National UN Volunteer

National UN Volunteers are volunteers mobilized by UNV on the request of a programme country to support peace and development programmes in that country. Together with international UN Volunteers and other UN project personnel, national UN Volunteers contribute to a programme or project, the neutrality and visibility of the United Nations and the institutional back-up of the UN system. Compared with other UN personnel, national UN Volunteers add value with their knowledge of local languages, cultural, social and economic conditions, and their capacity to work at the local level. National UN Volunteers are particularly well-placed to nurture capacities at the community level, foster ownership and sustainability, and contribute to achieving the MDGs.

National UN Volunteer Profile

Given the very wide variety of roles that are entrusted to national UN Volunteers, and the equally wide variety of duty stations where they may be located (from capital city to small town or village), there is no typical profile for a national UN Volunteer. For each national UN Volunteer assignment, specific requirements in terms of education, age and experience as well as required competencies are set out in the individual Description of Assignment. The national UN Volunteer living allowance can vary from one location to another, where there are substantial differences in basic living costs, but all national UN Volunteers in a given location receive the same allowance, regardless of age, qualifications or experience except where young UN Volunteers are recruited under a youth modality whose living expenses may be relatively lower than those of mature volunteers.

Categories of national UN Volunteers

National UN Volunteers have flexibility to accommodate a wide-range of assignments. They can, broadly, be categorized into three groups:

  1. Specialists volunteers: National UN Volunteer specialists are those with professional technical skills who have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience.
  2. Community volunteers: Community UN Volunteers are those with strong community presence, local knowledge and networks who often live and work in their own communities and tend to have at least a high-school diploma. Community UN Volunteers are not supposed to be recruited for assignment suitable for volunteer specialists.
  3. Youth volunteers: Youth volunteering is strongly encouraged by UNV and is part of its mandate. The UN Secretary General in his Five Year Action Agenda (2012) also called on UNV to establish a UN Youth Volunteer modality. UNV’s policy and strategy including age parameters for youth will be determined and guided by a separate policy note and therefore items related to youth are not fully covered by this policy note. It must also be borne in mind that youth volunteer schemes can entail a significant management workload. This must be considered when deciding how best to provide such support.
  4. Other volunteers: UNV also welcomes volunteers who have broad experience and may be in receipt of a UN pension or have other private means and who are willing to forego the Volunteer Living Allowance but in all other respects to accept national UN volunteer terms.


Eligibility criteria for National UN Volunteers

  • Nationality and residency status: National UN Volunteers must be one of the following:
    • nationals of Cambodia;
    • legally resident in Cambodia or territory with the status of refugee; or
    • legally resident in Cambodia or territory with the status of being stateless.
  • Non-nationals may serve as national UN Volunteers where programmes are run outside the beneficiary country, for example, due to security reasons. UNV recognizes only one nationality for a volunteer assignment.
  • Age limits
    • National UN Volunteers have to be at least 22 years of age.
    • National UN Volunteers mobilized under a “UN Youth Volunteer” modality, will be governed under separate conditions of service.
    • a. Well-qualified and suitable older candidates can serve as national UN Volunteers up to an age covered by the life insurance carrier.
  • Maximum periods for national UN Volunteering
  • A person may serve for a maximum of 4 years of national UN Volunteer assignments. The period served as a national UN Volunteer will be reset and the person may serve again up to a maximum of 4 years as a national UN Volunteer after a lapse of 10 years after completion of the last national or international UN Volunteer assignment. The maximum period of national UN Volunteering will only be reset once during a lifetime.

How to apply:

Interested and qualified persons should visit the National UN Volunteer Online Application website to submit their applications.

UNV Cambodia no longer accepts general applications by email. All applicants should submit their applications through the  National UN Volunteer Online Application. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted to proceed to the next steps.

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