The United Nations is a huge intergovernmental organization with multiple branches and goals. Within the body, there are organizations targeting specific issues across the world, like industrial development, refugee settlement, and more. Working for one of these orgs lets you make a difference and receive support from the UN. Many of these opportunities can be found in Uganda, one of the world’s poorer countries often racked by political upheaval and economic strife. Here is a list of UN organizations with a presence in Uganda:
With a Ugandan base in the city of Kapala, UNIDO works to reduce poverty, improve environmental sustainability, and more. They are specifically focused on the 17 Sustainable Development goals, an agenda adopted by the United Nations in 2015. Jobs with UNIDO include work as a consultant and a Junior Professional Officer, which lets young graduates gain valuable experience. Since it is a program offered by donor countries, you would have to be from Uganda to serve as a JPO there. UNIDO will also periodically put out local requests for staff on short-term or temporary assignments.
UNESCO is dedicated to pursuing and preserving justice and human rights through education, science, and culture in all the countries it serves. In Uganda, the office is found in Kampala. It has a very small staff of only nine people, with three on short-term contracts, so that is likely where you would find an opportunity. The office also sometimes takes on graduate interns for six months at a time. Like all UNESCO offices, they are focused on five subjects: education, social and human sciences, natural sciences, culture, and communication and information. Projects include promoting free press, literacy, teacher training, and more.
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UNHCR has a couple of offices in Uganda, including Kampala. On their website on Uganda, UNHCR draws attention to Uganda’s history of hosting refugees, including those from the DRC and South Sudan. This makes UNHCR presence in Uganda all the more needed. UNHCR works on legal protection, public affairs, healthcare and more. Job applicants looking to work internationally should have at least an undergrad degree from an UNESCO-accredited institution and relevant work experience and skills.
According to their main site, UNAIDS’ goal is to “end AIDS as public health threat by 2030.” Their database, which includes the most up-to-date data on HIV epidemiology, finances, and more, represents the most extensive collection in the world. Jobs with UNAIDS, which has a presence in Uganda, include finance officer, community support adviser, and more. You can learn more about the state of AIDS in Uganda on the country’s page. Any job vacancies can be found on the website.
This specialized UN org has been in Uganda since 1982. Its task is to help the Ugandan government carry through the Second National Development Plan and become a middle-income country by 2020. Programs sponsored by UNCDF in Uganda include CleanStart, which helps financial service providers and energy enterprises with risk capital and tech, and DINU, which focuses on Northern Uganda and its concerns with poverty and nutrition. All job applications should go through the main UNCDF website; as of the writing of this article, there are no current vacancies in Uganda.
Since its foundation in 1945, the FAO has monitored global supplies of food, helped developing countries adopt modern agricultural methods, and more. Its presence in Uganda can be traced back to 1959, though the first office didn’t open in the country until 1981. According to the country entry on the FAO website, recent work in Uganda has begun to focus more on the effects of climate change. The staff is currently comprised of less than 100 people. You can look for job vacancies on this same country page.
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