Services/Work Description:              Recruitment of Research Assistants for UN-Habitat Ethiopia Country Programme Office
Project/Program Title:                         Feasibility Study Waste Wise Cities: Tackling Plastic Waste in The Environment
Post Title:                                                   Research Assistant (RA)                
Quantity:                                                    Two (2)
Duty Station:                                            Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar, Ethiopia 
Duration:                                                    Three months
Expected Start Date:                            Immediately after Signing the Contract

UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future with a mission of promoting socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all. It is present in Ethiopia since 1998.
While providing its support to sustainable urban development in Ethiopia, UN-Habitat has developed a guiding document called UN-Habitat Country Programme for Ethiopia (2016-2020). Building on global frameworks such as SDG 11, the New Urban Agenda and Ethiopia’s 2nd Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II), the country programme is organized around four pillars: (i) Urban Regional Planning, (ii) Urban Resilience, (iii) Housing and Urban Basic Services, (iv) Urban Monitoring and Research Advocacy. It also considers cross cutting issues such as Awareness Raising - Participatory Approach Capacity Development - Technical Advice - Policy Support. Subsequently, UN-Habitat and the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction (MUDCo) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding in February 2018 which provides the legal framework to implement the UN-Habitat Country Programme.
UN Habitat Ethiopia has successfully implemented the koshe/Reppie dump site rehabilitation project in Addis Ababa and has also an ongoing solid waste management project in Bahir Dar “Supporting the implementation of sustainable solid waste management through the introduction of the Fukuoka Method’’. The project is working and finalizing piloting the Fukuoka solid waste management Method, the project is responding to the urgent demand of improving the existing and increasing waste issues by designing a sustainable and efficient solid waste system with Fukuoka Method with long term development vision for the city. The project is also ensuring capacity and skills development of the city administration, through training and introduction to approaches and methods for sustainable and strengthened local governance in environmental engineering and management.

Currently, UN Habitat Ethiopia is implementing a project “Feasibility Study Waste Wise Cities: Tackling Plastic Waste in The Environment” jointly with the city government of Addis Ababa and urban basic services section of UN Habitat HQ in Nairobi. The projects aim to support Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar cities in assessing waste management status and develop project proposals
The role of the RAs is to support the development of 2 quick-win project proposals to keep plastic waste out of the environment in Addis Ababa/Bahir Dar. The project foresees the development of 2 project proposals based on the results obtained by the WaCT application. The WaCT will assess plastic waste material flows, existing plastic waste management practices and trends, as well as plastic leakages in selected cities, to achieve a better understanding and identify gaps and barriers for sustainable plastic waste management and potential areas of intervention. This comprehensive assessment project will on one hand outline quick solutions to increase the amount of waste plastic collected and recycled/recovered, and on the other hand will potentially suggest feasibility studies for larger plastic waste management infrastructure investment cases for municipal corporations and other stakeholders ensuring sustainability aspects.


The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the UN-Habitat Ethiopia Programme Manager, and in close collaboration with Urban basic services section from the Headquarters in Nairobi. Within delegated authority, the research assistant will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Literature review on SWM data, data gap analysis, existing legislation, city’s background, including socio-economic status as well as key waste stakeholders and roles
  • Map plastic recovery capacity and facilities in selected cities and related countries 
  • Co- Coordinate with Addis/Bahir Dar city to implement the WaCT: e.g. collection of waste bags, provision of transport for household and non-household survey, visit to collection, recycling, recovery and disposal facilities, calls to ministry or entities in charge of schools, hospitals, provision of permits/licenses for restaurants, hotels, bars, shops, etc.
  • Select 9 districts/neighborhoods with different income levels and 10 households per each district/neighborhood for household survey
  • Arrange logistics for training in coordination with cities (e.g. purchase/provision of necessary items, venue and catering for participants, etc.)
  • Coordinate the training on WaCT in target cities.
  • collect data and assess environmental control level of waste recovery and disposal facilities
  • Analyze and process collected data from each target city
  • Develop the WFD – waste flows and plastic leakage maps
  • In WS1 nominate focal persons from each stakeholder group (e.g. collection companies, recycling companies, CBOs, waste pickers groups, city administration, etc.) to support the development of the project proposals
  • Draft project proposals in collaboration with selected focal persons
  • WS2, present and discuss drafted project proposals
  • Finalize project proposals based on WS2 feedback
  • Any other tasks requested by the or the team leader and Programme Manager


  • WaCT applied in Addis Ababa/Bahir Dar city.
  • Stakeholder workshops to identify quick-win pilot projects organized and project proposal developed for Addis Ababa/Bahir Dar.
  • Input to reports, publications and visual representation of analysis and planning components.


  • The project manager will directly supervise the RA and he/she will be directly responsible to, and reporting to, seeking approval/ acceptance of output from Country Programme Manager;
  • The RA is expected to provide weekly reports via email and monthly narrative reports in format shared by the project manager. The reports must be shared with the project manager, the country program manager and programme support staff as indicated.
  • The RA is expected to collaborate with UN organizations and NGOs in Addis Ababa/Bahir Dar and with different governed bureaus. The RA will interact with representatives of local administration, local academic institutions, civil society and representatives of stakeholders in the waste management system.
  • The entities other than UN-Habitat have a consultative role, while the project implementation is managed solely by UN-Habitat.
  • The project will provide office space, and logistical support for field works.


  • Office Space and Arrangement of workshop(s)
  • The assignment does not require presence on the UNDP premises in Addis Ababa.
  • UN-Habitat Ethiopia will be in-charge for offering both administrative and logistics supports at both duty stations.

5. Time Frame

  • The assignment will be carried out in 3 months, starting from Feb 15, 2021.

6. Qualifications/Experience/Skills

  • At least Master’s degree in environmental studies (environmental science, environmental engineering, or related fields)


  • Minimum of 1 years of working experience at the national and international level on relevant research projects.
  • Recognised experience and knowledge in solid waste management.
  • Excellent knowledge of the Ethiopian context and of Addis Ababa/Bahir Dra in particular.

7. Skills

  • Capacity to analyse an important quantity of information and to extract 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 guide and conduct interviews.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills.
  • Good English proficiency.


  Applications should include:

  • Cover memo (maximum 1 page)
  • P11/CV, 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 : yohannes.aynekulu@undp.org          
Deadline for applications: 07 February 2021
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
Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar, Ethiopia,