United States of America: Internship – Information Management and Data Science, Early Warning

Organization: UN Development Programme
Country: United States of America
Closing date: 07 Jun 2017


UNDP’s Strategic Plan (2014-2017) recognizes the importance of preparedness, response, early recovery and the management of the risk cycle as fundamental for development. The objective of the Crisis Response Unit is to ensure that UNDP is well positioned to respond in the timeliest and most effective manner to crisis, triggered by natural disasters or armed conflicts alike. CRU is also the leading entity on emergency preparedness enhancement, including through early warning and risk management.

UNDP’s Crisis Response Unit (CRU) is responsible for UNDP’s corporate crisis response strategy and capability, primarily regarding sudden onset crises and complex protracted crises, and serves advisory, coordination and operational functions. The mandate of CRU includes guiding the organization’s corporate preparedness for crisis response, which encompasses corporate early warning capacities and crisis response preparedness. CRU’s early warning team provides support to HQ and to Country Offices (COs) to address their needs in contextual risk analysis, adaptation, early action and—acknowledging unique contextual circumstances as well as unique CO requirements—provide tailored support.

In support of CRU’s engagement on early warning, CRU’s Rapid Response and Preparedness Team is seeking an information management intern to support the organization’s early warning capacities, information gathering and management, tools, and competencies.

Duties and Responsibilities

The intern will provide support to the early warning team in its information management and knowledge management activities, particularly related to the further development and operation of the Crisis Risk Dashboard (CRD), which is an information management platform to track crisis risks.

Information management and tools development support may include:

  • Supporting the identification of the information management and visualization needs of UNDP country offices and headquarters, and transform these needs into CRD requirements for support offered by the team;
  • Identifying additional data sources and manage data flows that support crisis risk analysis by engaging in data modeling and database development;
  • Supporting the collection, management, and publishing of documents, data, information, and digital content, using UNDP’s content management systems;
  • Developing customized applications and tools to strengthen CRD data collection, analysis and visualization capabilities;
  • Developing customized CRDs that offer country- or issue-based tracking and analysis by designing and developing visual interfaces, human-computer interaction modeling, and usability testing;
  • Researching innovative forms of acquiring data for early warning, particularly in context where data is scarce;
  • Contributing new ideas for improving the CRD in terms of the early warning data, and in terms of how the dashboard is used for effective crisis risk analysis;
  • Supporting the selection of online news and analysis relevant for early warning through the CRD

Knowledge management activities may include:

  • Mapping of available methodologies and guidance tools related to early warning early action
  • Collection of past experiences and lessons learned by UNDP, UN entities and other relevant actors in the area of early warning early action, crisis risk analysis and scenario building
  • Other related duties as may be assigned by the Early Warning Programme Specialist.
  • The intern is expected to participate as an active member of the team and openly contribute his/her perspectives throughout the internship.

The intern will be under the direct supervision of the Early Warning Programme Specialist. The intern will work closely with team members and relevant UNDP Country Offices, particularly related to Crisis Risk Dashboard operational support and further development.


Technical Competencies:

  • Data modeling, programming and database design, and data visualization;
  • Design of interfaces, human-computer interaction modeling, and usability testing;
  • Managing web content, and support workflow tasks in document repository systems;
  • Maintaining databases and electronic resources;
  • Creating metadata for digital collection;
  • Application of open source tools and technologies;
  • Knowledge of one or more UNDP’s areas of work (sustainable development, democratic governance, peacebuilding, climate and disaster resilience).

Core Competencies:

Ethics & Values: Demonstrating / Safeguarding Ethics and Integrity:

  • Is familiar with and acts in accordance with the standard of conduct for international civil servants, ethics and UN/UNDP values

Developing & Empowering People/Coaching and Mentoring:

  • Self-development, initiative-taking. Takes initiative and seeks opportunities to initiate action.

Working in Teams:

  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work;
  • Works collaboratively with team members sharing information openly and displaying cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Communicating Information and Ideas:

  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively;
  • Uses tact and sensitivity when delivering sensitive information or resolving delicate issues.

Self-management & Emotional Intelligence:

  • Creating synergies through self-control Fosters a positive outlook and maintains focus during period of stress and heavy work load, inspiring and guiding others towards goal achievement.

Knowledge Sharing & Continuous Learning:

  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others. Actively seeks learning opportunities, adopting best practices created by others.

Appropriate and Transparent Decision-making:

  • Informed and transparent decision making. Makes decisions within his/her own span of control, recognizes issues requiring more advanced judgment and refers them to the appropriate level.

Required Skills and Experience


  • 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, and with particular knowledge/expertise in information management, information systems, geographic information systems (GIS), database development, web management, visualization, or other related areas;
  • Have a demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter.


  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required for the internship.

Required documents:

  • Copy of current enrollment verification from your school (transcript);
  • Letter of endorsement from a senior faculty member;
  • Copy of school transcript;
  • Scanned medical insurance document.


Interns are not financially remunerated by UNDP. The costs associated with the latter must be borne by the nominating institution, related institution or government, which may provide the required financial assistance to its students; or by the student, who will have to obtain financing for subsistence and make his/her own arrangements for travel, accommodation, etc. Proof of medical and life/accident insurance valid for the location in which the internship will be carried out (i.e. New York, USA).

UNDP accepts no responsibility for the medical and life insurance of the intern or costs arising from accidents and illness incurred during an internship. As interns are not covered under any insurance, including MAIP, they should not travel to hazardous locations in the course of their internship with UNDP.

Applicants for internship must show proof of valid medical and life/accident insurance for the duty station for which they will work. It must include adequate coverage in the event of an injury or illness during the internship which:

  • requires transportation to the Home Country or Country of Residence for further treatment; or
  • results in death and requires preparation and return of the remains to the Home Country, or Country of Residence

The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment with UNDP but to complement an intern’s studies. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of an internship.

For more information on UNDP Internship, please visit: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/operations/jobs/types-of-opportunities/internships.html

The intern will be under the direct supervision of the Early Warning Programme Specialist. The intern will work closely with team members and relevant UNDP Country Offices, particularly related to Crisis Risk Dashboard operational support and further development.

This is a full-time internship (five days a week) based in UNDP New York Headquarters. The duration of the internship is three months, with the possibility of extension. The intern will be required to bring their own laptop.

These terms of reference may be modified until the beginning of the internship period. Any changes will be immediately communicated to the selected candidate.

Please communicate your availability (possible start and end dates as well as duration) in the submission of your application.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

How to apply:

Apply online at: https://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_job_id=71790