FAQ «The UN Youth Volunteers Programme»
Increasing the number of Swiss nationals working in international cooperation, and particularly in the context of the UN, has been an important strategic focus of Swiss foreign policy for many years.
In 2001 the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) and cinfo established a partnership focusing on providing an entry opportunity for young Swiss professionals to join UN agencies and the realm of international cooperation more generally. Through this programme selected volunteers spend one year in a priority country of SDC or HSD working for a United Nations agency.
UNV is the agency that hosts the programme, partners and liaises with all funding governments, such as Switzerland, and recruits and deploys the UN Youth Volunteers (UNYVs). Within the Swiss government, the programme is promoted through SDC and HSD, which both fund UNYV positions within their core areas of work and interest. cinfo coordinates the recruitment process, pre-selects UNYVs, provides pre-departure trainings to selected UNYVs and supports them throughout their assignment.
Yes, both agencies finance and support UN Youth Volunteers (UNYV) positions within their core areas of competency and interest.
No. You will receive a monthly living allowance which enables you to sustain a modest and secure standard of living at the duty station (approximately 1500 – 3000 USD per month depending on the living costs in the duty station). The allowances are however not to be understood as a compensation, reward or salary in exchange for your work. Benefits such as travel and health insurance are covered by UNV.
While you are recruited on a UNYV contract, you will carry a functional title proper to your duties and area of expertise (for instance “Associate Human Rights Officer”). You might support an advocacy team raise awareness on sexual and reproductive health issues, assist a Ministry in the creation of monitoring and evaluation tools for a national action plan, or support government efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to learn more about UNYV assignments, please take a look at the new positions advertised here.
You must apply for a specific position, and your application documents must be targeted at this position only. Your second choice serves to help cinfo recruiters consider you for another position if they deem it necessary. In such a case, you will be contacted personally and informed about the procedure to follow.
All selected candidates are expected to be ready for fielding in February/March 2020.
Yes, UN Youth Volunteers must be available in February to attend various pre-departure training sessions and briefings in Bonn, Bienne and Berne.
Applications will be accepted in English only.
Requirements regarding educational background
The minimum requirement for the programme is a Master’s degree.
Yes, you can apply if you complete your Master’s degree by October 2020 at the latest.
Yes, you can.
It depends upon the Description of Assignment (DOA) of each position.
Requirements regarding age and nationality
Yes, candidates must be no older than 28 (born on or after April 1, 1991).
You need to be a Swiss national when you apply for one of the positions financed by SDC and HSD.
Only Swiss nationals can apply for the positions financed by SDC and HSD.
Yes. However, candidates cannot be deployed to countries of which they are citizens.
Yes. Skype interviews are possible on an exceptional basis.
As this is a programme designed for recent graduates, with ideally one year of relevant work experience, it is expected that prospective candidates have completed relevant short-term placements and/or internships and/or research in a relevant field during their studies.
Yes. You can highlight travel experience in your CV. This will however not be considered as relevant professional experience.
Yes. It is important to demonstrate your volunteer/engagement spirit with concrete examples in your CV.
Conditions of service
Yes. You will receive a living allowance which enables you to sustain a modest and secure standard of living at the duty station. The allowances are however, in no way to be understood as a compensation, reward or salary in exchange for your work. UN Youth Volunteers are also entitled to reimbursement for travel to assignment as well as to Bonn, Germany for the briefing session.
That depends on the assignment, and each DOA specifies whether the vacancy is located in a family or non-family duty station. In the case of family duty stations, however, the UN will not cover travel costs (including visa expenses), health insurance or living expenses for the partner or dependents.
All assignments are in priority countries as determined by the SDC and the HSD. The assignments may take place in post-conflict areas; however, it’s unlikely that you will be posted in a country where there is an active conflict/war.
After the assignment
No. However, there are cases where the overseas host organisation has found additional means to extend the assignment under a different contract.
Yes. However, finding a suitable position may be difficult, as there are few of these within the UN system that are open to professionals with less than 3 years of relevant work experience.
Yes. This field experience is taken into account at 100% rate and will even increase your chances to be selected provided you have the required years of work experience.