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Would you like to contribute to your own country and work with others like yourself who have a desire to accelerate your nation’s development and promote peace? As a national UN Volunteer serving with a United Nations agency, you will make a positive impact on your homeland while working alongside people from around the world, including international volunteers and other United Nations professionals.

Why volunteer in your country with the UN

  • National UN Volunteers are invaluable assets to the work of the United Nations, particularly at the community level where they usher in greater ownership of programmes and projects.

  • Join us now and help your country move faster toward reaching the new Sustainable Development Goals.

  • As a national UN Volunteer, you will make a positive impact on your homeland while working with people from around the world, including international volunteers and United Nations staff.

  • Serving with a UN entity, you can share your knowledge of local languages and culture and bring an insider’s understanding of social and economic conditions.

What exactly does a national UN Volunteer do?

National UN Volunteers frequently wear many hats. The types of activities in which national UN Volunteers engage include:  

  • strengthening capacities of local communities so they can participate effectively in development activities and gain access to government services;

  • fostering social inclusion and empowerment of marginalized communities and persons;

  • encouraging national and local volunteer initiatives; and

  • promoting sustainability and local ownership of development and peacebuilding activities.

The beauty of this is that the volunteers themselves gain life-changing experiences and enrich their own skills and expertise.

Eligibility criteria

Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. UNV Field Units will ensure that advertisements and application forms are accessible to women and minority candidates (e.g. not only through the internet) and that oversight measures support inclusion of applicants from marginalized groups.

  • Nationality requirements: National UN Volunteers must be one of the following: 1) nationals of the programme country; 2) legally resident in the country or territory with the status of refugee, or 3) legally resident in the country with the status of statelessness.

  • Age limits: To ensure the required level of professional and personal competency, the minimum age of a national UN Volunteer has been set at 22 years of age, with the understanding that candidates must demonstrate the required education level, relevant professional experience and requisite maturity, character and strengths needed for UN Volunteer assignments.

  • Education and work requirements: A higher technical diploma, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is required for most assignments (credentials will be requested), however, community volunteers may only need a high school diploma. A minimum of two years’ relevant work experience is needed.

  • Language requirements: All national UN Volunteers should read and write and communicate effectively in one or more local languages and be able to communicate in the working language of the United Nations in the country.

  • Personal characteristics: UN Volunteers must demonstrate a strong commitment to the values and principles of volunteering, respect for diversity and a willingness to work in a multicultural environment. They must also be able to adjust to changing, and at times difficult, living and working conditions.

Categories of national UN Volunteers

National UN Volunteer assignments can be broadly categorized into four groups.

  • Specialist volunteers: assignments requiring professional technical skills and at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience.

  • Community volunteers: assignments that demand a strong community presence, local knowledge and networks; these UN Volunteers often live and work in their own communities and have at minimum a high-school diploma.

  • Youth volunteers: Youth volunteering is strongly encouraged by UNV and is part of its mandate. The UN Secretary-General in his Five Year Action Agenda (2012) called on UNV to establish a UN Youth Volunteer modality. UNV’s specific UN Youth Volunteer modality is guided by a separate policy.

  • Other volunteers: UNV welcomes experienced volunteers who may be receiving a United Nations pension or have other private means, and who are willing to forego the volunteer living allowance, but in all other respects would accept national UN volunteer terms.




" Lighting the candle of others won’t blow yours out " - Al