Internship: UNISDR liaison office (New York)

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14-HRA-OCHA-32970-R-NEW YORK (O)

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

Organization Setting and Reporting

This internship is located in the New York Liaison Office of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). The intern will report to the Liaison Officer. The OCHA internship is for two months (starting immediately) with an opportunity for extension.

The internship is unpaid and full-time. Interns work five days per week (35 hours) under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned.

Administrative requirements:

Candidates must be medically insured; able to obtain necessary visas and arrange travel to UNHQ, as well as cover the cost of travel, accomodation and living expenditure for the duration of the internship. For further information, please consult the United Nations Secretariat internship website.


Within delegated authority, the intern will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Support the general work of UNISDR’s New York Liaison Office, and provide specific support in relation to the Liaison Office’s engagements during the 68th/69th Session of the General Assembly; this includes following the Post-2015 development agenda and related processes, as well as assisting in the early preparations for the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, to be held in Japan, in March 2015.
  • In consultation with colleagues, assists in the design and preparation of events and presentations on disaster risk reduction related issues and in various follow-up activities.
  • Assists in research, analysis and presentation of information gathered from diverse sources on assigned topics/issues.
  • Contributes to the communication and advocacy efforts of the office, through preparation of various written documents, e.g. assists in the drafting of sections of reports, articles, talking points, background papers, policy guidelines, parliamentary documents etc.
  • Develops and maintains reference/resource information on specific topics or policy-related issues; contributes to the responding to various inquiries and information requests internally and externally.
  • Assists in the organization of meetings, seminars, conferences, work shops, etc. with other agencies and partners to facilitate exchanges of professional expertise and views on related subjects/issues; serves as reporter to such events.
  • Maintains awareness of current development affairs and related issues, to include relevant political, policy, gender considerations or other developments in specific subject area, country or region concerned.
  • Performs other duties as required.


Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to disaster risk reduction, disaster management or development. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, work under pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment (e.g. civil strife, natural disasters and human misery). Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

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 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.


At the time of application, candidates must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in a graduate university program, or in the final academic year of a first university degree (Bachelor's) preferably in political science, social science, international relations, public administration, economics, or a related field.
  • Have graduated with a university degree and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation
  • If pursuing their studies in countries where higher education is not divided into undergraduate and graduate stages, have completed at least three years of full-time studies at a university or equivalent institution towards the completion of a degree;
  • Be computer literate in standard software applications.

Work Experience

Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme; however any practical and academic experience on humanitarian issues including humanitarian financing mechanisms, humanitarian funding trends, gender equality programming is an asset. Research interest and published work on these or/and any related areas is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this internship, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required.

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United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - New York UNHQ Liaison Office
New York
Closing date