Development challenges are increasingly complex and unpredictable. With the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, ever greater collaboration across sectors and partners is required to deliver impact at scale and to make the most of limited resources. UNDP has been helping countries and territories to connect the dots on the toughest sustainable development issues they face, and, in a rapidly changing world, is constantly seeking to improve the work done, to diversify its sources of funding and to pilot more effective business models. New ways of doing development and use of innovative solutions driven by citizens and residents are emerging. From social impact investors to new government units focusing on behavioral change, new players are pioneering methods that turn traditional approaches on their head. At UNDP, the goal is to capture these methods and help partners roll out solutions to key issues such as participation and inclusion, open and transparent governance, inclusive growth and sustainable management of natural resources.

The UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub (IRH) is the main knowledge and advisory hub for UNDP Country Offices in the Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS (RBEC), supporting 19 countries and territories in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region. The UNDP Innovation Community in ECA supports the acceleration of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by harnessing the potential of the data revolution, new technologies, innovative finance and new, systemic ways of working. We take a systemic approach to addressing the complex development challenges of the region, collaborating closely with public and private and civil society in the region and globally.

IRH is now looking for a driven and curious intern to join the Innovation Team, to support in the area of innovations and urban transformation, including on research, horizon scanning, and building innovation capacity, to generate new demand and positioning the organization in emerging areas, and leverage new data for development. 

Devoirs et responsabilités

Under the overall supervision of the Regional Innovation Specialist, and in collaboration with project coordinators, the intern will work closely with various team members in the Innovation Team on the following tasks:

  • Support the development of knowledge products, such as tools and user guides, as well as consolidation of practices on system thinking, urban transformation, alternative financing models or similar; 
  • Support in advocacy efforts and development of communication materials for the innovation team, such as:
    • Draft articles, blogs, social media posts about regional and country level activities 
    • Consolidate newsletters, develop and maintain user databases, and support distribution of newsletters and other communication materials
    • Support with updates of web-based platforms for the innovation with new communication materials
    • Research and generate input for policy notes/briefs;
  • Support community engagement efforts:
    • Mapping of unusual suspects (NGOs) and others
    • Support activities to understand needs and capabilities of communities of interest;
    • Support community engagement efforts - co-creation, alumni networks, listening - across urban, innovation ecosystems and
    • Engage and maintain alumni networks BOOST, Crowdfunding or others, as well as follow up impact monitoring
  • Support event organization, such as:
    • Assist in coordination support for events
    • Assist in the preparations (both substantive and logistics) for thematic events;
  • Any other related tasks deem necessary and appropriate.


  • Team-player;
  • Creativity and innovative thinking;
  • Good planning, coordination skills;
  • Good communication skills;
  • Ability to work under pressure;
  • Attention to critical details;
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment;
  • Respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and the UNDP Statement of Purpose.

Qualifications et expériences requises

Academic Qualifications/Education:

  • Applicants to the UNDP 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); b) be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent); or c) have graduated with a university degree (as defined in (a) and (b) above) in a relevant discipline and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation; 
  • Demonstrated interest on systems thinking, innovative finance, human-centered design, and other innovative approaches for development 
  • Experience conducting advanced internet search and work with multiple documentation sources to extract required data and information [literature review]; 
  • Knowledge and/or experience with service design or other design disciplines, are an advantage
  • Experience with handling of web-based management systems, web administration, data analysis is is an advantage; 
  • Experience in field of research is a advantage.  
  • Experience in ethnography and/or urbanization is an advantage

Language skills:

  • Language skills: Excellent writing, editing, and oral communication skills in English; knowledge of Arabic, French, Russian and/or Turkish is an asset.

We recognize that imposter syndrome or self-doubt can in some case be significant barriers to apply, particularly for youth minorities. We encourage you to apply if you are excited about innovation and changing the way we do global development work, even if you feel that you may not hold all the qualifications and assets above.

Financial Issues

Internships within the UN system are subject to conditions the applicant must get familiar with before signing his/her internship agreement. 

Since January 2020, interns 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. 

Application procedure
The application should contain:

  • Brief cover letter (in English) or recorded video (provide link to video uploaded on Vimeo or similar online platform) outlining your 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 the interview must submit prior to the interview the following documents:

  • Official letter from the University confirming enrollment in a graduate-level degree programme;
  • Proof of medical and life/accident insurance valid for the location from 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.

More information available at: http://www.undp.org/internships/