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Researching the Conflict in Ukraine

By Similoluwa Ayoola

Disclaimer: The views are those of the author's alone and do not represent the views of UNA-Canada.

Image 1: JPC Similoluwa Ayoola

My name is Similoluwa Ayoola, and I am a Junior Professional Consultant with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Ukraine. For as long as I remember, I have always been keenly interested in international development. I pursued this interest through my academic and professional engagements, so I was excited when I saw the Junior Professional Consultant opportunity with the UNAC. Since beginning my internship, I have had the opportunity to assist in the delivery of projects that have meaningful impacts on the work of the UN, and the lives of people in Ukraine. My position with the Policy, Liaison, and Programme Development Unit, allows me to assist in the development of thematic reports and documents on migration-related issues and trends, support advocacy actions of IOM Ukraine for key topics of migration management and humanitarian response in Ukraine, regional and global level, contribute to the design and development of new projects, and draft concept notes/project proposals, among others.

Image 2: Snapshot of some research resources used for this placement

A significant project I work on is the development of Situation Reports, which are produced and distributed two to three times a week. The Situation Reports provides periodic updates on current events, data, developments, and humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine, encompassing issues around security developments, government response, the response from the international community, the situation at the border in host countries, and United Nations updates. I research and draft reports relating to the support of the international community and activities of the United Nations in response to the war in Ukraine. After compiling this information, the Situation Reports are distributed internally to staff, partners, and relevant stakeholders to provide the most recent updates to inform decision- and policymaking. In addition, I assist with other ad-hoc tasks as they arise. These tasks have strengthened my research and writing skills, as well as my knowledge of the United Nations, its organs, and their respective focus areas. These honed skills will be useful as I engage in policy research and formulation, and work toward a career in international development and policy. I have also learned more about migration and how it is impacted by several factors, including security and the environment.

This experience has helped me to manage my time more effectively by scheduling tasks, breaks, and deliverables. I found that sticking to my break time has helped me to be more effective in my work without having any fatigue. The 9 hours time difference has meant early mornings for me, which I have adjusted to quite nicely - part of the aspects of starting work early that I have enjoyed is that I close work earlier in the day, allowing me to have more productive hours left to utilize in the day. Thankfully, I have had the best colleagues who create avenues for me to contribute to their work, accommodate different work schedules, and make remote collaboration seamless! Thank you UNAC for this opportunity, I look forward to impacting more lives and communities through my work.


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