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Internship on Transition to Formality


  • Organization: ILO - International Labour Organization
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Internship - Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2022-11-29


Grade: Internship 

Publication date: 15 November 2022
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 29 November 2022

Vacancy no.:  


Job ID: [[9782]] 

Department: [[EMPLOYMENT]] 
Organization Unit: [[DEVINVEST]] 
Location: Geneva, Switzerland  
Duration of contract: 3 to 6 months (starting on the 1st or the 15th of a given month)


You are applying to the ILO generic internship roster, which is published several times per year. The roster will be made available to all departments and field offices, which will then select and directly contact suitable candidates. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, the ILO does not inform candidates about the status of their application. 


ILO Internship Programme provides an opportunity for talented individuals to:

(a) increase understanding of relevant issues at the international level by involving them directly in the work of the Office and the application of ILO principles, programmes and strategies;

(b) gain practical experience with the ILO directly related to their field of study.

The internship programme is not intended to lead to a career in the ILO. There should be no expectation of further employment at the end of the internship.


**Please note that you can apply to a maximum of three internship profiles during the current application period. If you apply to more than three internship profiles, your application will not be considered for any profile.** Note that you may withdraw your candidature at any time via the Jobs Applied section of your profile.


It is highly recommended that you submit your application as soon as possible to avoid last minute technical issues or delays. Late applications will not be considered.


The ILO values diversity. We welcome applications from qualified women and men, particularly those with disabilities and from non- or under- represented member States. If needed, reasonable accommodation will be provided to those with disabilities in the recruitment phase as well as during the internship to promote equality of opportunities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to


Please only apply for an internship if you fulfil the following two criteria:

(1) You have no close relative serving in the ILO.

(2) This is your first internship with the ILO (only one internship is permitted).


Please note that in the context of the new ILO organigram, the naming of the departments may be subject to change. 



The position is in the in the Transition to Formality Team (T2F), within the Development and Investment Branch (DEVINVEST) of the Employment Policy Department.


There are more than 2 billion people earning their livelihoods in the informal economy, representing 62% of today’s working population. In low-income countries, 90% of employment is informal, 67% in middle-income countries and 18% in high-income countries. 


Informal employment in fragile situations is estimated to account for 84.3% of total employment. In 2018, about 1.8 billion people were living in fragile and conflict affected situations and increasing risks of poverty and inequality remain because of climate change, scarce natural resources, protracted conflict and low levels of human development. It was estimated that the number would grow to 2.3 billion in 2030. The challenge is to develop and implement a multipronged approach to support transition from the informal to the formal economy tackling the multiple drivers of informality.  


DEVINVEST supports ILO member States to tackle these challenges through:

1.supporting employment-centred policies for countries in the fragile context affected by conflict and disaster to enable recovery and build resilience,
2.supporting economic diversification and structural change for enhancing employment and productivity growth and developing programmes to maximize the employment impact of trade and sectoral policies,
3.developing approaches for employment and productivity enhancements in rural economy and facilitating transition to formality,
4.supporting the planning and implementation of employment-intensive investments.


The T2F team aims at transition to formality and the promotion of formal job opportunities for informal workers through knowledge production and technical assistance in 1) policy design & implementation, 2) productivity & income growth, and 3) access to formal employment. The most striking aspect under 1) are policy tracking, monitoring & design, under 2) innovation and technology, trade and value chains and under 3) formalization measures such as e-formality, potential of emerging sectors (green, digital, orange, care economy).

Learning areas

As an intern in the T2F team of DEVINVEST, you will be exposed to a whole range of areas such as a) research, policy advice and other types of knowledge production on above mentioned issues, in particular trade and informality, e-formality or the potential of emerging sectors, b) technical assistance in concrete country experiences in the area of local economic development, informality and conflicts, e-formality in Africa, creative industries in Africa and circular economy, c) contribute to internal ILO and UN process in the development of guidelines, directives, official reference documents, etc.


You would be gaining experience in working with specialists who are involved in the following tasks e.g.  development cooperation projects on e-formality, export opportunities, creative industries, technical advice on national formalization strategies. As an intern, you would work on collecting and categorising relevant research and evidence and write specific sections of reports and other relevant ILO documents. You would assist in the implementation of projects, but also in the design or drafting of new project proposals. You would be working with specialists inside the ILO as well as other partners. You will be able to take part in ongoing meetings and debates in this area and assist with communication related activities as well as workshops and other events to disseminate this information. 


Interns should expect to devote 10% to 20% of their time to administrative tasks.

Required profile


At least Bachelor, preferably M.A., in Social Sciences (Economics, Sociology).
The candidate should be enrolled in their final year of graduate degree programme or should have completed such a programme no longer than 1 year ago.


Experience in one of the areas of T2F team as well as experience in developing countries would be an asset.


Excellent knowledge of at least one of the ILO’s official languages (English, French, Spanish), working knowledge of one or both other languages would be an asset.


Adaptable to an international, multicultural, and multilingual environment, good communication skills, openness to new ideas and be able to work in a team.

Additional requirements

Basic knowledge of Microsoft office package, Internet, and interest in interdisciplinary work will be a bonus.


How to apply:


1. Search for an internship profile via the page on ILO Jobs 

2. Select the internship profile you would like to apply for, and create a profile on ILO Jobs 

3. Complete your candidate profile and apply to the internship profile

4. Be sure to attach a cover letter in the last section of the application, as applications without a cover letter will not be considered and you cannot attach a cover letter after the deadline. 


Selection process:


Following a first screening by the Human Resources Development Department (HRD), hiring departments will short-list applicants. You will be directly contacted should an internship opportunity match your profile. If you have not been contacted by any department within six months after your application, you can consider that you have not been selected by any department for this roster. If still eligible, you may apply to the next roster. 


If shortlisted, you may be contacted by the hiring department for a written test and/or interview. The ILO may use communication technologies such as Skype, Video or teleconference, e-mail, etc for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.




As an intern in Geneva, you will receive a stipend of 2450 CHF per month from the ILO, unless you receive funding through another institution (for example your university or a foundation). If you receive partial funding, ILO will cover the difference to ensure you receive 2450 CHF per month. Your travel to Geneva will be at your own expense.




Please note that the ILO does not take responsibility for any costs arising from accidents and/or illness incurred during the internship. You will be responsible for your own insurance coverage for illness and accidents for the duration of the internship at the duty station (whether Geneva or the field).


Fraud warning:


The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account - - should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.