Externship — Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Project

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Hamilton, Canada
    UTC -4

    United Nations University

    For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

    United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)

    The UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health (http://inweh.unu.edu/) is a member of the UNU family of organisations. Its vision is a world free of water problems where sustainable human development and environmental health and security are assured for all. Its mission is to help resolve pressing water challenges that are of concern to the United Nations, its Member States, and their people. UNU-INWEH pursues its mission through critical analysis and synthesis of existing bodies of scientific discovery, targeted research that identifies emerging policy issues, application of on-the-ground scalable science-based solutions to water issues, and global outreach. UNU-INWEH is the only entirely water-focused institute within the UNU System, and the only entirely water-related UN entity in Canada. UNU-INWEH is supported by the Government of Canada and hosted by McMaster University.

    UNU-INWEH works on four broadly defined, interconnected thematic areas:

    i) accelerating the implementation of water-related SDGs

    ii) activating a technology revolution for water security in the Global South

    iii) advancing gender equality for effective water management

    iv) managing water- and climate-related risks for improved water security

    The institute focuses primarily on global water issues and their implications for developing countries. More information can be found here: UNU-INWEH-Strategic-Plan


    Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) by 2030 is expected to allow countries to reach an important milestone in their journey towards sustainability. Yet evidence on SDG 6 for policy and decision makers to make this happen is still missing in several countries as the urgency for actions is set to grow in the next years. In this context, UNU-INWEH and partners developed the SDG 6 Policy Support System (SDG-PSS), a tool to address the challenges of producing evidence on the enabling environment of SDG 6 to inform policy and decision makers and support systematic actions on the achievement of SDG 6.

    At UNU-INWEH, we intend to advance the understanding of the enabling environment of SDG 6 through the SDG-PSS policy critical components by developing a review of literature and analysis of data provided by countries currently using the tool. The synthesis of literature and data will contribute to a publication on this topic.

    We are looking for an extern who can work remotely to assist in the review of literature and data collection and analysis.


    Responsibilities of the position include:

    • perform a review of literature on the enabling environment of SDG 6 and produce an assessment of challenges in achieving SDG 6
    • systematise and analyse data provided by countries on the achievement of SDG 6
    • prepare a synthesis of literature and data analysis to contribute to a publication on the enabling environment of SDG 6
    • undertake additional tasks as assigned by the supervisor

    Qualifications and requirements

    Eligibility requirements are available here.

    Qualifications and requirements include:

    • a bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree in an area relevant to UNU-INWEH’s field of work
    • familiarity in undertaking research and literature reviews
    • excellent computer skills, particularly use of Word and Excel
    • ability to prioritse work and multitask, focus on delivery, self-motivation
    • ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
    • fluency in oral and written English; knowledge of French and/or Spanish languages is an advantage

    Expected products

    Expected outputs include:

    • synthesis of literature review and data analysis on the enabling environment of SDG 6 to contribute to a publication on this topic
    • an externship report submitted to UNU-INWEH, as per requirement of UNU-INWEH externship programme

    UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organisation.

    UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.

    Duration and start date

    The duration of externship is between 3 and 4 months with an expected start date of 1 October 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

    In case of substantial time difference between extern’s location and UNU-INWEH’s location (Hamilton, Canada), the extern and supervisor will discuss and agree on a daily schedule for the extern to ensure consistent support to extern from the supervisor.

  • Interested applicants should apply before 21 September 2020 by e-mail in the form of an Adobe Acrobat PDF file to intern.at.inweh@unu.edu, following the application procedure available under application form.

    Applications must include the following an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2020/UNU/INWEH/EXTERN/SDG/69).

    Only short-listed candidates will be notified. Applications that do not include all the requested information will not be considered.