Project Management Intern (Innovation Scaling) – UNOPS

Project Management Intern (Innovation Scaling) - UNOPS

Project Management Intern (Innovation Scaling)

Job categories: Project Management

Vacancy code: VA/2023/B5011/26175

Department/office: NYPO, SDC, UN Technology Support Services

Duty station: Helsinki, Finland

Contract type: Intern

Contract level: Intern

Duration: 6 months

Application period: 13-Jun-2023 to 28-Jun-2023

Background Information

UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations. 

The New York Portfolios Office (NYPO) supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and procurement management.

The  Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their Peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. It was formed by combining the following portfolios: Grants Management Services (GMS), UN Technology Support Services (UNTSS), Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio (DSIP) It provides Services to partners’ programmes that are designed, structured, and managed with a global perspective and primarily serving partners that are headquartered in New York. The SDC has a footprint of approximately 125 countries. 

UNOPS has signed an agreement with the United Nations to implement the project activities for UN Global Pulse

UN Global Pulse 

UN Global Pulse is the Secretary General’s Innovation Lab. We work at the intersection of innovation and the human sciences to inform, inspire, and strengthen the ability of the United Nations family and those it serves to anticipate, respond and adapt to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Our teams are spread across the world, with hubs in Uganda, Indonesia, Finland and the United States. Drawing on more than a decade of experience with digital innovation in the UN family, UN Global Pulse unites specialists from the digital and social sciences in search of solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, from conflict to climate change.

We aim to reduce the risks that innovation involves and move towards the opportunities. We restore public trust in technology by making it inclusive, accessible and ethical. Our input brings value to the work of the UN and external partners in protecting the vulnerable and defending human rights.

The goals of the UN Global Pulse Network are: i) Support efforts to advance innovations ii) Contribute to the development of global frameworks, and iii) Support the transformation of the UN family. 

The incumbent of this position will be personnel of UNOPS under its full responsibility.

 Functional Responsibilities

To achieve its goals, UN Global Pulse is looking for a Project Management Intern (Innovation Scaling). The Innovation Scaling team in UN Global Pulse Finland was initiated to support the Executive Office of the Secretary-General in responding to the Quintet of Change outlined in the Secretary-General’s report on Our Common Agenda (OCA) for a ‘next-generation UN’. Initial priority was given to evolving the UN Global Pulse network’s mainly experimentation portfolio towards one with 1.) Needs-driven and clearly outlined experiments which are scalable by UN partners, and 2.) Tested innovations with clear scaling pathways to be sustained within the UN System by partners for sustainable impact and systemic change beyond mandate silos.

The Innovation Scaling team now has an expanded focus on providing support to the UN System to leverage innovation for improved delivery on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and OCA priorities. The team recently concluded a scoping exercise of innovation scaling practices within the UN system, which identified several challenges in bringing innovations to scale for impact. The recently launched research report summarized these findings and made recommendations to deepen current good innovation scaling practices, broaden scale support for UN agencies and to expand innovation capabilities. Acting on these evidence-based findings, the Innovation Scaling team has commenced a series of activities in a work portfolio aimed at supporting UN agencies in strengthening innovation capabilities especially in relation to scaling of innovations.

Under the direct supervision of the Senior Analyst (Innovation Scaling), the selected candidate will work with the team and other technical experts to support tasks necessary for the successful delivery of the Innovation Scaling team’s support to the UN System. The intern will execute the following duties: 

  • Support desk reviews of related topics to synthesize up-to-date information of innovation best practices or opportunities from within the UN System and beyond, with an emphasis on innovation scaling, to ensure the team’s priority areas remain evidence-based and needs driven.
  • Support the preparation and delivery of the team’s service offer for the UN System such as workshops for scale baselining and any other innovation capability building efforts.
  • Assist the development of monitoring, evaluation and learning approaches in consultation with other in-house technical analysts to track key milestones of the team’s activities.
  • Assist the analysis and visualization of monitoring, evaluation and learning outcomes to contribute to continuous improvement of the team’s activities and reporting requirements.
  • Support the development of materials that contribute to the effective communication and strategic visibility of the team’s work internally and externally to the UN System.
  • Perform any other duties as may be reasonably required and in line with the incumbent’s scope of services above, such as participating in meetings and drafting minutes or summaries.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Applicants must be enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree or be pursuing an advanced university degree, such as a Masters or a Ph.D., or be a recent graduate from such studies (within the last 3 years) 
  • To be eligible for this particular internship, the candidate must preferably have studied or be studying towards a university degree in: innovation management, administrative studies, international relations, global development studies, social sciences or another related discipline.


  • Experience in conducting comprehensive desk reviews is an asset.
  • Experience with monitoring, evaluation and learning processes is an asset.
  • Strong interest in innovation scaling and the role of innovation within a development and/ or humanitarian context is desirable.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills is an asset.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills is an asset.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively with a team is desirable.


  • Fluency in English (write, read, speak) is required.
  • Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an asset.

Other Requirements:

  • While no professional experience is required for an internship, experience in collating and synthesizing evidence-based knowledge is an asset.


Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type: Internship
Contract level: N/A
Contract duration: 6 months

This internship is not designed to lead to a staff position with UNOPS. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of the internship.

Interns may be eligible for a monthly stipend  from UNOPS provided that they do not receive funds from other institutions. Further, UNOPS may provide a one time travel lumpsum of 500 USD. However, they must make their own arrangements for accommodation, travel and necessary visa arrangements.

 Additional Information

  • Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes.
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.
  • UNOPS embraces diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity. Our workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures,  languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. 
  • Qualified women and candidates from groups which are underrepresented in the UNOPS workforce are encouraged to apply. These include in particular candidates from racialized and/or indigenous groups, members of minority gender identities and sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.
  • We would like to ensure all candidates perform at their best during the assessment process.  If you are shortlisted and require additional assistance to complete any assessment, including reasonable accommodation, please inform our human resources team when you receive an invitation.

Terms and Conditions 

For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post. 

For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (they take around 4 hours to complete) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS. For more information on a retainer contract here.

All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter and UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential personnel. Recruitment in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

FIND OUT MORE AND APPLY: Project Management Intern (Innovation Scaling) – UNOPS



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