Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Global (two interns based in the United States, two interns based in other locations (Europe, Africa, Asia or the Pacific), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Application Deadline :21-Sep-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :3 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 months


Organizational Context: 

UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries. UNCDF uses its capital mandate to support LDCs pursue inclusive growth. UNCDF promotes financial inclusion, also through digital financial services (DFS), as a key enabler of poverty reduction and inclusive growth; and it demonstrates how localizing finance outside the capital cities can accelerate growth in local economies, promote sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure development, and empower local communities. Using capital grants, loans and credit enhancements, UNCDF tests financial models in inclusive finance and local development finance; ‘de-risks’ the local investment space; and provides proofs of concept, paving the way for larger and more risk-averse investors. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” financing models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local development. UNCDF targets low-income and underserved populations and areas in the LDCs where resources for development are the scarcest; where market failures are most pronounced; and where increased national economic prosperity does not reach a large part of the population. UNCDF focusses on local development finance and inclusive finance, using its capital mandate paired with strong technical and policy support to help communities and individuals save, borrow and invest. UNCDF’s objective is to develop inclusive financial systems in which a range of financial products is available to all segments of society, at a reasonable cost, and on a sustainable basis. UNCDF supports a wide range of providers (e.g. microfinance institutions, banks, cooperatives, money transfer companies) and a variety of financial products and services (e.g. savings, credit, insurance, payments, and remittances).

Digital Finance  

UNCDF manages several initiatives related to digital financial services (DFS) to address the opportunities and challenges of implementing DFS in the developing world, with a focus on the Least Developed Countries in Africa and Asia and the Pacific regions.  As Secretariat to the Better than Cash Alliance, UNCDF also engages with the large emerging markets globally to foster the digitization of payments.  Our aim is to build an inclusive digital economies with the digital financial ecosystem as the starting point. An inclusive digital financial ecosystem is one that offers a wide range of DFS provided responsibly, and at reasonable cost, by sustainable institutions in a well-regulated environment. UNCDF provides a mix of policy, technical financial support to a range of government and private sector actors in each country, as well as investing in research and other public goods that benefit all market actors. By supporting the development of DFS in these countries, UNCDF works to increase the financial security and participation in the economy of low income and rural households through access to appropriate, affordable and secure means to receive, manage, spend and save money.

UNCDF is working with the greater UN system to investigate the applications of digital finance at the individual, company, sector, national and global level to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  The purpose of this is to inform the UN system as well as UNCDF’s new strategy to focus its financial inclusion work more toward the SDGs. 

UNCDF is looking for up to four interns to support its core activities in researching these efforts. This will include secondary research – identifying, analysing and highlighting both industry and academic publications on the application of digital finance to SDGS.  It will also include primary research by working with a group of industry leaders in finance, technology, policy and regulation, identified by UNCDF, to solicit their experiences and views.  Specifically, UNCDF is seeking to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the current experience in harnessing the digitalisation of finance in pursuit of the SDGs?
  2. What are the high impact opportunities for digital finance in supporting the SDGs, today and in the future?
  3. What are the main impediments to realising these opportunities, and how might they be overcome?
  4. What are the actions needed by which actors, including the UN, to overcome impediments and realise the identified opportunities? 

The internship offers a unique opportunity to engage in digital finance and to have exposure to leaders in the industry. 


Duties and Responsibilities

The key result expected is support to the Digital Finance Research Interns is to: 

  • Identify and review research, publications and news related to how the digitization of finance is being applied to achieve the SDGS.
  • Help develop brief summaries of both individual reports as well as help to develop information sheets that summarize key research finding on specific technologies and /or their applications to development issues.  These technologies will include those core to digital finance (mobile, payments, fintech) and those which support them (big data, artificial intelligence, internet of things, distributed ledger).
  • With UNCDF staff, participate in calls with industry leaders to take notes which will help provide up to date perspectives on the current applications of digital finance to the SDGs are progressing, the key barriers and risks, as well as the opportunities going forward.
  • Be assigned to assist identified leaders to conduct and conclude their own research;
  • To the extent convenient and possible, help prepare for participate in, and help document virtual or in person convenings on the topic.
  • Assist in other organizational efforts related to the outreach to leaders. 
  • Other tasks as requested.

Work Arrangements:

  • The interns will work part time.  It is expected that that interns will dedicate on average 8-12 hours per week at a minimum (flexible working arrangement).  
  • The internships are home-based.  If the intern is located near a UNCDF office, some office and administrative support may be considered. DFTF staff are currently located in New York, Washington, DC and Brussels, Belgium.
  • Internships are not remunerated. UNCDF policies do not provide for interns to be compensated for travel, salaries and living expenses.  However, travel requested by UNCDF to attend certain events outside of their place of residence can be compensated based on UN daily supplemental allowance rate.   


  • Strong ability to communicate and function effectively in an international and multicultural environment;
  • Knowledge of some aspect of digital finance and technology and/or the policy and regulatory environment that guides them, including one or more of those listed above;
  • Knowledge of the development field a plus;
  • Proven research skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Respect for diversity;
  • Highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty;
  • Commitment to UNCDF`s vision, mission, and strategic goals.

Required Skills and Experience


Applicants to the internship programme must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:

(a) Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher) in Business, Finance, International Relations, Economics, Public/Business administration, Social sciences, or related discipline;

(b) Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent) in Business, Finance, International Relations, Economics, Public/Business administration, Social sciences, or related discipline;

(c) Have graduated with a university degree (as defined in (a) and (b) above) and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation.


  • Demonstrated interest in topics related to socioeconomic development;
  • Excellent organizational, inter-personal, communication and administrative skills;
  • Able to take initiative and work independently;
  • Proven ability to manage diverse and complex tasks;
  • Excellent computer capabilities (Word, Excel, Power Point, data programmes);


  • Fluency in English is mandatory,
  • fluency or proficiency in French, Spanish, Hindi or Mandarin Chinese a plus. 


  • Interns will work closely with an assigned member of UNCDF, based in one of the specified locations;
  • Interns are not considered staff members;
  • All costs connected with an intern's participation in the programme must be borne by the students or the nominating institutions as appropriate.
  • Interns contributions to publications will be acknowledged and/or recognized if the publication rules allows for authorship to be mentioned. 


Longlisted candidates shall be invited for a test and the top 8 candidates (for 4 internships) shall be invited for an interview.


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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.

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

Click here for important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders).
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 jobs.help@undp.org.

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