Internship (MSP) : UNHRC

Internship (Macro Settlement Planning) at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Unit at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has published a circular for Internship.


Vacancy Notice No. VA/BGDCO/INTERN/2022/02

Title of PostIntern (Macro Settlement Planning)Category/gradeN/a
  Post Number  1  Type of contractInternship (Period is 3 months with possibility of extension)
LocationCox’s Bazar, BangladeshDate of Issue28 April 2022
The Effective Date of Assignment  As soon as possible  Closing Date  11 May 2022

Operational Context:

Following an outbreak of violence in Rakhine State in Myanmar on 25th August 2017, in excess of 650,000 Rohingya fled across the border into the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. This influx has more than tripled the existing registered Rohingya population of 212,500, making the total population being hosted in Bangladesh over 890,000, with new arrivals still ongoing.

The speed and scale of this influx exhausted the capacity of the two existing refugee camps and overwhelmed both local authorities and existing humanitarian actors present in the area. Arriving refugees settled in a spontaneous and haphazard manner and makeshift shelters mushroomed along roads and on any available land in the Ukhiya and Teknaf areas. The resulting situation and the severe congestion of the area is presenting severe risks and challenges in terms of access to services, protection, public health and physical safety, e.g., flooding, landslides, fire. Many shelters are of poor quality and constructed in a manner inappropriate to withstand natural hazards – in an area which is prone to cyclones and flooding. Improvements are needed to improve access to services, and assistance and enhance the protective environment of the site. The strategy implemented by the Government of Bangladesh has been the establishment of one so-called “megasite” which expands the official Kutupalong refugee camp and the Kutupalong and Balukhali makeshift settlements with additional allocated land. This policy makes the Kutupalong extension the world’s largest refugee camp in terms of population numbers, but geographically it covers a fraction of the area (approx. 12 km2) of other sizeable camps.

In the first four years after the influx much of the focus of humanitarian actors has been the implementation of mitigating measures to avert major disasters during the yearly monsoon and cyclone seasons. A medium- to long-term perspective needs to be maintained, given the assumption that the settlements in Ukhiya and Teknaf that are being managed by UNHCR & others together with their partners, will remain in existence for several years to come. In this context, it is extremely important that these settlements be improved in terms of overall settlement planning; location, delivery and management of basic services; living conditions including public space; and disaster risk reduction. At the same time, the needs of the host communities, particularly in areas where they are living in mixed settlements or in close proximity to the camps, must also be addressed. For any response to be sustainable, there is a need for buy-in and awareness of this from the local authorities such as the Urban Development Directorate and Cox’s Bazar Development Authority (UDD & CoxDA, respectively). The present political climate does not promise any swift buy-in to macro-planning from the Government, who’s focus is on the refugees’ return to Myanmar.


UNHCR continues to support larger scale aspect of the settlement spatial planning work in the operation. This includes a strong engagement within the Site Management Site Development Sector (where site planning currently resides), the Shelter/ NFI Sector and the Energy & Environment Technical Working Group, and specifically to convey an “urban perspective” and intersectoral strategies for the densely populated camps. This includes but not limited to the following key activities:

  • Support the development of the ongoing Macro-level settlement plan (MSP) and related Meso/Micro-level plans with UNHCR, in collaboration with IOM planners and SMSD Sector and with the relevant local authorities to ensure support and coordination to the activities within the settlements.
  • Assist with GIS mapping, site visits and data collection for the development of the MSP spatial strategy.
  • Support the development of sustainable camp decongestion and re-planning guidelines for shelter and site development partners, CiCs and RRRC;
  • Prepare information materials and presentations thorough review of relevant documents, drafting and commenting on documents, for MSP publications and documentation.
  • Support the organization of meetings, preparation of workshops and site visits as part of the engagement with the relevant local authorities, specifically the RRRC office with a view to providing specific support on spatial planning, resilience building and disaster risk reduction best practices, including the preparation of technical notes and presentations for such meetings and follow-up on activities.
  • Assist staff in coordination meetings with SMSD Sector, Shelter/NFI sector, E&ETWG, UNHCR Shelter and Settlement COP, among others.
  • Undertake desk research on the latest academic and policy pathways towards and best practices for sustainable spatial planning and produce written briefs and reports that feed into the team’s ongoing projects.

Minimum Qualifications: In order to be considered for an internship, candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Recent graduates (those persons who completed their studies within one year of applying) or current students in a graduate/undergraduate school programme from a university or higher education facility accredited by UNESCO; and have completed at least two years of undergraduate studies in a field relevant or of interest to the work of the Organization.
  • Preferred area of studies: Architecture, civil engineering, Urban planning or other similar and appropriate discipline with courses on physical planning construction management, infrastructure development or any other related subjects
  • Relevant professional working experience in the related field and in developing countries is an advantage.
  • Knowledge of UNHCR standards and including consideration of cross-sectorial issues related to protection, GBV, WASH, environment, HLP issues etc. is an advantage.
  • Experience in settlement planning in emergency contexts, and liaising with municipalities, government authorities and communities is an advantage.
  • Experience in planning across scales with a focus on participatory approaches is an advantage.
An individual whose father, mother, son, daughter, brother, or sister is a staff member of UNHCR, including a Temporary Appointment holder or a member of the Affiliate Workforce, is not eligible for an internship.

Language Requirements – Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

Core Competencies:

  • Accountability
  • Communication
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Teamwork & Collaboration
  • Commitment to Continuous Learning
  • Client & Result Orientation


Interns who do not receive financial support from an outside party will receive an allowance to partially help to cover the cost of food, local transportation, and living expenses.

Submission of Applications:

Interested candidates meeting the above requirements are requested to submit their applications online via UNHCR Bangladesh Job Portal https://bgdco.unhcr.org/Apps/jobportal/jobs. Candidates must comply with the below mandatory requirements. Non-compliance with any of the below points will immediately disqualify the candidacy of the applicant:

  • Submit fully updated, completed, and signed Personal History Form (PHF/P11) and Supplementary forms in PDF format. P11 (PHF) should always be in PDF format, and in UNHCR template. Any other formats will not be accepted
  • Submit your updated Fact Sheet with P-11 (applicable for internal applicants)
  • When applying, interested candidates must clearly indicate the Position Title, Position Number and Vacancy Notice number in their application.
Only Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for the Assessment Exercises for the recruitment of the position, which may include Written/Technical tests and/or Interviews, as applicable for the recruitment of the position.

UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing  or any other fees).

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted based on the information submitted during the application. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Recruitment as a UNHCR staff member and engagement under a UNHCR affiliate scheme or as an intern is subject to proof of full vaccination, independently of contract type and duration, unless the candidate is based in a location with documented lack of access to COVID-19 vaccines or as applicable.

UNHCR strongly encourages qualified female applicants for this position. UNHCR seeks to ensure that male and female employees are given equal career opportunities. UNHCR is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, and culture. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

UNHCR has a zero-tolerance policy against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA). SEA is unacceptable behaviour and prohibited conduct for UNHCR personnel. It constitutes acts of serious misconduct and is therefore grounds for disciplinary measures, including dismissal. Any concerns or suspicions about a possible case of SEA should be reported immediately to the Inspector General’s Office (IGO) at [email protected] or through the online complain form at https://www.unhcr.org/php/complaints.php or by confidential fax: +41 22 739 73 80.

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Job Source: UNHRC Job Circular at Bdjobs