Provision of individual services of a consultant for the Development of National Urban Policies, Beirut, Lebanon

Closing date: Monday, 29 May 2017

Provision of individual services of a consultant for the Development of National Urban Policies in Lebanon.

Location : Beirut, LEBANON

Application Deadline : 29-May-17 (Midnight New York, USA)

Type of Contract : Individual Contract

Post Level : National Consultant

Languages Required : Arabic English French

Duration of Initial Contract : 132 working days that shall end after 12 months following the contract signature.

Expected Duration of Assignment : 132 working days that shall end after 12 months following the contract signature.


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.

UN-Habitat is currently launching a project entitled 'National Urban Policies in the Arab World'. The project aims to strengthen capacities of policy makers in four selected Arab States including Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan for more informed, sustainable and inclusive National Urban Policies (NUP).

It works with national, sub-national and local governments to strengthen their policy-making processes while promoting a participatory and inclusive approach. Under the NUP project, a National Housing Strategy will be devised, which promotes the provision of adequate, accessible and affordable housing in Lebanon

a. Concept of National Urban Policy

Current trends of rapid urban growth in developing countries imply a holistic approach to synergize urban planning and policy development efforts at the regional, national and local levels and generate sustainable urban environment. In this regard, National Urban Policy has been recognized as a substantive mechanism for governments to achieve a higher level of vertical and horizontal coordination and encourage transformative change, with the participation of all relevant stakeholders. By definition, a National Urban Policy (NUP) is a coherent set of decisions derived through a deliberate government-led process of coordinating and rallying various actors for a common vision and goals that will promote more transformative, productive, inclusive and resilient urban development on the long run. It promotes more compact, socially inclusive, better connected and integrated cities and territories that foster sustainable urban development and are resilient to climate change. Moreover, it contributes to the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda.


The Arab region faces unprecedented urban sprawl and the proliferation of unplanned or spontaneous growth generating significant pressure on delivery of services. It requires nation-wide coordinated urban development and policy to better respond to complex and rapidly emerging urban challenges. Nevertheless, developing a long-term urban development vision has become a challenging task for many Arab countries undergoing protracted conflicts and insecurity as well as generating massive influx of migrants and refugees to urban areas. In fact, most of the Arab countries have formulated and implemented the equivalent or elements of a NUP, tacitly expressed through a combination of legislation, sectoral strategies or frameworks that guide urban development programs and projects.

b. Regional Programme on National Urban Policy

The emergence of a new generation of NUPs offers an opportunity and answers the requirement for a coordinated response to rapid urbanization in the Arab region. This new generation, supported by UN-Habitat, aims at reasserting urban space and territoriality and promoting the positive role of urbanization in national socio-economic development. In this respect, the regional programme of 'Sustainable, Inclusive and Evidence-based National Urban Policies in selected Arab States' was initiated to strengthen policy-making capacities in four selected Arab States (Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, and Tunisia) and promote a participatory and inclusive approach to urbanization with a focus on the evidence-base and accountability aspects. Moreover, the programme's outreach has a much broader scope that goes beyond building capacities of government authorities (primary beneficiaries). It aims to increase awareness of countries in the region about tools and best practices in NUP making and provides a platform for engagement and interactions among a cross section of stakeholders as well as various levels of government. An innovative aspect of the project is that unlike other agencies assisting governments in selected aspects of NUP, UN-Habitat supports countries throughout the public policy cycle (feasibility,

diagnosis, formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation) while promoting capacity development, participation and demonstration projects throughout the policy cycle.

Despite the diverse urban and demographic contexts of the four selected Arab countries, all face a similar problem of territorial balance with over concentrated populations in capital cities and large metropolitan areas. Operationalizing an effective system of cities is an ever more urgent priority for them to spur development. It demands convergence and coherence of public interventions across sectors and scales. Developing mechanisms and instruments for such coordination represents the principal problem that the NUP regional programme seeks to address. UN-Habitat will provide NUP support through a flexible approach that can be customized to countries, irrespective the stage of the policy process. The three pillars of the UN-Habitat strategy enable capacity development, participation and demonstration projects across the policy phases of diagnostic, formulation, implementation and monitoring and evaluation. The programme also accommodates demands of development partners in the region by providing opportunities for mainstreaming cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth, human rights and climate change. For instance, with the increasing female participation in Arab economies, the programme will work towards encouraging and strengthening women's voices in urban policy-making.

c. National Urban Policy in Lebanon

While more than 87% of the Lebanese population living in urban areas, the country currently lacks a deliberate system to guide urban planning practices. Urban policies are at the core of any framework to guide urban development, and Lebanon falls short at the level of institutions, practices and procedures to issue urban policies and strategically manage urban planning as a part of a complete holistic vision for the country.

At the institutional level, the entity to lead urban planning practices - the Ministry of Planning - has been eliminated in the 1970s and its responsibility has been carried over in a defragmented way by the municipalities, the unions of municipalities, the Directorate General of Urbanism (DGU), the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR), and sector ministries (Ministry of Energy and Water, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Environment, etc., with no clear urban policies guiding their work. While the general practice in many countries is to create a body to govern urban planning practices, propose and implement urban policies to manage the development and growing pressure on urban areas and respond to the increasing demands of urban population, the practice in Lebanon has been to delegate this responsibility to the aforementioned institutions to respond to immediate emerging issues without a clear plan moving forward.

Despite missing national frameworks to guide the planning process at the level of public policies, there have been some tools that were put in place as general guidelines for urban planning, namely the National Physical Master Plan for Lebanese Territories (NPMPLT), adopted in 2009 by the government, in addition to physical master plans and strategic plans. These tools were limited due to their general orientation without specific implementation mechanisms that engage currently active planning actors. The tools are also challenged by the lack of funding to implement them and the absence of a public body to manage

and monitor their implementation. On the regulatory level, multiple laws and codes have been present to guide the governance and use of lands, namely: the Urban Planning Code, the Municipal & Urban Planning Laws, the Environmental Code and the Building Code. These 'legislative texts' are often outdated, created to respond to already existing realities on the ground, overlap in many cases and struggle in their enforcement due to their ambiguity and lack of monitoring mechanisms. Notably, they are not a translation of public/urban policies that guide a general urban planning vision.

In a context where urban areas are increasingly and rapidly densified, over congested, highly polluted and underserved, there's an urgent need for urban policies to guide the growth of our cities, respond in the most efficient, resourceful and sustainable way to the needs of city dwellers, regulate all urban activities currently underway in a more coherent manner and upgrade urban infrastructure to better serve the residents of the city. Urban policies are the entry way for an appropriate framework for proper urban management, and their scope is wide and broad, encompassing issues of land use, transportation, economic development, housing, public spaces, governance, environment, to name a few.

The existing institutions such as the DGU and the CDR, in addition to already drafted plans such as the NPMPLT, present a good starting point to draw upon for the introduction of urban policies to the field. Municipalities have been devising and implementing some variations of urban policies, albeit in a localized manner, characteristic of their own local needs, which is a promising prospect to introducing urban policymaking at the national level inspired by the municipality/neighbourhood level.

As such, the National Urban Policy Programme in Lebanon aims to devise national urban policies as a framework for urban planning practices that enforce resiliency, sustainability, accessibility, and prosperity for all city dwellers. Given the complexity of the scope of urban planning policies and the various challenges pertinent to urban planning in Lebanon, the programme aims to build on existing urban planning frameworks in Lebanon, regionally and globally to recommend more efficient, sustainable and practical urban policies.

Within this context, UN-Habitat is willing to recruit a National Consultant who will be leading the implementation of National Urban Policies Project. The consultancy will be for a total of 6 months extended over a period of 12 month, upon contract signature.

Duties and Responsibilities

The objective of this assignment is to assist the Government of Lebanon with the development and initiation of a NUP process which covers the following three stages.

The Diagnosis Phase, the National Consultant will conduct a thorough review of urban planning frameworks relevant to urban planning on the global, national and local levels as follows

  • On the global level: Review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) & New Urban Agenda (NUA), to identify key directives to consider in future urban policies.
  • On the National Level: Review of National Physical Master Plan for Lebanese Territories (NPMPLT), to identify key recommendations relevant to Lebanon's urban context, namely to Lebanese Cities, and how this could inform national urban policies. This will be done taking into account the recommendations of the 'Reforming Urban Planning Systems in Lebanon' Report by UN-Habitat, and other national reports produced by national planning authorities such as the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR), or other ministries.
  • On the Regional/Local level: Review of the City Profiles by UN-Habitat Lebanon, and strategic and local master plans in different areas locally in Lebanon, with the aim to understand how this would be linked to national frameworks.

The existing frameworks will be analysed for cross-cutting issues, challenges, and seek to align all frameworks to understand their implication on the urban context at the national level. Based on this review of existing documents and frameworks in addition to key stakeholder interviews with relevant national authorities (CDR, DGU, line Ministries) the consultant will develop a situational report with preliminary recommendations on urban planning policies in Lebanon.

The Consultations phase: Arriving at this phase the national consultant is expected to have mapped all stakeholders working on urban planning in Lebanon such as National Planning Institutions, national and local authorities, planning practitioners and academics, and relevant agencies and NGOs who would potentially form a national steering committee during the formulation and implementation processes of the National Urban Policies. The consultant, who will lead the consultation phase with backup from UN-Habitat country team, will meet with different counterparts jointly or separately to share and discuss preliminary findings of the Diagnosis phase, and engage them in the discussion and validation of challenges, opportunities and policy recommendations.

Policy Recommendations Phase: During this phase the consultant will conduct a review of the of the draft report based on the input from the consultative process and propose final recommendations to conclude with a final set of relevant urban policies to be developed, and an action plan and methodology to implement proposed national urban policies. This phase also includes a series of activities to raise awareness and better inform actors on their role in urban policymaking and promote their implementation.


Functional Competencies

  • Professionalism; Communication; Coordination; Teamwork;
  • Excellent analytical and communication capacity ;
  • Ability to work under pressure to meet tight deadlines;
  • Excellent command of English, good command of Arabic. French is an asset.

Corporate Competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN's values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Kindly refer to the Individual Consultant Procurement Notice and all related Annexes by visiting the below link:

Please make sure to submit all the requested documents/information; otherwise, your application will be considered incomplete

Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications

  • At least Master's degree in Urban Planning, Urban Policy, Public Policy, Development, or related field. Ph. D is preferable.

Years of experience and professional experience

  • Minimum experience of 15 years working on urban planning frameworks and policies, prior experience with UN agencies as consultancies or other is preferable;
  • Proven academic and research experience;
  • Previous work in developing policies;
  • Experience in facilitating and leading workshops and discussions.

Language requirements

  • Excellent command of English, good command of Arabic. French is an asset.

How to Apply

1. Read the additional information and annexes on teh UNDP lebanon website at

2. The consultancy is open for all National consultants who meet the selection criteria and propose a competitive fee. Interested consultants are requested to apply only through this UNDP jobs portal.

Submissions through any other media will not be considered.

The application must include the P11, technical proposal, Annex 3 (Offerors Letter) and the financial proposal in one single document and uploaded as word or PDF file to the UNDP job site.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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: 
Monday, May 29, 2017