2019 Internship Report - LO Ying Ching, Lita
Name: LO Ying Ching, Lita
Bachelor of Social Sciences
The University of Hong Kong
Position: Operation Intern, UNDP China
Duration: June 2019 - December 2019 (6 months)
Sponsorship: United Nations Peace Development Foundation
Supervisor: Ms. Ge Yunyan
It was a pleasure for me to have worked as an intern with the Operations Team in the United Nations Development Programme (“UNDP”) in China. The Operations Team of UNDP China takes a significant role in the country team by providing operational support and assistance to the Resident Coordinator’s office and all the other project teams in UNDP, as well as other UN agencies. Though it is not a project-specific team in the DP, the services it renders help facilitate inter-agency coordination and implementation of development programmes.
The Operations Team is a big department comprised of the Procurement Unit, Finance Unit, Human Resources Unit, and personnels of ICT, administration, and common services. Therefore, during the internship, I had extensive exposure to various areas of management tasks. Under the guidance of the Operations Manager and my supervisors from the Procurement Team, I learnt a lot about how procurement helps maintain fairness, integrity and transparency in every aspect of programme implementation. Especially when sometimes the most fundamental components that constitute a project are goods and services. A large part of my daily duties included the management of contracts with Individual contractors. The recruitment of consultants was considered a modality of procurement, instead of human resources by UN policies (the policies have now changed) which regarded the consultancy as the services provided by an individual. From having the procurement plan, posting a recruitment notice on the UN job-shops, long-listing and short-listing candidates, to finally issuing an individual contract with the consultant chosen, I had the opportunity to individually administrate all these procedures to support programme teams. A lot of consultancy work from non-staff professionals is needed when the tasks require strong expertise in certain areas that the existing staff resources might not be able to perform. For instance, site-level research on the National Protected Area might need to be conducted by a very experienced specialist in the field of biodiversity conservation. Procurement duties in the Operations Team are then very essential in supporting and facilitating projects’ implementation and development, as well as to ensure that the practices comply with the UN standards to protect the integrity of the process.
Apart from daily operational support for programme teams and other agencies, I had also had thechance to prepare first-aid training sessions for UNDP staff. The training was though unrelated to development, it was gratified to see that colleagues were also very eager to participate and that it brought the staff together in a positive atmosphere. By taking full responsibility for the training arrangement, I have also gained all in all many skills which make me more willing to take initiatives at work.
During my 6-months internship, I was just pretty lucky to witness some big events in UNDP China. Two days after my internship started, there was the farewell of the former Resident Representative of UNDP China, Ms. Agi Veres, followed by the welcoming of the present RR, Ms. Beate Trankmann. In October and November 2019, I was also honoured to provide logistics support for the celebration events for the 40th Anniversary of UN and UNDP in China. Supporting all kinds of projects and activities in the Operations Team, I have come to realize that there was much hard work behind assisting and facilitating in the meantime when every step towards sustainable development was achieved over the past 4 decades.
Throughout the internship, I was extremely thankful for all the kind guidance and friendliness of my supervisors and other colleagues. Last but foremost, I would also love to thank for the generous support from the United Nations Peace and Development Foundation, which made this fruitful experience possible.
First-aid training session for staff
UNDP's 40th anniversary in China