The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations General Assembly designated coordinating agency for sustainable urban development and human settlements activities within the UN system. UN-Habitat is responsible for the advancement of socially and environmentally sustainable towns, cities, and human settlements. UN-Habitat vision is to enhance the quality of life for all in an increasingly urbanizing world.
UN-Habitat works in collaboration with governments and other partners, including local and regional governments, private sector, academia, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal 11 of “Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. UN-Habitat is also a focal point for the monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the New Urban Agenda adopted during the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) held in Quito, Ecuador, in 2016.
UN-Habitat policy and decision-making are a prerogative of members states through the respective governing bodies – the UN-Habitat Assembly, Executive Board, the Committee of Permanent Representatives, and related ad hoc working groups. In this respect, stakeholders contribute towards policy and decision shaping in support of the work of UN-Habitat governing bodies.
UN-Habitat collaborates with a wide range of stakeholders including accredited organisations in matters related to governing bodies and intergovernmental meetings, and individuals and specific organisations, multi-stakeholder thematic networks, cross-sectoral alliances, multi-level stakeholders and other platforms on programmatic matters. UN-Habitat also works together with stakeholders on advocacy, knowledge co-creation, resource mobilization, capacity building, and the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of normative and operational programmes.
Additionally, UN-Habitat focus areas are adequate housing, land, and basic services; climate change, and resilience; localisation of SDGs and the New Urban Agenda including monitoring and reporting; urban planning, economy, and finance; knowledge, data and analytics, innovation, and smart cities. Emphasis is placed on the plight of women, children and youth, people with disabilities, older persons, indigenous people, and the urban poor.
To optimize stakeholder engagement, the Stakeholder Advisory Group Enterprise (SAGE) was instituted in May 2019 to advise the Executive Director on stakeholder engagement in policy and programmatic areas. SAGE, comprise 16 independent experts covering geographical regions, age, gender, professional expertise, and practical experience in sustainable urban development and stakeholder engagement. Each member is expected to serve a maximum of two, two year-terms, and biennially, approximately 50 percent of new members are selected through a competitive process to succeed those reaching the end of their terms.
Responsibilities of SAGE
SAGE serves as a strategic advisory body on stakeholder participation and engagement in normative and operational programmes and intergovernmental processes. Specifically, the SAGE:
- Identifies emerging challenges and needs that require UN-Habitat's attention, as well as opportunities for promoting sustainable urban development.
- Advises on expertise utilisation for shaping programmes and policy frameworks. Notably, this guidance leverages existing platforms like the Global Stakeholders Forum, World Urban Forum, and Urban October events, especially World Cities Day, and World Habitat Day.
- Offers insight into strategic approaches which foster collaboration among various stakeholder groups within UN-Habitat's purview.
- Assists the Executive Director in devising strategies for mobilizing resources.
- Provides inputs into discussions on an inclusive coordination mechanism for stakeholder engagement, and identification of strategic and priority partnerships.
- Provides strategic advice on stakeholder involvement in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of UN-Habitat's strategic plan and related work programmes.
- Advises on stakeholder participation in the UN-Habitat Assembly, Executive Board, and other subsidiary governing bodies, and in implementation of relevant decisions and resolutions.
- Receives regular briefings from UN-Habitat about key work programme activities, aligned with the organization's strategic plan and its domains of change and outcomes.
- Undertakes additional activities and duties as requested by the Executive Director to promote stakeholder engagement in UN-Habitat policy and programme work.
Composition of SAGE:
This Advisory Group comprises up to 16 accomplished experts with proven track records in one or more priority domains of UN-Habitat's work. Members bring extensive experience in engaging with diverse stakeholders and networks at global, regional, national, or local levels. Their expertise should encompass:
- Human rights and social inclusion, with emphasis on gender, youth, urban poor, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, and older persons.
- Leadership or coordination of initiatives within the realm of urbanization, contributing to global, regional, national, and local development agendas.
- Program design and management in urban sectors such as housing, land basic services, climate change, resilience, urban planning, governance, urban economy, urban policy and legislation, capacity development, health, culture, and heritage.
- Participation or management of partnership networks, encompassing academia, professionals, private sector, or thematic groups like climate change.
- Engagement with networks in support of local governments, women, children and youth, grassroots organizations or informal settlements and communities.
- Expertise in innovation, in media, technology, and communications.
The selection process will involve internal and external stakeholders. Applications will be reviewed by an internal UN-Habitat Selection Committee, in close consultation with the existing SAGE members. Subsequently, the Executive Director will make the final selection to fill six vacant positions from the recommended shortlist to join the advisory group by 30 November 2023.
Application and Nomination Guidelines:
Interested individuals are invited to submit an expression of interest, including:
- Curriculum vitae
- Succinct bio (up to 350 words)
- A concise statement (up to 700 words) underscoring the value of strengthening stakeholder engagement for advancing sustainable urbanization and human settlements development, with emphasis on the urban dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda.
- Name, job title, email address, and phone number of two referees supporting the application.
Applications, inclusive of the specified documents, should be sent to Ms. Lucia Kiwala, Head, Partnership Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org with copies to email@example.com no later than 9 October 2023.
We are seeking to maintain geographical, gender, and age balance, we would like to encourage eligible candidates, especially those from Latin America and the Caribbean, North Africa and Middle East, Eastern Europe, as well as representatives from Local Governments and associations,Youth, Indigenous Communities, and Civil Society to apply.