Issued on: 08 October 2018




Nairobi (with frequent missions to Somalia)


Urban and Regional Planner –

International Consultant


12 months


15 October 2018

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, is the United Nations 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.  In October 2016, at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III – member states signed the New Urban Agenda.  This is an action-oriented document which sets global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities.  Through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors, including at all levels of government as well as the private sector, UN-Habitat is applying its technical expertise, normative work and capacity development to implement the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 11.

The UN-Habitat Somalia Programme is seeking the support of a qualified Urban and Regional Planner to support and coordinate the implementation of urban planning activities under the Joint Programme of Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery (JPLG) and – to a smaller extent - in a newly established set of displacement programmes and projects.  These programs and projects align with broader durable solutions, peacebuilding and stabilization objectives championed by different Federal Member States Administration and the Federal Government of Somalia. 

Urbanization across Somalia continues at a high rate, driven by population growth, migration, conflict and the impact of climate change.  Urban centres are central places where basic social services such as water, health, education, public transport and roads are available.  Additionally, they function as centres of local government, commerce, and sometimes light industry.  The average annual urban population growth of Somalia is extremely high, around 4.1%.  and Hargeisa, the capital city of Somaliland with roughly one million inhabitants, is among the urban centers with the highest growth rate.  The port city of Berbera increasingly gets international attraction as it connects Somaliland with the prospering economic hubs of Ethiopia.  Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, is the country’s sole urban agglomeration and has its owns specifics in the emerging federal system and numerous challenges to integrate internally displaced people which make of 25% of its population.

Against the backdrop of the specific political, social and economic environment in Somalia, urbanization continues to produce new sources of conflict over scarce resources such as water and urban land and the limited provision of basic services.  This has given local and state authorities new challenges regarding integrated urban planning to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG 11).

JPLG has been working closely with the Ministries of Public Work and has built local government capacity in integrated urban planning processes.  Urban Regulatory Frameworks (URF) were adopted by the National Urban Planning Committee in Somaliland and by the government of the Puntland.  Th implementation of URF was tested in collaboration with Gabiley, Odeweyne (Urban Master Plans) and Berbera Municipalities (Strategic Development Plan).  The planning processes were aligned with the revised District Development Planning Framework and National Development Plans.

Given the high rate of urbanization and the associated challenges, JPLG in its new phase will develop specific interventions to address urbanization and its spatial challenges building upon the achievements made in Somaliland, Puntland and other parts of Somalia:

  • Urban Profiles consists of an accelerated, action-oriented assessment of urban conditions, focusing on priority needs, capacity gaps, and existing institutional responses at local and national levels. The consultation typically results in a collective agreement on priorities and their development into proposed capacity-building and other projects that are all aimed at urban poverty reduction. This will feed in the district development framework. 
  • Visioning and Strategic Urban Development Planning brings together high level decision makers from the public and private sector and representatives from civic society for the discussion on possible alternatives to manage urban growth, that is sensitive to specific needs of the overwhelmingly young urban population and marginalized groups against the background of reconciliation of the individual interests, technical opportunities and constraints, as well as political objectives. Strategies, programs and projects will be reflected in Spatial Strategic Development Plans.
  • Land Management and Administration Systems, such as by-laws, planning standards and guidelines, building permits processes etc., to guide and regulate urban development.

Participatory urban planning methodologies will be applied during the strategic development phase that will promote the participation of a wide range of stakeholders, including vulnerable communities and those affected by displacement in an inclusive manner. 

Work arrangements and assignments:

The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Mogadishu based Human Settlement Officer (Urban Planner) and the overall supervision of the Head of Programmes of the Somalia Programme in close collaboration with the assigned National Programme Officers and the local JPLG teams – mainly in Hargeisa, Berbera and Mogadishu.

She/he will contribute to the implementation of urban planning activities in the thematic areas of Urban Development Planning and Durable Solutions in the Urban Planning by performing the following tasks:

  • Provide planning and design inputs to ongoing planning initiatives, including visioning and citywide development strategies, extension plans and urban transformation plans with a spatial focus on Hargeisa, Berbera and Mogadishu;
  • Research on and collection of geo-data that can be used for urban and regional planning in the project locations;
  • Develop urban profiles for Hargeisa and Berbera and contribute to urban profiling in Mogadishu;
  • Review of proposals and design prepared by local planners for various partner cities;
  • Develop critical analysis of existing planning documents and instruments;
  • Develop clear planning proposals, drawings and related reports for partner cities and ministries;
  • Contribute to the Durable Solutions initiative by providing substantial inputs on spatial re-integration of displaced people and housing for poor urban communities;
  • Provide inputs to guide or facilitate the delivery of relevant urban legislation reviews with focus on planning standards and design guidelines
  • Develop and organize participatory, multi-stakeholder processes tailor made for the projects in a specific context;
  • Support training activities and the development of toolkits for capacity development in urban planning for partner institutions;
  • Take part in field missions;
  • Provide input to Somalia Programme reports, data set upon urbanization, documents and (online) publications;
  • Attend technical meetings and conferences linked to Urbanization, Durable Solutions, Urban Resilience and bridging the humanitarian and development nexus.

Ultimate result of service:
The consultancy will focus on 1) helping cities to develop practical, feasible approaches to implementing urban planning interventions through direct planning support; 2) assisting state governments to scale up successful local-level approaches through tools development, and 3) build the capacities of planning units at district and state level (implementation of planning standards and building guidelines, development control through building permit systems scrutiny, etc.)

Results Expected:

  • Local urban planning units of partner cities assisted and capacitated in undertaking urban profiling incl. data collection and engaging a wide range of stakeholder in participatory planning processes;
  • Urban profile studies prepared and edited and published online;
  • Thematic area maps drafted as part of Urban Profiling in Hargeisa, Berbera and Mogadishu (structure maps, land use maps, conceptual maps, regional infrastructure mapping etc.);
  • Drafts for Strategic Urban Development Plans prepared (Hargeisa, Berbera);
  • Sketching for selected proposed capital investment and community development projects done;
  • Spatial data base for urban planning activities in the main project locations established;
  • Building permit system aligned with state policies are designed at local level and tested for at least one project location;
  • Toolkit drafted for planning standards and guidelines at state level and in Mogadishu;
  • Information material produced to visualize urban planning and management aspects for sensitization and awareness building and international promotion.

COMPETENCIES (maximum of five) 


Shows pride in work and achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery in delivering on UN-Habitat mandate; 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.  

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 the audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Planning and 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. 

Client Orientation 

Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in progress and meets deadline for delivery of products or services to client 


Advanced University degree in Urban and Regional Planning, or Architecture and Urban Planning, or Urban Management or any other relevant field to urban planning management and design. 


At least three years working experience in urban planning and design, urban management and participatory planning processes and /or local governance matters. 

Previous work experience related to Somalia and/ or with international agencies a major asset. 


Strong written and oral skills in both English are a requirement.  Although not a requirement, knowledge of Arabic, Somalia or Italian will be an advantage. 


  1. Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to urban planning and design;
  2. Strong analytical skills in urban analyses (urban forms, urban systems and territorial linkages) and city development strategy development;
  3. Knowledge in managing and processing GIS data;
  4. Proven design and presentation skills:
  5. Ability to communicate complex technical issues in a clear language and convincing narrative;
  6. Proven knowledge in project management and coordination in multi-disciplinary and inter-cultural teams;
  7. Proactive, results oriented and positive can-do attitude with an ability to manage a diverse workload and competing demands independent;
  8. Capable of working both on own initiative and as part of a team;


Payments will be based on deliverables over the consultancy period.  There are set remuneration rates for consultancies.  The rate is determined by functions performed and experience of the consultant and aligned with the working environment in Somalia.  The rates will be paid as per agreement.


Applications from qualified women will be highly welcomed.

Applications should include:

1) Cover memo (maximum 1 page)

2) CV curriculum vitae and/or P-11 form marked “Urban and Regional Planner – International Consultant” to:

Officer-in-Charge, UN-Habitat Somalia


 Deadline for applications: 15 October 2018

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: