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Employment Opportunity in the UNDP

The UNDP was established in 1945. It is international decision-making and advisory body, which includes about two hundred experts and observers. UNDP may be called an international forum for discussing the full range of issues and problems reflected in the UN Charter. It is based in New York.

What are the functions and tasks of UNDP?

All UNDP workers must abide by the UN Charter. Thus, they have the authority to consider the principles of cooperation between states in terms of maintaining peace and security and to give appropriate recommendations. Most often, this concerns disarmament issues and military conflicts in specific regions.

The tasks of UNDP staff include discussing any issues related to international political cooperation. They should prepare relevant recommendations, conduct research, focus on the development of international law and fundamental human freedoms, promote dialogue between countries in the economic, political, humanitarian, and social fields, as well as in health, education, and the environment.

Specialists of the UNDP formulate recommendation measures to resolve any interethnic conflict peacefully so that friendly relations between the parties are not violated.

In addition, analysts at the UNDP study economic issues related to UN programs and projects, prepare reports, which then form the basis of the draft United Nations budget. The preparation of reports for the annual sessions of the United Nations rests on the shoulders of specialists from all departments and committees of the UNDP.

UNDP careers: how to get a job

It’s very difficult to get into the UNDP. For this, it is necessary for many years to prove your viability and effectiveness in UN units. Only specialists with international experience can get a worthy position in UNDP.

Working in the United Nations Development Program provides an opportunity to travel around the world without any obstacles. In addition, specialists of this UNDP body regularly go on paid business trips. For several years, a United Nations Development Program employee can visit absolutely all continents of the Earth. This is a great opportunity to learn in the culture of different nations and get acquainted with many interesting people.

The salary of UNDP employees cannot be ignored. Its ceiling is strictly classified, but on average a specialist in the analytical department receives about 15-20 thousand dollars a month. This is accompanied by an international visa and a full social package.

To get a job at the United Nations Development Program, you must first take a long internship. It will not be paid. All expenses the trainee will have to bear independently. An internship in the UNDP lasts an average of one year. During this time, the intern feeds himself, pays for accommodation, transport, social benefits, and other services. After completing the internship, the trainee curator decides whether he is worthy of his position or not.

The internship is often open only to young professionals. But for this, they need a master's or doctorate diploma, as well as some impressive letters of recommendation. The competition for a place in the internship is huge.

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Where can I get a job

Ideally, it would be perfect to get into one of the committees of the UDP. However, this is only possible for the most gifted specialists, who still have to be extremely lucky. More often than not, analysts and lawyers need the Committee on Disarmament and Security, the Committee on Decolonization, the Committee on Budget and Administrative Issues, and Human Rights. Competent economists are required by the Committee on Financial Affairs, and social workers by the Committee on Humanitarian Support of the Population.

In addition, working groups function under the UNDP. They are regularly created to address critical and urgent issues. Such groups differ in open composition. They are engaged in data collection and processing, analysis of the causes of conflicts, and ways of their peaceful settlement. Working groups are temporary, but there are also permanent groups. They operate in regions that are under the strict supervision of the UN.

The employees of such groups are not just engaged in analytical activities. They are responsible for coordinating decisions and holding major conferences. There are working groups on security, the economic crisis, disarmament, social and legal violations, etc. Such work often requires lengthy business trips.

Under the UN, several regional groups work effectively. They are mechanisms for assisting in procedural matters and for conducting international consultations. Such groups are active in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Western Europe. Employees of regional units work on an ongoing basis under a contract. They can be seconded at any time after their project to the other end of the world.

What vacancies are most in-demand

The most common open position in the regional and working groups of the United Nations Development Program is considered to be an expert on the rights of indigenous peoples. Experts in housing and social issues, experts in the field of accounting audit and financial obligations, and experts in the humanitarian field are also in great demand. All candidates for the above vacancies must be independent experts with vast experience in the relevant specialty.

Often, UNDP requires special rapporteurs on human trafficking, the protection of human freedoms, and the security of states. The UN institutes dealing with the problem of sanitary norms, drinking water, and environmental problems require experienced biologists and chemists.

Only persons who have undergone military training and a multi-level identity check are accepted into the security service of the UN and its branches. For employment, a service personnel is advised to contact the UN personnel department immediately. Most often, qualified specialists are required in the working groups of the Pacific, Asia, and Central Africa.

Only journalists, cameramen, and other media workers who have proven themselves to be the best in the state-owned media get into the UNGA information support service.

To get UNDP careers, a candidate should have a number of qualities and abilities. For e[ample, UNDP Project Expert on implementation of a mechanism for compensating greenhouse gas emissions by forests must:

  • coordinate the transfer of unaccounted forests of the regions into the category of managed forests;
  • coordinate the work on creating green spaces in the region;
  • coordinate work to increase the technical capacity of forestry institutions;
  • coordinate the preparation of carbon forest projects;
  • ensure compliance with the rules and procedures of the Forestry legislation during the execution of inventory, taxation, creation of a cartographic basis of unaccounted forests, transfer of unaccounted forests to the state forest fund or private forest fund, in the preparation of land management documents;
  • experienced PC user, skills in using software products for creating presentations.
  • fluency in spoken and written Russian, proficiency in English is a plus.

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UNDP Internship

If there is a desire to get specifically to the UN, it will be interesting to go on an internship abroad. At all times, it is a huge adventure.

For the procedure for applying for a UNDP internship, it is necessary to fill out a questionnaire, write a motivation letter, and provide confirmation from the university department that you have English in the study load. If you filled out the questionnaire sometime in September and already before the new year you can receive a confirmation letter that you had been accepted for an internship, the letter also includes a list of necessary documents for applying for a visa.

Intern’s responsibilities are quite simple. You will need to track events in Central and Central Asia via the Internet. An intern from Russia was specifically sought for this work since in Central and Central Asia more information can be found in Russian than in English.

The workday begins formally at 9 a.m. An intern has common work, monitoring sites, collecting information on various policies, on the situation with water in this region, that is, local questions on a specific place: what is happening in this region, who controls what, what moods, etc. It is some kind of information gathering. In addition, there are some questions related to private assignments. For example, if an online meeting was organized between representatives of the central, Geneva, and Kyrgyz offices, an intern needs to make a report of this meeting.

As a rule, in each department, there was one intern, but if the department is large, then two interns work. During the UNDP internship, 300 interns work at the UN headquarters in New York. Installation lectures are held for them in the early days, where they are told about safety and other aspects of the interns' work.

Trainees are given special cards to enter the UN building. These cards provide the right to free access to various cultural institutions, such as museums.

There is practically no chance to build UNDP careers after the internship. In order to officially get settled in the UN, you have to work in the fields. These are UN missions in developing countries, lasting 2-3 years, which is also very difficult to get into without practical skills. After that, you queue for a vacant post. In addition, the number of languages that you know is of great importance - the more the better. If you are still hired, then you go through a long trial period, after the trial period you conclude a contract for one, then two years, and so on. In order to be promoted to the head of the department, you must work in the organization for at least 15 years without taking into account the work “in the fields”.

The second option is when you worked somewhere else, you are a valuable specialist and you are invited to the UN. So, some former post-Soviet diplomats found themselves at work in this organization.

Benefits of UN jobs

In addition to the interesting environment and work and strong colleagues (very professional and open), there are a lot of positive things in work at the UN. Each one has different priorities.

  • Work-life balance. There is a requirement for the number of hours that must be worked out per day (at least 5 hours) and per week (37.5 hours). Nobody will be engaged in micromanagement, so there is an opportunity to regulate your working day as necessary.
  • Good working environment. Typically, offices create good working conditions for serving - cafeterias, a library, a gym, a garden.
  • Administrative matters. As said earlier, the UN has a g-staff that oversees administrative matters, including visa processing. This process, if you work at the UN, is much easier - no need to twitch about issuing visas and other documents.
  • Versatile development. In addition to the fact that the UN always hosts a huge number of different conferences and meetings that you can go to and listen to, various training lessons on personal development are also organized here (for example, how to solve conflicts lessons, yoga lessons). Secretariats have language courses (free; only official UN languages)

However, there is such a moment: the UN is open to all people, regardless of gender, race, religion. Therefore, if you are a racist, nationalist, not tolerant of the LGBT community, then most likely this is not your place.

How to apply

If you nevertheless decided that the promotion of sustainable development or the struggle for world peace is what you would like to do, then feel free to submit documents to the UN. To get started, find an open position here:

If you meet the requirements, then fill out form P11 at By the way, if your experience is “a little lacking,” then you most likely will not pass. Why? Because, the HR department immediately cuts off all those who do not meet the requirements - such rules. Women and representatives of un- or under-represented countries have an advantage

In addition to the above site, recheck the position and requirements with the organization’s site. It happens that organizations ask you to directly send them the P11 form (or the form may differ from the one on inspira).

Pay particular attention to the cover letter. It should be capacious in content, but brief. This is not just a motivation letter in which you say how much you want to work in the organization, but with the help of which the department will evaluate your analytical abilities and see what value-added you can bring.

“Talk for me” schemes or something else in this category is unacceptable to the UN. The advantage of meeting a UN employee can only be that you can find out about the position a little earlier, or already have time to prove yourself (for example, in the case of interns who want to move into the consultant category). However, even in this situation and blat, you need to prove that you are a good specialist and professional, and you will cope better with the work than others.

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UNDP Job Search Resources

The most reliable information on vacancies is posted on the websites of the UN system organizations themselves. If you are interested in a particular organization, we recommend that you regularly review the career section of its site. On some sites, there is also the opportunity to subscribe to the regular newsletter of new vacancies. Jobs submitted through the INSPIRA portal are posted on the main career portal of the UN Secretariat.

If you are looking for work in a specialty that may suit different organizations, it will be more convenient to use aggregator sites. Here you can search by organization, place of work, and position. The largest sites with daily updates: UNDPjobs, UN Jobs, UN Career, UN Joblist. On some sites, UN vacancies are posted along with international NGO vacancies: Reliefweb, Devnet Jobs, Devex, Impactpool.

The United Nations Secretariat is always in search of competent specialists people who firmly believe in the goals and principles of the United Nations Organization and want to start a successful international career at destinations located all over the world. The United Nations gives an opportunity to work in a dynamic and multicultural environment, performing a variety of tasks in support of global causes.

United Nations staff members uphold the Organization’s fundamental principles and values, such as integrity, professionalism, efficiency, and respect for diversity. They accept applications from citizens of all countries that are the Member States and invite women to apply. The United Nations accepts applicants with disabilities to all kinds of contracts in strict accordance with the main documents of the United Nations.

There are various ways to work at the United Nations, among them is the opportunity for university students to practice. To find out all current vacancies at the United Nations, you can visit the job portal which was created specifically for the use of the organization, and owned by the United Nations. You can visit this job portal and you will find a list of job offers available around the world. It also has a search engine where you can better narrow your search to categories, levels, dates, places. The United Nations also provides on its website information on internship opportunities for university students, as well as competitions, expert programs, etc.

If you want to learn more about United Nation jobs you can download a book from the portal There you can find a lot of useful information on how to get into the UN.

The UN also has a Telegram channel and Instagram page. There you can find all the updates on the relevant vacancies of the UN.

If you want to learn all about how you can become part of the United Nations, do not waste time and follow the links.