16 Mar 2019

Intern – Programme Support at UN-Habitat

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The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.

The main focus of the Slum Upgrading Unit relates to the Habitat Agenda goal “adequate Housing for All” and focus Area 5: “Housing and Slum Upgrading” of strategic and Institutional Plan, 2014-2019. The Branch works mainly on normative tools and provides technical advice and operational support to improve access to housing and basic urban services for the world’s poor and other groups in vulnerable situations, particularly in developing countries and countries in transition.

The Slum Upgrading Unit undertakes a number of activities such as development of policy guidelines, tools for national and local governments and community members, knowledge product development, coordinate monitoring and reporting for projects and programmes, advocacy and outreach, resource mobilization and programme implementation. Among the main programs implemented by the Unit is the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP). The Programme is implemented through a tripartite partnership comprising of the European Commission (EC) the African, Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat (ACP) and UN-Habitat. The EC provides substantive funding; the ACP provides the political will and support and UN-Habitat implements the programme and currently working in 40 countries and over 160 urban areas. All 79 countries of the ACP are eligible.

The programme has a wide spectrum of activities in cities and countries that include capacity building, policy review and development as well as priority project implementation to realise tangible change in people’s lives.

The overall objective of PSUP contributes to the improvement of the living conditions of the urban poor by contributing to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by contributing mainly to achieve SDG 11, Target 1; ‘By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums. The programme builds on achievements of activities targeting to contribute to the Millennium Development Goal 7 Target 7D – a positive accomplishment that should motivate countries to further dedicate efforts and resources to improve the living conditions of slum dwellers as well as prevent the formation of new slums. The programme is also so contributing to other SDG targets, such as Target 1 on poverty eradication, Target 6 on water and sanitation, Target 10 reducing inequality and Target 17 on partnership building.

Based on the tasks below, interested internship candidates are requested to indicate, in their cover letters, their area of interest and how they hope to contribute to the unit in this area based on their academic qualifications and any prior work on the area. The selected interns are expected to contribute in one or more of the following portfolios per his/her interest and background and any other functions as may be assigned by the supervisor:

The UN-Habitat Slum Upgrading Programme Support internship is for 6 months.

The Internship is UNPAID and full-time.

Interns work five days per week (35 hours) under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned.


Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual’s background; the intern’s assigned office as well as the internship period.

Under the Supervision of Programme Officer the intern will:
1. Knowledge management, communication, capacity building and programme development
Recommended qualifications: Background in urban studies and experience in capacity building, communications and the use of e-learning platforms would be appreciated.
Tasks: – Assist in the communication, knowledge management and daily operations of digital platforms (www.unhabitat.org/psup: www.mypsup.org).
– Support in the management of knowledge materials developed through the programme and contribute to the capacity development strategy.
– Keep track of significant national/regional/international media events involving the programme, maintaining and updating of websites and labeling and classification of visual materials.
– Support the labeling and classification of visual materials such as thematic fact sheets, quick guides related to slum upgrading.
– Support in the production of advocacy and outreach material related to slum upgrading as needed,
– Support in the data collection, literature review, writing and compilation of global case studies for learning.
2. Urban regeneration
Recommended qualifications: Background in urban planning. Experience or knowledge of urban planning in the context of informal settlements, slums and marginalized neighbourhoods would be appreciated.
Tasks: – Support in the development of an integrated urban regeneration and planning guide with a methodology for planning in slums and informal neighbourhoods as well as for sustainable urban regeneration fostering creative economies and local economic development.
– Assist PSUP and other countries with neighbourhood planning and urban regeneration activities during the implementation of the programme at country level.

3. Policy Review and development
Recommended qualifications: Background in geography, international development studies, urban planning.
Tasks: – Support the development of policy guides and development of selected thematic policy papers.
– Review Citywide Slum Upgrading Strategies for priority countries in the ACP
– Support in the development of regional strategies for slum upgrading.
– Support in the creation of contents for activities at global and regional events.
4. Financing strategies for up scaling slum upgrading and prevention programmes
Recommended qualifications: Background on pro-poor financing mechanisms, support to SMEs and sustainable business models.
Tasks: – Support in the development of a methodology for the drafting of financing strategies for slum upgrading at country level
– Support in the review of concept notes and feasibility studies and business models for scaling up slum upgrading projects assessing financial feasibility and advising on financing mechanisms to be incorporated,
– Support in the development of training on financing for slum upgrading and community managed funds,

5. Project management support to the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP)
Recommended qualifications: Background in Project Management, administration or international relations.
Tasks: – Support the unit in administrative tasks such as organizing global events, meetings and preparation of meeting minutes, follow up on legal documents and similar issues.
– Assistance with the development of thematic country level program evaluation reports, lessons learned, best practices of PSUP implementation in countries
– Support any processes to identify donors and proposal writing with identification of partners, fact finding and conceptual writing.
– Support in the reporting of the Unit as required.

Cross cutting skills required for all areas of work:
– Proficiency in spoken and written English is a requirement and knowledge of French or any other UN language will be considered as an asset.
– Interns will be asked to support other ongoing activities of the Unit and branch for which capacity to write and analytical skills will be highly valued.


Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Client orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions. Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems. Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects. Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.


Applicants 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 program (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent).
c. Have graduated with a university degree and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation.

Be computer literate in standard software applications.

Have demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter.

Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views.

Preferred Areas of Studies:
Regional/Urban Planning, Policy Formulation, Urban Economy and Finance, International Development, Slum upgrading, and Communication.

Work Experience

Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this internship, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another UN Language is desirable.


Potential candidates will be contacted by hiring manager directly for further consideration.

Special Notice

Your application for this internship must include:
1. A Completed application (Personal History Profile) and Cover Note, through the UN careers Portal. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The Cover Note must include:
– Title of the degree you are currently pursuing
– Graduation Date
– IT skills and programmes you are proficient in
– Explain why you are the best candidate for this specific internship

Explain your interest in the United Nations Internship Programme, ensure to include all past work experience (if any).

2. Proof of enrollment from current University (if not graduated).

3. A copy of degree certificate (if you have already graduated).

Due to a high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

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