Tiffany Chan, UN Youth Volunteer with UNDP Multi-Country Office in Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau (2nd from left) together with the organizing committee of International Volunteer Day 2020 in Samoa, and representatives from UN Volunteers, AVI, VSA and Peace Corp
Tiffany Chan, UN Youth Volunteer with the UNDP Multi-Country Office in Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau (second from left), together with the organizing committee of International Volunteer Day 2020 celebrations in Samoa, and representatives from UNV, Australian Volunteers International (AVI), Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO) and Peace Corps.

Volunteering for inclusion and human rights development

Tiffany Chan (Australia/China) joined the Multi-Country Office of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau as a UN Youth Volunteer in February 2020. Her assignment was funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Currently, Tiffany is serving as an Inclusive Development Support Officer (Gender, Equal Access, Youth and Disability), and reflects on her UN Volunteer experience.  

With a background and experience in law, access to justice and youth empowerment, Tiffany positioned herself to support the Governance portfolio within the multi-country office. She was involved in the programmatic and implementation side of things at the start.

"As I learned more about UNDP’s work and my own interests, strengths and inclinations, I have gradually taken more of an analytical role in the office. This includes supporting the universal periodic review of human rights in Samoa, the common country analysis process, project conceptualizations and pipeline development,” she underlines. 

Since August 2021, I have also taken on the role of Peace and Development Officer ad interim for the Resident Coordinator's Office. Under a joint programme of UNDP and the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), I offer legal, constitutional and political analysis through the country’s post-election process and informing the development of the governance and the rule of law portfolio.  --Tiffany Chan (Australia/China), UN Youth Volunteer Inclusive Development Support Officer with UNDP

Tiffany explains, "Being a UN Volunteer has been eye-opening and a significant life experience for me. I would recommend everyone volunteering with the United Nations."

'This opportunity has sparked my interest in human rights and international justice, and I am also able to better delineate my interests and career goals. Based in Samoa and working with UN counterparts from a plethora of nationalities and background also broadened my horizon on the diversity of culture, identities and perspectives, which is fundamental to my personal knowledge-building and worldview development," she adds.

One thing that stands out in most, if not all, UN Volunteers is that I have had the pleasure of working with is their strong motivation to deliver and excel, and their curiosity. They are highly driven to use their education and skills to produce technically strong work that helps make a difference. --Verena Leinneweber, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Samoa 

She adds, "At the same time, UN Volunteers put in a lot of effort to understand the context and aims of UNDP’s work, yet are not shy to challenge why things are the way they are and make suggestions on how to do it differently. UN Volunteers bring fresh perspectives to a country office, and they take responsibility for, and pride in, their contributions."