SDSN Youth

Project Officer (Special Projects - SDG Education and Literacy), SDG Students Program, Short Term Role

Temporary in Worldwide - Remote OK


Project Officer (Special Projects), SDG Students Program, Short Term Role

Project description

At SDSN Youth, we empower young people to take meaningful action on Sustainable Development Goals. By joining our global team, you will be working with a diverse and exceptional group of individuals with a variety of cultural, religious, and political backgrounds, committed to sustainable development.

The SDG Students Program is the branch of SDSN Youth which trains SDG Coordinators on universities globally to engage students on their campuses with the SDGs. This involves developing training materials, managing follow-up and reporting efforts, and brainstorming new methods of engagement.

For more information on our specific program, please visit our website:

The Programming pillar of the SDG Students Program is mainly involved with sourcing, crafting, and delivering content for our Hubs and wider network. Through arranging various partnerships with external groups, or building capabilities in-house, we aim to provide educational materials, leadership courses and training, volunteering opportunities, and global engagements with experts and youth professionals on sustainable development.

Duties & Responsibilities

The Project Officer for Special Project is a contributor to our ability to support a global network of students.

We are looking to create a university-level training toolkit on the SDGs for use in various regions. “The SSP Toolkit” will serve as a modular educational curriculum and guidebook for further engagement beyond the traditional classroom. The role requires research regarding the local challenges and solutions in relation to specific SDGs or intersectional matters. The intention of this project is to provide a mix of adaptive self-guided or group-oriented resources to our Hubs at various universities.

Many educational resources for the SDGs already exist, and this role will require the consideration and consolidation of such resources in a digestible manner. These resources will be integrated by the Special Projects team into our novel content; the result of which will be an interactive toolkit of videos, lesson plans, volunteer opportunities, local suggestions for impactful engagement, and more.

This project will leave a lasting impact on the SDG Students Program, and shape the value of education for over 2,000+ students in the coming months/years. We are looking to build a Special Projects team comprised of Project Officers. This team is integrated into the Programming Pillar of the SSP.

The primary responsibilities include:

  1. Ideation and Program Development (research, meetings, literature reviews, student interviews)
    1. Conducting literature reviews and other research on current university-level educational resources or K-12 programs for sustainability
    2. Assessing the needs and knowledge gaps of our students from a variety of Hubs
      1. Conducting surveys, student focus groups, or interviews
    3. Conceptualization of modular model defining what is included in a baseline sustainability literacy
    4. Review current SDSN Youth resources for education, evaluate results and impact using pre-collected data, and integrate findings into a proposed plan
    5. Develop a strategy to ensure accessibility and utility to all students, including a mechanism to include local or cultural perspectives given our diversity of students
    6. Engage with other members of the SDSN Youth/SDSN Community and external university-level sustainability education programs to determine best practices or gain expert insights

  1. Implementation
    1. Craft a visual or thematic overview across all created content, whether in a PDF Brochure, downloadable slide decks, databases of further learning (mode of educational content will be evaluated together with the Special Projects Team)
    2. Adapt shared resources from SDSN Youth and UN SDSN Programs
    3. Collaborate with other SDSN Youth programs, such as the Global Schools team, to co-create content
    4. Conduct feedback review with the SDG Coordinators to evaluate and adjust course on this project
    5. Deliver this project to the students of the 2021-2022 Hub Network by August 2021, and ensure a long term integration into the student communities

  1. Additional Responsibilities
    1. Assisting the Special Projects Division under the guidance of the Deputy Project Leader (Programming) and relevant Senior Advisors on the development of the University-Level Education and Activities Resource Toolkit covering the SDGs at local and global levels
    2. Attend 2-4 weekly meetings/designated working periods with the Special Projects team
    3. Join the weekly Programming or Hubs team calls to assess points of collaboration
    4. Attend the Global Team calls to ensure awareness of other initiatives and ongoing projects
    5. Periodically participate in coffee-chats with the students of the program

Please note: As a virtual network, it is IMPERATIVE for Project Officers to communicate effectively with their Project Leader and report back consistently. In a network, which operates across several time zones, reporting and communicating proactively is crucial. You must have sufficient WIFI and internet access throughout the duration of this project.


The Special Project Officer will be someone who:

  • Thrives in supporting the personal and professional development of those they are working with
  • Is an excellent communicator
  • Is patient, empathetic, and possesses impeccable written and organizational skills, driven and can work autonomously
  • Is passionate about enabling and helping others to make a direct impact
  • Can represent a wider team by bringing together young leaders in the SDG space
  • Excels in both high-level and detailed planning
  • Enjoys problem-solving, is creative, and works well with people

Minimum qualifications:

  • Knowledgeable about the SDG Framework & familiarity with individual SDG targets and indicators
  • Be a proven team player with excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to coordinate and manage workload across several projects/teams
  • Be able to work remotely and maintain communication with a globe-spanning team
  • Have an interest in sustainable development, be passionate about the mission of the SDSN, including the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change
  • Have some experience working with various communications and management software, such as Google Suite, Excel, Dropbox, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc, and be able to adapt to new tools, including Trello, Podio, Squarespace, Breezy, Northpass, Bamboo, Mighty Networks, etc.
  • Possess an excellent command of the English language, including writing, speaking, and listening.
  • Have some professional or volunteer work experience in a team
  • Must be responsive and able to manage regular communication with the team - including after-hours conference calls, as the network spans over 10 different time zones
  • Either be within the first two years of pursuing an undergraduate degree (exceptions may apply), AND/OR, have a background in teaching and training (the latter will have priority over the former)

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience with educational curriculum or content development
  • Interest in university-level educational content development
  • Any teaching or training experience is a major plus
  • A background in video-editing, media production, or event-planning and -execution
  • Language skills (particularly French, Spanish, or Turkish) are an asset.
  • Is able to demonstrate that they have the time and resources to commit to this role – candidates with too many overlapping commitments will be exempt from running for this position.


Total Weekly Hours:

  • 8-14 hours per week (minimum)
  • May 20th - August 20th, with the potential option to remain part of the Global Team through the fall
  • We understand that travel does occur during these months. Periodic breaks will be determined between the Deputy Project Lead, the Senior Advisor, and the other team members with ample notice.


  • Duration of Position: The term is expected to be a 4 month period. Including a 2 week trial at the beginning to ensure team fit. However, subject to a review of work performance, this position may be extended.
  • Reporting: This position reports to the Deputy Project Lead of Programming, and is part of a larger cohort of Special Projects officers.
  • Payment: Voluntary
  • Training: All Project Officers are required to complete all SDSN Youth online induction courses, including team training. This includes baseline SDG education through the SDG Academy and complete access to our external partnership leadership materials.