Forum cinfo 2018 – Programme and replay


09:00 – 16:30

Career fair

More than 60 organisations are there for you: NGOs, UN organisations, international financial institutions, government actors, foundations, training and further education institutions. HR and line managers can provide you with individual advice and answer your questions.

09:30 – 10:30 (3 parallel sessions)

The art of getting into international cooperation

The path into international cooperation is rarely linear. But there are recurring patterns and small steps can have a big impact. Scott Breslin reveals some surprising facts and trends that can make the difference when you are starting your career in IC.

Input: Scott Breslin, International Director of Operation Mercy and Senior Advisor at the Nordic School of Management

How to prevent power abuse – the need for positive change

People who work in international cooperation are driven by noble intentions and goodwill. But they can risk getting 'stuck in the mud'. Decision-making that insufficiently involves beneficiaries and mistrusts local actors requires a change of attitude. The risk of power abuse, sexual harassment and exploitation impairs the work of humanitarian and development actors and damages reputations.

The aim of this session is to address root causes of these issues and to explore good practices that can lead to change.


Speed meetings: first impressions count

In this session, you have 5 minutes to pitch yourself to an HR specialist of UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, the EBRD, the Green Climate Fund or the World Bank Group's IFC, and answer a couple of targeted questions. This is your opportunity to leave a lasting impression: you need to shine by highlighting your relevant experience and background without boasting or rehashing clichés. Come prepared!

Application for the speed meetings is now closed. Interested persons (Swiss nationals with at least 5 years of relevant professional experience only) had to apply with their CV and a motivation letter. The final selection will be made by the multilateral organisations. Read more

10:45 – 11:45 (2 parallel sessions)

Managing in uncertainty

Uncertainty has become the rule rather than the exception in international cooperation. Pierre Krähenbühl, the most senior Swiss in the UN system, provides insights into the implications of highly fragile contexts on managing teams, programmes and organisations.

Keynote: Pierre KrähenbühlUNRWAUnited Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Commissioner-General


  • Christine Beerli-Kopp, President of cinfo's Foundation Board and former Vice-President of the ICRC.
  • Manuel Bessler, Delegate for Humanitarian Aid and Head of SHA; Deputy Director General SDCSwiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
  • Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA Commissioner-General
Catwalk: «My organisation in 90 seconds» (part 1/2)

Who is who? Who does what? Get to know potential employers and training institutions in short but entertaining catwalk presentations.

12:00 – 13:00 (3 parallel sessions)

How to get yourself recruited?

How are applications screened and how can you improve the chance of your application being noticed by a recruiter? What are some common mistakes to avoid? And how and where does an organisation find the best talent? 

This panel discussion lets you into the mind of a recruiter. Recruitment specialists and HR directors speak about their processes and the latest trends in IC recruitment, providing you with tips on how to get the job you want.


A career in IC: personal matters matter

Combining a partner and / or family with your career is not always easy, especially when you live and work abroad, perhaps even without your loved ones. You are not alone in facing these challenges. Attend a discussion between expats about their struggles, their solutions, and the opportunities that arose from their experiences.

Input: Astrid Van Genderen Stort, Senior Coordinator Duty of Care, UNHCR

Working for an international organisation: ever thought of consulting?

Volunteering – internship – junior staff – senior staff. Most people think this is the way to go in IC. But there are other ways. You can also build your career with international organisations by starting off with consultancies.

Learn more about consultancies through a research presentation, meetings with consultants and useful tips.


Maria de la Luna, Team Leader, Recruitment and Staffing at UN Women, will be present for questions & answers.

13:15 – 14:15 (3 parallel sessions)

Young and talented? Our programmes for Swiss nationals

Entry level positions with the UN and IFIsInternational Financial Institutions are rare. However, they do exist! And some are even reserved for Swiss nationals. What are these positions? What are the prerequisites? How can you apply? How have former participants taken advantage of this unique opportunity and what are they doing today? 

cinfo presents the Swiss Young Professional Programmes for people under the age of 33 (JPOJunior Professional Officer – Junior Professional Officers) and 29 (UNYVUN Youth Volunteers – UN Youth Volunteers).


  • Nadine Brou, Programme Officer at UNAIDSJoint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS , former UNYV with UNESCO and former JPO with UNAIDS
  • Stephan Eggli, Programme Manager at SECOState Secretariat for Economic Affairs , former JPO with The World Bank Group
  • Nora Landheer, Outreach and Recruitment Specialist, cinfo
  • Philippe Puyo, Programme Manager Global Institutions, SDCSwiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Catwalk: «My organisation in 90 seconds» (part 2/2)

Who is who? Who does what? Get to know potential employers and training institutions in short but entertaining catwalk presentations.

You and your career – are you in the driver’s seat?

We rarely take the time to reflect deeply on our career: To what extent do we shape it? To what extent do others shape it? What drives us and what are our guiding principles? How close are we to fulfilling our career aspirations?

This workshop guides you towards such questions and helps you to start exploring answers.


14:30 – 15:30 (3 parallel sessions)

Education and training needs: today and tomorrow

What are the current challenges of training institutions in the field of international cooperation? What skills will be relevant for professionals in IC, from young to senior experts, in the future? How to ensure a match between the needs of employers and current educational assets on the labour market?

The panel session addresses several topics in a larger reflection on education and training needs.

Alumni testimonial: Viviane Hasselmann, Health Advisor and Co-focal point, Global Programme Health, SDC


Opportunities in the private sector: entrepreneurship, sustainable finance and impact investing

Private companies, aid agencies and Multilateral Development Banks are increasingly joining forces, including by investing in firms and enterprises that contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development in emerging and frontier markets. What are the career opportunities in this area? Do you need specific skills and experience to get into impact investing or sustainable finance? What are the implications in this respect for public actors?



Full version:

Is this job for me? Interpreting job vacancies

Have you ever read a job description and wondered whether you have the right profile to apply? HR representatives from regional development banks (ADB, AfDB and EBRD), the UN (UNDP, UNFPA, UNV and UN Women) as well as the World Bank, will tell you how to read their current vacancy announcements and provide you with specific insights about the positions and the needs of their organisation. This will help you to assess the fit between your profile and the job descriptions. And if it’s a good fit, you have the chance to present yourself to the HR specialists on-site.

Job descriptions:

More information on our job portal cinfoPoste and during Forum cinfo.


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