refugees etc.).

Over 80 per cent of UN Volunteers come from the Global South.

UN entities can combine volunteer categories to work in tandem, on one and the same UN entity project/programme which contributes to mutual capacity building and increased effectiveness through complementarity

What categories of UN Volunteers do we offer?

UNV offers five on-site UN Volunteer contractual categories: Expert, Specialist, Youth, University and Community UN Volunteers. Volunteers can serve as national and international.

National UN Volunteers are nationals of the host country (or refugees and stateless persons with legal status in the country). They have at minimum a high school diploma, although some assignments require them to have professional and technical skills and a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience.

International UN Volunteers are professionals with specialized knowledge.

The UN Expert Volunteer category targets people with critical skills, including high in demand specialized knowledge, professional expertise, and technological acumen.

The engagement of UN Youth Volunteers enables the representation of young people as UN personnel, bringing new and innovative ideas to the UN’s work, especially related to programs targeting youth.

UN Community Volunteers are recruited from their communities and as such have local knowledge and networks. They can be mobilized in large numbers and contribute to increased ownership of UN programming at the community level.

Refugees, legally resident in the hosting Programme Country or territory can be recruited under the national UN Volunteer Conditions of Service.

UNV also offers an Online Volunteer service, free of charge, for assignments that can be completed remotely. Online Volunteers are not UN Volunteers and are not on contract with UNV.

What benefits do UN Volunteers receive?

UN Volunteers are a cost-effective talent solution with an inclusive package of allowances and entitlements.

UN Volunteers are covered by medical, life, Malicious Acts Insurance (MAI) and disabilities insurances.

Their living allowance allows for a safe, adequate and modest standard of living for themselves and their eligible dependents; refer to country-specific proforma costs.

UNV provides full duty of care for UN Volunteers in line with the UN Policy on Duty of Care.

The UNV learning programme includes onboarding support; access to the UN Volunteer learning portal e-Campus; UN mandatory courses; UN Youth Volunteer workshops; access to on-demand UNV learning programmes on language and professional soft skills, as well as onsite group training; mechanisms to support documentation of learning; and career transition support.

How does UNV support host UN entities in recruiting and managing UN Volunteers?

UNV's UN Partners Toolkit for hosting UN Volunteers is a new interactive five-part online guide that offers information, policies, tools, templates and resources to accompany the UN Volunteer journey.

UNV provides pools of skilled UN Volunteers who contribute to national and sub-national capacity development which is at the core of the UN´s mandate.

We have a large Global Talent Pool with over 250,000 candidates, more than 100 different professional areas and geographic diversity.

Our talent acquisition and sourcing expertise allows us target specific groups, such as persons with disabilities, and recruit in large volume.

UNV offers speedy deployment of UN Volunteers. The average deployment time for national and international UN Volunteers is 8 and 12 weeks respectively from the receipt of the request, provided the host entity promptly confirms funding and selects candidate(s).

We handle the operational backstopping of UN Volunteers, i.e. the bulk of the day-to-day administration, including contractual and payroll/entitlements management, which helps alleviate programme, administrative and HR resources of the UN Host Entity.

You may access decentralized support from UNV Regional Offices and Field Units, including multilingual teams.

UNV is active in around 154 countries every year. With UNV Field Presences in over 60 countries, UNV is represented worldwide. UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and reports to the UNDP Executive Board.

UNV carries out quality control through gathering feedback from UN host entities and UN Volunteers. Iin 2019, the partner satisfaction rate was above 92 per cent, and the UN Volunteer satisfaction rate was 95 per cent).

What flexible UN Volunteer solutions does UNV offer?

UN Volunteers can be recruited fleixibly for assignments ranging in length from three months to four years, except for UN University Volunteers, who serve between three and six months, and UN Youth Volunteers who serve between six months and two years.

We offer fast-track emergency deployments and direct recruitment. In order to gain speed and reduce deployment time, fast track recruitment workflow allows skipping certain steps in the recruitment process. These steps may need to be undertaken at a later stage. In direct recruitment, UN host entity hiring managers may decide to exceptionally have the assignment filled outside of competitive recruitment and selection policy frameworks.

UNV offers partners the possibility to co-create specialized thematic rosters, with pre-vetting and pre-induction of candidates.

We also offer Volunteers for Events, a professional, systematic approach to volunteer mobilization and management for national, regional and international events organized by UN entities and/or the Member States. It includes a trained core team of UN Volunteers to handle various substantive, technical and logistical arrangements to ensure successful mobilization and management of event volunteers.

What is volunteerism? 

Volunteerism is one of the most vital delivery mechanisms for social, environmental and economic transformation, ensuring a lasting impact with its ability to change people’s mindsets, attitudes and behaviours.

People become actors of change and equal partners in the attainment of local, national and international progress towards sustainable human development and global peace, e.g. refugees, people at community level, persons with disabilities, Online Volunteers. 

UNV recognizes the shared universal values underpinning volunteerism – free will, commitment, equity, engagement, solidarity, compassion, empathy and respect for others.

Volunteerism is an opportunity for everyone, including marginalized groups, women and youth, to have their voice heard and their actions recognized.

Volunteerism strengthens social cohesion and trust by promoting individual and collective action, leading to sustainable development for people by people.