Director, External Relations Division

Issue Date Closing Date 13 Sep 2015
Grade D-2 Post Duration
Duty Station Nairobi Organizational Unit External Relations, Strategy, Knowledge and Innovation Division
Job Opening

Job Opening number:15-PGM-UNHABITAT-44568-D-NAIROBI (O)

Special Notice

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. This is a project post and is funded for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension.

1. 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.

2. 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 human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. The post is located in the Office of External Relations within the Office of the Executive Director. The incumbent will report to the Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat.


Within delegated authority, the Director of the External Relations Division will be responsible for the following:

Directs and manages the Office – conceptualizing, formulating and implementing the substantive work programme of the External Relations Division, demonstrating results based management, determining priorities, mobilizing resources and allocating resources for the completion and timely delivery of outputs.
Provides leadership, exercises oversight and maintains coherence in the implementation of the work programme linked to: (i) the Secretariat to the Governing Council and World Urban Forum; (ii) Advocacy, Outreach and Communication (iii) Partnership, in coordination with the work carried out by other divisions, agencies and bodies of the United Nations system.
Undertakes and oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Office, including preparations of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, evaluation of staff performance, staff recruitment, and preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting.
Ensures that the outputs produced by the respective sections comprising External Relations Office maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data.
Provides direction, management and support of the work of UN-Habitat in information service.
Formulates strategies for information awareness building and delivery of information to UN-Habitat staff and Habitat Agenda partners.
Ensures close consultations and regular reporting to the Office of the Executive Director.
Provides advisory support, direction and input to the implementation of the Strategic Plan.
Secretariat to the Governing Council/World Urban Forum:
Provides leadership to the development of an innovative change management programme. Specifically, provide policy guidance on the development of UN-Habitat’s strategic plan and long-term programme of cooperation with other/UN organizations and agencies.
Defines broad strategies to promote and support policy advocacy activities and initiate and coordinate high level policy dialogues with governments; local authorities and other partners.
Enhances UN-habitat’s relationship with governments and the Permanent Missions, establishing protocols and ensuring the appropriate platforms for inter-agency and inter-governmental cooperation/exchange towards the achievement of set goals and the identification of new initiatives.
Provides overall direction for the effective function of the Committee of Permanent Representatives and its working bodies.

Professionalism: Expert knowledge and demonstrated ability in analyzing, interpreting, formulating and communicating complex policy and strategic issues on a broad range of development areas. Demonstrated ability to facilitate inter-agency coordination. Knowledge of the workings of the United Nations system. Demonstrated professional competence in the management of human and budgetary resources. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations and procedures in work stations. 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.

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 client.

Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

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 improvement; does not accept the status quo. Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibilities for incorporating gender and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue the same direction. Clearly communicates links between the organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals.

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in communications, political affairs, social sciences or related areas. 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

Over 15 years of progressively responsible experience in policy and operational work on development issues required. Experience in the work and functioning of the UN intergovernmental bodies and the provision of substantive support to international bodies, conferences and intergovernmental negotiations and donor relations required. Experience in inter-agency coordination required.


English and French are the working language of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of a second official UN language is desirable.

Assessment Method

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

United Nations Considerations

Candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, 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 and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8). 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 inspira account-holder homepage.

Applications are pre-screened by the system according to the published requirements of the job opening on the basis of the information provided in the application. In relation to the requirements of the job opening, applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their qualifications, including their education, work experience, and language skills. Each applicant must bear in mind that submission of incomplete or inaccurate applications may render that applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening. Initial screening and evaluation of applications will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted. Applications cannot be amended following submission. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

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No Fee