Frequently Asked Questions - Volunteer in your Country

We remind you that UNV does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, processing, training or any other fees). Applicants should be aware that scams in recruitment may lead to fraudulent actions if they have provided personal information. Unsolicited communications asking for fees are fraudulent. Please visit this page for more information.

Becoming a UN Volunteer is a unique opportunity to enrich personal and professional experience, and it benefits both the individual volunteer and society at large. UNV sends professionals with specialized experience to serve in assignments with a variety of UN agencies to support peace and development. UN Volunteers receive support from the local host agency in their country of assignment so they can fulfill the duties stipulated in their description of assignment.

Together with international UN Volunteers and other UN project personnel, national UN Volunteers contribute to programmes and projects, to the neutrality and visibility of the United Nations, with the institutional back-up of the UN system. Compared with other UN personnel, national UN Volunteers add value with their knowledge of local languages, cultural, social and economic characteristics, and their capacity to work at the local level. National UN Volunteers are particularly well-placed to nurture capacities at the community level, fostering local ownership and sustainability. Assignments can involve contributing to technical cooperation with governments, community-based initiatives, humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and electoral and peace-building processes.

National UN Volunteers are volunteers mobilized by UNV at the request of a programme country to support peace and development programmes in that country. They are citizens of the country.

Non-nationals can serve as national UN Volunteers if they reside legally in the host country, are recognized as stateless or refugees, and if such service is in compliance with national law of the host country. Non-nationals may also serve as national UN Volunteers where programmes are run outside the beneficiary country, for example, due to security reasons. Non-nationals other than those in the situations described above cannot serve as national UN Volunteers.

Where UN Volunteers have more than one nationality, they must choose one. It should also be noted that UN Volunteers cannot serve in the same country under first one nationality and then the other.

  • A higher technical diploma, university or Master’s degree;
  • 22-years old minimum (no maximum age limit);
  • A minimum of two years of relevant work experience;
  • Good working knowledge in at least one of the 3 UNV working languages: English, French and Spanish;
  • Good working knowledge of one or more of the local languages;
  • Strong commitment to the values and principles of volunteerism;
  • Respect for diversity and willingness to work in a multicultural environment;
  • Ability to adjust to changing and, at times, difficult living and working conditions.

You can apply to national UN Youth Volunteer assignments open to youths from 18 to 29 years of age. You can see vacancies for national UN Volunteers on our website.

Assignments of national UN Volunteers can be with an initial contract of 3-12 months, generally with a possibility to extend to maximum 4 years. Short-term assignments of three months and less are also required from time to time by UNV’s partners based on particular needs in their projects and programmes.

The UN Youth Volunteer initiative offers assignments from 6 months to a maximum of 24 months.

Where demand for recruitment of national UN Volunteers is high, UNV will generally establish a local roster of candidates for national volunteer assignments. In addition, special outreach activities will be undertaken to identify suitable candidates for a volunteer assignment. In all cases, candidates must undergo a competitive interview process to ensure transparency of the system. The UNV Field Units will be responsible for constituting evaluation/interview panels in close consultation with the UN Volunteer host agency.

Vacancy announcements are posted for one to two weeks on the UNDP job shop/eRecruit systems, centralized in this page on our global site, and/or advertised in the local media (newspapers, job sites, and professional associations’ newsletters) by a UNV Programme Assistant/Focal Point. The UNV Programme Assistant/Focal Point circulates it further via e-mail to all UN sister agencies, and places it on the local UNDP JOBSHOP website (http://jobs.undp.org/) or on the UNDP eRecruit website. In special cases, such as recruitment for remote locations or special outreach activities, the vacancy announcement is circulated as widely as possible through available channels and national institutions, local networks and mass media, i.e. newspapers, etc.

The vacancy announcement provides a link where the candidate’s profile can be uploaded. Vacancies are available on our website.

UNV strives to deploy volunteers within 4-6 weeks after initial contact with the candidate.

The key benefit of being a national UN Volunteer is the personal satisfaction the volunteer assignment brings you as you make a positive impact on peace and development. However, UNV supports you during your assignment in several ways, e.g. through a monthly volunteer living allowance (not a salary), moving costs and settling-in grant (as applicable, when the duty station is different from the place of recruitment), annual leave, life, health and permanent disability insurance.

Yes, you can apply to become an international UN Volunteer. UNV maintains a database which is a dynamic pool of talent fed by over 50,000 registrations annually and is tailored to meet the needs of our partners. The majority of assignments are filled by candidates from UNV’s database. However, from time to time, difficult and highly specialized or high-volume assignments are advertised on the UNV website, in specialized media, professional associations and on social media/networks. For further details on how to serve as an international UN Volunteer and how to create your UNV profile, please visit this link. Another option is to volunteer over the Internet from home through the UNV Online Volunteering service.

Please write to: roster@unv.org for any further questions you may have.