Host a UN Volunteer

Volunteers are as diverse as the projects they support. They originate from over 150 countries, range from 18 to over 70 years of age and represent over 100 different professional areas. UN Volunteers promote greater social inclusion of marginalized groups in development processes, and serve as catalysts for civic engagement, promote community level dialogue, and build confidence, trust and social cohesion within communities in peacebuilding contexts.

Volunteers represent a rich variety of languages, cultures and ethnicities. UN Volunteers serve in their home countries and abroad; on short and long-term assignments; directly after attaining their qualifications, mid-career or after retirement; and they contribute their services on-site and online.

International UN Volunteers are typically professionals with specialized knowledge. International UN Volunteers bring five to ten years of experience to their assignments. They come from all walks of life and a wide range of professions.

National UN Volunteers are nationals of the host country (or refugees and stateless persons with legal status in the country), normally recruited locally. Some assignments require national UN volunteers to have professional and technical skills and a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience. Others call for volunteers who can bring a strong community presence, local knowledge and networks.

UN Youth Volunteers are between the ages of 18-29 and may be engaged for national and international assignments of up to two years. UN Youth Volunteers have demonstrated their commitment to global peace and sustainable development through academic, extra-curricular and volunteer activities and/or around two years of remunerated work experience.

The UNV global talent pool contains an active roster of more than 25,000 vetted, well-qualified potential volunteers. A legal and administrative framework is established for engaging volunteers that includes conditions of service, guidance notes and the UNV code of conduct.

What are the steps to host UN volunteers?

In order to host an on-site UN Volunteer:

  1. Contact a UNV representative, ideally at the UNV Field Unit or Regional Office in the country where the UN Volunteer is expected to serve;
  2. Define your needs, draft the corresponding DOA (Description of Assignment, to be approved by UNV) and secure/confirm funding;
  3. Engage in the recruitment process by reviewing the profiles of 3-5 shortlisted candidates – including at least 1-2 women – who meet your requirements;
  4. Participate in interviewing shortlisted candidates, with the support/involvement of the UNV Field Unit;
  5. Select the most suitable candidate and inform the UNV Field Unit of your decision;
  6. Wait while UNV makes an offer to the candidate, concludes contractual arrangements, ensures medical and other clearances as appropriate and helps the UN Volunteer prepare for travel to the duty station;
  7. Prepare for the arrival of the UN Volunteer – this may include ensuring the availability of a work space; preparing induction and making supervisory or other arrangements that will enable the UN Volunteer to complete the assignment successfully.


The recruitment of a national or international UN Volunteer normally ranges from 4-12 weeks from approval of the Description of Assignment until arrival at the duty station.

Variations to the above process are possible and largely depend on the type of UNV assignment to be filled. International UN Volunteers, for example, are mainly recruited from UNV’s global talent pool, with profiles forwarded to you by UNV headquarters. Most DOAs for national UNV assignments are published locally with the shortlisting done by the UNV Field Unit.

The cost of a UN Volunteer assignment is funded by the entity hosting an on-site UN Volunteer. The cost varies depending on the volunteer modality selected.

UNV also has a limited number of UN Volunteer assignments that are fully funded by donors and allocated in close consultation with the Member State. Click here to view our section ‘Sponsor volunteers’.

What support does UNV provide to host organizations?

UNV offers valuable services and concrete support to host organizations, not the least of which is taking on the administrative tasks of recruitment and mobilization of volunteers. This includes:

  • helping identify appropriate volunteer assignments;
  • managing the selection process and choosing candidates of the highest caliber that meet the host’s requirements;
  • conducting the initial briefing of volunteers and preparing them for travel to their duty stations;
  • concluding the contractual arrangements with the volunteers;
  • ensuring medical and other clearances are in place;
  • training and monitoring UN Youth Volunteers; and
  • providing post-assignment career advice.
For more information to recruit UN Volunteers, please contact UNV Field Unit Indonesia.

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