Job Opening

Posting Title: INTERN - HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS, I (Temporary Job Opening)
Department/Office: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 30 October 2018 - 28 October 2019
Job Opening Number: 18-Humanitarian Affairs-OCHA-106089-J-New York (O)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Org. Setting and Reporting

This internship is located in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in New York for two months with an opportunity for extension, pending the needs of the department.

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.

The incumbent will report to a Humanitarian Affairs Officer, a Public Information Officer or a Programme Manager and the Chief of the relevant Section.This is a recruitment process for three sections: the Strategy, Planning, Evaluation and Guidance Section (SPEGS), the Policy Development and Studies Branch (PDSB) and the External Relations and Partnerships Section (ERPS).

OCHA's Strategy, Planning, Evaluation and Guidance Section (SPEGS) offers an internship with the Evaluation and Oversight Unit. The unit manages evaluations of OCHA's work and of the wider humanitarian response, and monitors the implementation of recommendations from these evaluations, as well as from audits, reviews and other assessments. For more information, see

OCHA's Policy Branch (PDSB) offers internships in three areas: (1) Intergovernmental Policy Section (IGPS), (2) the Policy Advise and Planning Section (PAPS), and (3) Policy Analysis and Innovation Section (PAIS). (1) IGPS works to ensure intergovernmental support for strengthening the normative framework for humanitarian action through inclusive dialogue and policy support to Member States on humanitarian priority issues in the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations; (2) PAPS is responsible for providing support to the field and advice and analysis on a variety of issues, including on international humanitarian law, internally displaced people, protection, humanitarian access and engagement with parties to the conflict, and leading in the delivery of the Emergency Relief Coordinator's responsibilities to the UN Security Council on protection of civilians in armed conflict. PAPS carries out legal research and writing, reviews legal documents, prepares meetings, and drafts reports and analyses that address a range of questions of international humanitarian law (IHL). (3) PAIS is responsible for shaping and influencing the humanitarian policy agenda, leading the advancement of the Agenda for Humanity and in strengthening the analytical capacity of OCHA on issues related to the nexus between humanitarian and development as well as the interlinkages between humanitarian issues and key global agendas such as climate change, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Sustaining Peace, among others. PAIS prepares flagship OCHA research products such as the Agenda for Humanity Annual Synthesis Report, World Humanitarian Data and Trends series and organizes the annual Global Humanitarian Policy Forum.

OCHA’s External Relations and Partnerships Section (ERPS), within the Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Branch, also offers an internship. ERPS nurtures relationships with Member States and intergovernmental regional organizations in order to maximize their political, technical, in-kind and financial support to improve humanitarian outcomes, including support to OCHA's activities. ERPS strengthens existing relationships with partners (Member States, regional and inter-governmental entities) to achieve a stronger strategic engagement in humanitarian action and support for OCHA's mandate. ERPS develops key strategic partnerships with new partners to achieve a broader partner base for OCHA and toward system-wide resource mobilization. ERPS is also responsible for organizing several OCHA events including briefings to Member States, high-level events, and pledging conferences.

If candidates have a strong preference for one of these sections, they are encouraged to mention it in their cover letter. Please also indicate the time when you are available for an internship (minimum 3, maximum 6 months), including your earliest possible start date.


Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual’s background; the intern’s assigned office as well as the internship period. Duties may include, but are not limited to:

• In consultation with a senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer, assists in the design and preparation of studies on humanitarian, disaster, emergency relief and related issues and in various follow-up activities.
• Researches, analyses and presents information gathered from diverse sources on assigned topics/issues.
• Contributes to the preparation of various written documents, e.g. drafts sections of studies, background papers, policy guidelines, parliamentary documents etc.
• Assists in the organization of meetings, seminars, conferences, workshops, etc. with other agencies and partners to facilitate exchanges of professional expertise and views on specific humanitarian-related subjects/issues; prepares briefing materials for senior officials prior to their participation in such events; serves as reporter to such events.
• Maintains awareness of current humanitarian affairs and related issues, to include relevant political, policy, gender considerations or other developments in specific subject area, country or region concerned.
• Engages in UN intergovernmental process and with Member States on humanitarian affairs.
• Reviews and provides advice on specific topics or policy-related issues in one or more of the following: international humanitarian law, forced displacement, the humanitarian-development nexus and humanitarian financing.
• Conducts in-depth research topics using a variety of sources as well as quantitative analysis. Is familiar with basic statistical methods and able to translate basic statistical analysis into messaging for advocacy.
• Assists in outreach and coordination with a wider set of partners, including the private sector, foundations, academics, and think-tanks.
• Responds to a variety of inquiries and information requests internally and externally; prepares related correspondence.
• Be guided by the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.
• Perform other duties as required.


The United Nations Core Competencies include:

Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to gender equality within OCHA Knowledge and understanding of humanitarian, emergency relief assistance and related humanitarian rights issues. Ability to identify issues, analyse and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to develop sources and 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. 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.


To qualify for an internship with the United Nations Internship Programme, the following conditions must be met:

• Applicants must meet one of the following requirements: (a) be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher); (b) be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent); or (c) have graduated with a university degree (as defined above) and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one year period of graduation;
• Be computer literate in standard software applications;
• Have a demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter; and
• 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

Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this internship, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN Official language is an advantage. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish are the official languages of the United Nations Secretariat.



Special Notice

A completed online application (Cover Note and Personal History Profile) is required. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The Cover Note must include:
• Degree Programme (What are you currently studying?)
• Graduation Date (When will you graduate or when did you graduate from the programme?)
• List the IT skills and programmes that you are proficient in.
• List your top three areas of interest.
• Explain why you are the best candidate for this specific internship.
• Explain your interest in the United Nations Internship Programme.

In your online Personal History Profile, be sure to include all past work experiences, IT skills, and three references.

Due to the high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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