The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and it benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing volunteers.
In most cultures volunteerism is deeply embedded in long-established, ancient traditions of sharing and support within the communities. In this context, UN Volunteers take part in various forms of volunteerism and play a role in development and peace together with co-workers, host agencies and local communities.
In all assignments, UN Volunteers promote volunteerism through their action and conduct. Engaging in volunteer activity can effectively and positively enrich their understanding of local and social realities, as well as create a bridge between themselves and the people in their host community. This will make the time they spend as UN Volunteers even more rewarding and productive.
The United Nations General Assembly defines volunteerism as an activity undertaken out of free will, for the general public good, and where monetary reward is not the principal motivating factor. It is expressed through a wide range of activities, including traditional forms of mutual aid and self-help, formal service delivery, campaigning and advocacy, as well as other forms of civic participation. Volunteering represents an important form and manifestation of youth participation across the globe. It is increasingly recognized that young people’s approaches to participation are changing and becoming more diverse, especially as a result of globalization processes. According to the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2011, “healthy societies need young people who are involved with their communities. Volunteer action can be a highly effective route towards such involvement.”
A growing body of research and studies, including the UNV’s own lessons learned, points to the benefits volunteerism accrues to a youth’s own development and to societies at large.
- Firstly, volunteerism can support young people to become active leaders and citizens and serves as an important tool for engagement in society.
- Secondly, youth volunteerism strengthens the bond between young people and their communities.
- And finally, volunteerism helps young people improve their employment prospects through practical experiences which enhance both hard and soft job-related skills.
In India, the origin and development of volunteerism has been shaped by its indigenous traditions and value systems rooted in the religion and cultural interactions with incoming cultures throughout its history. The National Youth Policy (NYP) -2014 aims to “empower youth of the country to achieve their full potential and through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations.” The NYP-2014 proposes to initiate affirmative and positive action to ensure that national values are regularly fostered in all young people, especially among members of the large youth volunteer force working under the aegis of leading youth development agencies of the country. As such the policy proposes to engage with Youth clubs and the large volunteer force available within youth development agencies to play a pivotal role in developing appropriate initiatives for young people.
Taking cognisance of the the National Youth Policy (2014), the UNV Global Youth Volunteer Programme and UN Youth Volunteering Strategy, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MoYAS) and UNV/UNDP have been implementing the project “Strengthening Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and National Service Scheme (NSS)”. The project seeks to provide catalytic support to the Youth Volunteer Schemes of MoYAS to facilitate youth participation and voice in peace and sustainable development programmes, towards realization of their full social, economic and human potential. The project also seeks to help young people to gain a strong sense of civic engagement to bring about positive transformation in their communities.
To support implementation of the project “Strengthening NYKS and NSS” and achieve the above objectives, UNV- District Youth Coordinators (UNV DYCs) are placed in 58 districts across 27 states of India.
 State of World Volunteerism report 2011
New Delhi and the surrounding National Capital Region is a large and bustling metropolis of some 14 million people undergoing rapid changes. The capital city is an administrative, cultural and commercial center with modern amenities and well connected by air. It is a safe place with large expatriate community drawn from embassies, UN agencies, MNCs and foreign businesses. It has short moderate winter and long hot summer.
Conditions of Service
A 12 month contract, with subsequent contract extensions subject to availability of funding, operational necessity and satisfactory performance. However, there is no expectation of renewal of the assignment.
Travel to duty station (if applicable) and a Settling-In-Grant will be provided in the event duty station is not within commuting distance from the place of recruitment. A Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) of Rs. 42,473.67 (Rupees Forty Two Thousand Four Hundered Seventy Three and Paise Sixty Seven only) is provided monthly to cover housing, utilities and normal cost of living expenses. Life, health and permanent disability insurance are included (health insurance for up to 3 dependents), as well as final repatriation (if applicable) and resettlement allowance for satisfactory service.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of National Project Director, Programme Analyst/Head of UNV and National Project Manager the NUNV-Communications Associates will perform the following functions:
Online Volunteer Platform and Digital Media Management
- Provide day to day support to manage India Online Volunteering Platform;
- Provide support to manage and update the social media accounts of UNV Field Unit in India;
- Monitor social media accounts for content including twitter and facebook;
- Assist in running social media campaigns on thematic areas from time to time under the project on Strengthening NYKS and NSS on social media channels such as Facebook , Twitter etc.
- Support in live twitter chats and live tweeting during important events organized by UNV;
- Monitor data, trends and activity for social media accounts of UNV Field Unit in India.
Support Website Management
- Identify, source and write new web content for the project on Strengthening NYKS and NSS and UNV Field Unit in India;
- Support the creation of digital content like videos and photo essays for website and other digital platforms including Flickr;
- Prepare periodic e-mailers about new content to share with UNV-District Youth Coordinators;
- Support in publishing of e-newslettersof the project on Strengthening NYKS and NSS.
Support development of high-quality communications products
- Write, edit and proof-read communication products such as web-stories, photo blogs, brochures, reports, e-newsletters, articles etc.;
- Develop content and support in design of knowledge products such as project factsheets, flyers, Good practices/impact stories and other such publications;
- Support the Project Team and District Youth coordinators in identifying and documenting best practices from field;
- Track and disseminate communications materials as and when required.
Media Outreach Support
- Support media outreach by updating media databases on a regular basis;
- Support planning and executing events of media events by issuing invites, following up with journalists, preparing media kits;
- Support in preparing press release.
Support event management
- Support high-profile events hosted by the UNV;
- Support in procurement of communication services and materials and management of vendors;
- Support logistics related to events and press conferences;
- Update contact lists and mailing lists;
- Carry out other administrative tasks as required.
Furthermore, UN Volunteers are required to:
- Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark IVD);
- Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;
- Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities;
- Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;
- Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers;
- Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.
Improved digital outreach and sharing, high quality information material and well-organized public events leading to enhanced UN Volunteers position as a strong development partner.
- Integrity and professionalism: demonstrated expertise in area of specialty and ability to apply good judgment; high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures in a politically sensitive environment, while exercising discretion, impartiality and neutrality; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented.
- Accountability: mature and responsible; ability to operate in compliance with organizational rules and regulations.
- Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment.
- Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities.
- Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity and gender;
- Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse backgrounds; ability to maintain composure and remain helpful towards the staff, but objective, without showing personal interest; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups;
- Flexibility, adaptability, and ability and willingness to operate independently in austere, remote and potentially hazardous environments for protracted periods, involving physical hardship and little comfort, and including possible extensive travel within the area of operations; willingness to transfer to other duty stations within area of operations as may be necessary;
- Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; and commitment towards the UN core values.
Required Skills and Experience
- Graduate Degree from a recognized University in Communications, Journalism, social sciences or behavioral sciences.
- At least 2 years of relevant experience in communications/public relations/publishing/editing.
- Excellent writing and editing skills, including writing for digital media
- Experience in the use of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) as well as other specialized software (Adobe Editor, photo and video editing software, Flickr, Word Press).
- Experience in the use of social media for advocacy
- Excellent verbal and written skills in English. Knowledge of Hindi would be an asset.