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Position: GIS Expert (UNHABITAT)
Job Time: Full-Time
Job Type: Contract
Place of Work: Assosa - Ethiopia
Posted date: 2 years ago
Deadline: Submition date is over


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities to provide adequate shelter for all. 

Through its Regional Office for Africa (ROAf), located in Nairobi, Kenya, UN-Habitat has been supporting African governments to take early action to position themselves for predominately urban populations to achieve sustainable urbanization and the right to adequate housing for all, within the framework of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda – particularly Sustainable Development Goal 11 to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” – and the New Urban Agenda.

Since 1998, the UN-Habitat has implemented several projects in Ethiopia. Key areas of partnership include: Capacity Building for Sustainable Urban Development, Implementation of the Habitat Agenda, Integrating Local Development Planning and Slum Upgrading in Urban Policy,  Cities without Slums, Water for African Cities Programme - Phases I and II, Promoting Sustainable Transport Solutions for East Africa (SUSTRAN), Support to the improvement of Public Spaces in Addis Ababa,  Support in rehabilitation of Solid waste dumpsites in a number of cities, Support in development of Structural plans, Supporting the Ethiopian Cities Sustainable prosperity Goals (ECSPGs),  and Development of the State of Addis Ababa Reports.

Together with the Ethiopian Ministry of Urban Development and Construction (MUDCo), UN Habitat’s latest endeavor is the preparation of Regional Development Spatial Plans to strengthen coordination and cooperation among spatial development plans at all levels (federal, regional, local) and to identify unique opportunities and comparative advantages to support regional economic development, complementarity for growth and also to attract investments. 

The main objective of the project is to prepare regional development spatial plans for the regional states of Tigray, Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali, Benishangul Gumuz, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People (SNNP), Gambella, Harari and Sidama that can enable them define and achieve their own development goals in line with the national development goals.

Objective of the Project:

The main objective of the project is to prepare regional development spatial plans for the regional states of Tigray, Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali, Benishangul Gumuz, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People (SNNP), Gambella, Harari and Sidama that can enable them define and achieve their own development goals in line with the national development goals.

The specific objectives of the assignment for each Regional Development spatial plan are:

  • To conduct situational analysis: this includes regional spatial diagnosis and base-mapping at the Wereda level, a summary of the key strategic issues (constraints and opportunities), and determination of the emerging spatial structure which influences regional development, based on desk review, data collection (Matrix of Function and spatial documents), and consultative workshops;
  • To identify the existing resources and plan utilization of such resources in each region;
  • To prioritize and guide investment decisions as per the regional spatial development plan;
  • To prepare a complete Regional Spatial Development Framework (SDF) comprising of vision for 2040, spatial development strategies (i.e. goals, objectives, targets, and strategies) and planning guidelines for the desired future, in the context of the national development goals as stipulated in strategic development plans of the country (i.e. NUSDP and the Ten-Year Perspective Plan) and other relevant global agendas, especially the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda (NUA);
  • To identify and prepare regional development policies and measures (i.e. policy statements, programs, projects, etc.) that can achieve the objectives under the SDF following the regional spatial structure proposed based on a preferred scenario;
  • To develop a comprehensive implementation plan, including an investment roadmap, institutional arrangements and legislation framework, and organizational capacity development program;
  • To prepare a monitoring and evaluation system that inform government budgeting, private investments, public-private partnership, etc… 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Carrying out an analysis of the strategic development framework considering the pattern of human settlements, their hierarchies, and the availability of key functions in each locality;
  • Understanding the spatial suitability of key sectors for which nearly complete data sets are available and gathered from regional sector offices through a multi-criteria decision-making model, the aim being to refine the strategic spatial analysis results; 
  • Conducting consultations at Wereda, regional and federal levels to better capture and plan the territory through a participatory approach (building consensus on the preliminary results obtained through the strategic spatial analysis and the suitability analysis, adding the necessary socio-economic perspectives and reflecting the views of the majority of the stakeholders;
  • Data Collection from primary and secondary sources with state of the Art and readily available equipment in the industry and field offices, Collecting and Updating Land use and land cover maps at the national and regional levels using orthorectification and unsupervised and supervised classification (where appropriate), Collection, management, and utilization of Digital Elevation Models, Geodatabase creation for regions for proper spatial data organization;
  • Digitizing and visualization of Maps, Satellite Image Pre-processing, Vetting quality of satellite with ground truth reality, Georeferencing and orthorectifying Satellite imageries using ERDAS IMAGINE (When Applicable), Projection transformation, Geometric and Radiometric correction (Where applicable), Digitization and Feature extraction from collected maps, Integration of rectified collected data with the newly acquired satellite imageries;
  • Manage, supervise, and approval for use of the collection of quality Ground Control Points for base map preparation and further spatial analysis in the project;
  • Liaising with Woreda level data collectors for accuracy assessment of Classification,  Develop checklist and institutional mapping to collect relevant maps from Secondary Sources inappropriate or translatable format, Thoroughly checking and authenticating received maps from primary and secondary sources, Updating Woreda and regional base maps based on recent imageries (satellite, orthophoto) and using GIS technology;
  • Provide continuous capacity development programs during plan preparation and operationalization;
  • GIS based Spatial Analysis and statistics, Developing Regional databases incorporating GIS technology during the preparation of the RDSP;
  • Rapid environment scan based on the checklists identified in the various planning stages;
  • Extraction of features from satellite images by digitizing and updating base maps at a scale of 1:250,000, using AutoCAD 2019 for digitizing features in 2D in dwg format and ArcGIS 10.5.1 for spatial analysis in shapefile formats;
  • Using android based tablets with GPS tracking options, upload the base maps and verify key locations on the ground;
  • Various data processing methods such as plotting of position coordinates (Easting, Northing, Elevation/XYZ) of spatial data, Georeferencing (Rectification) of Satellite Images, digitization of the relevant natural and man-made features from Satellite Images, format conversion, and coordinate transformation of existing digital spatial data from secondary sources, etc.;
  • Organizing individual spatial data layers as vector and raster formats for each feature data set according to their similarities, Designing appropriate attribute data domain, relationship classes, and network data set for a relevant spatial dataset;
  • Data Integration into a designed geodatabase. Such as Format conversion, Map Projection, On-Screen digitization of natural and man-made features from satellite image sources, conversion of AutoCAD data Source into ARCGIS geodatabase, Feature Classes, etc. 


Core Competencies: 


  • Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities, and risks. Ability to generate and communicate broad and compelling organizational direction. Ability to communicate clearly links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals.  Demonstrated ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or overseeing the planning, development, and management of operation.  Demonstrated ability to negotiate and apply good judgment  Shows pride in work and in achievements; 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.  

Planning & Organizing:  

  • Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently. 

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 informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to the client. 

Managing Performance:  

  • Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability, and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities, and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly. 


  • Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions before making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.

Functional Competencies:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Proven ability for building and managing effective partnerships; 
  • Excellent writing skills, with analytical capacity and ability to synthesize project outputs and relevant findings for the preparation of quality reports.
  • Ability to work independently or with minimal supervision with a high degree of responsibility, in a flexible manner and often under pressure;
  • Knowledge of financial resources and human resources management, contract, asset and procurement, and general administration;
  • Capacity to coordinate and organize a team and to support project implementation;
  • Ability to conduct interviews, surveys, and other data collection techniques. 

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing;
  • Recognized experience and knowledge of Geospatial data analysis.

Work Experience: 

  • A minimum of four (4) years of progressively responsible experience in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing at national level and at least three (3) years of similar experience on planning and development related international projects or on international level is required;
  • Strong know-how of Cartography, Photogrammetry and Surveying works;
  • Work experience in technical cooperation and development issues required;
  • Experience with relevant software and UN or similar organization is an asset;
  • Excellent knowledge of the Ethiopian context and particularly aware of the region she/he wants to work in.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of any of the local languages is an asset.


Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

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