Intern: Programme management (Civil society and communities)

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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. The Intern will report to the Section's senior programme officer responsible for the follow up of the HFA and its successor arrangement.


  • Provide assistance in delivering the work programme relating to civil society and communities (farmers, women, indigenous people, children and youth);
  • Facilitate the participation of civil society and communities in the consultative meetings of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction and preparation of the WCDRR through the organization of CSOs meetings at global and regional level, in consultation with other relevant units of the secretariat, the focal points of other stakeholders as required, and ensure appropriate follow-up;
  • Establish guidance relevant to civil society and communities' engagement in the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction and preparation of the WCDRR;
  • Assist with procedures and requirements for the accreditation of civil society and communities to the WCDRR, including maintaining the list of civil society and communities accredited to the WCDRR, and preparing official documentation on accreditation to be submitted to the WCDRR for consideration and action; 
  • Ensure policy implementation on eligibility criteria for CSO participation and events;
  • Monitor (by groups, language, thematic/geographical) all accredited civil society and communities;
  • Manage the necessary web-based tools, through the HFA2 web page and on external forums and the Internet;
  • Assist in preparing information relative to WCDRR to be disseminated through civil society and communities specialized mailings and networks;
  • Interest in disaster risk reduction issues.
  • Performs any other duties as requested.


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);

Applicants must be enrolled in a Bachelor's (final year, Master's or Ph.D programme or equivalent, or have completed a degree and be able to commence an internship within a year of graduation, in any of the following areas Communications, or Disaster Management, Environmental Science, Environmental Law, Ecology, Development, International Relations, Economics, or related fields. 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.

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 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 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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