Historically the world has seen significant human suffering and severe disruption of social and economic development because of disasters. The threat of climate change has increased the level of risk and vulnerability of many of the world’s population to climatic hazards, adding to the urgency with which these issues must be addressed. Over the past couple decades there has been increasing awareness of the negative socio-economic impacts of disasters and concerted efforts have been made to both respond to and mitigate against these impacts.

The global efforts at Disaster Risk Reduction are underpinned by several international strategies and agreements including the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, The Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action for a Safer World, The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. These agreements reflect the evolution of the awareness that disaster management must become an integral part of a country’s development policy.

Building on the Hyogo Framework for Action, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 aims to achieve the following outcome over the next 15 years: The substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries. To attain the expected outcome, the following goal must be pursued: Prevent new and reduce existing disaster risk through the implementation of integrated and inclusive economic, structural, legal, social, health, cultural, educational, environmental, technological, political and institutional measures that prevent and reduce hazard exposure and vulnerability to disaster, increase preparedness for response and recovery, and thus strengthen resilience.

Within the frame of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 following four Priorities for Action have been agreed:

  • Understanding disaster risk
  • Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk
  • Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience
  • Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Together with the partners, UNDP is working for lasting policy and institutional change that supports an introduction of disaster risk reduction policies.  Countries in Europe and Central Asia face multiple disaster risks and challenges and UNDP works with national partners to design and implement programmes and activities that address key DRR challenges. 

Duties and Responsibilities

The main objective of the assignment is to provide daily support to UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub in management of the disaster risk reduction and energy portfolio. The intern will work under the guidance and technical supervision of CDT Team Leader of UNDP for ECIS. He/she will also work closely with the ECIS UNDP Country Offices.

Specific tasks are as follows: 

Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual's background and the intern's assigned office as well as the internship period. Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Support in implementation of following projects managed by the CDT: Uranium 2, Energy Access SMEs development
  • Conduct a research to collect and analyses the best practices (globally and in the region) in policy, legislation and institutional arrangements to follow up the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. The research will enable better Capacity Exchange planning.
  • Assist in other basic research i.e. collecting, analyzing and presenting statistical data and other information gathered from diverse sources.
  • Support the preparation of DRR events: DRR Financing regional workshop in Sarajevo, Global Platform for DRR and World Reconstruction Conference in Geneva
  • Collaborate with research institutions and other stakeholders within the region to undertake DRR research and needs analysis for the implementation of on-going initiatives.
  • Assist in projects planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of programme initiatives.
  • Collaborate in the development of knowledge and communication products content and design.
  • Assist in the drafting of reports and organization of meetings.
  • Assist in preparation of various written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analytical notes, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.
  • Assist in administrative and substantive support to meetings and conferences, preparation of background documents and presentations, handling logistics etc.
  • Perform other work related assignments by the Supervisor.


  • Good communication and time management skills, ability to work in a team;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability; 
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism; 
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment. 


Required Skills and Experience


  • a) Currently be enrolled in the last year of Bachelor’s degree, or b) be enrolled in a second university degree or higher, or c) have graduated less than a year than a year ago in environmental science, disaster risk reduction, climate change or other relevant field;


  • Relevant professional experience in environment, climate change and/or disaster risk reduction would be a strong advantage;
  • Particularly knowledge of environment, climate change and DRR issues would be a strong advantage;

Language skills:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required for this assignment. Knowledge of Russian 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.