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UNICEF Headquarters (Policy Advocacy and Advisory Unit)

Photo of MHC intern at UNICEF in New York

Research Intern

Location: New York, NY
Work place:  UNICEF Headquarters, 3 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY
Duration:  2 month minimum commitment; longer duration preferred
Housing:  student must secure housing on her own
Qualifications:  Advanced student in Economics, International Relations with an interest in International Development; coursework in statistics/econometrics, and environment  preferred.


The Policy Advocacy and Advisory Unit at UNICEF headquarters works to support policy change that advances the rights of women and children, particularly the most marginalized and excluded. The Unit works to analyze, collect, manage and disseminate policy resources and identify and facilitate the development of policy positions for the organization.  The Unit also works to build the investment case for children, as well as support country and regional offices in their upstream advocacy and policy dialogue with governments, stakeholders and partners. 


The objective of this assignment is to support the Unit in collecting and analyzing evidence and conducting research around a variety of emerging issues and topics, as needed and requested by the supervisor. This could include conducting literature reviews, collecting and analyzing data and information, as well as formatting, copyediting, and facilitating the production of briefs, as well as other related products. The assignment may also include facilitating online communities of practice, outreach, and online maintenance, as well as providing support in the preparation of policy advocacy training workshops and capacity development.

Benefits to intern/volunteer

  • The intern will gain knowledge on the variety of economic and social issues facing children, emerging trends, and potential policy responses
  • The intern will gain knowledge on developing advocacy strategies to promote policies that protect children
  • The intern will gain knowledge about UNICEF’s programmes, including in health, education, child protection, nutrition, water and sanitation, HIV/AIDS, and social inclusion

Main duties and responsibilities

In consultation with supervisors, specific activities will include:

  • Provide research and analysis support on a variety of global economic and social issues affecting children
  • Provide support to maintaining and managing communities of practice and knowledge exchange throughout the organization
  • Support for the preparation of policy advocacy training workshops and capacity development
  • Formatting, copyediting, and processing policy briefs
  • Supporting the Unit on other related tasks, as necessary

Duration Period

At least 6-8 weeks.

Minimal Qualifications

The incumbent should:

  • Pursuing a university degree in economics, international relations/affairs, political science, statistics, demographics, development studies or other social sciences.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English required.
  • Experience in interpreting data and producing written reports
  • Experience in conducting high-quality literature reviews
  • Demonstrated interest in the field of international development
  • Ability to adapt and work in a multi-cultural setting
  • Ability to work as a part of a team
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc)
  • Strong commitment to the values and principles of the United Nations and to UNICEF's mission, guiding principles and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Fluency in English and Knowledge of one other UN working language an advantage.

UNICEF competencies

  • Technical: Very good analytical skills and ability to synthesize concepts and material into clear and concise thoughts (see also communication below)
  • Technical: Knowledge of relevant computer systems and applications; excellent understanding of and knowledge of software such as but not limited to Lotus based applications, HTML, Word, Excel.
  • Managing resources: Organizes and manages information to achieve defined goals and optimum results.
  • Communication: Effectively presents thoughts and ideas including complex technical concepts, in a clear, concise, and readily understood manner, both verbally and in writing. Listens to and acknowledges others' perspectives and views.
  • Flexibility: Works effectively on multiple assignments simultaneously and adapts to changing demands and circumstances.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills: able to work well in a team environment.
  • Ability to work independently
Image of student on laptop

How to Apply

Learn how to apply for an internship through the MHC International Internship Program.

Internship Opportunities

Explore the MHC-IIP opportunities spanning diverse fields and approximately 20 countries around the globe.