The UNDP World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre) was established in 2013 in Rio de Janeiro as a concrete legacy of the Rio+ 20 Conference of 2012. The RIO+ Centre is the result of a collaboration between UNDP and the Government of Brazil with the objective of keeping the commitment to sustainable development alive in both action and ideas. The Rio+20 Conference launched the discussions around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the overarching pillar of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which came into effect on the 1st of January 2016 after being agreed upon by all 195 Member States of the United Nations during the 70th Session of the General Assembly on 25 September 2015. The 2030 Agenda is a plan of action for the people, planet and prosperity to be implemented by all UN Member States as a pathway to sustainable development, improving the lives of the current generations without hampering the right for development of the future generations.

The Rio-born Sustainable Development Goals represent the most comprehensive – and boldest – global effort to improve the well-being and resilience of people in the history of humankind. The 17 SDGs – or Global Goals - are the most tangible and concrete component of the 2030 Agenda: a detailed roadmap to guide action on the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic – social - environmental) by all countries until the 2030 deadline.

To achieve its mission, the RIO+ Centre works to inspire and inform the debate and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to create inclusive spaces for active citizen participation and mobilization for the future of humanity and the planet. Working with people, companies, governments and cities from all over the world allows the RIO+ Centre to function as a global hub committed to greater social, environmental and economic justice. 

The RIO+ Centre is offering internship opportunities to outstanding communications, marketing and advertisement students that are interested in sustainable development, international cooperation and communications for development. The interns will support the work of RIO+ Centre’s newly-established communications & advocacy unit, and will be engaged in various knowledge management, advocacy and public relations activities aiming at maximizing public visibility and broad-based support towards the SDGs.

This internship opportunity does not lead to further employment with RIO+ Centre nor UNDP. Its goal is to provide the interns with unique opportunities to learn, gather experiences and enrich his/her studies with practical insights from the multicultural and multi-ethnic staff members at the UNDP global hub for sustainable development. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of the internship.

Duty Station

  • Home Based

  • The activities will be executed in home office with some occasional visits to the RIO + Centre.


  • The length of this internship at RIO+ Centre is 6 months.

  • This internship is on part-time basis: 20 hours/week.

  • The duration of the assignment will be from April 2016 to October 2016 (estimated).

Financial Issues

  • UNDP internships are unpaid, in all 166 countries where it serves. Consequently, interns will not be financially remunerated by the RIO+ Centre/UNDP.

  • 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.


  • Interns are not UNDP staff members and will not represent the RIO+ Centre, UNDP or the United Nations in any official capacity.


  • UNDP accepts no responsibility for the medical and life insurance of the intern or costs arising from accidents and illness incurred during an internship.

  • All applicants for internship must show proof of valid medical and life/accident insurance for the duty station for which they will work. It must include adequate coverage in the event of an injury or illness during the internship which requires transportation for further treatment or results in death.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance and supervision of the Communications Coordinator, the interns will be responsible for the following activities:

  • Building audiences and market research: support to mailing list management and improvement; mapping of sustainable development knowledge institutions in the Global South; support to structuring internal communications and knowledge management mechanisms;

  • Support to the development of a new RIO+ Centre website: Support content production and update, with a focus on audio-visual content;

  • Contribution to the development of the communications unit’s crowdsourcing strategy: Establishing collaboration with grassroots-based and youth-led sustainable development initiatives to foster innovative content sharing and building;

  • Assist the development of the communications unit’s Food-Art-Music (FAM) strategy: Facilitate the formation of coalitions of professionals in Food-Art-Music to mainstream understanding of and support to the SDGs and 2030 Agenda.

  • Support to the organization of events, including public seminars, workshops and international symposiums;

  • Help develop graphic materials,edit audio-visual content, prepare PowerPoint and Prezi presentations, and other related activities; and

  • Perform other related tasks as needed.


  •  Teamwork: Good interpersonal skills; ability to work in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment with full respect for diversity. Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensibility and adaptability. Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective work relationships with other UN Programmes, Funds and Agencies.
  • Professionalism: Ability to manage processes, maintain accurate records, interpret/analyze a wide variety of data, and identify/resolve data discrepancies and activity problems.
  • Planning and Organizing: Demonstrated effective organizational skills and ability to handle work in an efficient and timely manner.
  • Commitment to continuous learning: Initiative and willingness to keep abreast of new trends in international development.
  • Technological Awareness: Proficiency in various MS Office applications and other IT applications.
  • Communication: Ability to write in a clear and concise manner and to communicate effectively orally.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Candidates must be enrolled in a recognized Brazilian institution of higher learning leading to a recognized higher education diploma (either undergraduate/bachelors or graduate).

  • The candidates must be enrolled in a communications/management-related field of study, such as: Marketing, Advertisement, Public Relations, Journalism, Social Communications, Graphic Design, Business Administration or Management.

  • Candidates must be fluent in Portuguese and English.

  • Candidates are expected to demonstrate keen interest in the field of sustainable development and on UNDP’s mandate areas.


  • Updated Résumé/Curriculum Vitae in English

  • Motivation letter in Portuguese explaining why you are an outstanding candidate for the RIO+ Centre’s internship programme (max 500 words)

  • After the screening of CVs, short-listed candidates will be invited for interviews. Only those who are short-listed will be contacted.