Intern with the Volunteer Policy Pillar
  • April 20 - October 20, 2020
  • Paid
  • Bonn

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society and the individual volunteer at large by strengthening trust, solidarity, and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UN Volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement, and solidarity.

UNV engages over 8300 volunteer assignments annually. With an average age of 35 years and the requisite professional skills and qualifications of some with 5 to 10 years of relevant experience. The majority come from developing countries themselves. Roughly one-half of UN Volunteers served in their own countries, with the other half carrying out international assignments. The financial equivalent of program activities exceeds US$ 235 million annually.

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UNV is headquartered in Bonn, Germany and has approximately 120 staff positions – with a large presence in Bonn and some positions with different UN peacekeeping and political missions, and in other Headquarters locations (e.g. New York and Tokyo) and Regional Offices (Nairobi, Dakar, Bangkok, Panama, Istanbul, and Amman).

The Volunteer Solutions Section (VSS) oversees the application of standard policies and procedures at all levels of the Volunteer Management Cycle and program development and management as well as the coordination and facilitation of communication and collaboration with Regional Offices.

Duties and Responsibilities
Under the overall guidance of the Policy Specialist within the Volunteer Solutions Section, the Intern will support the Volunteer Policy Pillar of VSS as follows:

  • Support coordination of the implementation of the comprehensive review of the Conditions of Service and overall policy pillar strategy with the aim to ensure a smooth transition and strengthen Regional Office and Field Unit diffusion of policy changes for proper implementation of the Conditions of Service, including creation and design of knowledge management products for utilization at the field and regional level in collaboration with the Digital Transformation team and in the configuration of the Unified Volunteer Platform;
  • Aggregate data for reports using data visualization for assessing the administrative streamlining impact of Conditions of Service changes and other policy innovation, including organizing policy advice to feed into the artificial intelligence chatbot data fields;
  • Support drafting of policy advice on the interpretation of policies, regulations and rules and on substantive questions related to administration and management of UN Volunteers and participates in meetings or working groups for documentation and notetaking;
  • Keep abreast of developments in various areas of innovation pertinent to volunteer management such as blockchain, smart contracts, artificial intelligence, and big data with the aims of formulating development of policy research documents as part on ongoing efforts to incorporate frontier technologies in the volunteer management cycle with a view to streamline and consolidate policy implementation digitally and seamlessly;
  • Assisting background research and drafting, including but not limited to academic studies, private and public sector best practices, UN Innovation Network, and other relevant stakeholder guidance, that have implications for volunteer management through policy innovation tools, crowdfunding, and big data compliance;
  • Working with the VSS Communication Focal Point for digital design management of Conditions of Service policy and service offer packages as communication materials for internal and external use;
  • Assist other assigned activities within the Volunteer Policy Pillar, as necessary




Learning opportunities

  • General understanding of the work and mission of the UNV program, and of volunteerism’s contribution to peace and development effectiveness;
  • Insight and hands-on experience in UNV’s broad range of operational and programmatic issues on volunteer management;
  • Insight and hands-on experience in volunteer management; and
  • Become more familiar with working in an International Organization and in a multicultural environment.


  • A draft consolidated practical guidance document for UN Volunteer Management policy in line with the Conditions of Service changes and global best practice accepted through a UNV peer review.
  • Evidence-based use case document on global best practice integrating frontier technology into volunteer management policy implementation is drafted and presented at a VSS team meeting.
  • Background research and practical guidance manual for refining the Terms of Use (ToU) policy for implementation of the UN Volunteers Personal Data Protection Responsibility Empowerment and Privacy (UNV PREP) Policy are drafted and accepted by the UNDP legal Office.
  • Practitioners guide to assist the iterative process for Conditions of Service Review, including implementation with internal and external stakeholders for smooth roll-out is drafted and presented to UNV teams
  • Support management of translation of critical policy documents for global roll-out and use.
  • Any other deliverables assigned to the inter-as per the VSS annual work plan.


Interns are selected on a competitive basis. Applicants to UNV internships must at the time of application meet one of the following academic requirements:

    • Be enrolled in a graduate school program (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
    • Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree program (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent);
    • Have graduated with a university degree (as defined in (a) and (b) above) and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation.


Eligible Regions: Open for all the member countries of the UN

Application Process

Apply online through the Apply Now link.

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Application Deadline: March 25, 2020

Application ClosedOfficial link

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