Org. Setting and Reporting
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. This position is in the Policy, Legislation and Governance Section of the Urban Practices Branch (UPB) within the Global Solutions Division of UN-Habitat Headquarters in Nairobi.
The Global Solutions Division (GSD) is responsible for providing programmatic direction for UN-Habitat and is responsible and accountable for the programmatic delivery of the Strategic Plan. The Division leads the tools and methodology production and the integration of the various substantive competencies towards effective delivery of the Strategic Plan and the mandate of UN-Habitat. It provides substantive training to staff members and supports capacity development of Member States and partners.
The Urban Practices Branch (UPB) is the tools and methodology production and skills centre of the UN-Habitat, that develops normative guidance and cutting-edge tools through communities of urban practice. It provides technical and policy advice approaches and methodologies to MCOs/CO, government and partners and mainstreams them throughout the programme portfolio. It also ensures that the cross-cutting area of safety and the social inclusion issues of human rights; gender; children, youth and older persons; and disability are developed and mainstreamed across the Agency.
The Policy, Legislation and Governance Section is responsible for coordinating the Agency’s substantive, normative and operational work on various dimensions of Policy, Legislation and Governance. The Section aims to develop, document, pilot/test and disseminate norms, standards, tools, methodologies, regulatory frameworks, operating procedures and practices at global, regional, national and sub-national levels; offer tailor-made solutions on policy, legislative and governance for cities, regions and metropolitan areas; and generate and manage cutting-edge knowledge and data in relation to these areas.
The position reports to the Chief of the Policy, Legislation and Governance Section. Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:
- Takes the lead to develop, implement and evaluate assigned programmes/projects, etc.; directs subordinates in programme/project development, implementation, monitoring and assessment; directs review of relevant documents and reports; identifies priorities, problems and issues to be addressed and proposes corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and initiates follow-up actions.
- Ensures implementation of gender mainstreaming guidelines by assessing the implications for men and women of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels.
- Directs research and programme evaluation and presents information gathered from diverse sources.
- Coordinates policy development; reviews the assessments of issues and trends, preparation of evaluations or research activities and studies.
- Undertakes survey initiatives; guides design of data collection instruments; reviews, analyzes and interprets responses, identifies problems/issues and prepares conclusions.
- Supervises preparation of various written outputs, e.g. background papers, analysis, substantial sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.
- Directs substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, etc., to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.
- Manages outreach activities; designs and conducts training workshops, seminars, etc., makes presentations on assigned topics/activities.
- Leads field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries, etc.
- Coordinates activities related to project funding (preparation of concept notes and project proposals), budget and funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements, etc.) and ensures preparation of related documents/reports (pledging, work programme, programme budget, etc.).
- Serves as an effective spokesperson and establishes collaboration and partnerships with key officials at all levels inside and outside the organization.
- Ensures effective utilization, supervision and development of staff; Guides, evaluates and mentors staff.
- Performs other related duties as required.
PROFESSIONALISM: Ability to identify key urban and human settlements strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Ability to generate and communicate broad and compelling organizational direction. Ability to communicate clearly links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals. Demonstrated ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or overseeing the planning, development, and management of operation. Demonstrated ability to negotiate and apply good judgment 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.
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.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
JUDGEMENT/DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in economics, public/business administration, policy, law, urban/regional planning, urbanism, civil engineering, sustainable urban development or related area. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in urban policy, urban and territorial planning, urban architecture and infrastructure, housing, land management, urban transport, sustainable urban development or related area is required.
Experience of at least 5 years within a ministry of a national government responsible for human settlements and urban issues is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another of a second official United Nations language is an advantage.
NOTE: "fluency equals a rating of "fluent" in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and " Knowledge of" equals a rating of " confident" in two of the four areas.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
This position is open for recruitment for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover letter.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an email acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please resubmit the application, if necessary. If the problem persists please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "Need Help?" link.
lnternal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.
Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.