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Urban Planning and Social Housing Specialist - Retainer


  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Erbil
  • Grade: Mid level - IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
    • Urban Development, planning and design
    • Documentation and Information Management
    • Human Settlements (Shelter, Housing, Land, Property)
    • Natural Resource Management
  • Closing Date: Closed
Partner UN-Habitat
Job categories Urban Planning/Design
Vacancy code VA/2023/B5104/25652
Level ICS-11
Department/office MR, AMMMCO, Amman
Duty station Erbil, Iraq
Contract type International ICA
Contract level IICA-3
Duration 3 Months (Initially 1st April – 30 June 2023 with the possibility of extension)
Application period 14-Mar-2023 to 28-Mar-2023
Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement.

Functional Responsibilities

Within the delegated authority and under the supervision of Programme Management Officer - Human Settlements, and/or his/her designate, the Urban Planning Expert will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Consult and coordinate with the local government authorities, including Municipality of Mosul and University of Mosul, local communities, and relevant UN sister agencies such as UNICEF to conduct the feasibility study of the new proposed project in view of the proposed housing complex as well as public facilities, open spaces and infrastructure.  

  • Conduct an assessment on the relevant legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks on social housing and medium to long term management arrangements.

  • Conduct a situation analysis and elaborate for the local authorities the most suitable strategy for incorporating the new proposed project within the Mosul Master Plan.  

  • Draft and prepare background papers, analyses, reports and Briefs on the new proposed project and its most suitable phasing.  

  • Identify the risk associated with various technical, environmental and social aspects, including intervention modality, scale of building envelope, cultural norms to be respected, the phasing of the project, the adoption of greener building approaches, access and mobility of people with disabilities, safety and security concerns, user adaptation needs, etc, and suggest for each a mitigation approach (e.g. “eyes on street” approach. 

  • Support UN-Habitat to develop a Plan of Action to respond to the immediate and mid and long terms housing needs in Mosul and Ninawa governorate, drawing from UN-Habitat’s Initial Planning Framework for the Reconstruction of Mosul, published in 2018.

  • Prepare recommendations for capacity development training of local government staff and potential beneficiaries who may be engaged in the design of public spaces and basic infrastructure, based on the findings.

  • Support the local government authorities to address institutional, financial and legal impediments with regard to enabling the provision of social housing within the Mosul Master Plan. 

  • Through the research, contribute to the government efforts to address urban inequalities and improve the living conditions of Iraqi citizens within the Mosul Master Plan. 

  • Conduct a rapid assessment on selected informal settlement/s in Mosul to identify the pressing needs for housing, basic services and infrastructures. 

Stakeholder engagement

  • Maintain regular communication and develop relationships with stakeholders, including with the local government authorities, including Municipality of Mosul and University of Mosul, local communities, and relevant UN sister agencies such as UNICEF. 

  • Organize consultation meetings with key stakeholders at the national, governorate and district level on housing-related issues as required.

  • Advice on legal, policy, and regulatory matters related to the new proposed project site.

Product/content development

  • Produce an illustrated study and technical reports focusing on the most suitable approach for the realization of a multi-story social housing complex, integrated by public spaces, public facilities and basic infrastructure to be constructed alongside marketplaces and parks in the new proposed project site. 

  • Propose challenges accompanied by recommendations for the interventions, including the adoption of greener construction methods and materials and Japanese products to be installed. 

  • Produce an illustrated report on findings in selected informal settlements/s including housing conditions, availability of public services and infrastructures, road networks, security, demography, waste management, climate change and environmental related issues. 

  • Perform other duties as assigned.


The incumbent is expected to submit the following deliverables in the course of his/her assignment: 

  •  A set of research, assessment and study on the new proposed project site, including the adoption of  

 greener construction methods and materials and Japanese products to be installed, and public  

 spaces and infrastructure to be constructed together with the buildings such as schools, health  

               centers, marketplaces, and parks.

  • A set of rapid assessments and study on the selected informal settlement/s in Mosul, identifying the needs and priorities per neighborhood. 

  •    Other reports as requested.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • A Master’s degree in housing, architecture, civil engineering, urban planning/management, urban design, social sciences, international development, public policy, economics or similar is required. 

  • A Bachelor’s degree with two additional years of experience will suffice in lieu of a Master's Degree.


  • Minimum of seven (7) years of relevant and progressive experience at the international level in areas related to research on policy development and policy design, related to urban development, urban design, urban planning, social housing, and similar areas is required.

  • Advanced knowledge and expertise of the social housing sector especially in the Arab States Region, including experience in social housing policy formulation and programme management in developing countries is highly desirable. 

  • Experience in leading and coordinating multi-disciplinary technical teams of senior national and international experts in the framework of the housing sector is desirable.

  • Experience in Iraq would be an asset.  

  • Experience in the elaboration of policy and technical guidelines related to the housing sector is desirable. 

  • Demonstrated experience in conducting research and writing reports and assessments, preferably in the housing sector is required.

  • Proficiency in English is required. Working knowledge in spoken and written Arabic is an advantage. 

Desirable soft skills:

  • Experience in establishing inter-relationships with counterparts and organizations.

  • Good interpersonal, networking and communication skills.

  • Willingness to contribute and work as part of a team.

  • Experience in Iraq or the Arab States Region is an advantage.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position fluency in oral and written English is required. Fluency in Arabic Language is an advantage.

This vacancy is now closed.
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