Untitled Document

  Issued on: 20 November 2019





Nairobi, Kenya


Associate Human Settlements Officer


P2 Equivalent


9 Months


6  December 2019



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 Urban Planning and Design Lab (Urban Lab) of UN-Habitat is an initiative to promptly respond to the requests of national and local governments to support sustainable urban development. The Urban Lab is the integrative facility of the Agency where innovative processes and partnerships are translated into tangible and transformative solutions to complex urban challenges. The Urban Lab acts as a neutral broker, managing knowledge in complex stakeholder settings to resolve multi-sectoral, multi-scalar and multi-stakeholder challenges, by offering a multi-disciplinary team capturing the necessary thematic areas. In this context, the Urban Lab applies an integrated approach to systemic and strategic planning to deliver transformative change for sustainable urbanization and to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda.


The Global Future Cities Programme (GFCP) is one of the programmes the Urban Lab currently is undertaking. The GFCP, under the UK Foreign and Commonwealth’s Prosperity Fund, (UK FCO) aims to deliver targeted interventions in 19 cities across 10 countries to encourage sustainable development, increase prosperity whilst alleviating high levels of urban poverty. The programme will also create significant short and long-term business opportunities in growing markets forecast to be regional growth hubs. In addition, the programme will make a significant contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA).


Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships:

This position is located at the Urban Lab of the City Planning, Extension and Design Unit (CPEDU) within the Urban Planning and Design Branch, UN-Habitat’s Nairobi Headquarters. The Associate Human Settlements Officer will directly report to the Head of the Urban Lab. The focus of the job is the implementation and monitoring of projects, programmes, operations and other activities in human settlement contexts related to spatial equality and shared prosperity, climate action, urban environment, and public participation and participatory urban planning process.



Within delegated authority, the Associate Human Settlements Officer will be responsible for the following duties:


  • Works with key clients to facilitate the development, implementation and evaluation of assigned programmes/projects - in specific the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Global Future Cities Programme - monitors and analyzes specific aspects of the programme/project development and implementation; reviews relevant documents and reports; identifies problems and issues to be addressed and recommends corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and tracks follow-up actions.
  • Carries out basic research around urban planning, mobility and resilience within the UKFCO programme, operations and other activities, etc., to include collecting, analyzing and presenting statistical data and other information gathered from diverse sources.
  • Provides substantive support for policy coordination and evaluation functions, more in specific in the context of UN-Habitat’s SDG project assessment tool developed for the UKFCO Future Cities Programme and applied in 30 urban projects across 19 cities of the programme.
  • Assists in performing consulting assignments, in collaboration with the client, by planning facilitating workshops, through other interactive sessions and assisting in developing the action plan the client will use to manage the change, to support the implementation of the UKFCO Future Cities Programme, to support the development of the portfolio of the UPD-Lab and the City Planning Extension and Design Unit.
  • Participates in survey initiatives; assists with design of data collection tools; issues data collection tools, reviews, analyzes and interprets responses, identifies problems/issues and prepares preliminary conclusions.  
  • Contributes to the preparation of various written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analytical notes, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, more in specific a series of normative outputs as part of the UK FCO Future Cities Programme that will revolve around thematic policy issues in the domain of Urban Planning and Design, Public Space, Urban Management and Resilience.
  • Provides administrative and substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, in specific to a series of Expert Group Meetings as part of the UKFCO Future Cities Programme, to include proposing agenda topics, identifying and proposed participants, preparation of background documents and presentations, handling logistics, etc.
  • Undertakes outreach activities for the UKFCO Future Cities Programme; participates in the development of training workshops, seminars as part of the Capacity Building component within the UKFCO Future Cities Progamme and provides substantive support to the UKFCO Knowledge Management Platform as part of UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda Platform; participates in and makes presentations on assigned topics/activities.
  • Participates in field missions, including provision of substantive and administrative support, data collection, etc.
  • Coordinates activities related to budget funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements, etc.) and preparation of related documents/reports (pledging, work programme, programme budget, etc.) and coordinates activities as required by and in support of the UKFCO Programme Management to manage teams and liaise with stakeholders. 
  • Provide substantial support on theories, concepts and approaches relevant to urban planning and design, public space, resilience and urban management and the political context of 30 projects of the UKFCO Future Cities Programme in 19 cities and 10 countries.
  • Performs other duties as required.


 Work implies frequent interaction with the following:


Counterparts, officers and technical staff in relevant Secretariat units and in UN funds, programs and other UN specialized agencies. Representatives and officials in local and national governments, international organizations, consultants and interns.




  • Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to urban planning and urban economy. Strong analysis of urban form, urban systems, economic and financial systems, underlying social, legal and financial mechanisms and the political context. Knowledge of the SDGs, their targets and indicators and the New Urban Agenda. Strong conceptual thinking. Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches, takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks "outside the box", and offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs. Ability to collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data. Knowledge of urban development issues. Ability to observe deadlines and achieve set goals. Ability to work and deliver under pressure in diverse environments with minimum supervision.


  • Teamwork:  Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.


  • Planning & Organizing:  Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.


  • 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.


  • 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, Excellent drafting ability and communications skills, both oral and written; proven ability to communicate complex concepts orally; ability to prepare written reports that are clear, concise and meaningful.





Advanced University degree in Architecture or Urban Planning, or related field that is relevant for sustainable urban development and urban planning and design is required. A first-level university degree in combination with (2) additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


Professional Experience:

A minimum of two years of progressive responsible experience in urban planning and design with direct proven experience in drawing and preparing plan graphical material using computer assisted design tools is required. Strong graphic representation skills required. A portfolio of plans and designs of which the incumbent is an author is considered highly desirable.



English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post

advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another United Nations official language is an advantage



Applications should include:

  • Cover memo (maximum 1 page)
  • P11, indicating the following information:
    • Educational Background (incl. dates)
    • Professional Experience (assignments, tasks, achievements, duration by years/ months)
    • Other Experience and Expertise (e.g. Internships/ voluntary work, etc.)
    • Expertise and preferences regarding location of potential assignments


All applications should be submitted to:Elizabeth.Okongo@un.org                       


Deadline for applications: 6  December 2019


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



Duty Station
Nairobi, Kenya