What are the steps to host a UN Volunteer?
To host an on-site UN Volunteer, the UN partner should contact a UNV representative, ideally at the UNV Field Unit or Regional Office representing the country where the UN Volunteer is expected to serve. The partner must secure funding for the volunteer assignment and participate in interviewing shortlisted candidates. Refer to the steps for how to host a UN Volunteer.
The UN partner may also proceed directly to submit an expression of interest by clicking 'Request UN Volunteers' at the bottom of this page.
→ Enroll in our e-learning course Hosting a UN Volunteer.
What categories of UN Volunteers are available?
UNV enables flexible solutions to the needs of UN entities, offering different categories of UN Volunteers as Integrated Talent Solutions.
- International UN Volunteers are typically professionals with specialized knowledge, bringing five to ten years of experience to their assignments. They come from all walks of life and a wide range of professional backgrounds, and are deployed for a minimum period of 12 months and up to four years.
- National UN Volunteers are nationals of the host country (or refugees and stateless persons with legal status in the country), normally recruited locally. They often live and work in their own communities and have at minimum a high school diploma. Some assignments require national UN volunteers to have professional and technical skills and a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience. Other assignments require UN Volunteers who can bring a strong community connection, local knowledge and networks.
- UN Youth Volunteers are between 18-29 years of age and may be engaged for national and international assignments of up to two years. UN University Volunteers are a special segment of UN Youth Volunteers, and serve on assignments of 3-6 months. UN Youth Volunteers and UN University Volunteers have demonstrated their commitment to global peace and sustainable development through academic, extra-curricular and volunteer activities and/or around two years of remunerated work experience.
- Short-term international and expatriate national UN Volunteer can be contracted for assignments of less than three months. This option may be useful for rapid or time-limited deployment, such as shoring up emergency responses, census activities and for projects that require quick scaling-up or adaptation to changing circumstances.
- Online Volunteering is a rapidly growing service of UNV. Volunteering online allows volunteers to develop their skills and take on new roles that their professional life may not necessarily provide. Organizations collaborate with people of different backgrounds from all over the world who become part of a global online community of peers who all share the goal of advancing human development. UN Online Volunteers conduct assignments via the Internet to bolster the activities of United Nations entities, governments and civil society organizations.
- UN Community Volunteers are a part of an integrated talent solution to bring local expertise to development and peace solutions. UN Community Volunteers work where they live on projects that impact their own community. UN partners can mobilise UN Community Volunteers in large numbers from the communities where they will be assigned, bringing direct impact and resilience building to UN initiatives. Combined with the expertise of international and national UN Specialist Volunteers, there is great potential to transfer knowledge and build capacity at the local and national levels with this community-based volunteer solution. Inclusion of Youth and UN Online Volunteers for support on key deliverables can also round out the skill-sets needed and ensure coverage of all aspects of any UN project. It is expected that volunteers will contribute to local solutions and progress the Sustainable Development Goals in their communities. In return, volunteers will gain greater knowledge and experience in different areas related to community development, programme or project management, and ultimately empower their own community. UNV suggests, in the recruitment of UN Community Volunteers, to invest in a UN Community Volunteer Coordinator, who will coordinate and support recruitment, onboarding, learning, contract management and volunteer well-being for the community volunteer initiative. UNV recommends that these coordinators are National UN Specialists.
Who pays for the UN Volunteer assignment?
The UN partner hosting an on-site UN Volunteer covers the cost of a UN Volunteer assignment. The cost varies depending on the volunteer category selected, which you can refer to in this overview of UN Volunteers as Integrated Talent Solutions.
UNV also has a limited number of UN Volunteer assignments that are fully funded by donors and allocated in close consultation with the Member State. UNV is the main interlocutor for UN entity partners hosting a UN Volunteer sponsored by a UNV funding partner. The main entry point for UN entities to discuss the possibility to host a sponsored UN Volunteer is the UNV Field Unit, or, for countries without a UNV presence, the respective UNV Regional Office.
As of January 2019, UNV is introducing cost-recovery for its Online Volunteering service, as per below pricing. This will help ensure that UN partners can continue benefitting from the high quality of the service (94 per cent of organizations are satisfied) and its state-of-the-art IT platform. Based on the number of opportunities published, a yearly fee is charged to cover IT innovation and comprehensive services related to account management, expert advice on opportunity design, as well as access to volunteer and opportunity management tools.
What support does UNV give to host UN entities?
UNV offers host organizations support with the recruitment and administration of UN Volunteers. This includes:
- helping identify appropriate volunteer assignments;
- managing the selection process and choosing candidates of the highest caliber that meet the host’s requirements;
- conducting the initial briefing of UN Volunteers and preparing them for travel to their duty stations;
- concluding the contractual arrangements with the volunteers;
- ensuring medical and other clearances are in place;
- training and monitoring the UN Youth Volunteers; and
- providing post-assignment career advice.
UNV offers a global talent pool with over 200,000 profiles - check out our latest talent pool statistics. A legal and administrative framework is established for engaging volunteers that includes conditions of service, guidance notes and the UNV code of conduct.
How long does the process take?
The recruitment of a national or international UN Volunteer normally ranges from 4-12 weeks from approval of the Description of Assignment until arrival at the duty station. The time between expressing interest in engaging UN Volunteers and their arrival at the designated duty station varies and depends on the urgency of the request, the availability of talents required, the chosen category and the turnaround time on required inputs on the part of the requesting agency.
Are you ready?
Proforma Costs 2019 for national UN Volunteers (including UN Community)
Proforma Costs 2019 for international UN Volunteers
Online Volunteering service pricing
On-site UN Volunteer recruitment templates
UN Community Volunteers
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Other useful links