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Technical Lead - Urban Lab Director and NUP Expert (Urban Planner and Designer)


  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Riyadh
  • Grade: Mid level - IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
    • Urban Development, planning and design
    • Managerial positions
    • Natural Resource Management
    • Marketing (Digital, Advertisement, Brand, Promotion)
  • Closing Date: Closed

Partner UN-Habitat
Job categories Urban Planning/Design
Vacancy code VA/2024/B5104/27513
Level ICS-11
Department/office MR, AMMMCO, Amman
Duty station Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Contract type International ICA
Contract level IICA-3
Duration 10 March – 31st of December with possible extension
Application period 12-Feb-2024 to 04-Mar-2024
Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement.

Functional Responsibilities


  • Familiarise him/herself with the overall development context in KSA, particularly with the existing urban-related challenges.

  • Report on progress vis-à-vis a clear outline of duties and expected results on an annual basis as well as work plans to relevant staff.

  • Preparation of various communication initiatives, including a monthly progress report and inputs to the project leader.

  • Prepare content for communication briefs as necessary.

  • Support the provision of advisory services on Urban Policy for MOMRAH and other national regional and local stakeholders.

  • Implement capacity building, study tours, peer-to-peer learning, and other mechanisms that support MOMRAH staff in achieving their roles, especially those related to the urban Lab and the NUP.

Urban Lab-related Responsibilities:

  • Oversee and coordinate the development of a detailed structure, organigram & hiring protocols for the Urban Lab and oversee and coordinate the Urban Lab recruitment processes.

  • Develop detailed work plans for the delivery of activities in cooperation with other senior experts to ensure overall project success.

  • Support capacity-building initiatives targeting local, regional, and national governments concerning urban planning and design functions, in coordination and cooperation with other experts in the project. 

  • In cooperation with the rest of the team:

  • Ensure pilots effectively link to national and local plans, as well as to any other relevant tool, policy, and/or design guideline (e.g. National Public Realm Design Manual)

  • Map, identify, and prioritise potential stakeholders to be involved in each pilot, and support the establishment of the communication and engagement strategy together with the other experts involved in the project.

  • Lead the identification, and preparation of Analysis & Concept Proposals for suitable Pilot Projects 

  • Prepare Draft Proposal & Pre-feasibility Study for Pilot Projects. 

  • Define project planning, expertise and staffing for each Pilot Project.

  • Prepare Full Proposal, Detailed Feasibility Study & Implementation Plan for Pilots 

  • Prepare Prioritised portfolio of Catalytic Projects & Implementation Guidelines 

  • Finalise and validate MoMRAH Urban Lab Handbook. 

Other Responsibilities:

  • Collect previous relevant case studies (either from the NSS that was updated in 2021 or other relevant good practices) and tools from the region and globally.

  • Ensure an effective and efficient execution of the NUP programme by preparing the methodological approach to the NUP development, coordinating the overall provision of appropriate technical support to the NUP programme in Saudi Arabia, including gathering data, and arranging workshops and meetings as necessary.

  • Ensure alignment and coordination across NUP, SPA, the Municipal Restructuring, and the Urban Lab initiatives.

  • Provide inputs and technical support to the other teams/initiatives part of the programme.

  • Coordinate and prepare the production of policy briefs and presentations to partners concerning the NUP, SPA as well as all relevant working papers covering different themes and needs of the project.

  • Lead the implementation and monitoring of the National Urban Policy Programme.

  • Coordinate technical backstopping by HQ (relevant branches/departments/units) as necessary.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Master’s degree in urban planning, urban design, architecture, or other relevant fields. PhD is an asset.


  • Minimum of 7 years of experience in urban development and project development, as well as project management.

  • Experience in formulating National level policies, guidelines, and regulations is required.

  • Experience with different levels of urban planning policy and practice (NUP, City Planning as well as Local and Neighbourhood Planning) is required.

  • Record of successful conceptualization and elaboration of urban planning and design projects is required.  

Additional Skills:

  • Experience in leading multi-disciplinary teams towards the delivery of complex tasks is desired.

  • Experience in preparing high-level presentations and communicating effectively to technical and non-technical audiences is desired.

  • Familiarity with the UN-Habitat Urban Lab and its Three-Pronged Approach, …. Urban Planning tools of UN-Habitat are desired. 

  • Experience in mentoring and capacitating younger staff is desired.. 

  • Previous experience in the Middle East is required.

  • Previous experience in Saudi Arabia is an asset.


  • Fluency in written and oral English is required for this assignment. Working knowledge of another UN language would be considered as an advantage.


  • Good Use of Design and Graphic Software such as InDesign is desired.

  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office software and programs is required.

This vacancy is now closed.
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