Intern (Climate Vulnerable Forum and V20 Support)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Geneva, Switzerland 🇨🇭


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global anti-poverty network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. Mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1998, for decades UNDP has provided assistance to disaster-prone countries globally prevent, prepare for and recover from disasters associated with natural hazards.  UNDP works through a network of 177 country offices and is one of the largest global public-sector actors in the area of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

UNDP plays an important and unique role in supporting high risk countries to achieve their development goals by reducing loss to life and assets, and by strengthening long term resilience. UNDP works with governments at international, national and local levels to ensure that climate change and DRR responses are nationally-led and owned, as well as integrated into national development planning. UNDP’s work integrates issues of climate, disaster risk and energy at the country level, focusing on resilience building and ensuring development remains risk-informed and sustainable. To do this we assist governments in systematically and comprehensively delivering on risk-informed development through the communication, reduction and management of risk.

To support these outcomes, as well as the Hyogo and Frameworks for Action (HFA) and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), the UNDP Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction team (CDT), under the new Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS), has developed three strategic objectives on Disaster and Risk Reduction:

  • Understanding and communicating risk – to support local governments on DRR awareness, risk assessment/risk information database and establishment of early warning system;

  • Reduce risks – to support governments to have appropriate legislative, policy, institutional and financing mechanisms at the national and sub-national levels; and

  • Manage the remaining risk – to help countries manage and mitigate remaining risk through preparedness measures, pre-disaster recovery planning, recovery programming and the implementation of post-disaster needs assessments.

    To support the three strategic objectives of the CDT, a small team is out posted in Geneva to work more specifically on partnerships and knowledge management. Three important initiatives are implemented by the Geneva team:

  • Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Support; a global project supporting activities of a South-South cooperation initiative on climate change policy, international cooperation, communications and knowledge exchange;

  • Get Airport Ready for Disasters (GARD); a public-private partnership in collaboration with Deutsche Post-DHL;

  • UNDP-DRR and Climate Risk Management Portfolio Management; this tool aims at covering all UNDP-funded projects worldwide in the areas of DRR, climate and energy, and serves as a base to analyze trends, financial expenditures, involvement in sub-sectors, and also extract key results at country level. BPPS also hosts CADRI, an inter-agency partnership that was set up to support governments strengthen their disaster reduction and preparedness capacities.

This internship is specifically intended to support UNDP’s work with the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and Vulnerable Twenty Group (V20), a South-South cooperation initiative currently led by Ethiopia, and involving over 40 countries highly vulnerable to climate change from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific. UNDP provides secretariat support to the CVF/V20 and its participating countries with assistance on a range of cooperation, communications and research activities. The CVF Support Unit leads technical assistance, event organization, online communications and outreach for the initiative and is seeking a graduate student with an interest in global issues, analytical research, web publishing and social media to assist in increasing the support project’s impact. Currently, the UNDP is supporting the CVF to realize its Vision, 2016-2018 Road Map and the 2020 Action Plan for the V20, the finance ministers’ initiative of the CVF. Together with civil society partners, UNDP also supports the CVF with its #1o5C campaign to raise awareness on the significance of 1.5 degrees Celsius limit enshrined in the goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change and promoting efforts towards its achievement. This internship will provide the opportunity to assist in the organization and communication CVF/V20 activities in relation to relevant international policy-making bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council, the World Health Assembly, the International Labour Conference and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, including raising awareness for and engaging people in the CVF/V20’s efforts to assist countries highly affected by climate change to respond to this global challenge.

Duties and Responsibilities

The objective of this internship is to contribute to the UNDP CDT Geneva work and to support the CVF and V20. The internship will be part of the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Team (CDT) under the overall umbrella of the CDT Partnership Advisor based in Geneva with reporting and working closely with the CVF Support Specialist and/or CDT personnel, the intern will perform one or more of the following duties and responsibilities:

Communications support and event organization/coordination:

  • Diverse support for the organization and communications for policy events hosted or facilitated by CDT Geneva or the CVF;

  • Effective management and implementation of media and social media strategies of the CVF, and online campaigns; website development and updates;

  • Support for CDT and CVF efforts to manage contact databases and communications and correspondence with key programme stakeholders;

    Policy, advocacy and research:

  • Drafting of documents, briefs and reports in relation to one or more of the CDT or CVF projects, and/or other on-going activities;

  • Development of policy and advocacy materials for the CVF donors and partnership meetings;

  • Research and analysis tasks in support of CDT programmes and the CVF, including participation in relevant meetings organized by partners in/around Geneva;

Any other activities as requested.

  • Effective communication skills with staff at all levels of the organization and external partners;

  • Initiative taking abilities;

  • Very good writing skills and ability to summarize a large amount of information for a public audience and/or policy-makers;

  • Very good analytical and research skills;

  • Demonstrated abilities of sensitivity, tact and diplomacy;

  • Demonstration of cultural sensitivity and appreciation for different cultures and practices;

  • Ability to pay great attention to detail and exercise sound judgment;

  • Ability to work well in a team and project a positive image;

  • Self-motivation and ability to recommend options for resolution of issues;

Strong service orientation.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Enrolled graduate or final year Bachelor’s student in environment/ climate change/ economics/ sociology/ development studies/ political science/ international relations or related programme, or be within one year of graduation from a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D. programme;
  • Knowledge of climate change issues is an asset.


  • Experience in event organization, in analytical research and in online social media and communications strongly desirable;
  • Sound computer skills and experience using the Internet, online social media channels (especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and web based applications and content management systems, especially WordPress.


  • Impeccable speaking and writing skills in English are essential;
  • Fluency in other UN official language (French and/or Spanish) is a major advantage.

Important Guidelines:

  • Interns are not considered staff members of UNDP and may not represent UNDP in any official capacity;
  • Interns are not entitled to financial support (salary or any other compensation) from UNDP;
  • Interns are not covered by UNDP for medical, health or life insurance and have to have their own international medical and life insurance;
  • 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. Candidates are not eligible to apply for, or be appointed, to any post for a period of three months following the end of the internship;
  • The normal duration of an internship is from six weeks to 6 months (which is the maximum duration);
  • The intern needs to be enrolled as a graduate or final year Bachelor’s student throughout the duration of the internship or be within one year of graduation from a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D. programme;
  • The intern will be evaluated at the end of the contract and due recognition of work will be issued in writing.

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.