Intern — Small Island Developing States, Research and Communication Assistant

Location : University-Based, New York
Application Deadline :06-Jul-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :3-6 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 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.


UNDP works in some 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

Inclusive growth, better services, environmental sustainability, good governance, and security are fundamental to development progress. We offer our expertise in development thinking and practice, and our decades of experience at country level, to support countries to meet their development aspirations and achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.  BPPS’s staff provides technical advice to Country Offices; advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, South-South, SIDS-SIDS and Triangular cooperation initiatives, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working. BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts.

UNDP is committed to Small Island Developing States, working to connect the UN global processes to regionally and locally owned development priorities for SIDS and supporting and advocating for SIDS-specific development solutions. With a broad country presence, UNDP has a major organizational investment, and a multi-sectoral programme portfolio in SIDS.

UNDP was at the forefront of the Third International Conference of SIDS in Samoa in September 2014, with BPPS playing a key role in the preparations of the Conference, and actively following up on actions identified in the outcome document SAMOA Pathway. As a listed agency in the UN Implementation Matrix for the Pathway, UNDP is contributing to sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth with decent work, sustainable tourism, climate change, disaster risk reduction, sustainable energy, and oceans work areas; and supporting countries to integrate these priorities into development programmes, based on the trade-offs between resource availability and needs identified within each country aligned with member states’ priorities and requests.

UNDP is committed to Small Island Developing States (SIDS), working to connect the UN global processes to regionally and locally owned development priorities for SIDS, and supporting and advocating for SIDS-specific development solutions. One of the outcomes in the UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 is tailored to give special attention to “capacities developed across the whole of government to integrate the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other international agreements (including the SAMOA Pathway) in development plans and budgets, and to analyze progress towards the SDGs, using innovative and data-driven solutions”. UNDP provides support to SIDS through policy and programme development, and implementation that builds on international, national and local priorities. UNDP is committed to support SIDS through a global framework, consisting of three main pillars: Climate Action, Blue Economy and Digital Transformation.

UNDP provides support to SIDS through policy and programme development and implementation that builds on international, national and local priorities. Through strategic partnerships and advocacy, UNDP aims to bridge gaps and create a network between SIDS and other key stakeholders. UNDP supports SIDS governments to build capacity – institutional, policy, technical – for which, feeds regional support and support the implementation of international normative standards and commitments in their own countries.

UNDP supports SIDS in partnership with other development actors, civil society, private sector, and governments, in order to achieve the SDGs and provide holistic development solutions. Furthermore, with its long in-country presence in many SIDS, policy and programmatic work, engagement, and advocacy, UNDP can be seen as a ‘partner of choice’ to bring visibility, maintain momentum, and influence action in order to ensure SIDS are not left behind in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

UNDP has a large portfolio on sustainable development, including a policy advisory and programmatic focus on Small Island Developing States. To this view, UNDP is seeking to recruit an intern to support its work on SIDS and sustainable development. The intern is expected to 1) provide extensive research and analytical support to inform UNDP’s policy work on SIDS; 2) support knowledge management and communications efforts on digital transformation, climate action and Blue Economy in SIDS.

Duties and Responsibilities

Working with the UNDP SIDS advisor, the intern will support knowledge management tasks and implementation of a communications strategy including developing social media content:

  • Provide extensive research support on SIDS in particular in topics of climate action, blue economy and digital transformation;
  • Support compilation of communication materials, project stories, and dissemination;
  • Support the research needs of the growing Community of Practice on SIDS and SparkBlue platform;
  • Develop social media content on SIDS relevant content;
  • Monitor social media content relevant to SIDS and topics of climate action, blue economy and digital transformation;
  • Support the SIDS portfolios’ ad hoc tasks as they arise.


  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN's values and ethical standards;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Strong organizational, analytical, reporting and writing abilities;
  • Results driven, able to meet targets/deadlines;
  • Capacity to plan, prioritize and deliver tasks on time;
  • Creative thinking ability;
  • Highly organized and an ability to work independently;
  • Excellent analytical, writing and communication skills;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback.


Required Skills and Experience


  • Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher) in international affairs, development, media and communications, public policy or related field.


  • Very good knowledge of United Nations System is desirable
  • Voluntary / internship experience in conducting research in international development or related field;
  • Any experience in strategic communication and social media management;
  • An understanding of development issues pertaining to SIDS is an advantage;
  • Demonstrated research and ability to extract and compile information based on research undertaken as part of University coursework or outside work;
  • Extensive IT skills including design software such as Adobe suite and social media applications, Microsoft suite;
  • Experience creating content for the web and/or managing different media platforms (SharePoint) is desirable.


  • Written and spoken proficiency in English is a prerequisite.

How to Apply

Applicants should send a cover letter, and CV through the online portal.

In case an applicant is successfully selected, s/he will be requested to provide electronic versions of:

  • letter from his/her university confirming current enrollment and graduation date;
  • letter of recommendation from a professor;
  • copy of his/her most recent school transcript;
  • copy of passport;
  • a copy of US Visa if the intern is not a US Citizen;
  • completed UNDP internship application form;
  • signed UNDP Internship Agreement;
  • Medical Certificate of Good Health;
  • Proof of medical insurance.

Kindly note the above documentation is required within one week after selection.


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