UNHCR’s young professionals programs offers two opportunities for international development professionals to gain hands-on, meaningful experience with UNHCR and develop their skills. The Junior Professional Officer (JPO) programme has specific vacancies that eligible candidates can apply to, as they are available. In particular, UNHCR is looking for professionals with expertise in law, public administration, and social sciences. JPOs are sponsored by their home countries, and the assignments last 2-3 years. Most JPOs continue on in full-time, regular work at UNHCR following the end of their assignment. The Entry-Level Humanitarian Professional Programme (EHP) is a cohort program meant to train and develop professionals interested in humanitarian work. Participants are brought in at the P2 level and deployed into field positions. The program seeks to identify and develop future leaders in UNHCR’s work and support them in gaining new skills and honing existing skills.
Applicants for JPO positions must be between 25 and 35 years old and a citizen of their donor country (with the exception of the Netherlands, who sponsors candidates from various developing countries). While other eligibility requirements may exist for individual positions, applicants must generally have a Bachelor’s degree and four or more years of work experience or a Master’s degree and two to four years of work experience in a relevant field. Fluency in English is required, and working knowledge of an additional UN language is recommended. Candidates must also demonstrate interest in the UN and humanitarian issues and be willing to live and serve in hardship locations.
Applicants for the EHP cohort must be 45 years or younger and eligible for work at the P2 level, including at least a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 2 years of relevant work experience. Other general requirements apply, including fluency in English and a recommended working knowledge of another UN language.
The OFID Young Professional Development Program (YPDP) is a 2-3 year program that is structured to equip young professionals with skills and knowledge to prepare them for OFID entry level positions. Participants spend about half the program in their home department and gain hands-on experience with OFID’s projects and operations. They also receive coaching and various training/professional development opportunities. Participants are offered compensation and benefits, including housing allowance, relocation grant, medical benefits, children’s education subsidy, various insurances, and retirement benefits.
In order to apply, interested applicants must be a citizen of an OFID member country, 28 years of age or younger, and fluent in English. Applicants must also have at least a Master’s degree, specialization in a relevant field, and the ability to work in globally/culturally diverse institutions and environments. They must have a GPA of 3.0 or above and a willingness to serve with OFID for at least two years after completion of the program. Proficiency in another language is strongly recommended.
The Alfa Fellowship Program is designed to help emerging leaders in international development and global policy gain first-hand experience in business, policy, and culture in Russia and the surrounding region. The program lasts for a year and is divided into various training and professional opportunities. Participants gain Russian-language skills in their home countries and then have orientation in Washington, DC. Once in Russia, they gain additional language training and then participate in seminars and lectures related to politics, social/cultural affairs, economics, and more. Participants then take regional trips within Russia and surrounding countries to meet with various officials, businesses, and organizations and to see sites of historical and cultural significance. From October to April, fellows gain professional experience working with an organization or company in the fields of business, economics, journalism, law, policy, or other related field. The final step is an exit interview and final evaluation.
Applicants for the Alfa Fellowship Program are typically between the ages of 25 and 35 with at least a Master’s degree and 2 or more years of additional professional experience in a relevant field. Those with a Bachelor’s degree only must have 5 to 6 years of professional experience. They must be citizens of the US, the UK, or Germany. Excellent professional and academic qualifications are desired, as is some working knowledge of Russian language, although this is not required. Leadership potential and active community involvement are also preferred for fellowship candidates.
Peace Corps volunteers work in a variety of development sectors in developing countries across the world. Volunteers work in agriculture, education, health, community economic development, environment, and youth development. Volunteer opportunities typically last 2 years with opportunities to extend in some cases. Peace Corps volunteers are given a living stipend, medical benefits, and vacation time, in addition to other benefits. The program is designed to give hands-on experience to individuals interested in international development work with leadership experience and/or potential. Peace Corps also offers short-term, high-impact opportunities for experienced professionals and former volunteers. They also have a 1-year Global Health Service Partnership for doctors and nurses with active US licenses.
Eligibility requirements include US citizenship, a minimum of 18 years of age (no maximum age), and a commitment to global development and helping others. Peace Corps does have some medical restrictions which vary based on health conditions and country of assignment. Applicants apply for the program they are interested in and then can choose country preferences and skill areas, which may or may not be taken into consideration.