UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP’s policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels offers a spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in its Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in UNDP’s Strategic Plan.
Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan. BPPS staff provide technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represent UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private, government and civil society dialogues, and engage in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.
UNDP's 2022-2025 Strategic Plan highlights our continued commitment to eradicating poverty, accompanying countries in their pathways towards the SDGs and working towards the Paris Agreement. As part of the Global Policy Network in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP's Nature, Climate Change, Energy, and Waste Hubs promote and scale up integrated whole-of-governance approaches and nature-based solutions that reduce poverty and inequalities, strengthen livelihoods and inclusive growth, mitigate conflict, forced migration and displacement, and promote more resilient governance systems that advance linked peace and security agendas.
BPPS work with governments, civil society, and private sector partners to integrate nature, climate, energy and waste related concerns into national and sector planning and inclusive growth policies, support country obligations under Multilateral Environmental Agreements, and oversee the implementation of the UN’s largest portfolio of in-country programming nature, climate change, energy, and waste. This multi-billion-dollar portfolio encompasses:
• Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services including forests;
• Sustainable Land Management and Desertification including food and commodity systems;
• Water and Ocean Governance including SIDS;
• Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation;
• Sustainable Energy;
• Extractive Industries;
• Chemicals and Waste Management;
• Environmental Governance and Green/Circular Economy; and SCP approaches.
This work advances crosscutting themes on innovative finance, , capacity development, human rights, gender equality, health, technology, South-South learning and digital transformation.
UNDP launched its first Digital Strategy in mid-2019 to harness digital transformation within the organization. Building on a long history of project-level digital support for partners, the strategy represented a systematic and corporate driven transformation process to reimagine the way UNDP serves its partners and operates its systems and processes. UNDP continues to accelerate these efforts in response to growing demand from partner governments and to support our development partners to ensure that the arc of future digital transformation protects human rights and leaves no one behind.
In line with the Digital Strategy 2019-2021, Digital Strategy 2022-2025 maintains and accelerates the momentum that has already been generated across UNDP and among its partners. Many of the components are already in place such as the Accelerator Labs, the Digital Advocates Network, a comprehensive IT transformation, and the Chief Digital Office (CDO).
Being a part of the BPPS the Nature and Climate Hubs embarked on a road to accelerate digital transformation in collaboration with the CDO in the Executive Office, bringing digital technologies and data into different levels of decision-making processes and programming within the portfolio. The Nature and Climate Hubs are working with multiple partners and stakeholders to advance the digital transformation for green transition. A new global project ‘Digital Transformation for Green Transition’ which aims to provide global support to the GEF/GCF portfolio, while leveraging the strong portfolio to enable other financing opportunities.
The project objective is to enable scaled digital support to countries’ green transition, through Digital Public Goods / Infrastructure for transparency and green finance; data capacity building; and Digital Readiness assessment and demonstrations.
This work is cofinanced by UNDP’s Digital Public Goods for Development (DPG4D) global project funded by the Government of Norway/Norad, which aims to improve the availability and discoverability of Digital Public Goods (DPGs) for development. DPGs are open-source software, open data, open AI models, open standards, and open content that adhere to privacy and other applicable best practices, do no harm by design and are of high relevance for attainment of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As part of this effort, the Chief Digital Office (CDO) works with Nature and Climate Hubs to implement effective, inclusive, rights-based DPGs.
There are several ongoing DPGs being scoped, developed, and implemented within this context to enhance transparency and access to environmental finance:
Climate Transparency DPG: Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) systems combined with national carbon registries require digital systems for countries to access climate finance. Both digital systems are an important technological element for countries to ensure transparency and credibility in reporting Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, as well as to enable countries to trade carbon credits effectively more easily to secure finance for climate change mitigation.
Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) DPG: PES is an innovative cash transfer mechanism that can directly provide benefit sharing of climate finance to farmers and local communities, which UNDP has a long-standing experience in supporting governments for policy and implementation. Leveraging on emerging technologies, of which many are open source, UNDP will design and develop the base architecture and convene partnerships with existing providers, to create a coherent, working PES system for countries newly embarking on a PES mechanism.
Within this overall background, UNDP is extending opportunities for two internship positions to support the Digital for Environment team in research, data collection, and analysis related to Digital Public Goods/Digital Public Infrastructure. Their support will extend to partnership building, administrative tasks, including but not limited to the Digital Public Goods Portfolio.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the supervision of the Lead Digital Innovation, Nature Climate and Chemicals & Waste, Environmental Governance, Nature Hub, BPPS the intern will dynamically support the following areas:
Research, Strategy, and Collaboration:
- Assist in research, data collection, and analysis related to Digital Public Goods Portfolio.
- Support the development of digital strategies, tools, and content for cross-cutting themes within the Nature Hub.
- Collaborate with team members on various DPG projects, including the Nature Pledge's green transition initiatives.
- Assist in the organization and coordination of webinars, workshops, and events related to the Community of Practice on the Paris Agreement.
- Contribute to the preparation of presentations, reports, and communication materials for internal and external stakeholders.
Innovation and Data Exploration:
- Apply design thinking and quick prototyping for digital systems and data products related to the Payment for Ecosystem Service DPG.
- Suggest UI/UX for early-stage PES DPG.
- Draft digital project intervention opportunities.
- Conduct basic assessment of existing software codes and documentation.
- Contribute to the exploration of machine learning and artificial intelligence applications for data analytics within environmental contexts.
Partnership, Administrative Support, Knowledge Management, Communication:
- Assist in securing partnerships on data and modelling.
- Draft minutes and circulate them for comments and finalization.
- Provide assistance in procurement efforts and logistical needs.
- Assist in general data science and data management efforts across the DPG portfolio.
- Support Digital for Environment team on various Digital Public Infrastructure project concept development
- Draft blogs and social media communication on digital technologies.
Achieve Results: LEVEL 1: Plans and monitors own work, pays attention to details, delivers quality work by deadline
Think Innovatively: LEVEL 1: Open to creative ideas/known risks, is pragmatic problem solver, makes improvements
Learn Continuously: LEVEL 1: Open minded and curious, shares knowledge, learns from mistakes, asks for feedback
Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 1: Adapts to change, constructively handles ambiguity/uncertainty, is flexible
Act with Determination: LEVEL 1: Shows drive and motivation, able to deliver calmly in face of adversity, confident
Engage and Partner: LEVEL 1: Demonstrates compassion/understanding towards others, forms positive relationships
Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 1: Appreciate/respect differences, aware of unconscious bias, confront discrimination
Required Skills and Experience
Applicants to the UNDP internship programme must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:
- Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher) in fields such as Data Science, Digital Technologies, Environmental Science, Economics or other related fields.
- Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum bachelor’s level or equivalent) in fields such as Data Science, Digital Technologies, Environmental Science, Economics or other related fields;
- Have recently graduated with a university degree (as defined above), and, if selected, must start the internship within one year of graduation.
- Be enrolled in a postgraduate professional traineeship program and undertake the internship as part of this program.
- Relevant voluntary/internship experience in the field of data analytics, data science, environment, Digital Public Goods/Digital Public Infrastructure, or international development.
- Knowledge of, and/or prior experience within, the UN system is considered an advantage.
- Excellent analytical skills are required and experience in research, drafting and editing documents.
- Experience creating content for the web and/or managing different social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) is considered an advantage.
- Familiarity with agile methodology, human-cantered design and design thinking is considered an advantage.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills in English language is required.
- Knowledge of French is considered an asset.
Applicants should become familiar with the internship conditions prior to signing an internship agreement. For information visit www.undp.org/internships/
The intern will report to the Lead, Digital Innovation for Nature Climate and Energy / BPPS based in New York or a delegated project coordinator.
Financial aspects, expenses and medical benefits
- UNDP will not pay for the internship but may provide a stipend in monthly in accordance with the provisions of the UNDP Internship policy;
- UNDP accepts no responsibility for the medical insurance for the intern or for any costs arising from accidents and/or illness during the internship period. Interns, whether engaged in-person or remotely, are responsible for securing adequate medical insurance for the duration of their internship with UNDP and must provide self certification of good health prior to starting the internship. UNDP will not reimburse the medical insurance of the intern. Any costs arising from accidents and illness incurred during an internship assignment will be the responsibility of the intern.
- UNDP is not responsible for any claims by an intern or third party in the case of loss or damage to property or death or personal injury as a result of actions or omissions on the part of the intern during the internship period.
When completing an in-person internship in a UNDP Office, interns must be provided with the workspace and equipment necessary to accomplish the activities related to the internship.
When completing a remote internship, interns will be responsible for providing their own equipment, internet and communication access and work space.
There is no expectation of employment with UNDP following an internship. Interns cannot apply for, or be appointed to, any position during the period of their internship.
- Interns are considered as gratis personnel. They are not staff members.
- Interns may not be sought or accepted as substitutes for staff to be recruited against authorized posts.
- Interns may not represent UNDP in any official capacity.
Please provide the following documents to be considered:
- motivational letter
In case an applicant is successfully selected, s/he will be requested to provide electronic versions of:
- Letter from his/her university confirming current enrolment and graduation date.
- Letter of recommendation from a professor.
- Copy of his/her most recent school transcript.
- Copy of passport.
- A copy of a US Visa if the intern is not a US Citizen.
- Completed UNDP internship application form.
- Signed UNDP Internship Agreement.
- Medical Certificate of Good Health.
- Proof of medical insurance.
Kindly note the above documentation is required within one week after selection.