Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the United Nations agency for housing and 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 post is located in the Regional Office for Africa (ROAF), Nairobi duty station.


Under the overall guidance and direct supervision of the Director, Regional Programmes Division, the incumbent will be responsible for performing the following duties:

  • Policy-making: Contribute to the overall policy and strategy development of UN-Habitat, including in the regional dimensions.
  • Provide Leadership in the development and implementation of UN-Habitat’s operational strategy for the region and sub-regions; Encourage international cooperation to implement the New Urban Agenda and the urban dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals and represent the organization at all high-level events in the region.
  • Programme Development and Implementation: Provide leadership in the formulation of the annual work programme of the region and coordinate its implementation.
  • Resource Mobilization: Develop and implement a resource mobilization strategy for the region in close cooperation with the External Relations and Partnerships Branch (External Relations, Strategy, Knowledge and Innovation Division Division) and the Programme Development Branch (Global Solutions Division).
  • Monitor emergency needs and issues in the region in the context of human settlements, developing and implementing appropriate response strategy and projects; Maintain productive relations with the host government and supporting institutions.
  • Maintain close and regular liaison with headquarters, the UN Regional Coordination Office, UN Country Offices in the region, and other multi- and bilateral partners on programme development and coordination, in close collaboration with the Director of External Relations, Strategy, Knowledge and Innovation Division;
  • Undertake or participate in activities that foster country-to-country cooperation, knowledge management, and exchange of experience in varied aspects of human settlements across the region.
  • Networking and Information Activities: Organizing advocacy and thematic activities within the Region related to the main policy messages promoted by UN-Habitat.Representing UN-Habitat in major development programming exercises at the regional and national level, international conferences, major regional fora, expert meetings and project review meetings.
  • Promote and implement operational activities of UN-Habitat’s global programmes and flagship programmes towards the implementation of UN-Habitat Strategic Plan.
  • Management and supervision of the office; Manage and supervise the work of the Office, including administration, personnel, procurement and financial management; Approve financial authorizations for accounts under the Office control.
  • Ensure timely reporting to Headquarters and all the agencies funding its operational activities, including annual and quarterly reports.
  • Perform other related duties as required.


PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas, including knowledge of housing and urban development issues in Africa; Ability to produce reports and papers, and to review and edit the work of others; Shows pride in work and in achievements including in programme development and fund raising; Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges, including conflict resolution amongst governmental and non-governmental partners; remains calm in stressful situations.

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; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors 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.

MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches takes to skills; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; and actively supports the development and career aspirations for staff.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in urban and regional planning, housing, social sciences relevant to development and management of human settlements or related area is required. A first-level university degree in combination with additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in multi-disciplinary human settlements development work, of which at least ten on the international arena is required.
Experience in project/programme delivery and in raising funds and negotiating with high level Government and multi and bilateral technical funding agency officials in Africa is required.
Experience in raising funds and negotiating with high level Government and multi and bilateral technical funding agency officials in Africa is required.
Experience supervising a large multicultural office is required.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Working knowledge of French is desirable. Working knowledge of Portuguese is an asset.

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.

Special Notice

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.

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.

No Fee


Duty Station
United Nations Human Settlements Programme