National Resource Management Plan Research Intern

Organisation Name: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka (Red Cross Office – Kurunegala)
No. of places available: 2

Teaching Periods Applicable: Semester 2 (23/7 – 19/10), Trimester 2 (14/5 – 17/8), Term 3 (1/7 – 30/9)
Duration: 8 Weeks

Unit Offered : APG 5044

Last Date to Apply : 16th June 2018

About the Organisation

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. The UNDP Programme adopts a UN inter-agency approach, and has built partnerships with a range of stakeholders, from government ministries and local government agencies to community-based and non-government organizations.

Role Description: To study cascade level hydrology to recommend natural resource management plan

Village irrigation systems are an integral part of the social and economic well-being of Dry Zone farmer communities. These are unique systems that feed water from one tank to another while irrigating a large number of cultivation area under which water farmers carry out their livelihood. This system is called a “cascade system”.  

Cascade systems contains with a very high biodiversity, rain water collection methodology, flood management system, drought resistant system, recharges ground water, fulfil the water requirements of all the beings, water bodies based culture, dynamic and specific (traditional) water rights. The system has now collapsed due to treating this the tanks in the system as individual tanks and not treating it as a system. As such, they have been subjected to many changes.

The study will compose of the following components

  • surface water management
  • ground water management
  • eco-system management
  • agro & non-agro based livelihood plan for communities
  • institutional arrangement (governance mechanism)

The objectives of this internship are:

  • analysing the relationships between CKDu prevalence and drinking water sources within the identified Cascades of Malwathu Oya River Basin
  • develop a risk rating system for the households in the project area, depending on their lifestyles and drinking water sources.

Outcomes: Findings report and policy recommendations

Students will work with Dr Samanthi Gunawardana (Director, Masters of International Development Practice, School of Social Science, Faculty of Arts) to refine the study design and finalise the report and policy recommendations.


  • Currently enrolled in a Graduate Arts program at Monash University
  • Able to adapt to the living conditions in a remote area with average facilities (not necessary reliable as in Colombo)
  • Able to interact with the local communities from different cultures, respect their knowledge and cultural values

Desired Competencies and Skills: Environment & Sustainability, Development Practices, Science related fields (ex: Hydrology preferably with an exposure in developing landscape planning

Scholarships & Funding: This opportunity falls under the Asia Postgrad Scholarship Program. Please click here to read more. This means that successful students will be eligible for a grant of AUD 2000. 

For further information about available scholarships and funding please click on the links below:

How to Apply

Please follow the step-by-step guide on how to apply for APG5044 Overseas Internship. Select Option A in Step 2. When you log onto inPlace, you will see “UNDP Research Graduate Internship Sri Lanka” opportunity available to apply to. 

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the WIL International Team on email via, or give us a call on (03) 9903 8866.