The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the United Nations agency for human settlements mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. As instructed by the 21st session of its Governing Council, UN-Habitat has been mandated through its work programme to produce regional state of the cities reports to complement its normative flagship publication, The State of the World’s Cities, with regional policy analysis reports. These regional reports provide city planners and urban decision makers with policy analyses at the national, (sub-) regional and local levels. The reports aim at building national and local level capacity by creating knowledge management platforms towards achieving sustainable urban development; improving urban governance; and reducing urban poverty.
Through monitoring, analyzing and reporting on major areas of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and the MDGs the reports are intended to provide regional comparisons of urban and housing policy analyses. Under the Project Office, the Research and Capacity Development branch has the sole responsibility for producing reports on the African, Arab States, Asian, Transitional European, and Latin American/Caribbean regions. These reports seek to provide region-wide cutting edge information to enable knowledge-sharing and dialogue platforms as the substantive stepping stone for generating regional sustainable urban development strategies. The reports aim to benchmark urban data and sensitize governments at all levels about the challenges related to emerging and on-going urbanization trends.
The first report of this series - The State of African Cities 2008: A framework for addressing urban challenges - was launched in 2008 and:
1. took stock of current urban conditions and trends in Africa;
2. analyzed, documented and disseminated lessons learned;
3. provided city-level data and knowledge for applying the successful tools and methods developed to address shelter and urban development issues;
4. contributed to a structured dialogue between national and local authorities in order to promote the urban agenda in the political and development agendas of the countries and define strategies leading towards more sustainable and viable cities;
5. initiated a debate on networking among local, national and regional authorities pertaining to the building of linkages among African cities that will be conducive to a viable integration and connection of the continent to the current dynamics of globalization; and
6. developed policies and strategies for managing sustainable urbanization in Africa.
In 2010, similar regional reports were issued for the Asia/Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean regions, apart from a second report for Africa. In 2012, a second report on the LAC region and a new report on the Arab States were published. Currently, the third edition of The State of African Cities (2013) is under preparation, as well as a second report for the Asia/Pacific region (2013) and a first report for the Transitional Europe region (2013). Negotiations for the start of a first report for the Eurasia region are under way.
Under the direct supervision of the Project Leader/Global Coordinator for the State of the Region’s Cities reports and in collaboration with various substantive units in UN-Habitat, the Associate Human Settlements Officer will be responsible for the following tasks:
Participate in and contribute to the preparation of the envisaged 2013 publication of the third Africa report, the second Asia report, and the first European Transition region reports by:
1. Coordinating, supervising, reviewing and analysing the collection of data together with partner institutions within and outside the United Nations system;
2. Identifying and coordinating subcontractors and national/regional research institutions to collect and analyze data, policy and strategy papers and white papers on urban and housing trends;
3. Contributing to the regional editorial reviews by writing and/or reviewing draft sections;
4. Assisting in the coordination of consultants/institutions conducting research and data collection;
5. Providing administrative support services, including but not limited to budget management, preparation of consultants contracts and drafting of cooperation agreements;
6. Researching issue-specific country and regional reports, as well as other assessments and reports elaborated by UN-Habitat;
7. Assisting in identifying gaps in information and data;
8. Reviewing data submitted by statistical institutions and other entities involved in drafting the report; and
9. Conducting any other research connected to the regional reports.
Professionalism: Prior experience working on UN-Habitat flagship publications or similar documents is desirable. Proven ability to produce reports and provide information in a timely fashion and tailored to a variety of audiences. Proven ability to review and edit technical drafts and submissions. Flexibility, and ability to work under pressure. Experience in coordinating and working with high-level Government officials and multi and bi-lateral funding institutions is desirable.
Communication: Proven ability to write and communicate clear and concise statements.
Judgement/ Decision-making: Proven ability to make mature and calculated decisions. Must be able to work independently with little support.
University Degree in International Affairs, Economic Development, Political Science, Urban Policy and Planning and/or other relevant discipline with a focus on governance and human settlements is required. Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) will be an advantage.
Substantive experience in policy analysis, research, especially at the international level, is highly desirable. The candidate must have an understanding of urban social issues, urban development and urbanization. Experience working on UN-Habitat flagship reports or similar United Nations publications is desirable. Experience in collaborating with intergovernmental and/or UN bodies such as UNEP, UN-ECA and UNDP would be an advantage. Work experience with international institutions and in donor relations would be considered an asset. Work experience within a multi-cultural environment is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required, a working knowledge of French, Russian and/or German would be an advantage.
Familiarity with UN policies, procedures, particularly those related to technical cooperation and recruitment of consultants, is an asset. Experience working with publishing software. Excellent research skills.
See UN website http://www.un.org/Depts/OHRM/salaries_allowances/index.html
All applications including a covering letter, and PHP or P11, should be submitted to:
State of the Region’s Cities Reports
P.O. Box 30030
Deadline for applications: 21 June 2012