UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Intern, human resources


International Organizations

Location (s):

  • Switzerland
  • United States of America
Geneva, New York


The internship may be available in either New York or Geneva, with either the HR Business Partnering and Management Team or the HR Policy and Strategy Team, depending on the needs of OCHA and the preference of the selected candidate.


Org. Setting and Reporting

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) coordinates the global emergency response to save lives and protect people in humanitarian crises. The Human Resources Section, within the Executive Office (EO) is responsible for human resources management in OCHA. It administers the recruitment and placement of staff, manages contracts, benefits and entitlements, reassignments and separations, and develops policy guidance.

This OCHA EO Human Resources internship advertisement is to fill multiple internship positions on a rolling basis, throughout 2019 and 2020. Selected interns will be expected to serve for a minimum period of two months, with an opportunity for extension, depending on the needs of OCHA and the availability of the selected candidate.


HR Business Partnering and Management Team (Geneva and New York)

The HR Business Partnering and Management Teams provide a wide range of HR advisory and administrative services to their respective client entities, covering all of OCHA at Headquarters and in the field. Its HR Business Partners work closely with managers on people management matters such as workforce management and capacity gap identification, talent management and development, performance management, change management or recruitment strategies. Its HR Managers are the clients' direct interlocutors on HR administration matters such as questions related to contracts (e.g. duration and extension), re-assignments, leave and other time-management matters, engagement in outside activities, etc.

Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual's background as well as the internship period. Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing assistance to the provision of effective HR administrative services
  • Supporting with the maintenance and analysis of HR data
  • Assisting with recruitment processes
  • Facilitating HR-related projects
  • Other relevant tasks as required by the supervisor

HR Policy and Strategy Team (New York only)

The HR Policy and Strategy team ensures that OCHA has a sound policy application environment and approach that enables OCHA to successfully meet its human resources needs. The HR Policy and Strategy Intern will have the opportunity to contribute to a wide range of human resource priorities. Specifically, the Policy and Strategy team: develops OCHA HR and people related policies in line with the OCHA organizational strategy, operational needs, control frameworks, applicable UN common system policy frameworks, and changes in relevant legislation; builds partnerships within the UN system to promote a flexible and innovative approach to addressing common and specific challenges and opportunities; develops OCHA position papers and advice on all matters related to common system HR priorities, including represent OCHA in common system discussions on HR policy matters; develops and enables implementation of organizational strategies and corporate initiatives, such as on gender parity, duty of care, diversity and inclusiveness, learning and development and staff mobility.

Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual's background as well as the internship period. Duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting with drafting and preparation of emails and official documents
  • Drafting, editing and reviewing HR policy and/or HR-related documents
  • Providing administrative support for meetings, conference and events for the HR section
  • Conducting online research on various HR policy and strategy-related issues
  • Assisting with the implementation of HR policy and strategy-related activities
  • Other relevant tasks as required by the supervisor

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

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:


  • Professionalism:
    • Shows pride in work and in achievements
    • Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns
    • Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations
    • Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work
  • 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


To qualify for an internship with the United Nations Internship Programme, the following conditions must be met:

  • Applicants must 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 programme (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent); or
    • (c)have graduated with a university degree (as defined above) and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation;
  • Be computer literate in standard software applications;
  • Have an interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter; and
  • 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. 


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in spoken and written English is required for the internship. Knowledge of an additional official UN language is an asset. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish are the official languages of the United Nations Secretariat.


Deadline: June 30, 2020

Cost/funding for participants:

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.

Find your Dream Opportunity Abroad!

Search from 4366 opportunities in 189 countries