UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – SDG Financing Initiative Intern

This opportunity is a Miller Worley MHConnect internship and is available to Mount Holyoke students only. Lynk funding required.

Location: New York, NY

Position title: SDG Financing Initiative Intern

Duration: June to August, with possibility to extend. Dates are flexible and accommodating of academic schedules. 25-30 hrs per week

Local expenses: Students must have a transportation plan. Not all of our sites are walkable to main lines of public transportation, and fellows are expected to move among sites within the work day. We find that fellows who have access to a vehicle (either a bicycle or a car) are happiest during the summer. We expect fellows to think through their transportation plan before the start of the summer. Housing is not provided.


To facilitate and inform better planning of these processes, SDSN is coordinating a working group of experts to conduct SDG costing analyses that will better support Low-Income Developing Countries (LIDCs) to assess their SDG budgetary needs. This working group mobilizes best costing practices and costing tools to support LIDCs with the preparation of budgetary frameworks, revenue strategies, and development assistance strategies to achieve the SDGs. The findings of this working group will facilitate the work of the IMF, World Bank, other UN agencies, UN country teams, academia, and most especially national governments, to plan budgetary frameworks and financing strategies to achieve the Goals.

SDSN is preparing research for a publication about SDG costing and costing tools in June 2019, in advance of the UN High-Level Political Forum in July 2019 and the SDG High-Level Summit in September 2019. The Report will be issued to the UN Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly for distribution to member states.

Intern Responsibilities

We are seeking a dynamic and talented intern to support the work of the SDG Financing Initiative.

This intern will:

  1. Support the coordination of the SDG costing group; including preliminary correspondence and scheduling duties;
  2. Undertake research in the field of sustainable development financing and the role of private philanthropy in achieving the SDGs;
  3. Support the event planning team on key summer events;
  4. Provide other research, copy-editing and administrative duties as needed.

This position will report to the program’s Managing Director, Ms. Vanessa Fajans-Turner. It will be based in the SDSN Secretariat New York office.

Principal Responsibilities:

  1. Support the program team in coordinating the SDG costing group, including scheduling key participants, taking summary notes and producing follow-up materials.
  2. Conduct research on the role and scope of private philanthropy in support of the SDGs, including historical trends and gaps.
  3. Identify and support outreach to other key organizations and think-tanks working on SDG financing to gather information, learn from their experience, conduct joint research and compare data.
  4. Develop visuals (e.g. infographics) to better communicate key research findings with partners by organizing key findings in graphs, interactive charts, mock-ups and diagrams.
  5. Prepare talking points, background documents and PowerPoints for internal and external meetings and events.
  6. Work with the event planning team to organize and coordinate for relevant upcoming events throughout the summer and fall, including the UN High-level Political Forum, UN General Assembly, High-Level SDG Summit and the Climate Summit.
  7. Undertake any other tasks assigned by the program’s Managing Director or other leadership.

About the Sustainable Development Solutions Network

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has been operating since 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

We aim to accelerate joint learning and promote integrated approaches that address the interconnected economic, social, and environmental challenges confronting the world. The SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, academia and civil society.

About the SDG Financing Initiative

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require major societal transformations that depend on significant fiscal outlays and private investments through 2030.

Achieving the SDGs will require a mix of public and private financing, as well as SDG oriented national budgetary plans.

For more information, visit the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.


  • Professional fluency in English required; other languages a plus.
  • Familiarity with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Exceptional research, writing, editing, and oral communications skills.
  • Ability to research broad topics and distill into approachable content.
  • Close attention to detail and comfort working on a small team.

Preferred characteristics:

  • A declared major in international affairs, sustainable development, economics or similar/related fields.

Application Instructions

Students must apply to this position through Handshake by March 6, 2020, but must complete Step 1 of the Lynk UAF application by February 21, 2020 at 5pm.

In your cover letter, please discuss both the experience you bring to the internship and the skills and experience you hope to gain (in no more than a page). Please also list contact information for two references that can speak to your work or school experience.