• Internship
  • Pretoria

Type of Contract: 6 Months Internship

Date of Issue: 23 April 2022

Closing Date: 8 May 2022

Location: Pretoria (RB), South Africa

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) mandated responsibility for finding solutions to refugee situations has long required stronger cooperation with development partners and the inclusion of persons of concern in development planning and programming instruments, including national development programs. Due to various factors, the proportion of refugees and internally displaced persons in protracted displacement situations remains high. Moreover, the diminishing number of forcibly displaced people who have access to durable solutions constitutes a worrying trend that has persisted in recent years. The increasing scale of irregular migration, large scale refugee movements, internal displacement and the costs of responding to humanitarian situations have placed forced displacement high on the global agenda. Given the complexity and protractedness of many of today’s forced displacement situations, often occurring in fragile contexts, awareness is growing that forced displacement requires a development response to complement humanitarian assistance and address poverty sustainably and inclusively. It is also acknowledged that extreme poverty and human suffering associated with refugees and other forcibly displaced people need to be systematically considered when addressing the development challenges of host communities, countries, and regions. The SDGs provide a yardstick for inclusive development based on the principles of Leaving No One Behind and Reaching the Furthest Behind First.

The Global Compact for Refugees provides a framework for this new approach towards a more predictable and equitable responsibility-sharing, recognizing that more sustainable approaches to refugee situations cannot be achieved without the systematic engagement of a broader set of stakeholders, including development partners.

One of the most significant humanitarian-development cooperation partnerships strengthened in recent years has been between the World Bank and UNHCR on forced displacement. The nineteenth replenishment (2019-2023) of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which includes financing of more than $53 billion for Africa, will help countries invest in the needs of their people, boost economic growth, and bolster resilience to climate shocks and natural disasters. The IDA 19 allocation follows the operationalization of a Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) for Middle-Income Countries (MICs) affected by large numbers of refugees. In addition, UNHCR has enhanced cooperation with the private sector wing of the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and bilateral development donors.

As of February 2022, the Southern Africa region hosts 7,777,267 people of concern including 782,019 refugees and 296,090 asylum-seekers. The upsurge in violence and ongoing volatility in eastern DRC and northern Mozambique continue to be major contributors to displacement in the region and are of grave concern as armed groups cause death and displacement while hindering humanitarian assistance. In both situations, UNHCR remains committed to continuing to deliver assistance where possible and has stressed the need for an improved security environment that would permit assistance to reach the most affected areas. UNHCR has also called upon all parties to abide by obligations under international law to always protect and safeguard civilian lives.

The Development Intern will work under the supervision of the Senior Development Officer and will interact regularly with other External Engagement colleagues both in the bureau and in-country operations. In addition, the intern will be expected to collaborate with other stakeholders on projects related to development.


  • Within the context outlined above, the role of the Development Intern is to support UNHCR’s engagement and cooperation with development partners in the Southern Africa region to improve the protection environment of forcibly displaced persons, and their socio-economic empowerment. As such, the incumbent needs to have practical experience working with and an understanding of the interplay of different aspects of economic growth, governance, fragility, conflict and the main factors that influence the environment for inclusion and resilience for UNHCR’s population of concern. It is anticipated that development responses to forced displacement will grow in significance in future years due to the greater importance attached to fragility and addressing protracted displacement situations.
  • The incumbent will identify potential opportunities and ensure complementarity between UNHCR’s protection work and the economic and social development objectives pursued by development partners and their government counterparts.
  • It will, therefore, be important that the Development Intern supports relevant UNHCR staff to contribute to the Bureau’s efforts to (i) align policy, operational and programme priorities between humanitarian and development agencies, (ii) assist relevant UNHCR staff in engaging in development planning, programming and coordination processes with Government entities and development partners; and (iii) assist relevant UNHCR staff in developing and contributing to inputs on the humanitarian, development and peace nexus in multi-year and multi-partner transition strategies for protracted forced displacement situations.
  • Assess gaps and opportunities to leverage for further inclusion of UNHCR POCs in programs by development partners.
  • Mapping of national development plans and country strategy papers of the World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation, International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank in the region, their timelines and drafting processes, and how country operations can engage in the process.
  • Assist in identifying areas of comparative advantage for interventions where UNHCR can add value and engage in climate change discourse with development partners and host governments in Southern Africa.
  • Researching information about initiatives, projects, international climate negotiations, and related issues in the region and their linkage and implications to forced displacement.
  • Explore the potential for engagement with development partners on the impact of climate change on forced displacement in Southern Africa, including support for a potential regional resilience forum on climate change and forced displacement.
  • Performing other duties as assigned.


Education & Professional Work Experience:

  • Degree in Economics, Development Studies, International Relations, Political Science, or other related fields.
  • Experience with data collection, statistical analysis, report writing, and drafting reports and correspondence
  • Excellent communication, and presentation skills.
  • Excellent working knowledge of MS Office.

Language Requirements:

  • Knowledge of English is required.


To be considered for an internship, candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Recent graduate (those persons who completed their studies within one year of applying) or current student in a graduate/undergraduate school programme from a university or higher education facility accredited by UNESCO; and
  • Have completed at least two years of undergraduate studies in a field relevant or of interest to the work of the Organization.

An individual whose father, mother, son, daughter, brother, or sister is a staff member of UNHCR, including a Temporary Appointment holder or a member of the Affiliate Workforce, is not eligible for an internship.


Interns who do not receive financial support from an outside party will receive an allowance to partially help to cover the cost of food, local transportation and living expenses which is 10% of DSA (Daily Subsistence Allowance) for Pretoria per day up to a maximum of 30 days in a month payable in local currency.


It is a full-time role with working hours starting from 8.00 am to 5:00pm Monday to Thursday and 8:00 am to 1:30 pm on Friday.


  • Interested external applicants need to apply online and complete the mandatory motivation letter. For technical issues with logging in to the MSRP External Portal or online applications, please contact the HR Unit well before the deadline to allow sufficient time for any technical problem to be resolved. External vacancies are posted on the external UNHCR website and applicants who do not have internal status must apply through the external UNHCR website. https://www.unhcr.org/careers.html – Careers – Career opportunities – Other Opportunities –Vacancies – sort by Location or search by Job Opening number.
  • Applications will be accepted only via the online portals. Please do not send an application via email.
  • Not signed, incomplete and late applications will not be accepted. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Shortlisted candidates may be required to sit for a written test and do a competency-based oral interview. UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing, or any other fees).

To apply for this job please visit www.unhcr.org.