The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to inclusive finance and investment capital. UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia and the Pacific, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis. It provides seed capital both grants and loans as well as technical support that will improve poor peoples’ lives, paving the way for others to follow. Its programmes are designed to catalyze larger investment flows from the private sector, development partners and national governments, for significant impact on the SDGs. Established by the General Assembly in 1966 and with headquarters in New York, UNCDF is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with UNDP.

The Financial Inclusion Practice Area (FIPA) works to promote financial Inclusion, which is achieved when all individuals and businesses have access to and can effectively use a broad range of financial services that are provided responsibly, and at reasonable cost, by sustainable institutions in a well-regulated environment. Increased levels of financial inclusion – through the extension of savings, credit, insurance, and payment services – contributes significantly to sustainable economic growth. UNCDF is supporting 31 LDCs (20 in sub-Saharan Africa and 11 in Asia), and serving 8 million active clients—65% of whom are women—through the Financial Service Providers (FSPs) in which it invests.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

The key result expected is support to the policy agenda of the Financial Inclusion Practice Area as directed by the Policy Advisor through research, analysis, and writing and other support as needed. There will be a specific focus on advancing programme development related to access, usage and agency of women and girls to financial services so as to contribute to their economic empowerment and participation.

Specifically, the key activities of the intern will involve one or more of the following key areas, as requested by the Policy Advisor:

I. Financial Inclusion and Economic Empowerment of Women and Girls (primary focus):

  • Contribute to the development of a financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment programme, through research, engaging with peer organizations, proposal writing, and other support as requested;
  • Support the Policy Advisor and the Gender Focal Points on the implementation of, monitoring of, and reporting on the UNCDF gender strategy.

II. Responsible Finance:

  • Support the dissemination of responsible digital payment principles and tracking use cases based on adoption of the guidelines.
  • Conduct research on responsible finance issues, particularly client protection and financial capability, and responsible digital finance.
  • Monitor and analyze social performance of UNCDF partner financial services providers.

III. Financial Inclusion/DFS and Humanitarian Response:

  • If determination to move forward, assist in developing concept note for Better Than Cash Alliance to host a hub for DFS and Humanitarian Assistance, including engaging with members and potential funders.

IV. Financial Inclusion and the Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Contribute to the ongoing discussions on SDG indicator framework and reporting on financial inclusion aspects of the SDGs and Financing for Development (FfD) agenda, as requested.

Work Arrangements

  • Demonstrated research and analytical capacity;
  • Excellent organizational, inter-personal, communication and administrative skills;
  • Proven ability to manage diverse and complex tasks, with tight deadlines;
  • Able to take initiative and work independently, with minimum supervision;
  • Proven ability to manage diverse and complex tasks;
  • Able to work effectively in a team and in an international environment;
  • Excellent organizational, inter-personal, communication and administrative skills;
  • Able to take initiative and work independently;
  • Proven ability to manage diverse and complex tasks;
  • Highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty;
  • Commitment to UNCDFs vision, mission, and strategic goals

Required Skills and Experience


  • Enrolled in or recently graduated from Masters programme in economics, finance, business or public administration or related field. Preference for some coursework in inclusive finance/finance, gender/women’s economic empowerment, technology/FinTech/ICT.


  • Demonstrated experience, part or full-time, paid or volunteer, in microfinance, inclusive finance, or related fields of finance, women’s economic empowerment, mobile money or technology for development, research, advocacy, and policy development.
  • Demonstrated research and analytical capacity.
  • Proposal writing experience a plus.
  • Excellent organizational, inter-personal, communication and administrative skills.
  • Able to take initiative and work independently.
  • Proven ability to manage diverse and complex tasks.
  • Excellent computer capabilities.


  • Strong writing and speaking abilities in English;
  • Proficiency in French desirable.


Interns are not financially remunerated by UNCDF. The costs associated with the latter must be borne by the nominating institution, related institution or government, which may provide the required financial assistance to its students; or by the student, who will have to obtain financing for subsistence and make his/her own arrangements for travel, accommodation, etc. Proof of medical and life/accident insurance valid for the location in which the internship will be carried out (i.e. New York, USA). Have both medical and life insurance.

The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment with UNCDF but to complement an intern’s studies. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of an internship.

Please submit your Resume/CV and an application using the UNCDF Internship Application form:

Please note that UNDP jobsite system allows only one uploading of application document, so please make sure that you merge all your documents into a single file.