United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHABITAT)

Senior Programme Officer (Human Settlements)

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHABITAT)

Job Description

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.

Through its Regional Office for Arab States (ROAS), UN-Habitat has been supporting Arab states in their efforts to achieve sustainable urbanization and the right to adequate housing for all, within the framework of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda – particularly Sustainable Development Goal 11 to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” – and the New Urban Agenda. Particularly in countries undergoing conflicts, ROAS has been re-defining ways to respond to urban crises. While meeting the immediate needs of people in humanitarian contexts remains of utmost importance, these activities need to lay the foundation for medium and long-term solutions, especially in the context of protracted crises.

In Yemen, UN-Habitat is about to establish country presence. The first phase to UN-Habitat’s engagement in Yemen has been launched, the European Union funded project on “Rapid City and Neighborhood Profiling – Towards a Development Oriented Urban Recovery Process in Yemen”. As part of a regional initiative on city and neighborhood profiling as well as strategizing for urban recovery, the project is expected to improving the quality of humanitarian and recovery responses to the Yemen crisis through better urban information and Analysis.

The focus of the Senior Programme Officer, Human Settlements position is to lead the planning, development, management, monitoring and evaluation as well as promotion and coordination of the UN-Habitat Yemen programme, operations, policy development and related activities. The incumbent is expected to facilitate in the design, advice and implementation of relevant strategies and programmes in collaboration with other units, aligned with UN-Habitat’s mandate, objectives, focus areas and expected results. The incumbent coordinates with the UN Humanitarian/ Resident Coordinator and relevant UN-Habitat HQ substantive branches to ensure alignment of the work programme with UN-Habitat’s Strategic Plan.

Guided by the Regional Representative and in close collaboration with the Human Settlement Officer (HSO) assigned to Yemen, the Senior Programme Officer, Human Settlements - within the delegated authority - will be responsible for the following duties:

Responsibilities

• 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.
• Supervises and ensures an effective and efficient execution of projects and programmes, within the limit of the allocated resources, by providing appropriate Technical Support to projects through project design, field visits, training and evaluation, coordination and monitoring activities related to one of the following areas: effective advocacy, monitoring and partnership, participatory urban planning, management and governance, land and housing, environmentally sound urban infrastructure and services and strengthened human settlements finance systems.
• Coordinates activities related to 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.).
• Fosters partnerships and collaboration with donors and other international agencies to mobilize resources for projects and programme on sustainable urbanization.
• 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.
• Ensures effective utilization, supervision and development of staff; guides, evaluates and mentors’ staff.
• Supervises and provides of technical and management support in human settlements analysis, needs assessments and other activities, participating in advisory missions to carry out high level consultations and other activities aimed at development of human settlements policies, strategies and programmes.
• Undertakes survey initiatives; guides design of data collection instruments; reviews, analyzes and interprets responses, identifies problems/issues and prepares conclusions.
• 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.
• Supervises preparation of various written outputs, e.g. background papers, analysis, substantial sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.
• Provides Capacity Development support through documentation of knowledge management, tool development and facilitating networking with partners and programmes contributing to the enhancement of the policy dialogues at UN-Habitat and globally.
• Supervises the strengthening of inter-divisional collaboration to achieve better linkages between normative and operational support to better coordinate and support the implementation of the organization’s work programme.
• Leads field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries, etc.
• Serves as an effective spokesperson and establishes collaboration and partnerships with key officials at all levels inside and outside the organization.
• Manages outreach activities; designs and conducts training workshops, seminars, etc., makes presentations on assigned topics/ activities.
• Directs substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, etc., to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.
• May perform other related duties as required.

Competencies

PROFESSIONALISM: Ability to identify key 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 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.

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.

MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in architecture, civil engineering, urban and regional planning, sociology, economics or physical sciences relevant to development and management of human settlements. A first level university degree in combination with two (2) years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in human settlements (urban planning and management, housing and slum upgrading, land and urban infrastructure) projects and programmes at national level and at least five years of similar experience at the international level.
Proven experience in human settlements development fields, humanitarian and urban recovery settings, projects/ programme design and implementation with the UN or other international agencies is desirable.
Knowledge of technical cooperation and development issues required. Fully proficient in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Email (Outlook) and internet. Experience with other relevant software and UN applications, e.g. GIS and internal databases is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English and Arabic (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

Assessment

Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This is a project post. Appointment against this post is 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 or geographical move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.

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.

Internal 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.

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 e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "need Help" link.

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.

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

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.

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