16 Mar 2019

Intern – Urban Planning and Research 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.

In 2012, the United Nations Humans Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT) created a tool to measure the sustainability of cities. This tool known as the City Prosperity Index (CPI) is the United Nations’ platform for urban data. To date, the initiative engages more than 400 cities and provides them with an innovative approach to identify the opportunities and challenges they face. UN-Habitat is committed to promoting an evidence-based approach within governments and grassroots organizations, in order to deliver participated and more coherent and articulated urban policies. It’s worth pointing out that CPI goes beyond data and information: recent CPI experiences positively demonstrate that when data is accompanied with a proper process of data socialization, civil servants and society increase their awareness, knowledge and participation in planning. As a result, better urban policies are produced, guaranteeing a long-term vision in urban and infrastructure development.

It’s worth mentioning that, CPI is being adopted as a monitoring framework of the SDG Goal 11, and other SDGs that include urban components, as well as the New Urban Agenda. The CPI will enhance monitoring capacities of cities and will increase the prospects of higher accountability in the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda and of the New Urban Agenda. Countries that decide to use the CPI will be able to identify, quantify, evaluate, monitor and report on progress made by cities and countries in a more structured manner.

The UN-Habitat Urban Planning and Research internship is for 3 months with a possibility for extension depending on the needs of the Organization.

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 the Head of the Research and Capacity Development Branch, the intern will:
-Undertake research as required regarding urban prosperity in several cities around the world: i) Mechanisms affecting urban prosperity; ii) Levels of environmental sustainability, productivity, equity and urban infrastructure and its relation to sustainable urban development.
-Provide Technical support in data collection and analysis for CPI projects.
-Assist in the elaboration of policy papers and technical inputs.
-Organize data and information gathered from the internet and exchanged between partners through the discussion groups on various media in a systematic way to facilitate retrieval and access by various users.
-Participate in the daily operations of the Branch by supporting the staff in the performance of their tasks and responsibilities, including taking part in meetings, project reviews, etc.; As required. participate in meetings of the Branch as required to share findings, brainstorm on issues and contribute to the development of the prosperous cities initiative and the monitoring of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda.


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 Area(s) of Study:
Architecture, Urban Planning, Economy, International Relations, Political Sciences or a related field.

– Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to urban development, research and urban data management
– strong analysis skills of urban data, urban systems, underlying social, legal and financial mechanisms
– ability to develop strong substantive inputs for reports
– ability to observe deadlines and achieve set goals, and to work and deliver under pressure
– good knowledge of excel, word, power point and Adobe InDesign is desirable

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 UN Secretariat; for this position fluency in English is mandatory. Excellent command of Spanish or Russian would be an asset.


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.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

How to Apply

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