Urban Planner- Retainer, Home based,

Organization: United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Country: Home-based

Closing date: Thursday, 13 May 2021

Background Information - Kenya Multi Country Office (KEMC)

Located in Nairobi, Kenya, the Kenya Multi Country Office manages a growing portfolio of engagements, including associated strategic and operational risks. The KEMC sub-region currently consists of an established Operation Centre in Nairobi/Kenya which manages a portfolio of engagements in multiple countries in East and South Africa. This includes transactional projects in partnership with the Nairobi based UN Agencies, UN-Habitat and UNEP, and multiple ‚operational‘ projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and island states.

Objectives and scope of the position

The Technical Services Unit (TSU) engages in multidisciplinary design, assessments and advisory work, and manages relationships with other technical stakeholders such as specialist design firms for high risk structures.

The Technical Services Unit (TSU) currently provides design services for infrastructure works to Project Managers. Recently the team has expanded its offering to include consulting services such as assessments, feasibility studies and advisory services on a wide range of infrastructure types. We want to continue and further expand technical services to our partners and clients at a wider field of operations.

The TSU has a core team based in Nairobi supplemented by retainers during peak periods or where specialist expertise is required. The wider team includes architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, quantity surveyors, urban planners, land specialists, economists, GIS and specialist infrastructure advisors (for dams, ICT and biomedical works) and CAD technicians as well as support personnel. Current projects are underway / imminent in Kenya, Somalia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Zambia and Mozambique.

The TSU is a business unit for the Multi-Country office and comes under the direction of the Director for East and Southern Africa office (KEMC).

Under the direct supervision of the Technical Services Unit Manager, the Urban planner in collaboration with the team members and the project stakeholders will perform the following tasks:

Work with government agencies and their Mapping Department:s to assemble relevant information for spatial planning purposes;
Review and comment on spatial plans and policies produced by public sector and agency bodies;
Enumerate and map existing settlements and integrate key studies to develop spatial plans including identified sites for basic infrastructure.

Use satellite imagery (triangulated on the ground), to validate data gathered

Collaborate with the competent authority (such as local, district, provincial or national directorates) to support the land use planning of the selected land parcels and subdivision into residential plots and mapping out the supporting infrastructure required

Identify options for relocation and or development on brownfield and greenfield sites and produce high quality spatial plans;
Develop implementation strategy and plan for both the short, medium and long term development options.

Translate technical documents between English and Portuguese, and act as translator in technical meetings when required.

Any other duties as directed by UNOPS project lead.

University Degree (bachelor’s degree) in urban planning or physical planning from a recognized University is required;
An advanced University Degree (master’s degree) in urban planning or physical planning from a recognized University or equivalent is desirable but not required.

Minimum 4 years‘ experience in urban planning is required;
Previous experience and knowledge of the institutional framework, land legislation and spatial planning regulation in Mozambique is an asset;
Experience in mapping and experience working with local governments will be an added advantage.

Full knowledge of English language is required;
Full knowledge of Portuguese language is required.

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.

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.

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.

UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.

Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types

For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.

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.

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement

Contract level: IICA 1 (ICS9)Contract duration: 1 Year renewable subject to satisfactory performance and the availability of fundsFor more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx As per UNOPS policy retainer positions in duty stations where the NPO (National Professional Officer) category has been established by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), a home-based retainer contract will be issued as LICA Support or LICA Specialist position.

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners‘ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners‘ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

Link to the organization’s job offer: https://unjobs.org/vacancies/1619639265842