Issue Date: 19  March 2020


Land, Housing and Shelter Section, Urban Practices Branch, Global Solutions Division, UN-Habitat


Home Based with travel to Guyana


Senior Informal Settlements Upgrading Expert




6 months


10 April 2020                                         




The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), is the UN 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.

UN-Habitat is implementing the third cycle of a tripartite partnership programme, the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) in 40 countries in Africa, Caribbean (Jamaica, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago) and the Pacific (ACP).  The PSUP is initiated by the Secretariat of ACP Group of States and funded by European Commission (EC). The overall objective of PSUP is directly linked to SDG Target 11.1 "ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums". Global partnerships, investment, knowledge and capacity development as well as interventions transforming slum dwellers' lives are essential to contribute to the implementation of SDG 11.1 and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA).

The programme provides a unique opportunity for a participant country to access global best practices by participating in regional and global training, global conferences, expert groups, accessing to the programme global learning and experience sharing through the MyPSUP platform. The programme is leveraging seed funds for unlocking sustainable financial resources, country specific financial models for informal settlements upgrading, global advocacy with the aid of the Global Urban Campaign "Up for Slum Dwellers" to change mind sets and policy priority at all level of governance, and finally, technical support for community managed funds and execution of transformative pilot projects implemented by local actors, community, women and youth groups. The programme will leverage its sources to create enabling environment for partnership by engaging diverse strategic partners at regional, national, local and community levels to aim for grater impacts and transformation of slum areas for better urban future.

The PSUP has facilitated the development of the Caribbean Strategy for Informal Settlements Upgrading (CSISU) as a response to a combination of factors, including historic requests for specific attention to the Caribbean sub-region, relevant policy and technical advances (including the drafting of a Caribbean Urban Agenda), recognition by the General Assembly of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Housing and Urban Development of Latin America and the Caribbean (MINURVI), ECLAC and UN-Habitat, throughout the preparatory process and negotiations during Habitat III, of the need for Caribbean-specific support for urban development planning from UN agencies.

The CSISU focuses on informality in the region as a policy priority that requires dedicated resources and collective know-how to respond to this major issue. It produced opportunity to galvanize broad-based partnership and innovation development and ultimately promote inclusive urban development and build the climate resilience of the most vulnerable, making great strides towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals and New Urban Agenda in the region. Government of Guyana has committed CSISU by using it as a guiding framework to develop Guyana Informal Settlements Upgrading Strategy (GISUS) to trigger achievement of inclusive and climate resilient urbanization in the country.

Guyana Context

Guyana is home to close to 750,000 people, of which more than 90% lives on a semi-continuous urban coastal strip that represents only 5% of total land area. As in many other coastal urban areas, these settlements are highly vulnerable to the potential impacts of climate change. The country is divided into 10 regions, each is composed of local Neighbourhood Democratic Councils—the smallest local-level administrative unit. On the coastal strip, Region 4 alone, which includes the capital and primary city of Georgetown and its low-density peri-urban areas, contains over 40% of the country’s population. A total of 27,570 households are known to be residing on State Lands in 231 informal settlement communities . This represents over 110,000 persons or 15% of the population. Proliferation of informal settlements is an indicative of widespread issues of affordability to affordable housing, lack of services and challenges imposed by climate change. There are challenges presented at urban coastal region and the rural hinterland for inclusive and resilient urbanization.


The Government of Guyana (GoG), through the Ministry of Communities and the Central Planning and Housing Authority (CHPA), are committed to the long-standing goals of expanding the supply of  housing,  improving  affordability,  and  ensure  access  to  housing  and  infrastructure  to  poor households - and  to  do  so  in  the  context  of  the  development  of  sustainable  and  resilient communities. CHPA is the government agency responsible for housing and urban planning in Guyana. In this capacity, the entity acts as a regulatory agency under the Town and Country Act, as well as a developer under the Housing Act; in other words, CHPA occupies a central role in the design of national-level policy, and simultaneously has the capacity to implement and execute programs in the sector. A National Squatter Regularization & Relocation Programme has been in place since 1990. Implemented by CHPA and funded by Inter-American Development Bank, in Sophia Informal Settlements at the outskirt of Georgetown and its main goal is to ensure security of tenure and adequate housing provided for persons living in informal housing areas.


CH&PA embarked on addressing the informal settlements in Guyana through a robust national strategy that provides overarching framework and guidance to improve living condition of vulnerable group to achieve SDG11.1.




Guyana Strategy for Informal Settlements Upgrading and Prevention (GSISUP)

Against this background and the GoG has requested UN-Habitat to facilitate a participatory process to support the development of a Guyana Strategy for Informal Settlements Upgrading and Prevention (GSISUP).

The overall objective of the GSISUP is to contribute in the achievement of SDG11, Target 1 in Guyana  “By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums” and the concept of “Leaving no one behind”.

Specific objectives of the GSISUP are to develop a set of strategic priorities and actionable policy proposals aimed at addressing issues surrounding informal settlements in Guyana. With the aim to facilitate settlement regularization, relocation from zero tolerance areas and reduce the likelihood of informal settlement development. Focus must be placed on National and Regional scenarios bearing in mind the varying characteristics of the coastal and hinterland regions of Guyana.

In order to support the development of the GSISUP, UN-Habitat in partnership with CHPA will hire an international consultant to provide technical support in the elaboration of the situation analysis and drafting of the strategy and facilitating the consultative workshops. The detailed terms of reference for GISUSP will provide overall guidance and annex to this term of reference for the consultant to perform tasks adequately.



The consultancy will be home based with travel to Guyana when needed. Any official mission travel expenses will be paid for directly by UN-Habitat. The consultant will be contracted by UN-Habitat and jointly supervised with CH&PA. S/he will be working closely with local consultants and staff of CHPA to undertake following specific tasks, which are to:


  • Take leading role in designing and facilitating GISUSP, Terms of Reference of which will be separately discussed and agreed.
  • Undertake desk review of existing data, literature review, rapid policy and legislations review in support of and consultation with CHPA, and development partners in Guyana,
  • Supervise design and collection of data, design of participatory process for the development of GSISU,
  • Facilitate consultative workshops to engage the stakeholder’s participation and support the coordination of the process,
  • Contribute and design consultative workshops to discuss relevant key issues, identify priorities,
  • Contribute in the communication and advocacy strategy development to promote and ensure strong buy-ins from the stakeholders,
  • Undertake drafting and fine tuning of GSISUP based on guidance from UN-Habitat and CHPA,
  • Develop a short concept note for a national programme based on draft GISUSP
  • Support in engagement of development partners, local and national key stakeholders to contribute in the development process of the GSISUP.
  • Provide any other inputs when requested.



  • Professionalism:  Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to sector, functional area or other specialized fields. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues or problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases.  Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities.  Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • 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.





Master’s Degree in Urban Development and Planning or related fields or advanced degree in related field. Relevant experience in lieu of an advanced degree is acceptable. 

Professional Experience

The expert should have minimum of ten years experience in the following areas:

  1. A combination of research and practical experience related to issues of informal settlements upgrading including policy development, land tenure, service and infrastructure development, affordable housing development, and community development and strategic planning is required.
  2. Experience with UN-Habitat’s principles, particularly on the participatory informal settlements upgrading and experience in Guyana or Caribbean region is required, 
  3. Programme development and design, research skills to analyze data and information critically and identify and document key issues related to the informal settlements upgrading is a must.
  4. Background on urban planning and participatory urban development is an asset.
  5. Ability to prioritize activities and assignments



English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this consultancy, fluency in oral and written English is required. Although not a requirement, proficiency of another UN language is an advantage.


The consultancy will be 40 days over a period of 6 months from the day of the contract starts with key milestones provided in the calendar of activities and be based on a lump sum as per outputs


All applicants should register in UN Inspira roster.



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:                


Deadline for applications: 10 April 2020

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:


Guyana rapid profile in Caribbean Strategy for Informal Settlements Upgrading, UN-Habitat

Duty Station
Home Based with travel to Guyana