India: Regional Urban Specialist

Organization: UN Human Settlements Program
Country: India
Closing date: 11 Mar 2018


United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)


New Delhi with missions to Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives and other countries. (30% mission travel to countries)


Regional Urban Specialist


NO-C equivalent (UNOPS ICA contract) – monthly pay



9 months upon initial appointment, April 2018


11 March 2018

Background and Purpose of the Post

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, has been assisting several member states in the South Asian region on the issues of urbanization and sustainable development. The Regional Urban Specialist will provide leadership and support to country offices in building urban programming capacity, support to formulation of urbanization initiatives, facilitate production of knowledge products or flagship publications, and support the development of national urban policies, strategies and frameworks. During the year 2018-2019, the main advisory services will focus on Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and India with a plan to expand advisory services based on the need from UN-Habitat country offices in the region.


Under the overall supervision of Senior Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) and direct supervision of the Country Programme Managers, the Regional Urban Specialist will be responsible for:

1. Quality Technical assistance to the country offices in the development and implementation of urban policies, planning strategies and knowledge management for the urban sector in focus countries

· Provide day-to-day guidance and technical assistance for the implementation of the agency’s programmatic focus areas in the countries

· Provide support to country offices in preparation of concept notes and detailed project partnership frameworks in consultation with relevant ministries and partners.

· Review relevant member states and ministries technical reports, spatial strategies/ plans, legislations, data and analysis on urban sector; help update urban sector knowledge collection analysis, and link to the evidence based policy advocacy and design initiatives of the ministries.

· Support in designing, planning and facilitating training on need-based urban issues for national counterparts from focus countries like Afghanistan etc.,

· Conceptualize and prepare knowledge notes on fundamental urban and strategic planning frameworks and tools, urban design and development guidelines, by contextualizing international and regional best practices and lessons learnt for focus countries.

· Provide technical support in needs assessments, in developing full project documents, and participating in advisory missions to carry out high level consultations on issues pertaining to the UN-Habitat NUA mandate.

· Coordinate results-based monitoring, evaluations and outcome-based reporting, including ensuring proper baselines, mid-term monitoring, and final evaluations;

· Contribute to knowledge partnership between the agency and urban stakeholders in India by sourcing good practices in focus areas of UN-Habitat from India and disseminate learnings, research material and programming resources throughout the agency and share global best practise, resources, publications and tools to counterparts in India and the sub-region.

Specific tasks in each country may include, for example for Afghanistan; peer review quarterly, annual and policy reports for projects from the countries or sub-region, providing inputs to the survey methodology for the (i) Willingness to Pay, (ii) Affordability, and (iii) Well-being survey to be conducted in urban areas in Afghanistan and support review and finalization of survey analysis, support finalizing the financial outlay and monitoring framework of Urban NPP, and support development of National Urban Policy, National Housing Policy and Public Space Policies. Similar tasks to be identified in each country in consultation with respective country management teams and preparing detailed work plan for 2018.

2. Perform other duties and responsibilities, which are within the expertise and experience as may be required by UN-Habitat in responding to the requests of the respective member states.


  • Professionalism: Ability to perform a broad range of administrative functions, e.g., budget/work programme, human resources, database management, etc. Ability to apply knowledge of various United Nations administrative, financial and human resources rules and regulations in work situations. 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

  • Teamwork: 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.

  • 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.


Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in Urban Planning/Economics/Policy/ Human settlements or related discipline.

Work Experience:

At least six years of progressively substantial advisory experience with:

(i) involvement in high level and complex urban advisory, including in fragile states

(ii) providing policy and technical assistance to national governments

(iii) hands on experience with new urban forms

(iv) community-based development

(v) familiarity with the UN in Afghanistan or related contexts

Qualifying years of experience are calculated following the receipt of the first level university degree recognized by the United Nations. Prior experience with UN funds and programmes on various operational modalities is an added asset.

Language and Communication Skills:

Fluency in written and spoken English is required. Knowledge of another UN language and/or Dari/ Pashto would be an advantage.

International Travel (Home – mission country):

The cost of a return economy class air-ticket from the place of recruitment on least-cost, DSA, visa fee, and terminals will be reimbursed upon submission of travel claim together with the supporting documents including copy of e-ticket, receipts and used boarding passes. Three quotations from reputable travel agents shall be submitted for UN-Habitat’s clearance prior to purchase of tickets.

Local Transportation:

Such as vehicle arrangements in mission country will be covered by UN-Habitat.

Travel Advice/Requirements:

The Regional Urban Specialist must abide by all UN security instructions. He/she should undertake Basic and Advanced Security Training as prescribed by UNDSS.

Reporting Arrangements:

The Regional Urban Specialist shall report to the Country Management Team of each country and the Senior Human Settlements Officer based in ROAP.

How to apply:

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.

* PHP can be also download from UN-Habitat/ROAP-vacancy website:

• 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)

All applications should be submitted to:

UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

ACROS Fukuoka, 8th Floor

1-1-1 Tenjin Chuo-ku, Fukuoka, 810-0001 Japan

Please indicate the Post Title: “**38.** Regional Urban Specialist” in your e-mail subject.

Please note that applications received after the closing date stated below, will not be given consideration. Only short-listed candidates whose applications respond to the above criteria will be contacted for an interview. The fee will be determined according to the qualifications, skills and relevant experience of the selected candidate. In line with UN-Habitat policy on gender equity, applications from female candidates will be particularly welcome.

Deadline for applications: 11 March 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