Júlia Baena de Mesquita, UN Volunteer Environmental and Social Analyst at the World Bank in Burundi, on a mission related to a Landscape Restoration Project.
Júlia Baena de Mesquita, UN Volunteer Environmental and Social Analyst at the World Bank in Burundi, on a mission related to a Landscape Restoration Project.

UN Volunteers at World Bank bring development solutions

Meet three UN Volunteers in three different countries around the world – Burundi, Egypt and Kosovo. Together with the World Bank, they provide a wide array of assistance and development solutions. Their assignments are fully funded by Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Landscape Restoration Project 

Júlia Baena de Mesquita is an Environmental and Social Analyst with the World Bank in Burundi. She ensures that the World Bank’s social safeguards are applied to all the projects. By doing so, she guarantees that development is not done at any cost. This ranges from issues that stem from labour conditions to gender-based violence, and communities’ health and safety. 

She has been on a mission related to a Landscape Restoration Project, which aims to restore land productivity in targeted, degraded landscapes in the event of crisis or emergencies.

It was quite special to go on a mission up to country and see how the project translates from paper to reality, but especially to visit the communities that were affected by one of our projects.” -- Júlia Baena de Mesquita, Environmental and Social Analyst

Júlia has an academic background in law   this allows her to use the appropriate framework to guarantee people’s rights. “I always admired the UN’s values in harnessing international cooperation to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. I was happy to contribute to them in Burundi,” says she.  

Even though working in different areas and countries can be challenging, she describes this experience as enriching  both personally and professionally.  To work in a transversal manner, she learns about different issues and contributes to project implementation. 

Human Capital Project

Nicholas Hans Buhne is a Human Development Analyst at the World Bank in Egypt. He currently works on the Human Capital Project, mapped to Social Projection and Jobs global practice.

This means we can create more opportunities for sustainable development and inclusive societies by developing human capital. Investing in people through nutrition, health care, quality education, skill development, and employment are key indicators in this regard. To nurture the ability of people across income groups, gender, age groups, and backgrounds so that they can reach their potential is essential for inclusive growth. 

Working across different countries on health, education and social protection allows us to explore how programmes like cooking oil subsidies for girls coming to school can build up the human capital, which is necessary for countries to move toward sustainable development.” -- Nicholas Hans Buhne, Human Development Analyst, World Bank  

Nicholas goes through different databases and researches best practices from other countries to offer the most suitable advice to governments. Linked to this, he writes reports and puts together presentation materials for future quantitative analysis. 


Assessing country's needs and opportunities

Gayané Naroyan works with the World Bank office in Pristina (Kosovo*) as an Operations Analyst. She supports the strategic operations team.

The work at the World Bank is an enriching opportunity as it allows her to acquire knowledge about the country and gain new skills related to strategic processes.

“It is a challenging position with a broad scope touching different sectors, but it also allows me to collaborate with and learn from experienced colleagues and get first-hand experience of how the multilateral organizations work,” adds Gayané.  

The UN Volunteer programme is an incredible journey that leads to new contexts, new challenges and new people. It is a great learning opportunity, both from a professional and a personal point of view. The quality and impact of the World Bank’s work are what keeps me motivated.” -- Gayané Naroyan, UN Volunteer Operations Analyst, World Bank

This collaborative exercise – which involves the participation of a broad range of national and international stakeholders and the inputs from different experts from the World Bank – is a fundamental step to orient World Bank’s strategy and function in the country.


The SECO-UNV Full Funding (FF) Programme is designed to allow talented Swiss citizens to build capacities, develop skills and contribute to peace and development through their international UNV assignments within the World Bank. In 2021, 10 were funded by SECO. 

*References to Kosovo shall be understood in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).