Intern: Programme management

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United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting And Reporting

Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR has around 100 staff located in its HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, and 5 regional offices as well as other field presences. Specifically, UNISDR coordinates international efforts in disaster risk reduction, and guides, monitors and reports on the progress of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA); campaigns to create global awareness of disaster risk reduction benefits and empower people to reduce their vulnerability to hazards; advocates for greater investments in disaster risk reduction to protect people's lives and assets, and for increased and informed participation of men and women in reducing disaster risk; and informs and connects people by providing practical services and tools such as PreventionWeb, publications on good practices, and by leading the development of the post-2015 disaster risk reduction framework (HFA2) and the organization of the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in 2015 in Japan. This internship position is located in the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in Geneva, Switzerland.


  • Assist the work of the UN High Level Committee on Programmes Senior Management Group in the roll-out of the UN Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience.
  • Support the analysis of the impact of the work of UN Agencies Funds and Programmes in integrating disaster and climate risk into their operations and in particular, support the elaboration of a Report on the Impact of UN DRR work for the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Sendai, Japan, March 2015.
  • Work in close consultation with UNISDR Regional Offices to review the effectiveness of the integration of disaster risk reduction into UN country programmes (UNDAFs)
  • Maintain regular contact with UN agencies, funds and programmes working on disaster risk reduction and support the organization of inter-agency meeting and consultations leading to the World Conference in Sendai.
  • Performs any other duties as requested by, and in consultation with, the UN Relations and Coordination Officer.


Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients" and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.


Applicants to the United Nations internship programme must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
  • Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent);
  • Have graduated with a university degree and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation.

For this internship, applicants must be enrolled in a degree programme in a graduate school (second university degree or higher) in Communications, or Disaster Management, Environmental Science, Environmental Law, Ecology, Development,
International Relations, Economics, or related fields; or if pursuing their studies in countries where higher education is not divided into undergraduate and graduate stages, have completed at least four years of full-studies at a university or equivalent institution towards the completion of a degree. Be computer literate in standard software applications, working knowledge of Microsoft Office, in particular Word and Excel, as well as PowerPoint.Have good internet research skills.Interest in disaster risk reduction issues.Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views.

Work Experience

  • Computer literate in standard software applications, working knowledge of Microsoft Office, in particular Word and Excel, as well as PowerPoint is required.
  • Have good internet research skills.
  • Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs which include willingness to try and understand and to be tolerant of different opinions and views.
  • Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme.


Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required for the Internship Programme. Knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.

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United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
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