Service Line: UN Volunteers in support of the UN Resident Coordinator System

With this service line, UNV can provide essential support to the top UN country officials and chief UN diplomatic country missions in their efforts to campaign for and implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Maria Rehder (centre) is a Brazilian UN Volunteer working as Communications and Advocacy Officer with the United Nations Resident Coordinator Office in Guinea-Bissau. Here she is surrounded by some of the children who participated in the production of the
Maria Rehder (centre) is a Brazilian UN Volunteer working as Communications and Advocacy Officer with the United Nations Resident Coordinator Office in Guinea-Bissau. Here she is surrounded by some of the children who participated in the production of the 'Journal Mural'. (UNV, 2011)

Resident coordinators steer the UN country teams that contribute to national development priorities. The UN country teams are the policy backbone of the UN development system, helping governments to design development solutions most compatible with their needs and based on the 2030 Agenda. UN country teams cultivate national leadership, leverage effectively public and private financing schemes, and assist governments in developing financial project planning. Specialist UN Volunteers support Resident Coordinators and UN country teams in these tasks, provide assistance in the mainstreaming of policies and the facilitation of dialogue among stakeholders, and ensure continuous improvement in accordance with UN key indicators.

With a new and ambitious development agenda ahead, UNCTs are requested to work in a much more integrated manner than ever before. To deliver results, capacities of the different UN agencies are brought together with the facilitation of Resident Coordinators’ Office (RCO). UNV is ideally placed to support this through the integration of UN Volunteers and volunteerism in RCOs. With an active roster of more than 25,000 vetted, well-qualified potential volunteers ranging from doctors to engineers, UNV can be a valuable resource for peace and development.

Kanni Wignaraja, Director, UN Development Operations Coordination Office (New York)

With their rich spectrum of competencies and skills, UN Volunteers can be mobilised to leverage the potential of social engagement and contribute to education, governance, health, sustainable livelihoods, security, peace, and the environment through research, knowledge-sharing and grassroots work within communities. UN Volunteers can plan strategic communication campaigns, advocate for the SDGs, develop initiatives for public outreach to raise awareness, inspire and mobilize people. Their profound knowledge in data and statistics, innovation or partnership development makes them a valuable asset in the Resident Coordinator system.

UN Volunteers also support UN Resident Coordinator offices and UN country teams to develop and implement SDG monitoring and evaluation frameworks, mine data and create dashboards to measure progress. They are particularly well suited to coordinate and promote intra-agency initiatives within the UN country teams.

During my assignment, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, my role was to help bring all the UN agencies together to agree on joint activities and to participate actively in the monthly meetings. In 2013, UNCG members cooperated on three events: the International Day of the Girl Child, UN Day, and Human Rights Day.

Laura Gees, UN Youth Volunteer Communications Officer in Tajikistan

The service line is composed of a set of assignment schemes that are based on the needs of different UN entities and countries. The most common positions held by specialists UN Volunteers and UN Youth Volunteers are Coordination Analyst, SDG Review and Development Officer, Reporting, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Social Media and Website Management Officer, and Communications Specialist.

Broad consultations with UN entities led to the establishment of UNV service lines. These embody a set of standardized volunteer services based on standard Descriptions of Assignments dedicated to facilitate developmental efforts across UN entities.


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> Last update: 01 December 2017