United Nations Brand Strategy and Communications Intern (Interagency Sustainability Team)

Location : Istanbul, TURKEY
Application Deadline :12-Jul-16 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :estimated 1 August 2016 - 31 January 2017
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 months


The UN’s journey towards climate neutrality began on 5th June 2007 when UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon publicly called on all UN agencies, funds and programmes to ‘go green’ and become climate neutral. Sustainability is seen not only as an area where international development institutions committee to increasingly investing more time and resources to, but is also gaining higher priority on the UN Global Agenda and has the potential to replace the Millennium Development Goals post-2015.

Linkages between health sector procurement and the environment are still only partially understood despite the fact that the important role of procurements in influencing the environmental impact of health sector operations is well acknowledged. For example, studies show carbon emissions by national health systems and global health programmes are closely linked to procurements, especially with regards to pharmaceuticals and other health products throughout their life cycle including production, use and disposal. (1, 2, 3)

The informal Interagency Task Team on Sustainable Procurement in the Health Sector (4) (SPHS) was established in May 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ten SPHS members (UNDP, UNEP, UNFPA, UHNCR, UNICEF, UNOPS, WHO, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNITAID) conduct high volume procurement in the health sector, representing a sizable portion of some segments of the global pharmaceutical and other health products markets. The cumulative purchasing power of SPHS members in the global health aid market is about USD 5 billion annually. The aim for establishing the Task Team was to facilitate and coordinate the introduction of green procurement in the health sector among members and to leverage the standard-setting and joint procurement volumes of member agencies to influence the global health aid market (governments and other international development partners) and beyond. Thereby the SPHS Task Team intend to act as driver for transformational change towards greener health systems and inclusive green economies. (5,6)

SPHS members are committed to put in place sustainable practices in the procurement of health sector products and services including social, economic and environmental aspects, with a focus on three dimensions: greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), resource depletion (water, energy and material consumption) and chemical pollution. The guiding document of the SPHS is a route-map that presents the direction the interagency task team plans to take in the coming years, including the main outcomes which should be achieved. In order to drive green procurement practices in the health sector using the members’ market power in the global health aid market, members focus on the following three outputs:

  • Evidence based standards on what constitutes “green” procurement in the health sector will be established, and activities to address research gaps initiated,
  • UN procurement officers, suppliers, and health actors will be capacitated so as to be able to operationalize green procurement practices in the health sector;
  • Key stakeholders with an influence over procurement activities in the health sector, e.g. suppliers, procurement officers, international health development agencies, and health actors, will be aware of, engaged in and supportive of the overall initiative.

The SPHS has launched in May 2016 an online engagement platform www.savinglivesustainably.org which serves as a knowledge-hub on good practices examples of introducing sustainable procurement and sustainable manufacturing in the global health sector. The online SPHS platform is used for information and knowledge-sharing among the members and interested public on the topic of sustainable procurement in the global health sector. Moreover, online platform has a function to increase the visibility of SPHS’ aims and achievements and to advocate sustainability objectives to a wider audience. To achieve all these goals, an online platform is considered to be the most suitable communication tool. This platform serves for sharing and facilitating news, reports, chat forums, case studies, achievements and best practices. End-users of the platform are encouraged to actively participate in the operation of the platform, hence the intern will have an opportunity to share with the team all ideas and explore personal creativity with maintaining the platform which will be user-friendly and appealing to the target audience. 

Internship offers a small group of outstanding graduate-level students the opportunity to acquire direct exposure to UNDP's work on integrating sustainability agenda into its practices and fostering the global sustainability agenda. Besides the fact that the primary objective of this internship will be that an intern maintains and improves the online SPHS platform, the intern will also have the chance to participate in various communications and designing tasks (report outlines, logos, etc.) related to the overall SPHS communication strategy.


  • (1)  http://www.eurasia.undp.org/content/rbec/en/home/library/hiv_aids/rapid-assessment-healthcare-waste-global-fund
  • (2) http://www.eurasia.undp.org/content/rbec/en/home/library/hiv_aids/Carbon_footprint_UNDP_Global_Fund_health_initiatives_Montenegro_Tajikistan/
  • (3) http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/hiv-aids/managing-our-climate-change-risk--an-approach-for-environmental-.html
  • (4) www.iiattsphs.org
  • (5) https://iiattsphs.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/sphs-6-pager.pdf
  • (6) https://iiattsphs.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/sphs-annual-report-2014_print_v3.pdf

Duties and Responsibilities

UNDP is seeking a graduate student with an interest in global issues to assist in strengthening our communication strategy as well as maintaining and improving the online platform for the SPHS www.savinglivesustainably.org.

This internship includes networking with SPHS members, as well as researching input for maintaining the online SPHS platform. Particular emphasis will be given to creating a platform that is appealing to end-users and coherently communicate aims and achievements of the SPHS.
The selected candidate will work under the supervision of the SPHS Associate Coordinator (Supervisor). The candidate will have the opportunity to provide input to the online SPHS platform and be part of a dynamic and fast-growing initiative, for driving sustainable procurement in the health sector.  Moreover, the intern will be expected to:

  • Translate SPHS objectives and achievements into a virtual platform and support the different ways in which this platform (webpage/blog) is set-up;
  • Act as a focal point for maintaining the platform during the initial pilot phase;
  • Monitor and respond to end-user comments and emails regarding online content and user-friendliness;
  • Research available photograph information as metadata and determine the intellectual property rights; 
  • Research data and suggest data clusters in support of the production of infographics concerning the SPHS initiative;
  • Assist in the creation and maintenance of a media database, to include focal points at relevant newspapers, online platforms, media websites, and similar;
  • Assist with planning and posting articles, photos, videos and other materials;
  • Propose which strategies and new tools can be developed and implemented for the new platform;
  • Provide research-based strategic advices on the development and use of new tools for online campaigning;
  • Other duties falling within the scope of these responsibilities, as required.

The aim of the internship will be to enhance the theoretical knowledge of the intern through substantive and operational engagement with sustainability practices and policies of the Organisation while assisting with the initiatives and plans that are already in place and those that are in the pipeline. The internship will also span broader aspects related to sustainability in procurement of goods and services for the health sector. This will be in terms of further research into the innovations being carried out globally in this field as well as aspects such as Corporate Social Responsibility. The ways in which UN policies and practices for sustainability can promote economic and social development in developing countries rather than pose obstacles to economic growth in emerging markets is also an important area of consideration that the intern will be encouraged to explore.



  • Solid IT and communications abilities - keen interest in web-design and interactive platforms and awareness of Internet communications, marketing and outreach activities;
  • Knowledge of desktop publishing tools, particularly Microsoft Office; knowledge of design programmes will be an advantage (e.g. Photoshop, InDesign);
  • Good understanding of standard and emerging web technologies, especially social networking tools and channels; 
  • Good team worker;
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to multi-task;
  • Must be able to work in a multicultural environment and be aware of political sensitivities;
  • Responsible, responsive, and enthusiastic;
  • Be willing to work within the framework of UNDP’s internship policies.

Required Skills and Experience

Interns are selected on a competitive basis. The following minimum qualifications are required: 


  • Applicants must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements: a) be enrolled in a second university degree programme (Master Degree); b) be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (Bachelor Degree); or c) have graduated with a university degree in in fields such a field such as brand management, public relations, strategic communications, marketing communications, graphic design or similar.


  • Knowledge of communications strategies, blogging best practice, social media trends, techniques and information architecture;
  • Experience editing images or preparing graphics for the web and email communications;
  • Experience in the use of the content management systems, HTML coding, photo editing tools and other web publishing tools desirable;
  • Experience in developing and implementing online campaigns and/or marketing strategies would be an asset;
  • Experience in blogging tools (e.g. WordPress), blogging software and content management systems would be an asset; 


  • Must be available for 40 hours a week for a period of 6 months;


  • Written and spoken proficiency in at least one, and preferably two of the three working languages used by UNDP: English, French and Spanish;
  • Fluency in Arabic, Portuguese, Russian or Eastern European language is an asset. 


Financial Issues:
Internships within the UN system are unpaid and subject to conditions the applicant must get familiar with prior to signing his/her internship agreement. 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.

Application procedure:
The application should contain:

  • Brief Cover Letter (in English) stating interest in and qualifications for the post;
  • Current and complete CV in English;

Please group all your documents into one (1) single PDF document as the system only allows to upload maximum one document. 
Candidates who are selected for must submit prior to the interview the following documents:

  • Official document(s) confirming your education status stated in Section 4;
  • Proof of medical and life/accident insurance valid for the location in which the internship will be carried out. Selected intern must have medical and life insurance.

UNDP only accepts interns for a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 6 months.
UNDP accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness or death incurred during the internship.
Interns are not staff members and may not represent UNDP in any official capacity.
It is important to note that interns are responsible to arrange for their own visa and residence documents, and need to plan for these well in advance.

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. It is important to note that interns are responsible to arrange for their own visa and residence documents, and need to plan for these well in advance.

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.

If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact erecruit.helpdesk@undp.org.

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