Human Settlements Officer

Issue Date 22 Nov 2019 Closing Date 05 Dec 2019
Grade Post Duration
Duty Station Organizational Unit
Job Opening

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the 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.

Untitled Document

Issued on: 20 November 2019





Bangkok, Thailand


Human Settlements Officer


P3 Equivalent


9 Months


12 December 2019



The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the 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 Urban Planning and Design Lab (Urban Lab) of UN-Habitat is an initiative to promptly respond to the requests of national and local governments to support sustainable urban development. The Urban Lab is the integrative facility of the Agency where innovative processes and partnerships are translated into tangible and transformative solutions to complex urban challenges. The Urban Lab acts as a neutral broker, managing knowledge in complex stakeholder settings to resolve multi-sectoral, multi-scalar and multi-stakeholder challenges, by offering a multi-disciplinary team capturing the necessary thematic areas. In this context, the Urban Lab applies an integrated approach to systemic and strategic planning to deliver transformative change for sustainable urbanization and to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda.


The Global Future Cities Programme (GFCP) is one of the programmes the Urban Lab currently is undertaking. The GFCP, under the UK Foreign and Commonwealth’s Prosperity Fund, (UK FCO) aims to deliver targeted interventions in 19 cities across 10 countries to encourage sustainable development, increase prosperity whilst alleviating high levels of urban poverty. The programme will also create significant short and long-term business opportunities in growing markets forecast to be regional growth hubs. In addition, the programme will make a significant contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA).


Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships:

This position is located in the UN-Habitat Office in Bangkok, Thailand and the position falls under the Urban Lab of the City Planning, Extension and Design Unit (CPEDU) within the Urban Planning and Design Branch, UN-Habitat’s Nairobi Headquarters. The Human Settlements Officer will directly report to the Head of the Urban Lab. The focus of the job is the implementation and monitoring of projects, programmes, operations and other activities in human settlement contexts related to spatial equality and shared prosperity, climate action, urban environment, and public participation and participatory urban planning process.



Within delegated authority, the Human Settlements Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Participates in the development, implementation and evaluation of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Global Future Cities Programme in Southeast Asia in coordination with the Programme Management located at the headquarters of UN-Habitat in Nairobi; monitors and analyzes programme/project development and implementation; reviews relevant documents and reports; identifies problems and issues to be addressed and proposes corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and tracks follow-up actions internally and with implementing and private sector delivery partners; coordinates under supervision of the programme management of the UKFCO programme local and regional consultants.
  • Performs consulting assignments, in collaboration with the client, by planning facilitating workshops, through other interactive sessions and assisting in developing the action plan the client will use to manage the change; Supports the implementation of identified projects in the 9 cities of the Global Future Cities Programme in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) and performs consulting assignments to further develop the portfolio in the Southeast Asia region for the UPD-Lab, CPEDU and the Regional Office in collaboration with the Bangkok Office through project proposals and concept notes.
  • Researches, analyzes and presents information gathered from diverse sources.
  • Assists in policy development, including the review and analysis of issues and trends, preparation of evaluations or other research activities and studies, including through the programme specific UN-Habitat SDG project assessment tool.
  • Undertakes survey initiatives; designs data collection tools; reviews, analyzes and interprets responses, identifies problems/issues and prepares conclusions.  
  • Prepares various written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc. in the realm of urban planning, mobility and resilience, the three pillars of the UKFCO Future Cities Programme.
  • Provides substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, etc., to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.
  • Undertakes outreach activities; conducts training workshops, seminars, etc.; makes presentations on assigned topics/activities more in specific related to the Future Cities Programme Knowledge Management Platform as part of UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda platform.
  • Participates in or lead field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries, etc.
  • Coordinates activities related to budget and funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements, etc.) and prepares related documents/reports (pledging, work programme, programme budget, etc.).
  • Performs other duties as required. 

 Work implies frequent interaction with the following:


Counterparts, officers and technical staff in relevant Secretariat units and in UN funds, programs and other UN specialized agencies. Representatives and officials in local and national governments, international organizations, consultants and interns.




  • Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to urban planning and urban economy. Strong analysis of urban form, urban systems, economic and financial systems, underlying social, legal and financial mechanisms and the political context. Knowledge of the SDGs, their targets and indicators and the New Urban Agenda. Strong conceptual thinking. Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches, takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks "outside the box", and offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs. Ability to collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data. Knowledge of urban development issues. Ability to observe deadlines and achieve set goals. Ability to work and deliver under pressure in diverse environments with minimum supervision.


  • Teamwork:  Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.


  • 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.


  • Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology, understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office, actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks, shows willingness to learn new technology.


  • 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; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed, Excellent drafting ability and communications skills, both oral and written; proven ability to communicate complex concepts orally; ability to prepare written reports that are clear, concise and meaningful.





Advanced University degree in Architecture or Urban Planning, or related field that is relevant for sustainable urban development and urban planning, mobility and resilience, is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


Professional Experience:

A minimum of five (5) years of progressive responsible experience in urban planning and design with direct proven experience in drawing and preparing plan graphical material using computer assisted design tools combined with management of multi-stakeholder programmes, is required. A portfolio of plans and designs of which the incumbent is an author is considered highly desirable. Experience from the region and the UN-system is considered an asset.



English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post

advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another United Nations official language is an advantage.


Applications should include:

  • Cover memo (maximum 1 page)
  • P11, indicating the following information:
    • Educational Background (incl. dates)
    • Professional Experience (assignments, tasks, achievements, duration by years/ months)
    • Other Experience and Expertise (e.g. Internships/ voluntary work, etc.)
    • Expertise and preferences regarding location of potential assignments


All applications should be submitted                       


Deadline for applications: 12 December 2019


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