Volunteers at work
Rolando Tupa Montecinos (right) and Janeth Pinto Mollinedo (centre) are among 15 indigenous UN Volunteers serving communities in the Department of La Paz, Bolivia, through a forestry project of the Global Environment Facility.

Information for UN entities: Host a UN Volunteer

UNV provides UN entity partners with guidance on hosting UN Volunteers in support of their peace and development interventions and delivery. Check out how to host a UN Volunteer, proforma costs for national and international assignments, description of assignment templates and volunteer management tools.

To request a UN Volunteer directly, click here


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

Typically professionals with specialized knowledge;

Bring five to ten years of experience to their assignments;

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

Nationals of the host country (or refugees and stateless persons with legal status in the country), normally recruited locally, who often live and work in their own communities; and 

Have at minimum a high school diploma, although 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 Expert Volunteers

The UN Expert Volunteer category targets people with critical skills for peace and development, including highly-demanded specialized knowledge, professional expertise, and technological acumen, often cultivated over many years. UN Expert Volunteers must be minimum 35 years old, hold a Masters degree and have 15 years of relevant professional experience in the area of expertise.

UN Expert Volunteers receive an Expertise Differential, equivalent to 40% of the Monthly Living Allowance of a UN Volunteer Specialist, to recognize the expertise that they bring to the United Nations system.

► UN Youth Volunteers

May be engaged for national and international assignments of up to two years; and

Are between 18-29 years of age.

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 Volunteers

May be contracted for assignments of less than three months; and

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.

► UN Community Volunteers

Are a part of an integrated talent solution to bring local expertise to development and peace solutions, working where they live on projects that impact their own community; and

Can be mobilized 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 specialist UN Volunteers, offer 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 of 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.

► Refugee UN Volunteers

The Refugee UN Volunteer special initiative for UNHCR facilitates the employment and engagement of refugees in their host country with the aim to empower them and build on their competencies and skills. These Volunteer assignments specifically cater to vulnerable refugee populations who, due to their precarious status, are often shut out from participation in the labor market. Exclusively available for UNHCR, this special initiative is tailored to the specific legal, socio-economic, and cultural context of refugee populations.

The Refugee UN Volunteer special initiative for UNHCR has its own standard operating procedures and conditions of service

Description of Assignment (DOA) for Refugee UN Volunteer is available here.

Offline registration form can be downloaded from here . 

Refugee UN Volunteer Guidance Note is available here.

► Online Volunteers

Online Volunteers conduct assignments via the Internet to bolster the activities of United Nations entities, governments and civil society organizations.

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. 

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 calibre 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.

On-site UN Volunteer recruitment templates

UN Community Volunteers 

Medical Plan for international UN Volunteers (EN, ES, FR, RU) and national UN Volunteers (EN, ES, FR, RU)

Life and dismemberment insurance flyer for national UN Volunteers (ES, FR, RU, EN)

Life and dismemberment insurance flyer for International UN Volunteers (EN)

Zero Tolerance of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

UNV, as part of the United Nations System, has a no-tolerance policy towards Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA). For this reason, we adhere to all policies, procedures and training of the United Nations on The Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA). UNV also has a mandatory e-learning course for all volunteers to be taken pre-deployment, whether at Headquarters or at other duty stations, on our e-learning platform. This e-learning course is composed of a set of lessons designed to raise awareness about SEA, become familiar with a range of measures to combat SEA, understand the impact on victims and the consequences for UN Personnel who commit Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.

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.

The Online Volunteering service is free of charge to all eligible partners, effective 1 January 2020. This is made possible through process efficiency measures put in place in 2019 such as the digital transformation project and mainstreaming of the OV service into respective sections’ mandates and functions.

Proforma Costs for UN Volunteers

Proforma elements guide for agency partners: Proforma guide

Proforma Costs 2020 for national UN Volunteers (including UN Community)

Proforma Cost Overview 2020 for national UN Volunteers for UN Partners

Proforma Cost Overview 2020 for national UN Volunteers for UN Peace Operations

Proforma Cost Overview 2020 for national UN Volunteers for Funding Partners

Proforma Costs 2020 for international UN Volunteers

Proforma Cost Overview 2020 for international UN Volunteers for UN Partners

Proforma Cost Overview 2020 for international UN Volunteers for UN Peace Operations

Proforma Cost Overview 2020 for international UN Volunteers for Funding Partners

Online Volunteering service pricing

The Online Volunteering service is free of charge to all eligible partners, effective 1 January 2020. This is made possible through process efficiency measures put in place in 2019 such as the digital transformation project and mainstreaming of the OV service into respective sections’ mandates and functions.

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? Click here to request UN Volunteers


Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions for UN Partners

Other useful links