Terms of Reference
Date: 02 July 2019


DUTY STATION: Damascus, Syria

FUNCTIONAL TITLE: Programme Coordination and Contracts Implementation Officer

GRADE: IICA3 (equivalent to P3/P4)

POST DURATION: 6 month (extendable)

CLOSING DATE:18th July 2019




The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.

In October 2016, at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III – member states signed the New Urban Agenda. This is an action-oriented document which sets global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities. Through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors, including at all levels of government as well as the private sector, UN-Habitat is applying its technical expertise, normative work and capacity development to implement the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 11 – to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1978 to address the issues of urban growth, it is a knowledgeable institution on urban development processes, and understands the aspirations of cities and their residents. For forty years, UN-Habitat has been working in human settlements throughout the world, focusing on building a brighter future for villages, towns, and cities of all sizes. Because of these four decades of extensive experience, from the highest levels of policy to a range of specific technical issues, UN-Habitat has gained a unique and a universally acknowledged expertise in all things urban. This has placed UN-Habitat in the best position to provide answers and achievable solutions to the current challenges faced by our cities. UN-Habitat is capitalizing on its experience and position to work with partners to formulate the urban vision of tomorrow. It works to ensure that cities become inclusive and affordable drivers of economic growth and social development.

Since 2015, UN-Habitat Syria Programme has worked closely with Syrian cities and communities to develop an urban resilience and recovery approach. UN Habitat supports local authorities and communities (1) to collect better urban data to reach a common understanding on urban recovery needs; (2) to jointly identify neighborhood and municipal area response priorities – from humanitarian, to resilience, to recovery; and (3) to design and implement housing, infrastructure and basic services, urban environment, and urban cultural heritage projects that directly respond to these local priorities.

UN-Habitat Syria currently has offices in Damascus, Homs and Aleppo with plans to open an office in Deir Azzor, and the programme operates projects across Syria.





The Programme Coordination and Contracts Implementation Officer will ensure that all UN Habitat reporting, project, due-diligence, and compliance requirements are fully met and fully documented.  The incumbent must be able to integrate a variety of complex project and reporting inputs into concise, clear, and coherent narratives.  As a temporary specialist deployment, the incumbent will need to work closely with all elements of UN Habitat Syria Programme and must adopt an approach that builds the capacity of UN Habitat Syria Programme staff to meet 2019-2020 Programme requirements.


The Officer is expected to perform the following:


Contracts and Project Implementation

  • Overseeing the development and implementation of project work plans for diverse projects in different locations
  • Lead and supervise implementation and monitoring of UN-Habitat agency projects as well UN-Habitat components in joint projects, adopting most efficient context-specific methodologies and established procedures. This also includes day-to-day interaction with program staff in regards of projects’ operational requirements, ministerial and institutions’ involvement and approvals, partner interaction, etc.
  • Receiving, verifying requests, supporting Project Team to clarify their requirements, implementation plan and budget to optimize the use of funds and produce clear contracting documents,
  • Assess and review implementation partner capacity and absorption capacity for additional resources or new interventions,
  • Preparing Agreements of Cooperation with project implementing partners and subcontractors according to approved bidding results and UN-Habitat contracting instruments, including documentation requirements
  • Supervise project delivery (remotely and directly in the field), ensure the timely identification and mitigation/management of problems and risks, follow up the payment process to guarantee that the delivery is timely and consistent with the approved procurement strategy and related contracts
  • Observe contract fulfilment according to stipulated obligations; this applies to agreements between UN-Habitat and implementing NGO- and private-sector partners
  • Monitor contracted partners and project team’s adherence to internal contract’s terms and conditions & regulations, propose amendments and extensions of contracts (if needed);
  • Monitor financial aspects of all AOCs and grants component of the program in Syria as per deliverables listed below.

Programme Coordination:

  • Participate in developing and piloting area-based methodology and capacity building schemes.
  • Support the design and implementing of innovative multi-sector programmes in diverse city contexts (resilience, return, economic recovery, etc).
  • Support the technical design of sub-projects in diverse locations.
  • Support the preparation of the scope of work for each sub-project, and preparation of the requested BOQs and specifications accordingly;
  • Coordinate with other agencies/stakeholders as required at the Damascus level;
  • Support strengthening of UN-Habitat Syria’s monitoring and evaluation system

Representation and Reporting (as required and delegated)

  • Represent UN-Habitat in meetings and task forces as required
  • Liaise with the government and UN agencies regarding project-relevant areas of cooperation of the Syria programme
  • Support resource mobilization and donor liaison as required, e.g. assist in preparing timely donor reporting

Any other duties as required and agreed.




The vacancy is full time and located in the UN-Habitat Syria Programme in Damascus, Syria. The Officer will work under the direct supervision of the Head of the Project Implementation / Thematic Unit, and in close cooperation with the Head of Programme Support Unit.




  • Professionalism: Demonstrated ability to think strategically, to analyze complex information and offer creative, practical solutions, is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges and remains calm in stressful situations.
  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed,
  • Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position;
  • Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology





  • Education: Master-level degree / education in engineering, architecture, urban planning, and/or other field(s) relevant for program- and project management.
  • Experience: Minimum 7 years’ work experience in humanitarian, recovery and development contexts. At least 2 years of work experience in Syria or another country designated as L3.

Adequate expertise in urban planning, design of urban humanitarian and recovery programmes and projects, and a solid understanding of urban infrastructure and services requirements.

Excellent programme and project management expertise, including sub-project portfolio management (technical design, costing, partnership negotiation, financial tracking, monitoring and evaluation)

Familiarity with UN- and UN-Habitat policies and administrative processes related to project design and implementation

  • Language: Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of/ proficiency in Arabic is not required but an asset.
  • Other skills: Technical report writing skill and a high-level of computer literacy. Proficient in website and internet applications, database management, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Good personal organization, interpersonal and communication skills.


Submission of applications:


  • All interested applicants shall submit their P11 form and cover application to farah.akil@un.org not later than the deadline.
  • Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for further assessment.



IICA3 (equivalent to P3/P4)
Duty Station
Damascus, Syria