Internship on South-South Cooperation with UNDP

Application Deadline :12-Sep-14 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :6 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 months


As developing countries intensify their cooperation, demand is expected to increase on support to countries to enhance their ability to forge South-South and triangulation cooperation (SSC/TrC); UNDP was sought by many countries to provide support to adapt to the changing development cooperation architecture in its role as a neutral connector, knowledge broker, supporter to capacity development, and facilitator of collaborations. This is largely due to UNDP’s ground presence in over 177 countries and territories, in which it offers global perspective and local insight to many development challenges.  UNDP’s new Strategic Plan (2014-2017) has emphasized the importance of promoting SSC/TrC and new partnerships with emerging economies. Specifically, the Strategic Plan is requesting for (1) an increased scale and effectiveness of UNDP’s support to SSC/TrC, as well as (2) deeper cooperation with emerging partners on shared development priorities. One of the main recommendations the Evaluation of UNDP Contribution to SSC/TrC (2008-2011), is the establishment of an SSC corporate strategy.  Therefore, the SSC team within the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) in UNDP Head Quarters will seek to engage young aspiring graduate students from various southern and/or northern countries in substantive activities related to UNDP’s global SSC/TrC work. Some of these activities will feed into and contribute to the formulation of the SSC corporate strategy.

Since the overarching theme of the internship will be on SSC/TrC, the programme aims at:

  • Enhancing the interns’ understanding of the SSC/TrC concepts by analyzing major work on this topic and by interacting with our SSC researchers, attending events;
  • Exposing interns to current developmental challenges in southern countries while introducing them to proven development solutions;
  • Enhancing interns’ writing and analytical skills by engaging them in various knowledge product and research outputs;
  • Improving interns’ communication, advocacy, and organizational/planning skills by requiring their support in organizing advocacy and learning events (i.e., in the management of the team’s knowledge sharing spaces, and on various social networking spaces.)

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance of the Lead Advisor on South-South Cooperation, the interns will support the work of the team. Depending on the competencies and interests of the interns, assignments will include:

  • Helping the SSC team with the planning and organization of upcoming key events (i.e., educational webinars/workshops on SSC annual day, SSC Annual Expo, think-tank consultation forum,  etc);
  • Providing assistance in the drafting, editing, and possibly translation of various on-going knowledge products the team is involved in;
  • Supporting the production of a set of communication materials (i.e., newsletters, brochures, flyers, executive summaries of various publications produced by the team);
  • Assisting in managing the team’s space on UNDP’s various knowledge sharing and advocacy platforms (i.e., Teamworks space, UNDP’s “Our Perspective” blog space...etc) as well as other social media platforms including Twitter;
  • Researching and collecting data on various thematic topics related SSC/TrC;
  • Analyzing the relevant documents on SSC/TrC (i.e., UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017, Evaluation Report of UNDP Contribution to South-South, Framework of operational guidelines on United Nations support to South-South and Triangular cooperation, ...etc);
  • Provide assistance to SSC team members as requested on different SSC-related work streams and undertaking other supportive tasks and assignment as needed.


Functional Competencies:

  • Excellent organizational, event planning, and time management skills, attention to detail and proven ability to work independently under tight deadlines;
  • Proven research and writing skills, with track record in producing development research, research, and other materials in English;
  • Strong service and team-work orientation; evident cultural sensitivity and ability to work in a multi-national environment;
  • Demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment to learning;
  • Commitment to UNDP vision, mission, and values and knowledge of UN work environment an advantage.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Enrollment in a graduate-level degree programme in a development related field such as economics, public administration, public policy, or international relations/international development studies.


  • Previous experience in research and policy development, communications, advocacy, can be an asset, and experience in developing countries is desirable.


  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English, with competency in other UN language(s) an asset.

Learning opportunities for Interns:

  • General understanding of mission of the UNDP and particularly through the work of the SSC team;
  • Increased awareness of pressing global development challenges and the role of SSC and TrC in addressing those challenges and advancing the global agenda;
  • Insights on successful/proven solutions facilitated by SSC and TrC and the role of southern state and non-state partners and stakeholders in the process;
  • Insight on UNDP’s role in facilitating and promoting SSC/TrC programmes at the local, regional, and global levels;
  • Practical research, data analysis, drafting, and editing experience;
  • Hands-on experience on utilizing social networks for advocacy and public relation purposes;
  • Hands-on experience in managing and running complex projects; and becoming more familiar with working in an International Organization and in a multicultural environment.

Conditions of Internship:

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

  • Official letter from the University confirming enrollment in a graduate-level degree programme;
  • Have a valid visa to work in the US;
  • Letter of endorsement from a faculty member who has worked with the student in the recent past and who is knowledgeable on the student’s performance;
  • Complete and sign the “Application Form” .

UNDP only accepts interns for a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 6 months.

UNDP does not pay for internships. The costs associated with the latter 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.

Proof of medical and life/accident insurance valid for the location in which the internship will be carried out (i.e. New York, USA).

Have medical and life insurance.

Career opportunities:

The purpose of internships is not to lead to further employment with UNDP but, as mentioned, 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.

Selection Procedures:

Internships offer a small group of outstanding graduate-level students the opportunity to acquire direct exposure to UNDP's work and are designed to complement development-oriented studies with practical experience in various aspects of multilateral technical cooperation. Qualified and interested candidate should send a CV, a short paragraph on her/his motivation in pursing this internship, and completed UNDP application form (MS Word/PDF File) by email to Grace Wang at Only short-listed candidates will be contacted and called for a motivational interview that will take place on an ongoing basis.

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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.

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