United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme

What the Programme is the about

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the volunteer arm of the United Nations that was created by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1970 to serve as an operational partner in development cooperation at the request of UN member states. It is administered by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and works through its Country Offices around the world.

UNV programme supports sustainable human development globally through the promotion of volunteerism, including the mobilisation of volunteers. It serves the causes of peace and development through enhancing opportunities for participation by all peoples. Universal and inclusive, UNV embraces all types of volunteer action while holding to the values of free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity, which are the foundations of volunteerism. Volunteerism  brings benefits to both society at large and the individual volunteer. It makes important contributions, economically as well as socially. It contributes to more cohesive societies by building trust and reciprocity among citizens.

UNV programme is inspired by the conviction that volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and by the idea that everyone can contribute their time and energy towards peace and development. In conjunction with partners, UNV advocates for global recognition of volunteers and their contribution through volunteerism; integration of volunteerism into peace and development planning frameworks at global, regional and national levels, and; mobilisation of an increasing number and diversity of volunteers including qualified and experienced UN Volunteers. The enormous potential of volunteerism is an inspiration to UNV and to volunteers around the world of which it directly mobilises more than 7,700 UN Volunteers every year nationally and internationally, with 80 per cent coming from developing countries, and more than 30 per cent volunteering within their own countries.

UNV Programme in Uganda

The UNV programme in Uganda started in 1983 with the first volunteers deployed under the World Food Programme (WFP) relief projects in the North-Eastern part of the country. In 1986, the first UNV Programme Officer was recruited for better coordination of programme activities following the effort to assist the country, which had just emerged from a civil war, in its reconstruction and rehabilitation.  Since then, the programme has grown in leaps and bounds to a high of 78 UN Volunteers (in 2008) and currently at 41 a number which is made up of 19 internationals and 22 nationals, with the female accounting for 51% and the male 49%.  Recruitment of qualified and experienced professionals continues with the aim of raising the number of volunteer assignments in the country and showcase contribution of volunteerism in development and peace arena, by all peoples.

UNV programme continues to interest more Ugandan nationals, with more than 150 Ugandans serving as volunteers in various capacities at international level - in Africa, Asia, America & Caribbean Islands, Eastern Europe, and Pacific & Oceania continents.

UN Volunteers are provided with a Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) intended to cover basic needs, housing and utilities; a one-time Settling-in Grant (SiG) equivalent to one month VLA paid to UN Volunteers going to serve in areas different from the place of recruitment;  life, health and permanent disability insurance, and; a resettlement allowance paid at the end of satisfactory service.

UNV and the UN

In Uganda, UN Volunteers play a major role in peace and development arena both at national and community level. Over the years, UNV programme has been instrumental in implementation of United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs) including the current one, UNDAF (2010 - 2014) that is aligned to the Government of Uganda’s the National Development Plan (2009/10 – 2014/15) and PRDP (2008 – 2010). 

UNV programme continues to play key roles within UNDAF:

Outcome 1 – Building capacity of Selected Government Institutions and Civil Society for improved for good governance and realization of Human Rights that lead to reducing geographic, socio- economic and demographic disparities in attainment of Millennium Declaration and Goals by 2014;

Outcome 2 – Supporting vulnerable segments of the population to have increased access to sustainable livelihoods and in particular improved agricultural systems and employment opportunities to cope with the population dynamics, increasing economic disparities, economic impact of HIV/AIDS, environment shocks and recovery challenges, and;

Outcome 3 – Supporting vulnerable populations in Uganda, especially in the north, to have increased access to and use of sustainable and quality social services including social protection interventions, by 2014. The contributions of UNV programme are made through various UN Agencies - UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA, OHCHR, UN Women, UN Habitat, UNODC, and UN Resident Coordinator's Office that have engaged UN Volunteers to provide technical support in implementation of their respective Country Programme Action Plans (CPAPs).

Further, some of the UN Agencies have seconded UN Volunteers to provide direct support to government bodies such as the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM); Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MFPED); Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD); Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA); Ministry of Works and Transport (MWT); Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD); Ministry of Health (MoH); Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD), and; Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities (MTWA). At least one UN Volunteer is placed with a civil society organisation - World Wide Fund (WWF) for nature.

How to Volunteer

The UNV programme maintains a National Database of volunteers in various professional fields and encourages all those interested in volunteering to register.

  • Prospective candidates who meet the minimum requirements that include;
  • Be at least 25 years old and above,
  • Possess a first degree from a recognised University for consideration of a UN Volunteer position,  
  • Two (02) years of consistent and relevant working experience since University qualification,
  • Be of a good character and interpersonal skills, and;
  • Have good knowledge of computer technology.

Eligible persons can send up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV) only, in either MS Word or PDF to registry.ug@undp.org and indicate at least two areas of competence or interest that one can compete in, favourably for review and inclusion in the National Database. 

For possible consideration in international UNV assignments, interested persons should register in the UNV Roster through http://www.unv.org and click "How to Volunteer" and follow the instructions therein.

It should be noted that UNV assignments are demand-driven and available positions are very competitive and thus acceptance, or inclusion of one's CV in the National Database, or profile in the UNV Roster DOES NOT guarantee that one would be taken up.

For more information, one can visit http://www.unvuganda.org and, or http://www.unv.org.

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