Intern: Research assistant (risk knowledge section), I

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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 and 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 in 2015 in Japan. This internship position is located in the Risk Knowledge Section (RKS) of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in Geneva, Switzerland. The Intern will report to the Coordinator, HFA Review. The UNISDR/ Risk Knowledge Section internship is for six months with no opportunity for extension.


  • Assist in appraisal and quality control of Input Papers and other related material submitted as part of the Thematic Review of the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA), conducted for the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 (GAR15).
  • Undertake additional literature review as required on topics related to specific Research Areas of the Thematic Review of the HFA.
  • Undertake a historical analysis of available literature and documentation relevant to the Thematic Review of the HFA, including outputs of Regional and Global Platforms for DRR, the International Decade for Disaster Reduction, related international fora inter alia .
  • Assist in editing and uploading inputs to the HFA Thematic Review to the GAR15 website.
  • Support other tasks as requested, including but not restricted to the development of the "Implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action - Summary of reports 2005 - 2015".

Expected results

  • Enhanced quality of Input Papers for use in the drafting of, and referenced by, the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 (GAR15);
  • Support the identification and analysis of complementary information and data to relevant Research Areas of the HFA Thematic Review;
  • Support to the synthesis of the HFA Thematic Review and the drafting of the related section of GAR15 and the report 'Implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action - Summary of reports 2005-2015' to be produced for the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.



  • 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.

Field of study must be in Information Management, Disaster Management, Environmental Science, Environmental Law, Ecology, Development, International Relations, Economics, or related fields; if pursuing some studies in countries where higher education is not divided into undergraduate and graduate stages, have completed at least two years of full-studies at a university or equivalent institution towards the completion of a degree.

Work Experience

  • Be computer literate in standard software applications; Have a strong internet research skills; Knowledge of basic HTML and photo, audio or video editing a plus; Interest in disaster risk reduction issues.
  • Have a demonstrated the 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.
  • Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme.

Languages: 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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