Jobs at UN programs: A primer

An aid worker serving with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees hands a blanket to one of the young victims of cyclone Nargis, which devastated Myanmar in May 2008. Photo by: United Nations / UNHCR

The United Nations depends on 40 specialized agencies and programs to promote cooperation among its 193 states.

Funding sources differentiate the two categories of U.N. organizations: Programs rely solely on voluntary contributions, while specialized agencies also receive a slice of the global body’s budget.

About the author

  • Ingrid Ahlgren

    Ingrid is a Devex correspondent based in New York City. She worked as a staff writer for from 2007 to 2009, helping to write guidebooks, including the "Vault Guide to the Top Government and Nonprofit Employers." Before moving to New York, she was a researcher for National Geographic Traveler magazine in Washington, D.C. Ingrid holds a master's in journalism from the University of Missouri. As the daughter of a U.S. diplomat, she grew up all over the world.