Apply for the Youth UNESCO Climate Action Network (YOU-CAN)

Parent Sectors: Social and Human Sciences (SHS) and Natural Sciences (SC)

Duty station: Paris Headquarters or where a UNESCO Office is present (including teleworking)

Duration: 6 months, 20 September 2021 – 20 March 2022

Application deadline (Midnight Paris Time): 31 August 2021


Youth worldwide are playing an increasingly important role in designing, co-producing knowledge, providing solutions and raising awareness for climate action. Youth and young scientists are more outspoken now about climate change than before. Currently, there is a number of emerging youth climate movements including young scientists, educators, innovators and knowledge holders advocating for and sharing experiences about climate change challenges. However, in order to better harness and channel the dynamism and future-oriented outlook and sense of responsibility of young people to address global climate change, there is a need to create synergies among existing and future youth networks.

UNESCO is well positioned for this purpose and, in-line with the UNESCO Strategy for Action on Climate Change, UNESCO supports youth-led climate action to reach its full potential and impact by building on existing youth-related climate action in areas such as Water Security, Science Technology and Innovation, Man and the Biosphere and Biodiversity among others. Therefore, UNESCO facilitates the mobilization and advocacy of youth networks related to climate change through the establishment of the Youth UNESCO Climate Action Network (YoU-CAN), launched at COP25, in Madrid, in December 2019.

In keeping with the motto ‘Changing Minds, Not the Climate’, adopted under the UNESCO Strategy for Action on Climate Change, UNESCO mobilizes and engages with youth and youth groups concerned about climate change for the establishment of the Network. UNESCO aims to ensure that young people are more than beneficiaries of its programmes. Therefore, YoU-CAN has the vocation of being a youth-led network, with UNESCO facilitating youth ownership and leadership of its processes and outcomes.

YoU-CAN’s main aim is to contribute to building a world where young people are conscious of their common future and interaction with our planet, and take an active part in building thriving, fair and sustainable societies by contributing towards the aim of the UNFCCC Paris Agreement to significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.

In establishing YoU-CAN, a mapping of existing youth and climate networks across the world was conducted to create a database that presently contains 681 networks, among which about a third are already connected with UNESCO. A selection process was then conducted to establish a 15-member Ad-Hoc Steering Group (AHSG). Accompanied by the UNESCO Secretariat, the role of the AHSG is to advance the operationalization of YoU-CAN until it is formally replaced by a different, youth-elected body, to run the Network.

Proposed Tasks

As follow up to the decision of the UNESCO Strategic Transformation process and within the framework of the UNESCO Strategy for Action on Climate Change and the UNESCO Operational Strategy on Youth 2014-2021, the intern, under the overall authority of the Climate Change Task Team and the UNESCO Youth Programme (SHS/YSS), shall perform the following tasks:

  1. Support the work of YoU-CAN’s Ad-Hoc Steering Group, and any other governing structure of YoU-CAN that comes after it.
  2. Update the mapping and database of existing youth and climate networks as needed, particularly with those working with UNESCO.
  3. Map youth-relevant and climate-related UNESCO activities and publications in which the AHSG or YoU-CAN could participate or contribute to.
  4. Provide content for and support the YoU-CAN webpage.
  5. Assist with the mobilization of young people and youth groups to support the operationalization and establishment of YoU-CAN through social media platforms.
  6. Assist with the monitoring and reporting of activities in with the AHSG or YoU-CAN may be involved.
  7. Manage the YoU-CAN mailbox during/until the operationalization of YoU-CAN.
  8. Draft relevant presentation documents, materials and reports as needed.
  9. Support, when needed, fundraising for the Network.
  10. Contribute to other youth and climate activities as may be required.

About the candidate

Required qualifications

Selection will be made on a competitive basis. Applicants must meet the following academic requirements at the time of application:

  • Completed university studies in social and human sciences or natural sciences (bachelor’s degree or equivalent) at a university or equivalent institution prior to commencing the assignment;
    • Enrolled in a graduate programme (second university degree or Master’s degree or equivalent, or higher), at the time of application; or

Have graduated with a university degree (first or second degree as defined above), and must start the internship within one-year of graduation.

In addition, candidate should:

  • Be aged between 20 and 24.
    • Demonstrated knowledge, interest or action in issues related to the environment and/or climate change
    • Excellent command, both written and spoken, of English. English native speaker would be an asset. Good knowledge of French is desirable.
    • Demonstrated interest in UNESCO’s or the UN’s mandate.

Desirable qualifications

  • Interest in youth engagement with some experience of either engaging youth or being engaged as a youth in a social change project or initiative.
    • Experience in conducting research
    • Good knowledge of computer systems and office-related software, desirably in creating and/or managing a database
    • Able to work well in a team and adapt to an international working environment
    • Good interpersonal and communication skills, desirably in coordinating a group of people.

Core competencies

  • Accountability
    • Communication
    • Innovation
    • Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement
  • Planning and organizing
    • Results focus
    • Teamwork

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.

How to apply / Selection process

To apply for this opportunity, send your CV and letter of motivation to YoU-CAN at you citing as subject: “Call for intern, YoU-CAN”, by 31 August 2021, midnight (CET– Paris time).

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria above and will include a competency-based interview.

UNESCO   uses    communication technologies    such    as    video    or    teleconference,    e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only pre-selected candidates will be further contacted.

Visit Youth UNESCO Climate Action Network (YOU-CAN) Website


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