Job Opening

Posting Title: Intern - Technology and Humanitarian Affairs
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 29 April 2016 - 29 May 2016
Job Opening Number: 16-Information Management Systems-OCHA-59826-R-New York (O)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Special Notice

Due to the high volume of applications received, we can ONLY contact successful candidates. All UN internships are UNPAID.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for internships which relate directly to their studies and/or skills and expertise. Applicants are asked to please indicate preferences which best match his/her suitability and do so carefully in order to enhance the value of the internship for both the intern and the receiving UN department.

A person who is the child or sibling of a staff member shall not be eligible to apply for an internship at the United Nations. An applicant who bears to a staff member any other family relationship may be engaged as an intern, provided that he or she shall not be assigned to the same work unit of the staff member nor placed under the direct or indirect supervision of the staff member. For purposes of this instruction, “child” means (i) the child of a staff member; (ii) the child of the spouse of a staff member (stepchild); and (iii) the spouse of a
child of a staff member or a staff member’s spouse (son- or daughter-in-law). “Sibling” includes the child of both or either parent of a staff member and the child.

All costs associated to this internship are to be borne by the prospective candidate, specifically: travel, visas, accommodation, medical insurance coverage and living expenses for the entire duration of the internship. The Organization accepts no responsibility for the medical insurance and other costs arising from injury, illness or death that may occur during the internship. The intern shall not travel on behalf of nor represent the Organization in any official capacity. The United Nations shall not enter into any formal partnerships or conclude memoranda of understanding or similar agreements with academic institutions. To apply to this internship please go to: or

Org. Setting and Reporting

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is the UN Secretariat department responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to complex emergencies and natural disasters. OCHA also ensures that there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.

The Information Services Branch (ISB), as an integral part of the Corporate Programme Division (CPD), is responsible for both defining and implementing OCHA's information and technology strategy while introducing more effective ways of developing and delivering digital information and technology services that serve OCHA staff and the larger humanitarian sector. The sections within the branch are responsible for a range of matters including humanitarian data (HDX), response-based websites (ReliefWeb & and applications (Humanitarian.ID), technical infrastructure (email, document management, connectivity, etc), and both support to and capacity development of field-based information management officers.

The announcement offers an opportunity for an internship assignment that will be based in New York, USA, and the intern will under the guidance and supervision of a Programme Manager within ISB. This internship is being offered for a period of three (3) months with a possibility of extension up to a maximum period of six (6) months.


Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual's background, duties may include but are not limited to lending support to projects and/or activities within the branch/Division of assignment, in particular the intern may:
• Draft research or policy documents aimed at improving the integration of digital humanitarians, information and communication technologies, and new techniques in humanitarian response; and identify possible areas of interest for further research or academic projects;
• Undertake research at the interaction of technology and humanitarian affairs such as the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and robotics in humanitarian arenas. Sovereignty and intervention in the digital age (e.g. Is the age of participation eroding the traditional powers of nation states?) is another major topic for study: how are digital humanitarians adhering or not adhering to sovereignty?, what are nation states doing in response to this trend?, and where is internet governance going? Other topics could include trust-building in the digital era, barriers to introducing new tools in emergencies, innovation in humanitarianism, etc. If you have a specific topic that may be of interest, please apply and make a note in your cover letter.
• Work on projects such as: Design and development of new processes, procedures, workflows for OCHA to provide remote information management support during emergencies; data and information visualization projects; database development/management for information management; standardization initiatives; mapping and geo-spatial projects; and general development of new processes, procedures, workflows and operations for FISS and the wider system.
• Study change management and institutional reform: Specifically regarding reorganization and strategy projects within large international institutions; and specifically in relation to the adoption of new technologies.
• Study the effectiveness of Coordination Bodies: Specifically in relation to the potential of the Digital Humanitarian Network to coordinate partnership between OCHA, the wider humanitarian system, and emerging Volunteer & Technical Communities (also referred to as digital humanitarians); analysis would be required as to the best models for the facilitation of collaboration, conflict resolution, funding arrangements, and negotiation processes.
• Organizational development for Volunteer & Technical Communities: Moving forward from existing research, conducting primary research with representatives of the V&TCs to determine issues of organizational structure and governance within network organizations.


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.
TECHNOLOGICAL AWARENESS: keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.


To qualify for an internship with the United Nations Internship Programme, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

• Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher); or
• Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent); or
• Have graduated with a university degree and, if selected, much commence the internship within a one year period of graduation from an academic
Applicants who are unable to commence the internship within one year of graduation shall not be accepted.

The University degree must be in the area of Business Administration (General, Management, or Computer Science), Management (General, Information Systems), Information Technology (Information Management, Information Systems, or Information Architecture), International Relations, Information Systems or a related field.

Work Experience

Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme; but applicants should :
• 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 includes willingness to understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views.

Any academic and/ or practical experience in establishing, fostering and coordinating a diverse group of actors is desirable. Research experience and published work in any of the above or related areas is an asset.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in English (both oral and written) is a requirement. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


Candidates will be assessed based on their Personal History Profile (PHP). Individual interviews may be conducted by the Hiring Manager directly for further consideration.

A complete online application (Cover Note and Personal History profile) is required. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
The cover Note must include:
• Title of degree you are currently pursuing;
• Graduation date (when will you be graduating from the programme);
• List the IT skills and programmes that you are proficient in;
• Explain why you are the best candidate for the internship position.

In your Personal History Profile, be sure to include all past work experience, if any; IT skills and three (3) references.
Due to high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted.

United Nations Considerations

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8). The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

No Fee


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