World Food Programme: PD Internship Programme 2021 – Digitisation (Johannesburg)

PD Internship Programme 2021 – Digitisation in the Southern Africa region

Digitisation, Regional Bureau Southern Africa (RBJ), Programme Unit, Social Protection and Cash-based Transfers Team, Johannesburg, South Africa

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. We are currently seeking to fill for candidates to participate in the PD Summer Internship Programme 2021 in the Policy and Programme Development Department (PD).

The position will be either based in the Programme Unit of the Regional Bureau for Southern Africa (RBJ), in Johannesburg, South Africa or home-based, depending on the pandemic-caused restrictions. The internship will be for the period of at least 3 months from July to September 2021.

Brief description of Social Protection and Cash-based Transfers Team, Programme Unit:

The Social Protection and cash-based transfers team is subordinated to the Programme Unit. The team works together on complementary themes such as social protection, cash-based transfers, HIV, School Feeding, Country Capacity Strengthening, South-South cooperation, Beneficiary Management and Digitalisation. As the team is situated in the Regional Bureau, it closely cooperates with Headquarters (Rome) and provides oversight and supports operations in 12 SADC countries (Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and the Republic of Congo) depending on their capacity needs. Besides, it maps best practices and shares experiences of individual countries with the regional Country Offices.

Internally, collective learning and knowledge sharing is a key priority of the team, offering the intern the opportunity to get insights into the work of the whole team. The team organizes regular team learning sessions in which team members share their knowledge and experience.

General Information

  • Title of Post: PD Internship_ Digitisation

  • Supervisor: Programme Policy Officer, Social Protection and Cash-based Transfers

  • Unit: Programme Unit

  • Country: South Africa

  • Duty Station: Johannesburg

  • Duration of internship: July - September 2021 (3 months)

  • Expected Start Date: 01.07.2021

Duties and responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of of Programme Policy Officer (Digital Beneficiary Information & Transfer Management), the candidate’s tasks could include the following duties (more concrete workplan will be agreed upon arrival):

  • Analyse digital preparedness in the Southern Africa region

  • Follow-up on action from the regional webinar on Beneficiary Personal Data Protection

  • Support the team in rolling out the Regional Digitisation Concept Note and action plan across the Southern Africa region

  • Conduct desk research on digitisation topics relevant to WFP activites (the digital divide - gender gap, rural-urban gap, digital financial inclusion, data protection and privacy)

  • Research the feasibility and risks of using big data for targeting and registration (e.g. satellite imaginary, mobile network usage data)

  • Support to identify new innovative funding streams (funds, foundations, digital grants etc.) and Digitisation partnerships (ie. Academic, NGO, CSOs, Private sector etc.) to help strengthen and increase RBJ’s Digitisation efforts;

  • Assist in providing programmatic advice on global guidance on data privacy and related topics

  • Provide back-office support to harmonise digitisation efforts with other stakeholders, including IT

  • Support colleagues in their daily tasks





Qualifications and experience

  • Currently enrolled in a graduate programme and have attended classes in the past 12 months, or a recent graduate from a graduate programme (within six months prior to the application to the internship programme). Preferred areas of study are International Affairs, Humanitarian or Development Assistance, Programming, Economics, Law, Social Sciences or other related fields relevant to international development assistance. An interdisciplinary background would be an asset

  • Excellent command of English; Working knowledge of a second UN language would be an asset

  • Proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook)

  • Experience in working in multidisciplinary teams would be an asset.

Required soft skills/WFP Competencies:

  • A strong analytical skill, synthesis capacity, excellent writing and communication skills as well as the capacity to work with a diverse team will make a successful candidate

  • Good team work and interpersonal skills

  • Openness to innovation and learning

  • Enthusiasm for humanitarian and development causes

  • Proactivity, creativity

Working Languages

Working knowledge of English (proficiency/level C) is required.

Supervision (Level/Methods of Supervision)

Under the direct supervision of Programme Policy Officer (Digital Beneficiary Information & Transfer Management), the incumbent will be provided with close mentoring, guidance and technical supervision. Performance planning and reviews as well as learning and development discussions will be elemental part of the supervision. The Programme Policy Officer, Social Protection and Cash-based Transfers will be the second-level supervisor. With the support of a comprehensive induction package and assignment of a buddy/mentor, the intern will rapidly become a productive member of the team.

Training components

Throughout their assignment WFP interns have access to an industry leading learning platform, WeLearn. Depending on opportunities and availability of funds, he/she may participate in WFP workshops or seminars, as appropriate.

Learning Elements

At the end of the assignment, the Intern should:

  • Have learnt about WFP, its mission, internal organisational structure, workstream and culture

  • Have a general understanding of WFP operations and activities in the region

  • Have learnt about the concept of digitisation, its programmatic and legal elements and its evolving nature in the development and humanitarian space

  • Have learnt about digital (financial) inclusion, the digital divide and related gaps, its merits, barriers and impact on WFPs programming activities

  • Have learnt about WFPs Digital Beneficiary Information Management, Personal Data Protection and Privacy and related topics. This includes learning about the global debate on these issues in the humanitarian system and following the emergence of global guidelines.

  • Openness to innovation and learning

  • Development of professional skills: including specific competencies and reflection on assignment-related abilities; and on-the-job skills such as time management, problem-solving, team building

  • Inter-personal skills: including communication and listening skills; multi-cultural awareness and cultural competency; and conflict and stress management

  • Gained experience in working in multidisciplinary and international teams.

Information on the Country of Assignment

  • Living conditions in Johannesburg, South Africa

The Republic of South Africa is a large country characterised by diversity in its provinces, climates, landscapes, races, languages, creeds, cultures, religions, and human activity. The country’s multi-cultural and multi-lingual society fuses to make its “Rainbow Nation” a rewarding experience for the intern. Johannesburg is the capital of Gauteng province and the biggest South African city. It brings all the amenities and risks related to it. The security situation in South Africa demands constant vigilance (UNDSS security level 3) as South Africa has a high crime rate, especially in big cities and their outskirts. Burglaries and property invasion, robberies of people in public spaces, cash in transit robberies, business robberies and hi-jackings of vehicles (both private and commercial) are a matter of concern, while not specifically targeting UN Staff. It is therefore advisable to make prior travel arrangements from the airport and to avoid arriving late at night. The LGBTQI+ community does not face any exclusion from public life. However, acceptance among the population can vary. Overall, there is a two-tier healthcare system in South Africa. The private hospitals in the big cities are of a high standard but come with a high price. Public sector hospitals fall behind, but also offer a goal-oriented service in emergencies. It is essential to have an international health insurance to access a good quality of care. Main health hazards are HIV throughout the country and Malaria, mainly in mainly in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Kwazulu-Natal provinces. The spread of COVID-19 continues to cause restrictions on international air and travel and disruptions to public life. In December 2020, a virus variant with higher infection potential was discovered in South Africa. Therefore, many states issued travel restrictions to South Africa and released strict measures for returns. South Africa has hygiene rules and an Alert Level System with different measures in place adapted to the development of the Covid case numbers. The Covid case numbers indicated 2 waves during the last year, straining the country’s capacities in the health sector.

VA Reference no: 141657

Closing Date: 2 May 2021

Please note that the deadline is at 11:59 pm Rome time (GMT + 1)

Terms and Conditions:

  • Interns receive a monthly stipend from WFP up to the maximum amount of US$1000 per month depending on the duty station of assignment.

  • WFP is not responsible for living expenses, arrangements for accommodation, necessary visas and related costs.

  • WFP will reimburse travel ticket for candidates who are nationals of developing countries and are pursuing their studies in their home country.

  • WFP will recognize candidates’ educational credentials from recognised institutions that have been certified by competent international or national authorities such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) or Ministries of Education.

  • Candidates who bear any of the following relations to WFP staff members are not eligible to apply: sons, daughters, brothers or sisters.



Click HERE to apply

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