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CHIEF OF BRANCH ( Urban Basic Services & Risk Reduction & Rehabilitation Branch)


Special Notice

Appointment against this position is for an initial position of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please resubmit the application, if necessary. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "Need Help?" link.

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), is the United Nations agency for housing and human settlements. It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. This post is located in the Programme Division, Urban Basic Services & Risk Reduction & Rehabilitation Branches. Under the supervision and general guidance of the Director, Programme Division, the Chief of the Urban Basic Services Branch (UBSB) and Risk, Reduction and Rehabilitation Branch (RRRB), is responsible for providing overall leadership in the planning, management and supervision of all activities in the UBSB Branch and the RRRB and perform the following duties:


1. Policy Functions:
•Provide policy advice to the Executive Director on urban basic services and risk reduction & rehabilitation related issues.
•Undertake planning exercises and contribute to the development of policy documents in relation to the above issues within the mandate of the agency.
•Provide overall guidance and supervision of the Units in both Branches to ensure proper policy papers and work plan development and implementation.
•Supervise the provision of policy advice at country level through increased linkages with other Branches and offices .

2. Management Functions:
•Oversee the implementation of the normative and operational elements of the sub-programmes related to the two Branches by providing intellectual inputs, innovative and strategic thinking and contributing to planning its activities.
•Ensure provision of adequate human and financial resources to facilitate timely and competent completion of branch activities including overseeing the recruitment of new staff.
•Ensure provision of adequate financial resources to facilitate timely and competent completion of branch activities including the development of new proposals emanating from the sub-programmes to obtain funding through efforts to strengthen resource mobilization strategies aimed at expanding the donor base and more predictable funding.
•Engage and identify UN and other partners as well as managing the relations with partners in respect of the work plans to implement jointly the various activities.
•Monitor the progress on the implementation of the sub-programmes and ensure synergies with other sub-programmes are created.

3. Coordination Functions:
•Participate in UN-Habitat Board meetings, provide inputs on Strategic Plan implementation; support the Executive Director in ensuring organizational coherence and effectiveness in delivery of results in core programme areas in a timely manner.
•In relation with Regional Offices, select countries/cities where programme activities would enhance the quality of project delivery through providing policy and technical guidance by the Branches.
•Coordinate planning exercises and inputs to policy documents to ensure inputs in a timely fashion.
•Ensure that regional offices requests are supported by the Branch in line with the work programme.
•Input and actively contribute to UN-Habitat's engagement in the Post 2015 Development Agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the World Urban Forum 8 in 2018 amongst others, provided in a timely and efficient basis.
•Provide inputs to the UN-Habitat Country Programme documents and United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
•Create partnerships with relevant key international actors to implement the focus area activities.
•Actively support Regional Offices in the design and implementation of urban basic services and risk reduction and rehabilitation programmes and projects, whenever feasible, and in line with the strategic plan to ensure that the normative aspects are properly reflected in policy and technical advice given to governments.


Professionalism: Knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas, including knowledge of human settlements development work related to the fields of urban basic services (including water & sanitation, transport & mobility, energy), risk reduction and rehabilitation, sustainable urban development in developing countries and countries in transition. Shows pride in work and in achievements including in programme development and fund raising; 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.

Client orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep them informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed on progress or setbacks in projects ; meetings timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.


Advanced University degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in civil engineering, and/or urban and regional planning, or social sciences relevant to development and management of human settlements. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in human settlements development work related to the fields of basic services and post conflict/post disaster work related to human settlements.Proven experience in project/programme delivery, raising funds, and working with Governments (local and central), multi and bilateral agencies on human settlements related issues is required.


English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position fluency in oral and written English is required. Working knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: no amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Grade: D-1, Director - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
    • Security policy
    • Security policy
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Humanitarian Aid
    • Environment
    • Environment
    • Conflict prevention
    • Conflict prevention
    • Urban Development, planning and design
    • Urban Development, planning and design
  • Closing Date: 2017-05-19

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