Research Intern, Inclusive Digital Education Delivery

Location : Home based
Application Deadline :09-Dec-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :2-3 months

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.


The Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development (GCTISD) is a joint initiative by the Government of Singapore and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to identify and co-create technological and innovative solutions to help countries achieve their Sustainable Development Goals. We draw on the expertise of innovative talent in Singapore and around the world, and curate partnerships that will allow us to take this know-how to the places where it is needed most.

Our emerging areas of focus are Sustainable and Digital Agriculture, Smart Cities and Digitalisation, and Sustainable Finance. For each of our programmes we are connecting policymakers, practitioners, think tanks, leading private sector actors, entrepreneurs, civil society, and other stakeholders to build practical solutions that will create lasting impact through deep collaboration.

Within the Global Centre’s broad mandate of digitalisation, the issue of digital and distanced learning has come to the forefront as the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges in attending and completing education. In a context of extensive digital foundations, there is scope to leverage these assets in order to produce an end-to-end – and transferable – digital delivery mechanism for education, learning, and capacity building.

The Global Centre is embarking on an initiative with the Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Norway (MFA-Norway). This aims to assess the potential of - and provide associated recommendations - leveraging new and readily-available digital technologies to enhance the extent and quality of education services in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (‘CLMV countries’). The purpose of this work is to mitigate the negative multiplier effects of non-access to physical education services as result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this initiative also has relevance beyond COVID-19 through building a scalable approach to delivering education, capacity building, and similar efforts.


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

This initiative will assess the learning-related needs and realities of students, teachers, and other stakeholders; and identify the required technology, innovation and modalities to deliver inclusive and end-to-end solutions that can improve education or broader learning outcomes. The main output will be to produce a set of recommendations relating to these needs and usage of technology and other components. These recommendations will inform the structure (including the potential methodology, anticipated partners, and to strengthen the evidence-base for the intervention), scope, and deliverables of the second phase of this project (to be implemented in 2021).

More specifically, and due to the contemporary nature of this issue, there is an emerging (but not always documented) evidence-base regarding the delivery of this learning experience in similar contexts to the CLMV countries – and more widely. With this in mind, a key part of this work will be to draw on and also develop this evidence-base – including identifying and exploring:

  • The most suitable channels for education delivery;
  • Profiles and needs of students;
  • The capacity and needs of educators;
  • Priority subjects for each context and audience; and
  • Learning outcomes in a digital context.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Intern will be responsible for the following:

  • Thematic and country desk research and input to country case studies and the overall report
  • Assist with survey design, data collection and analysis
  • Assist with drafting findings from surveys and interviews
  • Support the development of the draft and final reports
  • Support the online workshop to review the findings and recommendations
  • Ad-hoc support to the Project Team as required


Candidate should have the following competencies:

  • Research skills for both desk research and qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Self-starter; organised and reliable;
  • Able to multitask and balance multiple responsibilities;
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Ability to draft original contents
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and sensitivity to differing opinions and views.

Required Skills and Experience

Qualifications and requirements

Interns are selected on a competitive basis. Applicants to UNDP internships must at the time of application meet one of the following academic requirements:

  1. Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
  2. Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent);
  3. 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.
  4. Be enrolled in a postgraduate professional traineeship program and undertake the internship as part of this program.


Please refer to the above academic requirements.

  • Master’s degree in international development, public policy, education or related fields, completed or in progress


  • Experience conducting desk research on education and international development topics;
  • Experience drafting policy briefs, or translating complex topics;
  • Experience analysing and using quantitative and qualitative data to inform decision-making;
  • Familiarity with international development, sustainable development and/or technology sectors is desirable;
  • Previous exposure to education and digital or innovation projects is desirable;
  • Statistical, data science, or other data analysis skills are desirable;
  • Experience with using standard o\Office software applications


  • Excellent oral and written English language skills.
  • Other language skills are desirable.



  • CV
  • Cover letter explaining suitability for this position and availability for this internship from December 2020 to February 2021.
  • Original text of up to 350 words addressing one of the following questions:
  1. What do you think is going to be the most impactful technology for education as countries meet the challenge of mass remote learning?
  2. Tell us about the use of technology or innovation in a low- or lower-middle income country to improve learning outcomes. What went well, what went less well (or what could have gone wrong)? Note: this does not have to be a project you have worked on! It can be one you have read or heard about.
  3. How do you think that innovation and technology can help in achieving more inclusive and equitable education that provides for marginalised groups?

Conditions of internship:

Internships within the UN system are subject to following conditions, which the candidates should familiarize themselves with prior to applying:

  • Starting from January 2020 interns will receive stipends according to UN rules and regulations.
  • Any further 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 arrangements for travel, accommodation and other costs.
  • Costs for work-related local travel will be reimbursed as long as they have been cleared beforehand by the GCTISD Director. Costs for the daily commute are not reimbursable.
  • UNDP accepts no responsibility for the medical and life insurance of the intern or costs arising from accidents and illness incurred during an internship. The Intern must provide proof of enrolment in a health insurance plan;
  • UNDP does not provide assistance with travel and/or housing and the Intern will be responsible for obtaining the necessary visas and arranging travel to and from the duty station where the internship will be performed;
  • The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment within the UN System, but to complement an intern’s studies. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of an internship. The Intern will not be eligible to apply for, or be appointed to, any post in UNDP during the period of internship or for the six months immediately following the expiration date thereof;
  • Interns will need to use their own laptop/notebook. A workstation with wireless internet access will be provided at the Centre’s facilities and supervisory support provided by the Centre staff;
  • Interns are not staff members and may not represent UNDP in any official capacity.
  • UNDP only accepts interns for a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 6 months.

Selected candidates must submit following documents prior to joining:

  • University Document confirming current enrolment and graduation date;
  • Copy of passport/national ID card;
  • A copy of his/her school transcript;
  • Proof of medical insurance including provision for medical evacuation and removal of mortal remains or life insurance;
  • A signed UNDP Internship Agreement.

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