Intern - Platform on Disaster Displacement

Geneva, SwitzerlandI-1Administration, Communications




Background Information - Job-specific

The Nansen Initiative Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change (Protection Agenda) was endorsed by 109 delegations during an intergovernmental global consultation on 12-13 October 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland, which marked the end of the Nansen Initiative.

The Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) was established on 1 July 2016 to follow up on the work started by the Nansen Initiative and to implement the recommendations of the Protection Agenda. The overall objective of the Platform is:

To strengthen the protection of people displaced across borders in the context of disasters, including those linked to the effect of climate change, and to prevent or reduce the risk of disaster displacement.

To enable the work of the Platform, the following structure has been put in place: 1) Steering Group, 2) Advisory Committee and 3) Coordination Unit.

The Coordination Unit is composed of two full-time staff, one at P5 level (Head of Coordination Unit) and one at P3 level (Policy Officer), one part-time Communications Officer (50 %), one part-time Administrative Assistant (50%) as well as one intern at any given time. The Coordination Unit is hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) which also provides project management and operational support services.

Functional Responsibilities

  • Assist the Policy Officer with relevant disaster displacement research, analysis and policy review.
  • Assist with the collection and documentation of examples of effective practices in addressing to cross-border disaster-displacement and effective practices on managing disaster displacement risks in countries of origin.
  • Assist in mapping of areas and regions most at risk of disaster displacement, including those regions vulnerable to slow-onset events associated with the adverse effects of climate change.
  • Assist the Communication Officer to develop content material for the website and social media.
  • Support dissemination of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda,
  • Assist with the preparation of, and reporting from, meetings organized by the Coordination Unit of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (e.g. Steering Group meetings, meetings of the Advisory Committee, side events etc.).
  • Perform other research and administrative tasks as required


Candidates should be recent university graduates or currently enrolled in an Advanced university degree in law, humanitarian affairs, international relations, or another related field, ideally with a specialization in international human rights law and/or the protection of displaced persons.


At least 1 year of professional experience in government, diplomatic, non-governmental or international civil service with experience in the field of law, human rights, and/or protection of displaced persons.


Fluent oral and written English required for this position.  A working knowledge of French is desirable.


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.

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. 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.

Functional competencies

-         Strong Research and Drafting Skills

-         Ability to Learn

-         Ability to Analyze

-         Organising and Quality Orientation

-         Communication Skills

-         Teamwork Skills

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Internship Agreement
Contract level: Intern
Contract duration: 3 months

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 for the selected candidate if he/she has to relocate for the internship. However, they must make their own arrangements for accommodation, travel, Swiss health and accident insurance coverage and any necessary visas.  

For more details about UNOPS internships please follow this link:

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.
  • 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.


Background Information - UNOPS


UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.