The Institute has compiled a list of links for students and visitors interested in peacekeeping and humanitarian relief.
- Barbara F. Walter, “Most people think peacekeeping doesn’t work. They’re wrong”. World Bank, 2018. < http://blogs.worldbank.org/dev4peace/most-people-think-peacekeeping-doesn-t-work-they-re-wrong >.
- Alexandra Novosseloff, “UN Peacekeeping: Back to Basics Is Not Backwards”. Global Observatory, 2018. < https://theglobalobservatory.org/2018/04/peacekeeping-basics-is-not-backwards/ >.
- Håvard Hegre, Lisa Hultman, Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, “Peacekeeping Works: Evaluating the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations”. Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), 2017. < https://www.prio.org/Publications/Publication/?x=10806 >.
- Gustavo de Carvalho, Annette Leijenaar, “Political action is required to save peacekeepers’ lives”. Institute for Security Studies (ISS), 2018. < https://issafrica.org/iss-today/political-action-is-required-to-save-peacekeepers-lives >.
- Timo Smit, “Global and regional trends in multilateral peace operations, 2008–17”. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 2018. < https://www.sipri.org/commentary/topical-backgrounder/2018/global-and-regional-trends-multilateral-peace-operations-2008-17 >.
Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Relief Employment Opportunities
Students often ask about employment and volunteer opportunities in the general areas of humanitarian relief, peacekeeping, conflict resolution, and related fields. Since many, if not all, POTI students are interested in professional development and careers in these fields, we are pleased to share the names and links of organizations where such opportunities may be found. To be clear, the completion of POTI courses does not in any way ensure future employment. POTI Certificates of Completion are widely recognized as a demonstration of knowledge in a subject, and students are encouraged to list their POTI courses on job applications, including the official United Nations Personal History P11 form. The Institute provides training, but POTI is not part of the United Nations and does not serve as a career placement agency. The Institute does not accept applications for United Nations jobs.
Students should understand that employment opportunities always exist with the United Nations, but employment is not easy to obtain. There will be periods when new missions are being mounted, and there will be a need to recruit personnel. At other times there may be no new missions or some may be concluding, resulting in a surplus of available and experienced people to serve on missions. There are many individuals who wish to acquire such jobs, and the assignment of individuals to these jobs can have many unpredictable aspects. However, if you are willing to be patient and expand your job search to include both the United Nations as well as other organizations, there may be opportunities.
“During my online training with POTI, I got promoted to Assistant Protection Officer. The promotion came as a result of my participation in the online training and presenting the certificate awarded to the Human Resource Officer of the organization. Not only did I get promoted because of the online training from POTI, but the training from this Institution has imparted much on my peace building and protection working experience.”
—David Benjamin, South Sudan
Are you interested in preparing for a career in peacekeeping?
Interested students might also consider volunteering with the UN Volunteers (UNV) for deployment on a UN mission. This will be entry-level service. Get information on how to volunteer through UNV.
If you are willing to work for humanitarian organizations and other organizations, both in the US and worldwide, there is a long list of job opportunities at Idealist. Many of these jobs will be outside of what you might have originally considered, but we encourage interested students to look through it.
UNjobs is an excellent source of information about employment. This is a Swiss association that lists a wide range of jobs related to the United Nations. It is also possible through their website to sort by organization and duty station.
Another source for information about job opportunities at the UN is provided by United Nations Jobs.
Individuals who are interested in serving as uniformed military peacekeepers should enquire through their national ministry of defence. In almost all cases, a person must first be a member of the military of one of the nations that provides troops to peacekeeping missions before they are deployed as a UN peacekeeper. For a list of the nations that provide military personnel to serve as UN peacekeepers, follow this link.
Countries also provide police to UN missions. For these opportunities, applicants should enquire through their nation’s ministry of foreign affairs. For more on serving as a UN police, follow this link.
Please note, during the application process, interested students should keep in mind that some firms have access to UN employment opportunities, and they will assist an applicant for a fee. Be very cautious of such offers. These may be for-profit organizations that generate revenues from eager applicants. The UN itself will never charge an application fee.
United Nations peacekeeping missions exist in the world’s most troubled and war-torn regions. Military personnel, police, civilians, volunteers, and employees of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) work to bring peace and relief under difficult conditions. The reward for this work goes beyond financial compensation and can be found in our common goal as humans to help each other, to protect the vulnerable, to contribute to peace and stability, and to do our part to create a better world and a better future. Although there is a tendency to romanticize the idea of serving on peacekeeping or humanitarian relief missions, most of the days of a peacekeeper are spent doing hard work that can be mentally and physically draining and under conditions that can be dangerous. Employment opportunities with the United Nations itself are not easy to find, but we encourage you to be patient, persistent, not get discouraged, and remain flexible about serving with other relief organizations.
Where to Start
The Institute suggests you consider employment opportunities with NGOs working in fields related to peacekeeping and humanitarian relief.
The Peace Operations Training Institute salutes our students who train for such opportunities, and we wish them well in their honourable careers of service.
- For employment opportunities with CARE International
- For employment opportunities with the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
- For employment opportunities with Doctors Without Borders
- For employment with ChildFund International
- For information about employment with Oxfam International
The Institute Recommends the Following Career Resources
- For a current list of employment openings within the United Nations, including with UN Peacekeeping
- For an overall view of careers with the UN
- For information about volunteering with the UN
- For an explanation of the application process
- For an explanation of the application process (French version)
- For a list of employment opportunities available through the UN Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM)
- For information about internships
- Follow UNjobs on Twitter concerning job openings