Untitled Document

Terms of reference for supporting the preparation of the State of Post-COVID 19 Addis Ababa Report

Consultancy:                           Research Assistant

Project Title:                           Preparation of the State of post COVID-19 Addis Ababa Report II - Ethiopia

Functional Designation           Urban socio-economist

Duration:                                three months

Starting date:                          15 September 2020

Duty Station:                           Addis Ababa, Ethiopia




In 2017, UN Habitat published the ‘State of Addis Ababa 2017: The Addis Ababa we want’ report. The report examined the city’s urban development process and patterns as well as its governance structure with a view to understanding how they currently affect economic development, social services delivery, the urban environment and housing provision for the poor. It concludes with concrete recommendations on the economy, urban planning and design, housing, governance and the environment.


The drafting of the second State of Addis Ababa report has come at a critical time when the Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic is ravaging the world at unprecedented speed. Ethiopia, as one of the poorest countries in the world, has been affected severely by the spread of the pandemic. Given the magnitude of the economic and health crisis brought about by the pandemic, the second State of Addis Ababa report will focus on ‘Planning Healthy Cities in the Post-Covid Era’. The aim of the report is, therefore, to outline a post-Covid agenda  for transforming Addis Ababa through urban planning, institutional transformation, and infrastructure development so that the city will be in a strong position to create conditions for a ‘healthy city’ environment and to mitigate the spread of  future pandemics.

Mounting scientific evidence generated over the past decade highlights the significant role of our cities’-built environments in shaping our health and well-being. There is a growing awareness among city leaders and policymakers of the impact of the urban environment on health outcomes and inequalities. Increasingly, practitioners in built environment city departments, such as housing, planning, transport and regeneration, seek new tools and guidance to understand how their respective policies and decisions can support the creation of healthier cities. A key challenge for the future will be to develop planning frameworks which advance public health concerns in a spatial policy context driven often by market forces. A health in all policies approach could be valuable.

One of the negative consequences of the pandemic in the context of Ethiopia is the closure of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMES) and the shrinking number of jobs in both manufacturing and service sector. The Jobs Creation Commission (JCC) estimates that more than 2 million youth enter the labor market every year and 14 million jobs will be required between 2020 and 2025 to absorb all new entrants to the labor market. The pandemic thus adds strain to the already scarce urban jobs.

One of the consequences of the pandemic in cities is that of the inability of industries and services to create new jobs in urban centers.  Furthermore, the pandemic can rapidly transform into a social crisis, given the elevated level of informality in the urban labor market. It is worth noting that cities are known for their natural concentration of industries and service-based activities.  Occupying a small area, cities contribute a significant share to GDP largely due to agglomeration benefits and the related boost in productivity.  For instance, with a population of about 22% and a land area of less than 3% of the total, Ethiopian cities contribute about 50% to the national GDP.  Some academic estimates  put the share of Addis alone in Ethiopian GDP as high as 35% and that all urban areas at 54% and possibly higher.

The rather infant tourism and hospitality sector has also been severely hit by the pandemic and the effect is more pronounced in Addis Ababa. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered the travel and tourism landscape around the world, even more so in Ethiopia’s already often overlooked market. As the pandemic rages on, several tourism related businesses such as airlines and tour operators have had to cease operations and hotels have shuttered their doors in response as well. The result of these spontaneous closures is apparent in thousands of workers in the tourism sector that are suddenly out of work with no resolution in sight.

According to some estimates Addis Ababa has seen about 88 percent of its hotels closed either partially or completely. Thus, the post COVID opening-up of the economy represents a great opportunity to fuel the city’s recovery through the hospitality industry. The tourism sector’s recovery is not only a question of how long the pandemic will go on, but whether the tourists will return when the pandemic is over. In this case it is vital to strategize for short, medium and long-term recovery plans for Ethiopia’s tourism sector. This is where urban planning comes into play through its effect on innovative and attractive city planning interventions such as the Sheger project. This report investigates to what extent urban planning aids the short-long term recovery of tourism in the context of Addis Ababa.






2.         Objective of the Consultancy


The aim of the report is to identify the association between the urban form and the spread of Covid-19 in Addis Ababa and to recommend ways to strengthen the interface between urban planning and human health, MSMEs, jobs and to come up with sensible proposals for a post-Covid 19 agenda for Addis Ababa.


3.         Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the UN-Habitat Programme Manager for Ethiopia; the direct supervision of the Senior international researcher, with the support from the UN-Habitat Regional Office for Africa (ROAf) and in close collaboration with UN-Habitat thematic branches, national and local counterparts, the incumbent the Consultant will have to fulfil the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Work as Research Assistant for the preparation of the State of post Covid 19 Addis Ababa Report II
  • Support the collection and analysis of secondary data through literature review, drafting of preliminary findings and refining primary data collection method; the latter will include both a qualitative and a quantitative component
  • Support organisation of the inception workshop of the project meant to gather all the concerned stakeholders and to ensure a participatory preparation of the Report, and in writing the workshop proceedings;
  • Support the collection of the primary qualitative data by designing a questionnaire to be reviewed by the Lead Author, and in producing a preliminary data analysis;
  • Support the design of the field survey (i.e. the quantitative primary data collection) under the leadership of the Lead Author and with the support of a qualified Statistician, i.e. the sampling scheme and method, and the type of data to be collected (form/questionnaire to be compiled); support the Lead Author in training data collectors;
  • Support the primary data analysis and, in consultation with the Lead Author, derive key findings related to the themes being investigated;
  • Support the organisation of focus group discussions with relevant stakeholders to review the findings from the analysis of both secondary and primary data during the mid-term review workshop; support the Lead Author in presenting a detailed outline of the Report during the workshop;
  • Support drafting of the substantive chapters of the Report in coordination with the Lead Author and other team members, including the formulation of key recommendations; pictures, maps, graphs and illustrations may be used to make the report more attractive and communicative;
  • Support the finalisation of the draft Report by integrating all inputs received in the different chapters including the recommendations/conclusion and help the Lead Author in sending it to the main stakeholders.
  • Support the Lead Author in presenting the validated Report at the public event for launching the State of post Covid 19 Addis Report.



4.         Expected Outputs

By the end of the consultancy, the following products are expected, in a chronologic order:

  • Literature review completed, including a comprehensive list of bibliographic references;
  • Presentation of the research methodology for the inception workshop supported;
  • Proceedings of the inception workshop supported;
  • Draft questionnaires for the primary data collection (both qualitative and quantitative);
  • Training package for the young researchers who will perform the field survey supported;
  • Analysis of the primary data and preliminary findings supported;
  • Detailed outline of the report supported;
  • Proceedings of the mid-term review workshop including all inputs from the different focus group discussions supported;
  • Draft of the substantive chapters and recommendations supported;
  • Presentation at the public event for launching the Report supported.



5.         Time Frame

The assignment will be carried out in six months,  starting from 1 August 2020.



6.         Qualifications/Experience/Skills


  • Minimum of 4 years of working experience at the national and international level on relevant research projects;
  • Recognised experience and knowledge on socio-economic issues related to urban development;
  • Excellent knowledge of the Ethiopian context and of Addis Ababa in particular.


  • Capacity to analyse an important quantity of information and to extract the key issues relevant to the assignment.
  • Ability to work independently with a high degree of responsibility, in a flexible manner and often under pressure.
  • Ability to conduct interviews.
  • Good communication and writing skills.
  • Good English proficiency.



  • At least Master’s degree in urban sociology, economics, geography, economic geography or equivalent.


Applications should include:

  • Cover memo (maximum 1 page)
  • Summary CV (maximum 2 pages), 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.)



JCC, Plan of Action for Job Creation 2020-2025, 2019

Geda, Alemayehu, The Macroeconomic and Social Impact of COVID-19 in Ethiopia and Suggested Direction for Policy Response, April 2020

AA bureau of tourism, 2020

Duty Station
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia