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Urban Planner

Basrah (Iraq)

  • Organization: UNV - United Nations Volunteers
  • Location: Basrah (Iraq)
  • Grade: International Specialist - Internationally recruited Volunteer
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
    • Urban Development, planning and design
    • Natural Resource Management
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-31

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Eligibility criteria

Minimum age: 35 years old. Nationals of the country of assignment are not eligible, except the assignments in Headquarters duty stations.

Description of task

Within the delegated authority and under the supervision of Head of UN-Habitat Iraq or his/her designated mandated representative(s), the Urban Planner will be responsible for the following duties:

Technical Advice and Project Implementation

  • Provide technical and management support related to urban recovery/urban planning and informal settlements upgrading projects to ensure effective and efficient execution of urban recovery and human settlements programmes within the limits of the allocated resources;
  • Participate in the development, implementation and evaluation of assigned programmes/projects; monitor and analyze programme/project development and implementation; review relevant documents and reports; identify problems and issues to be addressed and initiate corrective actions; liaise with relevant parties and ensure follow-up actions are undertaken where necessary;
  • Gather information and provide analysis and recommendations in order to identify three medium-sized underserviced settlements to be upgraded in Basra, in close coordination with local authorities and communities and according to the pre-set selection criteria, and obtain official approvals from the provincial and local authorities prior to the final selections;
  • Oversee the establishment of a Community Development Council (CDC) in each selected settlement based on criteria and oversee participatory, multi-stakeholder planning meetings to discuss the planning scenarios, criteria and design options for urban extension plans that integrate informal settlements;
  • Lead and coordinate the physical surveys and oversee the baseline household socio-economic and capacity assessments to identify needs and opportunities for application of green technology and environment-friendly approaches, improvement of basic services, and capacity/interest for vocational skills training;
  • Based on data collected through socio-economic baseline surveys, interpret/analyse data combined with physical assessments and draft Neighbourhood Profiles that include priority investment needs for advocacy purposes linking, as necessary, to advocacy at central government level;
  • Organize/facilitate, negotiate and draft/formulate multisectoral and incremental Community Area Upgrading Plans with the community and local authorities that comprise of priority interventions for improving basic services and environment through green technology and environment-friendly approaches; ensure linkages to trunk infrastructure and existing networks and evaluate conditions of existing infrastructure; ensure compliance with minimum planning requirements; plans to be endorsed by CDCs;
  • Facilitate the delivery of Spatial Planning Workshops with local authorities, selected community members and relevant NGOs to be conducted in Amarah, Basra or Al Qurnah.
  • Support the drafting of a Strategic Spatial Planning Framework for the Socio-Economic Revitalisation of the Maysan and Eastern Hammar Marshes that aims to improve access to the marshlands and nearby cultural heritage sites and enhance livelihood opportunities for the long-term socio-economic revitalization of the area; and
  • With support of UN-Habitat engineers, provide inputs to and review Bill of Quantities and bidding processes to ensure adequate level of detail and specificity, ensure adherence to budget allocations, and participate in bid evaluations as relevant.

Supervision, Coordination and Monitoring

  • Provide technical guidance and line supervision of relevant field personnel to assure quality and timely implementation of ongoing and upcoming activities in coordination with relevant colleagues and the Project Manager;
  • Conduct frequent supervisory and monitoring visits of field activities and UN-Habitat contractors and implementing partners in liaison with UN-Habitat field teams and provide status updates to Project Manager;
  • Develop and maintain partnerships and regular communication with project stakeholders such as local authorities, counterparts, implementing partners, contractors, community development committees, beneficiaries and relevant UN agencies;
  • Support relevant project managers to develop and monitor project work plan and budget plan, and to prepare and finalize progress reports;
  • Support the drafting of background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.;
  • Assist in policy and programme development from an urban upgrading/urban planning perspective, including the review and analysis of issues and trends related to urban upgrading; and
  • Research, analyze and present information gathered from diverse sources as requested.

External Representation and Liaison

  • Represent UN-Habitat in key meetings in southern governorates of Iraq;
  • Establish and maintain partnerships with relevant UN and non-UN coordination mechanisms and entities implementing in southern governorates of Iraq;
  • Assist in responding to requests for information collection and sharing from UN, non-UN and internal requirements;
  • Initiate and coordinate outreach activities; conduct training workshops, seminars, etc. and deliver presentations on assigned topics/activities;
  • Ensure the adherence of visibility and communications requirements of UN-Habitat and donors;
  • Provide substantive backstopping to consultative and other meetings, conferences, etc., to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.; and
  • Organize, participate in and/or lead field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries, etc.


  • Perform other duties as required.
Qualifications/Requirements Required degree level: Master degree or equivalent Education - Additional Comments:
  • Advanced higher degree (Master’s or equivalent) in urban planning or a relevant area
Required experience: 180 Months Experience remark:
  • 15 years or more of relevant professional experience in the area of expertise

  • Experience in supervising urban upgrading-related projects, projects/programme design and implementation, and data management for the reporting of work progress;
  • Experience in supervising field teams is desirable;
  • Understanding of GIS mapping and databases is desirable;
  • Experience in crisis-affected field environment is highly desirable;
  • Experience in the Middle East is an advantage;
  • Motivated to contribute towards peace and development and to serve others;
  • Excellent interpersonal, networking and communication skills;
  • Willingness to contribute and work as part of a team;
  • Flexible and open to learning and new experiences;
  • Respect for diversity and adaptability to other cultures, environments and living conditions;
  • Previous experience as a volunteer and/or experience of another culture, (i.e. studies, volunteer work, internship) would be highly regarded; and
  • Minimum age criteria established at 35 years of age.
Language skills:
  • English(Mandatory), Level - Fluent
  • Arabic(Optional), Level - Working Knowledge
Area of expertise: Architecture and urban planning, Civil engineering and construction supervision, Water, sanitation and environmental engineering Area of expertise details:
  • Confident computer user, particularly in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and email functions;
Driving license: No Competencies values:

Adaptability and Flexibility, Commitment to Continuous Learning, Communication, Integrity, Planning and Organizing, Professionalism, Working in Teams

Application procedure:

pplication procedure
* Not yet registered in the UNV Talent Pool?
First register your profile at
Important: After creating your account, complete all sections of your profile and submit it. Then go to ‘My Page’ at and click on the ‘Special Calls’ hyperlink. Lastly, select the special call to which you would like to
* Already registered in the UNV Talent Pool?
First update your profile at
Then go to ‘My Page’ at and click on the ‘Special Calls’ hyperlink to select the special call to which
you would like to apply.
Application deadline: 07 January 2021

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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