RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT INTERN


Location : New York, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Application Deadline :17-Nov-13
Additional CategoryCrisis Prevention and Recovery
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
English   French   Spanish  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
06-Jan-2014
Duration of Initial Contract :4 - 6 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 months

Background

UNDP is the UN’s global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to development knowledge, experience and resources that can help them build a better life for their citizens. UNDP’s networks link and coordinate global and national efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by helping countries build and share solutions to the challenges of: Democratic Governance, Poverty Reduction, Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Environment and Energy, HIV/AIDS, Capacity Development, and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.

UNDP’s organizational model is based on dispersed capabilities and decentralized networks. As part of its mission to assist developing countries to positively influence global trends and benefit from global knowledge, the Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) – UNDP’s policy advisory body – supports UNDP’s transformation into a globally networked policy advisory organisation. The bureau takes a matrixed, regionalised approach to development policy through a network of Regional Centres and Sub-regional Resource Facilities (SURFs) and thematic Global Knowledge Networks.

The internship has three positions for each semester (Winter / Spring / Summer / Fall) to provide support to the UNDP Bureau of Development Policy (BDP) Democratic Governance Practice Network, the Capacity Development Network and the UN Human Rights Policy network – HuriTALK. 

Democratic Governance Practice Network:

UNDP draws on a global network of democratic governance practitioners to provide timely and high-quality advice, expertise and know-how to policy makers and other partners in the countries where we operate – helping them pursue the best possible development solutions.

In the area of Democratic Governance (DG), UNDP supports its democratic governance practice through the Democratic Governance Practice Network (DGP-Net), and promotes local, national, regional and global knowledge sharing and application.  It works as a global exchange forum to inform more than 2000 practice members of the new and upcoming practice initiatives, innovations, and resources available within UNDP’s governance community (Democratic Governance Community of Practice-DG COP) and as a tool for sharing comparative experiences, good practices and discussion of substantive issues related to Democratic Governance.

Capacity Development Network:

Established in 2007 as part of UNDP’s Knowledge Services initiative, the Capacity Development Network (Capacity-Net) is open to all development practitioners and experts interested in sharing knowledge on key issues of capacity development (CD). Discussions on the network include topics such as capacity assessments, capacity development responses (institutional arrangements, leadership, knowledge and accountability), programming for CD, evaluation of CD, aid effectiveness, public-private partnerships for local service delivery, national implementation capacities and use of country systems, and many more. The network is comprised of 1400+ members from 100 countries.

The capacity development approach of UNDP ensures that when countries undertake programmes and other interventions, they do so in cognizance of best fit with their national development priorities, and that programmes are well entrenched within national institutions and systems. The ultimate aim for UNDP is to graduate out of individual programmes and leave behind sustainable systems, people and institutions. The Knowledge, Innovation and Capacity Group (KICG) that hosts Capacity-Net, is UNDP’s source of in-house expertise for optimizing the impact of development interventions through capacity development.

UN Human Rights Policy Network – HuriTALK

The UN Human Rights Policy network – HuriTALK, is a virtual network which facilitated dialogue among UN and development practitioners on how to best integrate human rights standards and principles in their work.  Through the exchange of information, good practice and lessons learned, members develop their knowledge on human rights-related issues as well as their capacity to integrate human rights-based approaches (HRBA) in their work. The network currently has a membership of over 1600 practitioners from more than 15 UN entities across 100 countries and serves as a valuable practical tool for translating the UN’s commitment to mainstream human rights into all aspects of its work.

HuriTALK provides various products and services to the community including maintaining the UN HRBA Practitioner’s Portal for Development Programming (www.hrbaportal.org) which brings together a wide range of resources on integrating HRBA into development programming, making them accessible to users through a single entry point.

Crisis Prevention and Recovery

The Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) is committed to the long-term goal of transforming UNDP into a global leader in crisis prevention and recovery. To achieve this goal, it tries to capture and share the vast wealth of knowledge and expertise that exists within the organization and externally on CPR-related issues and programmes.

This means developing user-friendly KM tools, connecting UNDP practitioners with expertise in crisis prevention and recovery, facilitating an exchange of knowledge among them and ensuring that valuable lessons learned from CPR practice are shared and built upon in order to improve the way we work to prevent and respond to crises. This knowledge management strategy is supported by a robust CPR community of practice network (CPRP-Net) and web-based knowledge sharing platform Teamworks.

The Internship offers the opportunity to acquire direct exposure to UNDP's work. It is designed to complement development-oriented studies with practical experience in various aspects of multilateral technical cooperation. The intern will support the Network Facilitation Team in maintaining the high quality of network knowledge products while also allowing for in-depth research on a variety of topics related to democratic governance and capacity development for poverty reduction.

In addition, the Intern will be exposed to UNDP’s highly recognized Knowledge Management approach and will participate in developing new KM innovations.

Working under the direct supervision of the Knowledge Management Specialists, the incumbent will be responsible for providing the knowledge networks with research, documentation, codification, and analysis for generating and managing knowledge in the practice.


Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of Knowledge Management teams of the Democratic Governance Group, and the Knowledge, Innovation and Capacity Group, the intern’s duties and responsibilities are not limited to the below but could include: 

News Update – Due every 2-4 weeks:

Support the knowledge management team in the preparation of the biweekly news update:

  • Provide inputs into the bi-weekly electronic Newsletters for the Network including vacancy announcements;
  • Research and compile relevant resources, events and announcements, and job vacancies;
  • Work with the KM Team to upload them on various platforms.

Document management on UNDP knowledge and information management platforms:

  • Reviewing the existing documentation on the intranet, such as research and discussion papers, global and regional reports, toolkits and guidelines, etc.; as they relate to specific topics;
  • Liaising with policy experts in UNDP HQ and Regional Centres to identify key documents;
  • Categorizing the documents to facilitate access to them;
  • Reviewing and reorganizing past consolidated replies for ease of access and searchability.
Consolidated Replies, and e-discussions:

Work with the KM Research Analyst/KM Specialist in the preparation of consolidated replies in answer to queries UNDP practitioners may have in relation to democratic governance or capacity development . When required, support planned e-discussions with research on the issues of relevance to the discussion and in the preparation of the summary and other key products of the e-discussion.

  • Carry out web and document searches for relevant knowledge and information to enhance the depth of response to queries posted over the networks or discussion topics;
  • Assist in preparing Consolidated Replies to network queries;
  • Provide summaries of contributors’ responses;
  • Other research, writing and editing as required.
Social Media:

Support the maintenance and growth of the various Groups’ public image and presence through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Ustream, Flicker, and others.

  • Support the update of advisors' profiles on Teamworks;
  • Support the recording and dissemination of public events organized by the teams before, during and after the event;
  • Support the maintenance and growth of the group’s twitter account and ensure continuous activity on the social media platform;
  • Support dissemination of the groups’ activities, publications, stories and other content through all relevant social media platforms.
Other support:

Work with the Knowledge Management Team to support DGG, KICG and CPR:

  • Support the update of public websites and workspaces (including profiles on Teamworks);
  • Obtaining project information and share project achievements, evaluations and good practices that can, in turn, be used by other users to design new initiatives; and, Content management on KM tools;
  • Support network services such as the Expert Roster, Participation Fund, and translation;
  • Participate in task forces developing new initiatives, and research alternatives to better service democratic governance and capacity development practitioners as requested;
  • Support event organizing and other activities;
  • Undertake any other assignments as requested by the Knowledge Management Team.
Time frame and Resources:

The intern will be expected to support the above DGG or KICG activities. The intern will be granted access to:

  • The UNDP internal workspace and archive of resources and research material; and Extranet;
  • The UNDP subscriptions of scholarly journals and databases.
Financial Arrangements: 

UNDP does not pay for internships. The costs associated with the internship must be borne by the nominating institution, related institution or government, which may provide the required financial assistance to its students; or by the student, who will have to obtain financing for subsistence and make his or her own arrangements for travel, accommodation etc.

Further Career Opportunities:

The purpose of internships is not to lead to further employment with UNDP but to complement an intern's studies. However, a number of interns, having completed their studies and met the necessary requirements, have gone on to further assignments with the UNDP or elsewhere in the United Nations system.



Competencies

  •  Advanced theoretical and conceptual grasp of issues within the governance/human rights, crisis prevention, development domain';
  • Excellent writing skills, as well as strong analytical aptitude and strong communication skills;
  • Excellent organizational, time management and strong interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to work flexibly and meet tight deadlines;
  • Attention to detail and proven ability to work independently and effectively with minimum supervision;
  • Networking skills to engage with key internal and external partners;
  • Knowledge and understanding of the UN system and UNDP’s mandate;
  • Computer proficiency: MS Office including (excel, Word, PowerPoint, Internet, Publisher, etc.); and other data analysis tools;
  • Familiarity with HTML; text and image editing tools; etc…
  • Familiarity with social media and other platforms.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

Qualified candidates must be: 

  • Currently enrolled in a graduate-level degree programme as a full-time student in development related fields. Only students who will return to their studies upon completion of their internship assignments are eligible;
  • Available full-time for a period of 4-6 months.  Applicants available for a minimum of four months and up to six months are preferred;
  • Applicants must state their availability in their application form. Some flexibility will be allowed in the starting date.

Language Requirements:

  • All applicants must be fluent in both written and spoken English;
  • Additional UN languages (especially, Arabic, French, and Spanish) are a distinct advantage.
Application procedure:

Qualified candidates are requested to apply online via this website. All the required documents listed below should be compiled into one pdf. file which must be uploaded with your application online.

The application MUST contain these application materials (Note that only complete applications will be considered).

  • Cover letter;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • A sole-authored writing sample (1000 - 2000 words);
  • Completed UNDP Application Form for Internships (MS Word | PDF);
  • Proof of health insurance coverage.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials. 

Please compile all the documents into one pd.f file to be uploaded with your application. 

The selection process will consist of interviews AND a written test.

Candidates who are shortlisted for an interview must submit prior the interview the following documents:

  • Official letter from the University confirming enrollment in a graduate-level degree programme and specifying the expected graduation date;
  • Letter of endorsement from a senior faculty member who has directly supervised the student in the recent past and who is fully acquainted with the student's performance;
  • Copy of current school transcript;
  • A brief statement specifying the reasons why the candidate is seeking an internship with UNDP and what is expected from the experience.
Before being offered an internship position, the selected candidate will have to provide the following additional documents:
  • A Medical Certificate of Good Health from a recognized physician. If the intern is expected to travel outside the country of their residence, other than to Europe and North America, the physician must indicate whether he/she is fit to travel and has had the required inoculations for the country or countries to which the intern is to travel;
  • Proof of medical and life/accident insurance valid for the location(s) in which the internship will be carried out.

Questions to be answered while submitting the application

You will only be considered for this internship if you answer the 2 questions below.

Question 1:

Mandatory – Why should you be selected for this internship?

Please limit your answer to a minimum of 250 words and a maximum of 500 words.

And

Question 2:
Mandatory - You must answer one of the questions below.

Please limit your answer to a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 1000 words.

Discuss how Democratic Governance affects the achievement of Sustainable Human Development? or

Discuss how knowledge management, innovation and capacity development as an integrated approach is essential in achieving Sustainable Human Development? or

Discuss why and how Human Rights are relevant for achieving sustainable human development?

 


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