Human Settlements Officer - Programme, Damascus, Syria

Closing date: Thursday, 14 December 2017

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world's most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners' expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.

UNOPS mission is to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners to implement peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need. Working in some of the world's most challenging environments, UNOPS vision is to always satisfy partners with management services that meet world-class standards of quality, speed and cost effectiveness.

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN Habitat, is the United Nations agency for cities and human settlements. UN-Habitat's humanitarian work is guided by its Strategic Policy on Human Settlements in Crisis and the agency is a member of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC). At the core of UN Habitat's work is UN Habitat People's Process and New Urban Agenda which places participatory urban analysis, and planning as a central pillar of humanitarian response, recovery, and the rehabilitation of fragile cities.

UN Habitat's Syria Programme focuses on the following areas: emergency shelter and housing, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), solid waste management, and urban infrastructure rehabilitation. UN-Habitat works closely with UN agencies, Governorates and local NGO partners to implementation its programmes at national, Governorate and municipal levels. In addition, UN-Habitat is expanding its information and analysis work to other conflict contexts in the region, working through the UN-Habitat Regional Office for Arab States.

One Human Settlements Officer (HSO) will be recruited to support programme development and implementation. The HSO should have one of the following core areas of expertise: shelter/housing; urban planning; land administration. The duties of the position require partner liaison and coordination capacity; and some representation and outreach skills.

Under the overall guidance UN-Habitat Syria Chief Technical Advisor, the Human Settlement Officer - Programme, will be responsible for the following: 1. Programme and Project Development and Implementation: Contribute to the implementation of the Organization's vision, work programme and advocacy role; Contribute to the development and implementation of the UN-Habitat Syria Country Programme Document; Identify priority interventions/projects in Syria; Provide input to human settlements analyses and needs assessment; support the design and implementation of projects in shelter/housing; and/or urban planning; and/or land administration; Support national colleagues in the development, appraisal, revision and approval of sub-projects/programmes; Liaise with donors and partners in programme design and development;

2. Technical Assistance and Advice: Promotion of policy dialogues with national constituencies and development partners; Review and analyze issues and trends, preparation of evaluations or other research activities and studies; Provide technical assistance and implementation support to relevant parties, including on shelter/housing; urban area-based approaches and recovery; Support training workshops, seminars; Provide quality technical input and management advise into project activities in line with UN-Habitat global work plans and strategies; Assist local institutions and government with developing relevant policies. Organizie and participating in relevant programme meetings.

3. Managerial Support: Provide support to ongoing projects; Support the preparation of programme and project budgets, agreements of cooperation and other partnership documents; Support the efficient and effective management of project resources; Contribute to recruitment activities and supervising national staff and international experts and consultants as per the agreed organogramme and management structure; Participate in programme and project evaluations; Support the preparation of project completion reports. Ensure proper knowledge management and the mainstreaming of lessons within UN-Habitat.

4. Representation and Liaising with key stakeholders: Represent UN-HABITAT in SMT/HCT/UNCT meetings in the absence of the Chief Technical Advisor; represent UN-Habitat in the Programme Management Team (PMT); Contribute to building strong working relationships with UN Agencies/NGOs, donors, project partners, local and national government counterparts;

5. Perform other related duties as may be assigned.

Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.

Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.

Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).

Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.

Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.

Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.

Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.


  • Demonstrates the values of the United Nations in daily activities and behaviours
  • Acts without consideration of personal gain
  • Resists undue political pressure in decision-making
  • Does not abuse power or authority
  • Stands by decisions that are in the Organization's interest, even if they are unpopular
  • Takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour

    Respect for Diversity

  • Works effectively with people from all backgrounds
  • Treats all people with dignity and respect
  • Treats men and women equally
  • Shows respect for and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates this understanding in daily work and decision-making
  • Examines own biases and behaviours to avoid stereotypical responses
  • Does not discriminate against any individual or group


  • Shows pride in work and in achievements;
  • demonstrates professional competence and mastery in one or more of the seven UN HABITAT focus areas (Urban Land Legislation and Governance, Urban Planning and Design, Urban Economy, Urban Basic Services, Housing and Slum Upgrading, Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation, Research and Capacity Development);
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Master's Degree (or BA plus equivalent work experience) in urban planning, architecture, engineering, land administration, social science or other relevant discipline.
  • 10 years of work in shelter/housing, urban planning, land administration, engineering, social sciences with at least 5 years in a crisis context with an international organisation
  • Specialist expertise in shelter/housing, urban planning or land administration preferred
  • Experience working with other UN and international organizations is preferred
  • Excellent analytical and communication capacity
  • Proven ability to coordinate with humanitarian and development stakeholders
  • Excellent skills in MS Office
  • Excellent oral and written English is required for this post; working knowledge of an additional UN language is an asset Contract type: Fixed Term Contract level: P4 Contract duration: 2 months For more details about United Nations staff contracts, please follow this link:
    • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
    • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
    • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
    • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
    • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
    • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

    It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Source: UN Jobs

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat. 

Deadline/closing date: 
Thursday, December 14, 2017