United Nations (UN) Careers: Programme Management Officer, Human Settlements, P4- Nairobi – Kenya

Job Title: Programme Management Officer, Human Settlements

Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme

Duty Station: NAIROBI – Kenya

Application Deadline: 24th February 2021

Job Opening Number: 21-Human Settlements-UN-HABITAT-147925-R-Nairobi (E)

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the 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.

The position is located in the Planning, Finance & Economy Section of the Urban Practices Branch (UPB) with the Global Solutions Division in Nairobi.

The Global Solutions Division (GSD) is responsible for providing programmatic direction for UN-Habitat and is responsible and accountable for the programmatic delivery of the Strategic Plan. The Division leads the tools and methodology production and the integration of the various substantive competencies towards effective delivery of the Strategic Plan and the mandate of UN-Habitat. It provides substantive training to staff members and supports capacity development of Member States and partners.

The Urban Practices Branch (UPB) is the tools and methodology production and skills centre of the UN-Habitat, that develops normative guidance and cutting-edge tools through communities of urban practice. It provides technical and policy advice approaches and methodologies to Multi-Country Office/Country Offices (MCOs/CO), government and partners and mainstreams them throughout the programme portfolio. It also ensures that the cross-cutting area of safety and the social inclusion issues of human rights; gender; children, youth and older persons; and disability are developed and mainstreamed across the Agency.

The Planning, Finance and Economy Section is responsible for coordinating the Agency’s substantive, normative and operational work on various dimensions of planning, finance and economy. The Planning, Finance and Economy Section aims to develop, document, pilot/test and disseminate planning policies, norms, standards, tools, methodologies, regulatory frameworks, operating procedures and practices at global, regional, national and sub-national levels in support of (a) urban and territorial planning at all scales including urban design and public space design; (b) urban finance (municipal finance and urban development/projects finance); and (c) local economic development.

The Public Space Programme aims to improve the quality of public spaces and helps cities become more sustainable by providing policy advice, capacity development, knowledge sharing and support for public space regeneration and improvement. The overall goal is to support local governments in creating and promoting socially inclusive, integrated, connected, environmentally sustainable and safe streets and public spaces, especially for women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities. More concretely, the programme maps public spaces and works with cities to develop city-wide strategies and urban development frameworks.

The focus of this job is to lead the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes, operations and other activities in the field of Public Space.

The position reports to the Chief of the Section.

Within delegated authority, the Programme Officer will be responsible for the following duties:


  • Manages the Public Space Programme of UN-Habitat and related operational and normative activities, human resources, and budget.
  • Develops, implements and evaluates the Global Public Space Programme; monitors and analyzes programme/project development and implementation; reviews relevant documents and reports; identifies problems and issues to be addressed and initiates corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; ensures follow-up actions.
  • Performs assignments, in planning facilitating workshops, and in collaboration with local and national governments assists in developing city-wide public space strategies and action plans and supports local governments to manage the change.
  • Researches, analyzes and presents information gathered from diverse sources. specifically supporting local governments in gathering data on safe, accessible and inclusive public space on the city-wide level, contributing to monitoring the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11.7.1 which states: “By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible green and public spaces particularly for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities”.
  • Coordinates policy development, including the review and analysis of issues and trends, preparation of evaluations or other research activities and studies,
  • Generates survey initiatives; designs data collection tools; reviews, analyzes and interprets responses, identify problems/issues and prepares conclusions.
  • Organizes and prepares written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.
  • Provides substantive backstopping to consultative and other meetings, conferences, etc., to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.
  • Initiates and coordinates outreach activities; conducts training workshops, seminars, etc.; makes presentations on assigned topics/activities.
  • Leads and/or participates in field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries, etc.
  • Coordinates activities related to budget funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements, etc.) and prepares related documents/reports (pledging, work programme, programme budget, etc.).
  • • Performs other duties as required


Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to Public Space in Urban Planning and Sustainable Urban Development. Ability to identify urban development issues and their relation with the role of public space and urban quality, and capacity to analyze and participate in the resolution of complex urban development issues. Knowledge of the SDGs, their targets and indicators and the New Urban Agenda. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. 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.

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; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Urban Planning, Architecture or Human geography, or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in management of urban development programmes is required.

Experience in the field of public space: experience in the promotion, design, planning and management of public space would be highly desirable.

Working experience with the UN system or equivalent international organisation is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage. “Fluency” equals a rating of “fluent” in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and ” Knowledge of” equals a rating of ” confident” in two of the four areas.

How to Apply

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