Intern - Digitalization and Local/Urban Governance (Europe and CIS)

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UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

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Application deadline 1 year ago: Friday 23 Jul 2021 at 23:59 UTC

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The UNDP Europe and Central Asia region covers a vast geographic area that is diverse in terms of ethnic, religious and cultural makeup. It consists of 18 programme countries and territories in Central Asia, South Caucasus, Western Balkans, Eastern Europe and Turkey, most of which have achieved middle-income status and relatively high levels of human development. At the same time, persistent challenges to effective and inclusive governance, human rights and rule of law, and sustainable peace remain. While most countries have also introduced digital services in various forms as part of enhancing public service delivery, business processes, and connectivity, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the significant gaps in digitalization in countries and territories across the region, and that differential access to digital infrastructure, technology, educational and productivity applications are further widening inequalities across and inside countries and territories.

In the ECIS region, around 57% of the population are in urban areas, growing by 1.04% annually. Urban environments provide the setting for complex interactions between population, nature, economies, and social, physical, and institutional infrastructure. Local governments play a critical role in taking hold of the opportunities and addressing complex, multi-faceted pressures in cities and municipalities. They provide frontline support to the local population, and are mandated to ensure effectively functioning governance structures and mechanisms that are responsive to the needs of the local population. However many city and local governments have remained challenged by the rapid pace of change and urban development, weak capacities, demographic shifts, strained budgets and inadequate financing, migration pressures and overall speed of technological development.

The Governance and Peacebuilding (GPB) Team of UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, covering ECIS region, provides advisory services to the countries in the areas of governance, anti-corruption, public sector transformation, digitalization, human rights, security, rule of law, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding. It supports UNDP country offices and works with national, local and regional partners to advance new thinking and solutions to address complex governance and peace challenges in the region, towards accelerating the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Intern will perform the following specific duties and responsibilities:

Reporting to the GPB Team Leader, the Digital Governance and Urbanization Intern will be part of the GPB Team and will be responsible for the following:

  • Support in mapping and analysis of digital and tech applications, practices and tools applied across key development sectors and public institutions in ECIS region particularly at the local level;
  • Support the analysis of challenges, gaps and opportunities in digitalization in key cities and localities based on secondary data and COVID-19 experiences;
  • Support the development of concept notes to support inclusive digital transformation in the ECIS region.


  • Support the research, consolidation and analysis of information related to emerging issues, solutions and opportunities for digitalization at the local level, particularly as informed by COVID-19 insights;
  • Support mapping of localities/cities/municipalities that have introduced good practices on digital/urban/local governance during COVID-19.
  • Contribute to the development of research and knowledge products in the field of digital governance and urban governance;
  • Support the organization of meetings and workshops relevant for the GPB cluster and specifically related to digital and urban governance;Support day to day activities related to digitalization and governance initiatives;
  • Draft concept notes, background notes and analytical pieces as needed to serve as background for the development of new programmatic initiatives on digital and urban/local governance;
  • Prepare talking points, issue briefs and communication pieces to convey the results of the GPB team’s work on digital/urban/local governance.


  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, communication and diplomatic skills;
  • Demonstrated cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Ability to work in a team;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback;
  • Ability to plan and produce quality results to meet established goals in a timely manner;

Required Skills and Experience

Applicants to the UNDP internship programme must at the time of application must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in a postgraduate degree programme (such as a master’s programme, or higher) (b) Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (such as bachelor’s degree or equivalent) (c) Have recently graduated with a university degree in digital governance/transformation, urban planning, data sciences, political sciences, international law/affairs, social sciences or relevant disciplines (as defined in (a) and (b) above) and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation;
  • Demonstrated strong interest and academic background in local and urban governance, digitalization and technology and their application/contributions to sustainable development, public sector reform, is a requirement;
  • Experience in writing analytical products, drafting and editorial work is an asset;
  • Prior research or programmatic experience in the ECIS region is an asset;
  • Written and spoken proficiency in English is a requirement; knowledge of Russian is an asset;
  • A desire to work with and gain the confidence and respect of people with different language, national and cultural backgrounds
  • Respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and the UNDP Statement of Purpose.
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