Poor people depend on the environment for their livelihoods and well-being. Improved management of the environment and natural resources contributes directly to poverty reduction, more sustainable livelihoods and pro-poor growth. To fight poverty, to promote security and to preserve the ecosystems that poor people rely on for their livelihoods, we must place pro-poor economic growth and environmental sustainability at the heart of our economic policies, planning systems and institutions.

To tackle this challenge, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have joined hands and launched the Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI). The PEI is a global UN programme that helps countries to integrate poverty-environment linkages into national and sub-national development planning, from policymaking to budgeting, implementation and monitoring.

With both financial and technical support, UNDP and UNEP assist government decision-makers and a wide range of other stakeholders to manage the environment in a way that improves livelihoods and leads to sustainable growth. The PEI works with key government partners to raise awareness, influence policy making and strengthen the mainstreaming of poverty-environment into budget processes, sector programmes and sub-national planning. The overall aim is to bring about lasting institutional change and to catalyze key actors to increase investment in pro-poor environmental and natural resource management.

The global PEI Phase II was launched in 2013 with the expected outcome to enhance implementation of development policies, plans and budgets that combine environmental sustainability and poverty reduction and to contribute to inclusive and sustainable development goals. For more information see PEI Regional Programme in Europe and the CIS (PEI ECIS) was initiated in 2009. It supports country programmes in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and provides technical assistance to Armenia. Phase I resulted in the integration of P-E linkages into key strategic documents of these countries both at national and sub-national levels including at the level of P-E and green indicators; facilitated the inter-ministerial coordination mechanism on SD; contributed to the training and re-training of civil servants in mainstreaming P-E issues as well as engaged in selected one-off demonstration projects at the request of local communities which had a direct feedback loop to the broader policy and planning. 

Phase II was launched in the region in 2014  and will be implemented until 2017. In support of, and in compliance with the global PEI mission, ECIS Phase II aims to scale up P-E mainstreaming into development planning and focuses on the implementation of the P-E priorities with an emphasis on sustainability and ownership of P-E efforts at national and sub-national levels. At the regional level, PEI strives to stimulate knowledge and experience sharing on P-E linkages in ECIS and contribute to the global sustainable development debate.

Duties and Responsibilities

Would you like to be part of this unique UNDP-UNEP joint programme and support participating ECIS countries on their quest towards sustainable development?

Your activities would mainly cover the following: 

  • Collection and processing of information/data about sustainable development, green economy, green growth and other issues with links to PEI and Energy Affairs, for countries in the ECIS region and beyond;
  • Assist manager in the conceptualization, development, and compilation of PEI programme material pertaining to the above fields;
  • Provide support in producing blogs, success stories, lessons learned and other knowledge management related materials for promoting of SDG aspects, especially in the areas of green economy, sustainable use of natural resources, and area-based development;
  • Mapping out Green SDG goals and targets: identifying green indicators produced  in countries of the region and to analyze their potential usage for monitoring;
  • Updating and structuring the PEI Yammer site and SDGs Newsletter, as necessary, and disseminating material through the site;
  • Maintaining up-to-date knowledge materials in the SD KM gate and enhance the aesthetics of current knowledge material structures;
  • Support to PEI ECIS publication and government material/document inventory;
  • PEI events logistically and administratively supported) and contributions (technical) delivered for incorporation in the events’ outcome documents (i.e. CAREC event – date TBD);
  • Contribute to the production of an article (co-authorship) with the vision to be submitted to a conference or to a scientific journal in the thematic area of Sustainable Development;
  • Other as required.

If you decide to join us, you will have a great opportunity to learn about the Poverty-Environment Nexus work and its governance, and follow the current developments in the ECIS Region, in a SDG / Agenda 2030 context. 


  • An individual with strong analytical and excellent drafting skills;
  • A well organized individual with the ability to multi-task;
  • A team player: ability to work productively and effectively with others, and contribute effectively towards team goals;
  • IT literacy;
  • Solid writing and communications abilities;
  • Data management / Statistics skills;
  • Must be able to work in a multicultural environment and be aware of political sensitivities;
  • Responsible, responsive, and enthusiastic.


Required Skills and Experience


  • Current enrollment in a degree programme (second University degree or higher) with specialized certification in environmental sciences / governance, sustainable development or environmental economics.


  • Knowledge of issues on environment-poverty nexus and sustainable development (a strong asset);

Language skills:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required;
  • Russian language would be an asset.

Duration of the assignment:

  • The overall duration of the internship will be for 6 months, full-time, starting in June 2016 


Candidate who is selected for must submit the following documents:

  • Official letter from the University confirming enrolment in a graduate-level degree programme;
  • 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;
  • Proof of medical and life/accident insurance valid for the location in which the internship will be carried out;
  • Proof of medical and life insurance.

UNDP only accepts interns for a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 6 months.
Interns are not financially remunerated by UNDP. 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, visa, etc.

Subsequent Employment:
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.