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Posted: Jan 13, 2017

Employment in UN-Habitat as a Consultant

Organisation: UN-Habitat

Job Title: Smart Cities Masterplan Consultant

Application Deadline: 21/01/2017

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, 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. The main documents outlining the mandate of the organization are the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements, the Habitat Agenda, the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements, the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium, and UN General Assembly Resolution A/56/206.

The United Nations Millennium Declaration recognizes the dire circumstances of the world’s urban poor. It articulates the commitment of Member States to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020- Millennium Development Goal No. 7, Target 11- which is UN-Habitat’s mandate.
As our cities and towns grow at unprecedented rates, setting the social, political, cultural and environmental trends of the world, sustainable urbanization is one of the most pressing challenges for the global community in the 21st century. In 1950, one-third of the world’s population lived in cities. Just 50 years later, this proportion has risen to one-half and will continue to grow to two-thirds, or six billion people, by 2050. Cities are now home to half of humankind. They are the hub for much national production and consumption- economic processes that generate wealth and opportunity. But they also create disease, crime, pollution and poverty. In many cities, especially in developing countries, slum dwellers number more than 50% of the population and have little or no access to shelter, water and sanitation. This is where UN-Habitat is mandate to make a difference for the better.

UN-Habitat Urban Planning LAB

The Urban Planning and Design Lab (UPD LAB) is an initiative from UN-HABITAT to promptly respond to the requests of national and local governments to support sustainable urban development.
The LAB acts as the integrative facility of the Agency in which spatial planning is used as the tool coordinating economic, legal, social and environmental aspects of urban development, translating them into concrete and implementable projects that materialize the normative work of UN-HABITAT. These urban strategies generate value, economic development and jobs.

The UPD-LAB is formed by a multidisciplinary team of urban planners, legal and financial experts providing a holistic proactive approach. Due to this, the UPD-LAB has become the team building facility inside the Agency where different areas of expertise come together to deliver concrete and integrated solutions.

The focus areas of the LAB are:

  • Citywide strategies
  • Planned city extensions (and new towns)
  • Urban infill, densification and renewal
  • Planning guidelines and capacity development
  • Climate change and urban planning The LAB is currently working in concrete projects joining international and local expertise in more than 20 countries and 40 cities in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia. The UPD LAB is also the cornerstone of the Global Network of Planning and Design LAB’s, an initiative supported by member states during the 25th Governing Council of UN-Habitat.The Network promotes the collaboration of international experts working together in different countries with local partners to propose implementable plans.

About the project

To deal with the challenges of the 21st century, new city thinking is needed. Smart cities are places that continuously innovates in the use and management of its resources (natural, physical, social, economic, financial resources, etc) and assets towards urban development.

Information and communications technologies (ICTs present opportunities for developing more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable cities. In addition, they present opportunities for citizens to take part in decision making and governance processes and hold policy makers to account for their decisions. These ICT processes have the potential of creating the progressive cities of the future.

As part of its work on smart cities, UN-Habitat is collaborating with a Sub-Sub Saharan African government partner on a project to develop a Smart Cities Masterplan for the country. The project involves developing the master plan to harness the potential of ICTs, innovative designs and technologies towards smart urban planning and governance. The masterplan is expected to look at urban and ICT challenges facing the country, define the role of smart cities in the wider African context, recommend relevant smart technologies, identify priority smart city themes and provide recommendations related to smart city policy frameworks, priority projects and cities, suggestions for resource mobilization, needs for governance models and identification of capacity building needs.

Why is a Consultant requested/needed?

UN-Habitat requires a consultant to produce the Smart City Masterplan and update the existing Smart City Framework. The consultant will take part in at least two missions to the country to meet with relevant stakeholders and hold stakeholder consultation and validation workshops.


The incumbent will be under the overall supervision of the Coordinator of Urban Planning and Design Branch. The Consultant will also report to the Head of the Urban Planning and Design LAB and liaise regularly with the Regional Office for Africa and the National Technical Adviser on country level.
The consultant will spend 100% of their time developing the Smart City Masterplan and Smart City Framework.

The expected deliverables of the project team include:

1.) Project Inception Report
2.) Updated Smart City Framework
3.) Draft Smart City Master Plan
4.) Finalized Smart City Master Plan
5.) Stakeholder consultations with government, and at least one (1) workshop with ICT sector and civil society stakeholders
6.) One (1) meeting with smart city private sector companies, academics and civil society organizations
7.) Launch of the final master plan at an African regional summit.
The tasks for the consultant in support of these deliverables are:
1.) Conduct desk review of existing government ICT policy and strategy documents and current and pipeline smart city initiatives.
2.) Conduct desk review of other smart city master plans from other countries for best practices.
3.) Prepare or support the preparation of the inception report
4.) Updating the Smart City framework documents
5.) Planning, organizing and conducting consultations with government and wider project stakeholders.
6.) Technical coordination between UN-Habitat’s Planning Lab, Regional Office for Africa, National Technical Adviser and the counterpart government ministry on country level.Qualifications/special skills

Competency: The principal competencies required to carry out the duties of the job are:

  • Technological Awareness Keeps abreast of available technology, understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office, actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks, shows willingness to learn new technology.
  • 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; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed, Excellent drafting ability and communications skills, both oral and written; proven ability to communicate complex concepts orally; ability to prepare written reports that are clear, concise and meaningful.
  • Teamwork Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; 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 ongoing 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. Specific competencies:
  • The consultant should have knowledge of major urban development issues specific to Sub-Saharan African countries, in particular challenges faced by landlocked nations.
  • The consultant should have knowledge of key ICT, and innovative design strategies adopted within Smart Cities elsewhere that have used technologies to resolve their urban issues.
  • Experience or knowledge of advising on ICT enabled technological solutions, e-government/e-governance transitions within the context of urban infrastructure and services will be an advantage.
  • Experience or knowledge on public sector big data analytics and the application of data insights to solve urban issues or similar work will be an advantage.
  • The consultant is also expected to develop inventories of technological best practices and innovative configurations that is suitable for resolving the relevant urban development issues (in particular within the energy, water, housing, transport and employment aspects) and to workshop these as part of the consultative process with stakeholders to develop the Smart Cities Master Plan.


  • Good project cycle coordination and management skills covering project design, implementation and monitoring.
  • An understanding of urban planning, urban development, urban policy and legislation and sustainable urbanization. Knowledge of the smart cities or ICT4D fields.
  • Excellent research and writing skills, particularly in the technology field.
  • Excellent ICT skills and analytical and communication skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills, previous exposure to cross cultural environments is advantageous.
  • Ability to work well in a team whilst also having the capacity and initiative to work independently is required.
  • Knowledge of the UN, including working experience in a developing country and working experience with the UN (work within the UN, or working with UN agencies and programmes) are assets.
  • Experience of working in Sub-Saharan Africa is an asset 

Academic Qualifications:

  • The incumbent is required to have a university degree fulfilled when applying for the position.
  • The academic background should be in any of the following fields: Urban Planning, Architecture, Smart Cities, Computer Science, Social/Human Sciences. An academic background which combines Urban Planning/Architecture/Social Sciences and ICT is a strong asset


The incumbent should have at least 3 years of relevant work experience. Experience from the ICT or telecommunications sector is an asset.


Fluency in English, written and verbal, is required. Working knowledge of another UN language, particularly French, is an asset

Job location

The consultant will work from UN-Habitat’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, with regular travel to the project location. For exceptional candidates, home working will be considered.


Apply here: https://goo.gl/Yz86ma

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