Internship - Partnerships and Communications

Location : Geneva, Switzerland, SWITZERLAND
Application Deadline :10-Oct-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :3 Months (with possibility of up to 3 months' extension)

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and exclusion, and build resilience so countries can sustain progress. As the UN’s development agency, UNDP plays a critical role in helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To respond effectively to complex development challenges, partnership is at the heart of everything UNDP does. In the organization, the Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy (BERA) leads and supports UNDP in cultivating, building and nurturing strategic relationships and alliances with Member States, UN sister agencies, private sector and civil society, that are essential for successfully achieving its mission of advancing the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion.

The UNDP Geneva Representation Office (GRO) is an integrated partnership office, led by BERA, working across programmatic and representational functions. It contributes to UNDP’s mission by engaging and forging partnerships with a wide range of partners in Geneva and across Europe to support the attainment of the SDGs. As emphasized during the 2020’s review of UNDP’s External Relations, in addition to leading donor relations with Switzerland and France and contributing to intergovernmental processes with Member States Permanent Missions, the Office has a specific responsibility for the development of partnerships with UN sister agencies and other international organisations headquartered in Geneva, as well as with the private sector, in particular the finance community.

The SDG Finance Geneva Summit (SGS Geneva) is an initiative of UNDP Geneva which advocates for a stronger engagement of the private sector towards the 2030 Agenda, mobilizes financial resources to accelerate the realization of the SDGs, and promotes SDG-aligned finance. Within this overall objective, the event seeks to: i) showcase and facilitate the sourcing of SDG innovations developed by impact ventures in developing countries; ii) advocate for and advance knowledge on the challenges and opportunities of SDG-aligned investments; and iii) create a safe space for high level networking among stakeholders across sectors and facilitate partnerships for the implementation of the SDGs. As an invitation-only forum, the Summit garters around 250 decision-makers from impact investors, large banking and financial actors, large corporate firms, academia, representatives of UN and bilateral development agencies, and UNDP experts. The 2021 edition of the Summit will happen in a hybrid format in Geneva in December 2021.

In addition, through relevant coverage and participation in intergovernmental and UN agency debates, the UNDP Geneva Office provides intelligence to UNDP’s senior management to help shape corporate positioning and UNDP engagement strategies on specific thematic areas, such as inequality, climate and environment, and crisis prevention and response. Furthermore, it also tracks trends and opportunities in the external political environment that may affect UNDP’s mandate, for instance in the areas of innovation for development or private sector engagement for the SDGs.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Communication and Partnerships Development Specialists and overall guidance of the UNDP Geneva Representation Office Director, and working closely with relevant UNDP teams in BERA and in the UNDP’s Global Policy Network (comprising of the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support and the Crisis Bureau), the Partnerships and Communication intern will be in charge of supporting:

  • Strategic analysis and partnership development;
  • Communication and advocacy, in particular around the organization of the SDGs Finance Geneva Summit;
  • Knowledge management and administrative support for the office; and
  • Any other related duties, as assigned by the supervisors.

Strategic analysis and partnership development (30%):

  • Contribute to concept notes, design of partnership strategies, and preparation of external engagement (e.g: speeches, talking points) - in consultation with relevant UNDP colleagues - to inform UNDP’s collaboration with relevant UN and international organisations, government partners and civil society, in line identified UNDP’s corporate priorities.
  • Attend thematic debates and sustainable development events taking place in Geneva (or virtually) and prepare reports and substantive analysis, summarizing relevant policy work and activities of UN sister agencies and monitoring inter-governmental and inter-agency processes of relevance to UNDP’s priorities. This may notably include activities related to the work of WHO, ILO, ITU, WTO, UNCHR, OHCHR, IOM, working closely with colleagues in the UNDP’s Global Policy network.
  • Provide preliminary research, logistical assistance and adequate follow-up for missions and meetings of UNDP’s senior management and UNDP Geneva Director with the international community in Geneva.
  • Support responses to internal and external requests for information and prepare replies to partner queries, including when needed correspondence for high-level external counterparts.

Communication and advocacy (40%):

  • Support the Partnerships Development Specialist and the Communication Specialist in organizing external events (public launch of flagship UNDP reports, policy briefs, inter-agency consultations, donor events, external advocacy campaign), to amplify UNDP’s corporate messages within the international Geneva community and partners in Western Europe.
  • Support administrative and programmatic tasks linked to the roll-out of the UNDP’s new external advocacy campaign on Climate and Inequality (“Don’t Choose Extinction), in connection with the COP26.
  • Contribute to the production of information materials or digital content for online platforms (blog posts, articles, press releases), by supporting their design and dissemination to key partners.
  • Support to the Organization of the SDGs Finance Geneva Summit including developing communication material such as the monthly Newsletter and event’s collaterals (banners, programme, slides), populating Social media handles (Linkedin ; Facebook), supporting the registration process and engaging with sponsors; Support the overall logistics of the event.

Knowledge management and administrative support (30%):

  • Update database of relevant UN contacts/partners that can be leveraged to deliver on key objectives of UNDP, and help support the integration of a new Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool within the UNDP Geneva Representation Office with the aim to enhance internal information exchange within UNDP, including with HQ and country offices.
  • Support the administration and reporting of the SDGs Finance Geneva Summit project.
  • As need be, provide support to the UNDP Geneva leadership, including for the organization of all staff meetings and the adaptation of local protocols in line with COVID-19 regulations.


Core Values:

  • Integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • International outlook and an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff;
  • Ability to manage workload with minimum supervision and collaborate with a wide range of colleagues in a fast-paced environment, while meeting deadlines;
  • Intellectual curiosity and a deep desire to learn, displaying strong versatility and adaptability.

Core Competencies:

  • Sound understanding of sustainable human development issues;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal, with experience to pro-actively reach out to new internal and external partners;
  • Strong writing skills, particularly the ability to present persuasive, coherent and well-founded arguments, in a style that is accessible to a broad audience of policymakers, private sector and activists;
  • Drive to achieve results in timely manner and to seek and find solutions to any problems encountered;
  • Sound political acumen.

Functional Competencies:

  • Strong organizational skills and ability to multi-task;
  • Ability to convert complex and abstract ideas into simple visual concepts;
  • Excellent knowledge of MS Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) required;
  • Proficiency with digital/social media and database management systems;
  • Familiarity with graphic design software and online communication platforms/partners management tools (e.g. CRM software, Mailchimp) an asset.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Applicants must at the time of application, meet one of the following requirements:
  • Be enrolled in a post graduate degree programme (master programme or higher) in international Development, Political Science, Innovation or Economics, Marketing, Journalism and Communication or related programme; or
  • Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (bachelor degree or equivalent), in above relevant field; or
  • Have recently graduated with a university degree, as defined in the above field and, if selected, the candidate must start the internship within one-year of graduation.


  • Knowledge or experience in development-related area, ideally in advocacy;
  • Knowledge or experience in project management and partnerships building and event coordination;
  • Experience in drafting high quality external messaging, in content development for blogs, newsletter and social media would be an asset;
  • Strong computer skills (Word, Excel) and experience using online tools such as Sharepoint.


  • Fluency in English (speaking and writing skills) is required;
  • Proficiency in French and/or German would be an advantage.

Application process:

  • The application should be written in English and contain a) brief Cover Letter stating your motivation and qualifications in the assignment and, b) current and complete CV.

Internships Conditions:

  • Interns are not financially remunerated by UNDP.  Where an intern is not financially supported by an institution, foundation or government through scholarship programme, a stipend may be paid by UNDP in accordance with the UNDP Internship Policies with the intention to help cover basic daily expenses related to the internship;
  • Interns are not covered by UNDP for medical and life insurance or costs arising from accidents and illness incurred during the internship.  Interns must have their own international medical and life insurance and show proof of valid medical and life/accident insurance;
  • The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment with UNDP but to complement an intern’s studies. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of an internship;
  • Interns are not considered staff members of UNDP and may not represent UNDP in any official capacity;
  • Interns are not eligible to apply for positions or consultancies in UNDP during the period of the internship;
  • The normal duration of an internship is from six weeks to 6 months maximum;
  • The intern will be evaluated at the end of the contract and due recognition of work will be issued in writing.

In case an applicant is successfully selected, s/he will be requested to provide electronic versions of the following documents:

  • Copy of the applicant’s most recent resume or curriculum vitae;
  • Letter from his/her university confirming current enrolment and graduation date;
  • Letter of recommendation from a professor;
  • Copy of his/her school transcript;
  • Copy of national passport;
  • Completed UNDP internship application form (to be provided upon selection);
  • Signed UNDP Internship Agreement (to be provided upon selection);
  • Medical Certificate of Good Health (to be provided upon selection); and
  • Proof of medical insurance (to be provided upon selection).

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© 2016 United Nations Development Programme