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Position: Team Leader-Urban Planning (UNHABITAT)
Job Time: Full-Time
Job Type: Contract
Place of Work: Jijiga - 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 the rehabilitation of Solid waste dumpsites in several cities, Support in the 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 to define and achieve their own development goals in line with the national development goals.

 The 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 to 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, 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

  • As a team lead, coordinate with the vice team leader and the planning team in developing, implementing, and evaluating assigned tasks under the Regional Development Spatial Plan (RDSP) project, direct subordinates in program development, implementation, monitoring, and assessment, directs review of relevant documents and reports, identifies priorities, problems and issues to be addressed and proposes corrective actions, liaises with relevant parties, identifies and initiates follow-up actions;
  • Lead the design of data collection methodologies, including contacting relevant offices and people, Identifying partners and stakeholders for the project, preparing questions/checklists for interviews, FGD, etc.;
  • Undertake desk review and field studies to zones, weredas, and kebeles for proper understanding of the localities, administrative boundaries, and spatial features that would have planning implications;
  • Coordinate gathering of all relevant documentation (project/program documents, plans, strategies, policies, by-laws, etc.) concerning the area under study;
  • Prepare and present inception, progress, and final reports of spatial planning aspects;
  • Together with vice team leaders, organize and facilitate Regional and zonal/ woreda/ Consultative Workshops;
  • Conduct situation analysis to provide a diagnosis of the region through gathering and consolidating the existing information as well as undertake new surveys and interviews where appropriate;
  • Asses the existing systems/conditions of the Region focusing on the existing land use and land ownership pattern, settlement pattern, infrastructure (including information regarding past, ongoing, and planned investments), and urbanization features;
  • Assess future projections (5, 10, and 15 years) on critical sectors where applicable (including, but not limited to, land use, transport, communication, infrastructure and services, housing and land allocation needs, etc.) and needs assessment (with financial analysis), where applicable;
  • Assess the national development strategies and plans, including development scenarios, functional clusters, future strategic functions for development, development corridors, and nodes, in conformity with the national land use scheme;
  • Identify urban planning issues which need strategic direction in all development aspects;
  • Asses urban and rural systems and their respective roles at the regional level and analyze key challenges and opportunities;
  • Analyze urban and rural settlements according to their roles and importance in the region, highlighting the complementarities and distribution of their functions as part of a network of cities/towns and surrounding rural areas in terms of services, infrastructure, supplies, trade opportunities, access to training;
  • Identify development constraints and opportunities which should be analyzed and presented through trend analysis, spatial analysis, and SWOT analysis. 
  • Develop a base map that should be spatially presented with associated layers to inform the RDSP. The base map should reflect and include an assessment of existing situations and future projects;
  • Spell out shared vision 2040 of RDSP and articulate agreed and accepted goals for the region and how to monitor the progress and achievements (targets);
  • Design development strategies and guiding principles for the desired future;
  • Prepare a set of feasible regional planning proposals for the future in conformity with the framework of the National Urban Development Spatial Plan (NUDSP) by adopting local and international best practices;
  • Develop conceptual proposals illustrating different development scenarios or development options (at least two) for the next 20 years (phased every 5 years) that responds to the emerging structural elements constraints and opportunities;
  • Propose different development options for the intra-regional urban cluster area including catalytic projects and priority investments, highlighting advantages and disadvantages, costs, and benefits, etc.;
  • Analyze the optimize results of different scenarios and evaluate them to classify the alternative plans as to their suitability;
  • Propose functional hierarchy of the urban and rural settlements, primary and secondary development corridors, economic development areas, new township development plan indicating development phases, potential priority programs, and projects, as well as selection criteria for projects/programs.  
  • Prepare development scenarios for the future growth of the region with a view to spatially link urban and rural areas;
  • Revise and optimize preliminary plans, whereby projects will be evaluated based on the agreed-upon selection criteria, and an integrated plan will be drawn up;
  • Based on the selected scenario/proposal, prepare the RDSP considering the following milestones: 5 years (GTP period), 10 years (National Strategic Plan period), and 15 years (NUDSP) timeframe. This must be grounded on all outputs of RDSP;
  • Prepare appropriate regional urban and rural development plans and propose the priority areas of intervention, physical and socio-economic infrastructural and sectoral development plans and projects. The physical plan should be separately supplemented by the relevant data and thematic maps of existing land use, proposed land use, environmentally sensitive areas, physical network infrastructures, social and economic infrastructure, etc. The proposed land-use plan should be justified with geological investigation, hydrological and metrological parameters, potential social, economic, and environmental impacts and overlaid with the base map;
  • Develop an implementation action plan including a monitoring and evaluation system based on SMART indicators to monitor the progress of the established targets and goals and vision achievement, considering the milestones of 5, 10,15, and 20 years;
  • Plan and provide continuous capacity development programs during plan preparation and operationalization. 

Expected outputs:

The following is the list of expected deliverables for the RDSP:

  • Inception Report: A comprehensive inception report of spatial aspects should be prepared and be submitted to= the project office. The report mainly contains: (i) updated methodology for carrying out the assignment, including survey instruments (i.e. questionnaires); (ii) data availability, data collection plan, and checklist; (ii) updated detailed work plan for the assignment and associated tasks (i.e. field visits and consultations, etc.); (iii) updated dates for delivery of various outputs (i.e. progress and analysis reports, maps, database, etc.); (iv) stakeholder mapping; (v) decision-making protocol and institutional/stakeholder arrangements; (vi) communication/consultation strategy or plan;
  • A comprehensive report of spatial analysis: This report shall provide a diagnosis of the region, including analysis of existing situations and future trends, the spatial structure of urban and rural settlements, and identification of constraints and opportunities;
  • Vision and conceptual development proposals: This will include a clear vision (Vision 2040), a description of the spatial development goals, objectives and targets, strategies and guidelines for the desired future, and regional development scenarios (three alternatives) of the regional development spatial plan. This document is a conceptual framework sketching all components of the regional development spatial plan. The Concept Plan will clearly state the issues around which further work will evolve and give a direction to the plan. A preferred scenario, applicable to the respective regional settings, including selection criteria and discussion on their advantages and disadvantages;
  • Regional Development Spatial Plan: Sectoral strategic action plan based on the critical translation of the elements stated in the RDSP into policies, priorities, and proposals. The RDSP should essentially reveal the future desired spatial structure of the region, keeping because of planning horizon of 15 years to be aligned with the national urban development framework under the NUDSP;
  • An Implementation/Action Plan;
  • The thematic maps and associated graphics;
  • Explanatory reports and graphic documents;


Core Competencies:


  • Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities, and risks. Ability to generate and communicate broad and compelling organizational direction. Ability to communicate 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 operations. Demonstrated ability to negotiate and apply good judgment Shows pride in work and 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 architecture, civil engineering, urban and regional planning, or physical sciences relevant to the development and management of spatial plans is required;
  • Formal training in project management is an asset;
  • Recognized experience and knowledge of urban and regional planning;
  • Excellent knowledge of the Ethiopian context and particularly aware of the region she/he wants to work in.

Work Experience:

  • A minimum of eight(8) years of progressively responsible experience in urban and regional planning and management, land and urban infrastructure projects and programs at national level, and at least five (5) years of similar experience on planning and development related international projects or international level is required;
  • Proven experience in urban and regional planning fields, projects/program design, and implementation with the UN or other international agencies are desirable. Experience with relevant software and UN or similar organization's applications, e.g. internal databases is desirable.


  • 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.


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

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