Issue Date: 19 September 2018


Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit, Urban Planning and Design Branch, UN-HABITAT




Urban Planning Officer


12 months


1 November 2018


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the mandated UN Agency working towards a sustainable urbanization and human settlements. UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries supporting people in cities and human settlements for a better urban future. The agency has been focusing on urban development for over 40 years. Working with governments and local partners, its high impact projects combine world-class expertise and local knowledge to deliver timely and targeted solutions. The Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit (RMPU) is one of the three units in the Urban Planning and Design Branch, along with the City Planning, Extension and Design Unit, and the Climate Change Planning Unit.

RMPU plays a key role in supporting the delivery of the following 4 (four) intervention areas:

  1. National Urban Policies from pre-feasibility, diagnostic, development, implementation to monitoring and tracking progress;
  2. Regional, Metropolitan and City-region Planning including in development of corridors, clusters and systems of cities and promotion of a green economy, smart city approach and urban-rural linkages;
  3. The International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning as well as it rolling out, implementation and monitoring;
  4. Spatial Planning Frameworks at metropolitan, regional, national and supra-national levels

This position requires that the Consultant contributes to all of the above four intervention areas of the Unit, namely National Urban Policies (NUP), International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning (IG-UTP), Regional and Metropolitan Planning, and Spatial Planning Frameworks.

National Urban Policies
The development of a National Urban Policy is the key step for reasserting urban space and territoriality and for providing the needed direction and course of action to support urban development. The National Urban Policy provides an overarching coordinating framework to address the most pressing issues related to rapid urban development, including slum prevention and regularization, access to land, basic services and infrastructure, urban legislation, delegation of authority to subnational and local governments, financial flows, urban planning regulations, urban mobility and urban energy requirements, as well as job creation.
Approved at the highest level, a National Urban Policy could be seen as the general framework to guide public and private interventions in urban areas and be a reference for sectoral ministries and service providers. When developed through a consultative process, the NUP can serve as one of the key references for legislative institutional reform. Countries that have developed and are implementing National Urban Policy often use it as a good instrument for public and political awareness because such policy highlights the gains to be obtained from sustainable urban development, as well as an opportunity to promote consultation with urban stakeholders.
Through the development of a National Urban Policy the following results are expected: (a)  the identification of urban development priorities towards socially and economically equitable and environmentally friendly urban and national development; (b) guidance on the future development of the national urban system and its spatial configuration concretized through National and Regional Spatial Plans for Territorial Development; (c) better coordination and guidance of actions by national actors, as well as lower levels of government in all sectors; (d) increased and more coordinated private and public and private investments in urban development and consequent improvement of cities productivity, inclusiveness and environmental conditions.
UN-Habitat has received a range of requests to support national governments to develop, implement and/or track progress of their national urban policies.

International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning
The International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning constitute a global framework for improving policies, plans and designs for more compact, socially inclusive, better integrated and connected cities and territories that foster sustainable urban development and are resilient to climate change.
The Guidelines purpose to:

  • Support countries implement a universally applicable reference framework for national urban policy reforms;
  • Support the development of a diversity of planning approaches adapted to different contexts and scales;
  • Complement and link other international guidelines aiming at fostering urban development;
  • Raise the urban and territorial dimensions in the development agendas of national, provincial and local governments.

For this assignment, one of the key tasks would be to undertake activities to support the implementation of the Guidelines.

Given the relative new focus provided by the programme to urban planning work of UN-Habitat, the Branch is reinforcing its human resource base to provide technical support to this programme and its various stakeholders and beneficiaries.

Regional and Metropolitan Planning
Regional and Metropolitan Planning aims to identify the urban and regional functions and patterns that contribute to sustainable development within a territory. This is done in order to then be able to provide evidence-informed tools and services which will increase efficiency in the use of resources in urban agglomerations and promote connectivity at the regional and metropolitan scales.

Work at the Regional and Metropolitan levels include investigation of urbanization processes in development corridors, systems of cities, new towns development, and clusters and trends. Although once feared to have been obsolete in the face of globalization, the power of the region in terms of its economic, social, and environmental potential has been “rediscovered” by policy makers. Moreover, the systems and networks that operate within these regions are now recognized for their importance. Perhaps most significantly has been the recognition of the ability to “construct” regions. While it was once believed that the predetermined history and culture of a region would shape its development, it is now commonly understood that regional connections can be shaped and built, depending on the variety of socio-political actors and the ways in which they are connected.

Spatial Planning Frameworks
Undertaking a Spatial Planning Frameworks can aid cities, countries and supra-nations in identifying regions of growth, risks or other types of classification (e.g. natural reserves, water resource region, etc.). Consequently, the spatial analysis that prefaces the adoption of Spatial Planning Frameworks present many benefits. Identifying ways to promote balanced regional development, supporting national economic development, minimizing environmental pressures, and addressing climate change concerns are a number of the benefits of undertaking spatial analyses and adopting Spatial Planning Frameworks.

The Consultant will be involved in supporting the Unit’s work programme and activities, in particular the following:

  • National Urban Policies (NUPs) and National Spatial Frameworks (NSFs):
  • Undertake research on NUPs and NSFs and develop tools to support their implementation;
  • Revise and adapt tools for NUPs and NSFs to facilitate the NUPs development cycle including feasibility, diagnostic, formulation, implementation, evaluation and monitoring;
  • Task-manage the third International Conference on National Urban Policy (ICNUP III)
  • Task-manage the second diagnostic phase of the NUP development for Liberia and prepare the Diagnostics Report;
  • Organize events and activities in Liberia to foster the development process of NUP and prepare regional diagnosis notes and workshop reports;
  • Liaise and collaborate with partners and stakeholders in the Liberia country programme to strength the NUP programme in the country;
  • Conduct missions to Liberia for the purposes of data research, hosting conference and workshops, interview and field research, among others.
  • Implementation of the International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning (IG-UTP):
  • Prepare Global report on IG-UTP;
  • Organize RMPU capacity development efforts, workshops and learning programmes of policy makers and planners on advocacy and awareness on IG-UTP in selected countries and regions;
  • Prepare tools for technical assistance to countries and cities in the implementation of the Guidelines such as the Assessment Framework and the learning materials
  • Regional and Metropolitan Planning
  • Undertake project review to advance the collaboration with the International Civil and Aviation Organization (ICAO) on the second phase of the of the joint project entitled “Promoting Synergy between Airports and Cities to Achieve Sustainable Development”;
  • Prepare spatial analysis and design to support integrated planning projects in selected countries such as Niger State (Nigeria), Cameroon, Liberia, among others;
  • Assess and propose planning solutions for the newly construction airport-city highway in Yaoundé, Cameroon and prepare the environmental assessment of the highway;
  • Provide input to other areas of regional and metropolitan planning work. e.g. Urban-rural linkages, MetroHUB, regional planning, urban corridors, and green economy/smart green cities;
  • Prepare materials at country, regional and metropolitan levels to promote socially inclusive, integrated and connected system of cities.
  • Communication and Other Duties
  • Undertake duties as assigned by Office of the Executive Direct;
  • Prepare and organize the Asia Urban Future Forum;
  • Provide technical assistance in selected field projects and advisory services in various countries such as Cameroon, China, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria (Niger State), Saudi Arabia, among others;
  • Design the layout of urban-related publications and other visual materials including videos, website, poster brochures, infographics, PPTs and etc.
  • Finalize the communication strategy and branding for the unit/branch;
  • The consultant will also undertake other relevant duties as assigned by the Leader of the Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit to advance the work of the Unit, Branch and the Agency.


-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

-Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals
-Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others
-Places team agenda before personal agenda
-Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position
-Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings

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 on-going developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems
-Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects
-Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in urban planning, urban design or related disciplines is required. A first-level degree with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advance university degree.


  • A minimum of two years of progressively responsible experience in urban planning, urban design, policy-making or related areas;
  • Prior experience on Liberia and Cameroon related urban issues is an advantage;
  • Prior experience at UN-Habitat is an advantage.


  • Fluency in English is required;
  • Knowledge of and ability to work in other official UN languages is an advantage.


  • Demonstrable ability to innovate and initiate spatial analysis and frameworks at different levels;
  • Ability to work under pressure in diverse environments with minimum supervision;
  • Ability to represent and articulate the organization’s philosophy at various for a;
  • Demonstrable effective written communications skills including the ability to prepare reports, proposals, policies and procedures;
  • Strong networking, team work and management skills;
  • Good design and publishing ability;
  • Very strong analytical and interpersonal skills;
  • Professional skill in urban design and spatial planning is an asset.

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.
The fees will be paid as per agreement

Applications should include:
•     Cover memo (maximum 1 page)
•     CV in the PHP format, accessible through the INSPIRA website ( Please note, if using INSPIRA for the first time, you need to register in order to activate your account, which will allow you to log in and create a personal History Profile.
•     The PHP should be attached to the application as a PDF file.
•     Summary CV (maximum 2 pages), indicating the following information:
1.   Educational Background (incl. dates)
2.   Professional Experience (assignments, tasks, achievements, duration by years/ months)
3.   Other Experience and Expertise (e.g. Internships/ voluntary work, etc.)
4.   Expertise and preferences regarding location of potential assignments
5.   Expectations regarding remuneration
•     Cover memo (maximum 1 page)

Please also be advised that since April 15th 2010, applicants for consultancies must be part of the
UN-HABITAT e-Roster in order for their application to be considered. You can reach the e-Roster
through the following link:

All applications should be submitted in electronic format (using MS Word) by email to
and copy to

P.O. Box 30030, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya

Deadline for applications: 01 Oct 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: