Job Opening

Posting Title: Internship - Public Information, I (Temporary Job Opening)
Department/Office: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 17 May 2018 - 06 June 2018
Job Opening Number: 18-Public Information-OCHA-97830-J-Geneva (A)
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

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.

In emergencies, OCHA communications officers at headquarters (HQ) and in disaster or conflict situations play a key role in ensuring the humanitarian community speaks coherently and sends appropriate and consistent messages through the media. This helps OCHA rapidly mobilize the political will, funding, supplies and equipment to relieve suffering and help people rebuild their lives. Our spokespersons coordinate with partners to develop key messages that define the overall impact, needs and required response – whether in terms of advocacy or practical aid provision. Key messages are developed in consultation with colleagues in-country, to ensure that the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), Resident/ Humanitarian Coordinator (R/HC) and others convey up-to-the-minute, clear and consistent information.

OCHA also assists the media by ensuring that regular joint press briefings are held, bringing together representatives from across the humanitarian community. It also ensures that speakers are available for interviews in various languages, and helps media access key decision makers and aid operations, especially in hard-to-access locations. Through our communications network, OCHA works with a variety of partners in local, regional and international media to ensure that decision makers and the public read, hear or watch balanced coverage of current relief operations, brewing emergencies or forgotten crises.

Situated within the Strategic Communications branch, this internship will be located in the News and Crisis Communications Section (NCCS). This internship will be based in Geneva, Switzerland, and the intern will be under the general guidance and direct supervision of the Public Information officer/ Spokesperson. The internship is being offered for period of six (6) months, with a commencement date starting as soon as possible.


The intern will support OCHA in fulfilling its mission to coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors; advocate the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention; and facilitate sustainable solutions.

In general, the intern shall support communication, advocacy and public information activities of the Branch.

Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual's background and duties may include but are not limited to assisting implementation of activities to publicize priority issues and/ or major events, coordination and planning of media outreach efforts, monitoring and reporting on progress against defined outputs and analysing the outcome; compiling daily media monitoring capturing news and opinions of relevance to OCHA's operations and reputation; identifying issues and trends, and offering suggestions on appropriate action/responses; supporting activities to promote media coverage (e.g. press conferences, interviews, ad verbatim transcripts and other special activities) of priority issues and/ or major events; supporting OCHA's News and Crisis Communications Section in Geneva in preparing twice-weekly press briefings; editing and proof-reading web stories from the field as required; editing and re-working OCHA-generated public information material for social media; contributing toward all stages of production of information products (e.g. press kits, press releases, feature articles, speeches, booklets, brochures, backgrounders, audio-visual materials etc.); initiating and sustaining professional relationships with key constituencies; and performing tasks requested by supervisor, as appropriate.


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 on-going 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.

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.


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, must commence the internship within a one year period of graduation from an academic programme.

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 communication, journalism, international relations, public administration or in a related field.

Work Experience

Applicants are not required to have professional working experience for participation in the Programme though any academic and/or practical experience in public information, journalism, communications, international relations, public administration, humanitarian affairs issues including humanitarian coordination, humanitarian financing mechanisms, humanitarian funding trends, gender equality programming, emergency preparedness, crisis/emergency relief management, rehabilitation, development and/or human rights is is desirable. Practical experience with producing content for social media, especially Twitter, is highly desirable. Applicants should be computer literate in standard software applications; have a demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations, 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.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this internship fluency in English and French (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another United Nations official language would be 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 in which you are proficient;
- 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.

Special Notice

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 her/his suitability and do so carefully in order to enhance the value of the internship for both the intern and the receiving United Nations (UN) Secretariat department/ office.

A person who is the child or sibling of a staff member shall not be eligible to apply for an internship at the UN. 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 advertisement, “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.

In line with the United Nations Internship programme, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs-(OCHA) internship provides a framework by which students from diverse academic backgrounds gain exposure to the work of the United Nations through assignment to offices within the Secretariat. The Programme endeavours to attract qualified students, offering them an opportunity to enrich their educational experience through exposure to the work of the Organization. Equally, it provides the Office with the assistance of students specialized in various professional fields. The internship is an unpaid and full-time opportunity and the intern must adhere to the established official weekly working hours of the duty station where it is based with one hour for a lunch break.

For more information on the Programme, please visit, qualified individuals may apply directly to this and other United Nations Secretariat opportunities at

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


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
Home | Privacy notice | Site map | Fraud alert | Contact Us
Copyright 2023 United Nations. All rights reserved