Internship Opportunity// PD Internship Program 2021 – Urban Program Intern

Emergency and Transition Unit (PRO-P) of the Programme Division, Rome, Italy:

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies, and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. We are currently seeking to fill for candidates to participate in the PD Summer Internship Programme 2021 in the Policy and Programme Department (PD).

The position will either be based in the Emergency and Transitions Unit (PRO-P) of the Programme Division, in Rome, Italy, or home-based, depending on the pandemic-caused restrictions. The internship will be for a period of at least 8 months starting in August 2021.

Brief description of the Beneficiary Services and Programme Support Team (BPSS):

Urbanization is an important global mega-trend of increasing relevance to WFP. Global urban populations now surpass rural and urban growth is projected to be highly concentrated in low- and middle-income countries across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. As populations urbanize, so does food insecurity. While WFP capacities and operational footprint in urban areas has significantly expanded over the past decade, the frequency and scale of crisis that significantly impact urban areas is increasing, including the global COVID-19 crisis, it is an operational and strategic imperative for WFP to strengthen and systematize its ability to contribute to achieving sustainable food security outcomes within urban environments.

Recognizing that addressing urban food security requires holistic and interconnected approaches, WFP has established a formal committee structure / architecture to bring Country Offices, Regional Bureaus and Head Quarter Units together to unite in the search for forward thinking, effective, innovative approaches that advance WFP engagement in the Urban Environment. A Steering Committee and three Outcome Groups have been identified including: Urban Strategy, Programme Guidance and Community of Practice. They are led by co-chairs from the Regional Bureaus and HQ units, and supported by an Urban Secretariat based in the Emergencies and Transitions team.

The Urban Programme Intern will work within a dedicated team to provide support to the urban workstream and assist in facilitating the work of the cross-functional outcome groups to achieve their goals and implement the priorities identified.  The intern will be supervised by a line manager to undertake necessary support towards effective, coordinated and collaborative working arrangements, building connectivity and consensus between and across WFP offices and functional areas, so that the emerging strategies and guidance are consistent, standardized and comparable across the urban context, and that same approaches are effectively disseminated and understood within the organization, specifically between HQ and field operations.

General Information:

  • Title of Post: PD Internship – Urban Programme
  • Supervisor: Senior Urban Programme Officer / Global urban workstream lead
  • Unit: Global Urban Workstream, PRO-P, PD
  • Country: Italy   
  • Duty Station: Rome
  • Duration of internship: 8 Months
  • Expected Start Date: October 2021

Duties and responsibilities:

Under the direct supervision of the Senior Urban Programme Officer/Global urban workstream lead, the candidate will perform the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Assist in the preparation of relevant reports, concept notes, and knowledge products to support the urban workstream;
  • Conduct data gathering, database management and data analysis to support the development of the urban strategy and urban programme guidance;
  • Assist in providing secretariat support to the steering committee and outcome group meetings, including setting up and documenting the meetings;
  • Assist in organizing conferences, forums, webinars or other collaborative events, including the documentation of these events;
  • Liaise with internal counterparts to ensure effective collaboration, monitor ongoing projects.
  • Support development and implementation of training and capacity building activities of the team;
  • Perform other tasks as required.

Qualifications and experience:

  • Currently enrolled within a graduate programme and have attended classes in the past 12 months, or a recent graduate from a graduate programme (within six months prior to the application to the internship programme).
  • Relevant discipline on food security, urban planning, development studies, humanitarian issues, or other related fields is an advantage.
  • Demonstrated experience in research and drafting of documents
  • Proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook) and other software/ online platforms needed to implement the duties and responsibilities
  • Proficiency in developing and managing databases and analysing and presenting various forms of data

Required soft skills/WFP Competencies:

  • Ability to work on short timelines, under pressure, and managing multiple priorities simultaneously with minimum supervision
  • Initiative, enthusiasm, creativity, and flexibility with excellent interpersonal skills and team spirit.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs;

Working Languages:

Working knowledge of English (proficiency/level C) is required. Working knowledge of a second UN language (Spanish, French and Arabic) would be an asset.


Under the direct supervision of the Senior Urban Programme Officer/Global urban workstream lead, the incumbent will be provided with close mentoring, guidance and technical supervision. Performance planning and reviews as well as learning and development discussions will be elemental part of the supervision. With the support of a comprehensive induction package and assignment of a buddy/mentor, the intern will rapidly become a productive member of the team.

Training Components:

Throughout their assignment, WFP interns have access to an industry leading learning platform, WeLearn. Depending on opportunities and availability of funds, he/she may participate in WFP workshops or seminars, as appropriate.

Learning Elements:

At the end of the assignment, the Intern should:

  • Have knowledge of urban programming for food security and nutrition, across different operational contexts/setups
  • Have a broad understanding of strategy development, programme guidance development and establishing and maintaining a community of practice in the context of food security and nutrition
  • Have gained international experience working within in the world’s largest humanitarian organisation
  • Have understood at first hand the work of WFP and gain working experience of WFP’s operation.
  • Have developed databases and knowledge products

Information on the Country of Assignment:

  • Living conditions in Rome, Italy

The security situation in Italy remains in line with other European Countries. There are no specific threats against the UN in Italy. Considering the ongoing defeat of Daesh in the war territories, the trend in the short and mid-term will most likely continue to see the return of the militants to the countries of origins, including Italy. Insurrectional anarchism remains sufficiently organized on the Italian territory, as it has been present for many years. This movement could target the UN in the context of its anti-capitalism/anti-western narrative. 2) Whilst UN staff continue to be victims of minor crime such as street robbery and apartment break-ins, the infrequency of attacks and random nature of locations do not indicate that UN staff are at an elevated risk in comparison to residents or tourists in Italy. 3) Italy’s national territory is exposed to a broader range of natural hazards than any other European country. The vulnerability of its population and built environment is often severe and has in some cases been exacerbated by human activities. 

VA Reference no: 144303

Closing Date: 19 September 2021

Please note that the deadline is at 11:59 pm Rome time (GMT + 1)

Click here to apply.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Interns receive a monthly stipend from WFP up to the maximum amount of US$1000 per month depending on the duty station of assignment.
  • WFP is not responsible for living expenses, arrangements for accommodation, necessary visas and related costs.
  • WFP will reimburse travel ticket for candidates who are nationals of developing countries and are pursuing their studies in their home country.
  • WFP will recognize candidates’ educational credentials from recognized institutions that have been certified by competent international or national authorities such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) or Ministries of Education.
  • Candidates who bear any of the following relations to WFP staff members are not eligible to apply: sons, daughters, brothers or sisters.

Female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply.  WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

Fighting Hunger Worldwide

Originally posted.