National and Regional Spatial Planning Specialist,(Home based (subject to travel to Riyadh if required)), Deadline: 22 September 2014

By on 08/27/2014

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                                                                                                                                       26 August 2014




Home based (subject to travel to Riyadh if required)


National and Regional Spatial Planning Specialist


20 working days (October-December 2014)


22 September 2014


UN-Habitat Subprogramme 2 “Urban Planning and Design”

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.

The strategic focus of the Subprogramme 2 of UN-Habitat on Urban Planning and Design is to improve policies, plans and designs for more compact, socially inclusive, integrated and connected cities that foster sustainable urban development and are resilient to climate change, at the city, regional and national levels.

National Spatial Strategy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the Ministry of Economy and Planning (MoEP) is in charge of sectoral planning whereas the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MoMRA) is in charge of spatial planning. A National Spatial Strategy (NSS) -jointly developed by the MoEP and the MoMRA (lead line ministry)- was approved by the Council of Ministers (Decree No 127 dated 28 August 2000). The overall objective of the NSS is to achieve –over the long run- balanced development between regions on one hand and within regions on the other, with emphasis on integrating rural and urban areas.

The NSS has been successful in developing infrastructures and basic services –including education and health- in the lagging regions of KSA but despite huge public investments, the Kingdom is still struggling to diversify its economy and create jobs, especially for the youth. The recent creation of four Economic Cities (new towns and planned extensions) is expected to attract private investors through fiscal and administrative incentives and to give a strong impetus to the economic competitiveness of the KSA regions. The NSS remains a top priority for the Government: “creating balanced regional development” is one of the five pillars of the 9th National Development Plan (2010-2014). The MoMRA is currently reviewing and updating the NSS to strengthen its coordination, implementation and monitoring frameworks.

This consultancy mainly aims at informing the update and revision of the NSS through the documentation of international experiences on National Spatial Frameworks (NSF). The consultancy may also feed in the implementation of the Arab States’ Regional Urban Strategy for Sustainable Urbanization, led by the League of Arab States. The main objective is indeed to identify and document sustainable and progressive NSF (strategies, policies, plans…) that have effectively guided urban development at the nationwide scale in developed and emerging countries. The consultancy will develop a set of at least 5 in-depth case studies and a typology of different patterns of urban spatial development at the nationwide scale (e.g.: balanced growth versus strategic focus on certain regions). The case studies shall provide relevant facts and figures as well as concrete evidence of successful implementation of NSF. There shall be an effort to demonstrate geographical diversity and relevance to KSA in the selection of cases, chosen in consultation with UN-Habitat. 


Under the supervision of the Leader of the Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit and in close cooperation with Senior Human Settlements Officer (Urban Planning) in Riyadh, the Consultant will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • To review the NSS in order to get an insight into the main challenges and constraints in terms of national and regional spatial planning;
  • To map out the good practices on NSF at a global level and define a typology of NSF;
  • To provide a selection of 10 relevant and suitable practices based on transparent criteria;
  • To undertake at least 5 in-depth case studies that includes countries from OECD countries, Asia and the Pacific region, Latin America and the Caribbean, Arab States and Africa. 


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Urban/Regional Planning, Geography, Economics, Sociology, Architecture, Political Science or related field that is relevant for urban policy analysis. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

A minimum of ten years of experience in urban planning or sustainable urban development including policy analysis, of which at least three at the international level with substantial recent work experience in developing countries, a significant part of which should be directly related to different aspects of urban planning such as settlements infrastructure, community development, urban geography, strategic planning or land management. Experience in NSF formulation, implementation and/or evaluation will be an important asset. 


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Although not a requirement, knowledge of a second UN official language will be an advantage. 


The consultancy will be developed in 20 working days within a 3-month contract period from October to December 2014. Delivery of outputs is expected as follows:

  1. An inception report, including a draft methodology/framework of analysis, a draft list of relevant and suitable practices and a list of available data and information (5 days);
  2. A draft case studies report on NSF, along with a PowerPoint presentation, which shall be presented through a Skype conference before final submission to UN-Habitat (12 days).
  3. A final case studies report on NSF, along with a revised PowerPoint presentation, which shall address and reflect the comments received on the draft case studies report (3 days).




Payments will be based on deliverables over the consultancy period. There are set remuneration rates for consultancies. The rate is determined by functions performed and experience of the consultant.

The fees will be paid as follows:

  • 20% upon submission of the inception report;
  • 30% upon submission of the draft case studies report;
  • 50% upon submission of the final case studies report;


Applications should include:

  • Cover memo or motivation letter (maximum 1 page)
  • Summary CV (maximum 4 pages), indicating the following information:
  1. Educational Background (incl. dates)
  2. Professional Experience (assignments, tasks, achievements, duration by years/ months)
  3. Other Experience and Expertise (e.g. Internships/ voluntary work, etc.)
  4. Expertise and preferences regarding location of potential assignments
  5. Expectations regarding remuneration


Please be advised that since April 15th 2010, applicants for consultancies must be part of the

UN-HABITAT e-Roster in order for their application to be considered. You can reach the e-Roster

through the following link: http://e-roster.unhabitat.org

 All applications should be submitted to:

Ms. Caroline Murihia


P.O. Box 30030, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya

Email: Caroline.Murihia@unhabitat.org and cc: kamel.bouhmad@unhabitat.org                              

UN-Habitat does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. If you have any questions concerning persons or  companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of these offices and requesting the payment of a fee, please contact: recruitment@unon.org 

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