Development aid careers in the United Nations system: What you need to know

The logo of the United Nations outside its office in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo by: MPD01605 /CC BY-SA

The United Nations system offers an impressive variety of career opportunities for international development professionals — from the U.N. headquarters in New York to more than two dozen specialized agencies and programs around the world working on everything from global health to food security and the environment.

While the U.N. Secretariat in New York, led by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has considerable clout on foreign affairs, it is in fact less involved in providing technical assistance around the world than, for instance, the U.N. Development Program, UNICEF or the World Bank Group, a U.N. specialized agency that, with more than 10,000 employees, is the world’s largest multilateral donor.

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About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.