Job Opening

Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Duty Station: NAIROBI
Posting Period: 12 September 2022 - 11 October 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Programme Management-UN-HABITAT-188089-J-Nairobi (O)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the agency for human settlements mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities (

UN-Habitat’s Innovation Unit
For UN-Habitat, innovation means embracing new ideas, up-to-date means, and fresh approaches to our work. It is based on horizontal and collaborative working practices that consider diverse contexts and perspectives. Innovation can be digital or non-digital, and take shape as a process, a practical tool or application, or as a culture. Approached from a collaborative perspective, it can help to efficiently deliver impacts at scale, put people at the center of the development process and ensure that no one and no place is left behind. UN-Habitat’s new Innovation Unit was created in 2020 and has four focus areas:
1. Promote an innovation culture at UN-Habitat for improved sustainable urbanization outcomes.
2. Develop relevant knowledge and tools to strengthen innovation at UN-Habitat.
3. Act as an enabler and broker for new ideas and partnerships for inclusive and at-scale impacts.
4. Promote innovation in project and programme design and implementation by providing advice on tools, methodologies, technologies, and partnerships.

The Innovation Unit hosts the United Nations Innovation Technology Accelerator for Cities (UNITAC), leads the agency’s work on digital cooperation, provides technical support to UN-Habitat flagship programme People-Centered Smart Cities, and is developing UN-Habitat Innovation Challenges, an approach to urban innovation based on open and challenge-driven innovation that can help cities and human settlements effectively engage with innovators. It also provides innovation support to the Improved Quality of Life in Datacenter Communities project, implemented in collaboration with Microsoft.

UN-Habitat’s Programme Development Branch and People-Centered Smart Cities Programme
UN-Habitat’s Programme Development Branch develops new programmes and ensures coherent coordination between normative approaches at HQ and operational work in regional and field offices. It is also leading in the development of five global flagship programmes. Flagship programme 2 focuses on people-centered smart cities to act as an umbrella and enabler for mainstreaming the approach across all of UN-Habitat work. This function will have a clear mandate to support colleagues in the delivery of their operational and normative work. The function will be supported by committed and mandated smart city focal points with dedicated resources and time in other offices. The objective of this flagship programme is to ensure that the smart cities field is focused on ensuring sustainable development outcomes aligned with human rights, including ensuring that no one and no space is left behind, and that cities reduce carbon emissions. The Programme Development Branch is also currently leading the establishment of UNITAC as an outposted office in Hamburg.

The intern will be under the direct supervision of the UN-Habitat, Nairobi, External Relations, Strategy and Innovation Division/ Innovation Section in close collaboration with Global Solutions Division/ Programme Development Branch, Programme Management Officer.

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Nairobi, External Relations, Strategy and Innovation Division/ Innovation Section in close collaboration with Global Solutions Division/ Programme Development Branch internship is for six (6) months.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants may be requested to undertake the internship remotely in view of constraints regarding visa issuance, international travel and access to UN premises. Applicants must be willing and prepared to undertake the internship remotely for a part or the entirety of the internship. The work hours during the internship shall be determined based on individual discussion between the intern and the supervisor(s) taking into consideration the minimum requirements of the Organization and the time difference between the hosting office and the location of the intern.

The Internship is UNPAID and full-time.

Interns work five days per week under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned.


Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual's background; the intern's assigned office as well as the internship period.

Under the direct supervision of the Programme Management Officer, the intern will:
- Support the development of the publications, web articles, posters, infographics, presentations, and other communication products to raise the visibility of the Innovation Unit’s programmatic work related to innovation, smart cities and digital transformation.
- Support with communications and capacity development, the innovation web page and other publications.
- Assist in planning, promoting and organizing meetings or substantive presentations and the day-to-day operations and the preparation of special events of the Innovation Unit.
- Support the drafting of outputs such as concept notes, technical studies, case studies and other thematic analyses.
- Assist in planning, promoting and organizing meetings or substantive presentations and the day-to-day operations and the preparation of special events, and take notes.
- Support the Innovation Unit, the People-Centered Smart Cities flagship programme, UNITAC-Hamburg, and help organize roundtables, webinars, and event advocacy.
- Support the organization, promotion, and coordination of new innovation projects, events, partnerships, and other initiatives.
- Work closely with the Digital Helpdesk for Cities team to develop communications activities, design work, background materials, concept notes, and other relevant documents as required. Support the Innovation Unit with overall communications and design needs and capacity development activities.
- Support partner engagement and help set up relevant meetings with partners, as tasked by the supervisor.
- Perform any other tasks as assigned by the team or supervisor.


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 must at the time of application 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 program (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent);
c. Have graduated with Bachelor's degree, Masters, PhD or equivalent

Be computer literate in standard software applications (Microsoft Office).

Have demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter and the New Urban Agenda;

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.

Preferred areas of studies:
Graduate or post-graduate studies related to Communications, Strategic Design and Management, Information Design, Web Development, Media Studies, Journalism, Public Relations, Design Thinking, or related areas. Any background in Urban Development or Innovation is a bonus.

Experience and interest in communication and design technologies and (graphic) design software, including but not limited to: Adobe Creative Suites (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop), ArcGIS, or other spatial data software, and experience in building websites is an asset.

Work Experience

No working experience is required to apply for the United Nations Internship Programme. Your training, education, advance course work or skills should benefit the United Nations during your internship.

Experience in graphic design and a link to your portfolio showing previous projects is required.

Description of your creative process and innovation in terms of design is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this internship, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is desirable.


Potential candidates will be contacted by hiring manager directly for further consideration.

Special Notice

Your application for this internship must include:
1. A completed application (Personal History Profile) and Cover Note, through the UN careers Portal. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The Cover Note must include:

- Title of the degree you are currently pursuing
- Graduation Date
- IT skills and programmes you are proficient in
- Explain why you are the best candidate for this specific internship

Explain your interest in the United Nations Internship Programme, ensure to include all past work experience (if any).

2. Proof of enrollment from current University (if not graduated).

3. A copy of degree certificate (if you have already graduated).

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

“In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants may be requested to undertake the internship remotely in view of constraints regarding visa issuance, international travel and access to UN premises. Applicants must be willing and prepared to undertake the internship remotely for a part or the entirety of the internship".

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, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, 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. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

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.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

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


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