United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Programme Management Intern (Learning for Nature, Global Programme on Nature for Development, Multiple Positions)

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Job Description

  UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects.  Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations.

New York Service Cluster (NYSC) supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and Procurement Management Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. It was formed by combining the following portfolios: Grants Management Services (GMS), UN Technology Support Services (UNTSS), Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio (DSIP) It provides Services to partners' programmes that are designed, structured, and managed with a global perspective and primarily serving partners that are headquartered in New York.  The SDC has a footprint of approximately 125 countries.

UNDP’s Global Programme on Nature for Development brings together four different initiatives -- the New York Declaration on Forests Global Platform, the Equator Initiative, and the National Biodiversity Initiative, and Learning for Nature under one program in order to identify, foster, showcase and celebrate nature-based solutions that help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at local, national, and international levels. The work of the Global Programme on Nature for Development contributes to UNDP's Strategic Plan 2018-2021 by charting sustainable development pathways through the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems; and by promoting inclusive and effective democratic governance in the area of natural resources.

The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. The Equator Initiative seeks to: -          Identify and recognize the success of Indigenous and local initiatives, -          Create opportunities and platforms to share knowledge and good practice, -          Inform policy to foster an enabling environment for Indigenous and local community action, and -          Develop the capacity of Indigenous peoples and local communities to scale-up their impact.

The Global Platform for the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) is a partnership of governments, multinational companies, civil society and Indigenous peoples who strive to end deforestation by 2030. The NYDF outlines ten ambitious global targets related to protecting and restoring forests. The Global Platform for the New York Declaration on Forests seeks to fill an important gap in multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration necessary to achieve the goals of the NYDF. The Platform works to increase ambition, forge new partnerships and accelerate progress on the NYDF goals by responding to NYDF endorsers’ requests for a dedicated, multi-stakeholder platform to re-invigorate political endorsement of the NYDF, to facilitate coordination and communication, to share best practices, resources and lessons, and to support ongoing monitoring of progress.

The National Biodiversity Initiative supports countries to manage their ecosystems and biodiversity to improve national planning and governance of biodiversity, ecosystems, and development, and to promote resilience for sustainable development. The National Biodiversity Initiative works in three project areas to support countries in their commitments to the Convention on Biological Diversity: National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) Support, National Reporting, and Capacity Building. The use of spatial data for spatial planning is an important cross-cutting theme across these project areas, including our flagship platform UN Biodiversity Lab and our work to map Essential Life Support Areas (ELSAs). The UN Biodiversity Lab, created in partnership with UN Environment and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides policymakers with access to 100 of the world’s best spatial datasets on nature, climate, and sustainable development for planning, monitoring, and reporting. Building on this base, our work to map ELSAs brings together the world’s best scientists and governments in 11 pilot countries to use spatial data to identify where nature-based actions to protect, manage, or restore ELSAs can deliver efficiently across national priorities for biodiversity, climate, and sustainable development.. A nascent area of work is building the spatial literacy of Indigenous peoples and local communities and ensuring their participation in spatial planning.

Knowledge Sharing is a main goal of the Equator Initiative, the National Biodiversity Initiative, and NYDF. The Equator Initiative has a large series of research papers, books, and other publications focusing on local approaches to poverty reduction and conservation, informed by community-based initiatives. 180 case studies in over 30 languages have documented the Equator Prize winners’ innovative practices that deliver the win-win-win solutions that ensure social, economic, and environmental sustainability. The National Biodiversity Initiative works with partners to share knowledge on the role of spatial data in biodiversity planning, policymaking, and reporting through story maps, blogs, Google Earth stories, articles etc. The NYDF Global Platform aims to use case studies about NYDF endorsers from a variety of stakeholder groups, including companies, governments, Indigenous peoples and NGOs in order to share challenges and best practices in implementing the NYDF goals.

Learning for Nature is a capacity-building offer provided by the Global Programme on Nature for Development, cutting across the three areas of work. This programme connects biodiversity policymakers, change-makers, and on-the-ground subject matter experts to facilitate the delivery of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Access to the global multi-stakeholder networks mobilized by the NYDF, the Equator Initiative, and the National Biodiversity Initiative allows Learning for Nature to circulate knowledge while promoting best practices. Building on our learnings on the ground, we seek synergies, build linkages, and engage thousands of course participants on their journey towards sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities. Learning for Nature builds capacity to scale up efforts for nature-based sustainable development through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), webinars, self-paced e-learning modules, podcasts, and private Training Courses.

Functional Responsibilities

The intern will be home-based. A transfer to the New York office may be possible in exceptional circumstances, based on the development of the current pandemic. Responsibilities may include but will not be limited to the following, as outlined below. Language skills are strong assets.

The intern(s) will assist the Global Programme on Nature for Development in all aspects of the work, with specific emphasis and primary association to the project Learning for Nature. The successful candidate(s) will report to the manager of the Global Programme on Nature for Development. Additional supervision will be provided by the E-Learning and Capacity-Building Analyst.

The project team is likely to hire more than one qualified candidate.

Duties and responsibilities include: ●       As identified by the Project Manager(s), support areas of work of the Global Programme on Nature for Development through general support, content creation, administrative support, outreach, and communications.

●       Support the production and design of a variety of e-learning assets (courses, podcasts, impact stories, Google Earth stories) and the implementation of user engagement initiatives for the Learning for Nature community.

●       Support user management of the Learning for Nature platform, including in languages (Spanish and French), where possible.

●       Support outreach efforts through newsletters and social media in several languages.

●       Support the organization of virtual events and workshops, including logistics, content preparation, translations, liaising with event partners and panelists, real-time support, and reporting.

●       Write and design reports, curate summaries for websites, support development of publications both on content and administrative aspects, including review of photo assets.

●       Support literature reviews, knowledge management, desk reviews, compilation of information, and gathering of data on topics pertinent to the Project, such as, but not limited to biodiversity and ecosystems in national, local, and international contexts, sustainable development, Forest Management, Indigenous peoples and local communities; social entrepreneurship and impact investing; engagement in global policy processes.

●       Support media and communications efforts, such as drafting of press releases, talking points, articles for magazines and journals, social media materials and photo stories.

●       Liaise with community based and Indigenous initiatives, governments, UN agencies, research institutes, and the private sector as needed; ●       Administrative duties, translations, and database entry as identified to ensure the smooth operation of the office.

●       Support translation of content from English to Spanish and/or French.

●       Other duties as necessary

Education/Experience/Language requirements


●       Master’s degree in development studies, education, environmental sciences/conservation, politics, international law, human rights, computer science or related field, completed within the past 3 years, or currently in progress; ●       Bachelor’s degree in fields mentioned above may be considered in combination with relevant experience as outlined below.

b. Work Experience

●       Demonstrated interest in the fields of development and environment; ●       Strong writing and research skills required. Please upload a writing sample (recent article, paper etc.) with your application.

●       Prior experience in design or video editing is a strong asset;; ●       Prior experience working on one of the following topics at a conceptual level is a strong asset: biodiversity/Climate Change; education and instructional design; social entrepreneurship/impact investing; human/civil/Indigenous peoples’ rights; governance; civil society engagement.

●       Prior experience producing e-learning content, curation and design of online lessons or other educational assets, video production and editing, social media management, or implementation of user engagement initiatives (online campaigns) would be an asset; Languages

●       Fluency and excellent writing ability in English is required.

●       Fluency and excellent writing ability in at least one other UN language is a strong asset, especially Spanish and French.

●       Knowledge of additional languages is an asset.


Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.

Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).

Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.

Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.

Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.

Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration - Internship

Contract type: Internship Contract level: N/A Contract duration: 6 months Duty Station: Homebased or New York depending on pandemic This internship is not designed to lead to a staff position with UNOPS. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of the internship.

Interns may be eligible for a monthly stipend  from UNOPS provided that they do not receive funds from other institutions. Further, UNOPS may provide a one time travel lumpsum of 500 USD. However, they must make their own arrangements for accommodation, travel and necessary visa arrangements.

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by Security Policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.
It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.
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