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Settlement Planning and Shelter Assistant (Re-Advertised) 34 views

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About UN-Habitat:


Organizational Setting:

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the UN agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable town and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. This post is located in the UN Habitat Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (ROAP) at Kabul duty station.

UN-Habitat Afghanistan

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, has been working within Afghanistan since 1992 with funding support of USAID, Japanese and Australian Governments, EU, CIDA, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Kingdom of the Netherlands and several other bilateral donors and multilateral donors. During this period, its programme has expanded to include a wide range of human settlements initiatives, from humanitarian emergency support to small-scale neighborhood level improvement schemes to municipal scale governance reforms.

Securing Communal HLP rights in Afghan Cities 2

The proposed action deploys a community-based approach to address HLP needs in Kabul and Herat. The two cities have large numbers of vulnerable people requiring HLP assistance: according to the 2022 HNO, out of a total of 6 million people in HLP need around 1.6 million are in Kabul and Herat. Many of those in need are IDPs and returnees that live in extremely challenging conditions in urban informal settlements. According to REACH’s 2021 survey of informal IDP and returnee settlements, nearly 80 per cent are in urban and peri-urban areas. Pervasive insecure HLP rights have resulted in frequent threats of eviction for these communities, and constrained humanitarian investments in lifesaving shelter and WASH, because neither community nor humanitarian agencies can make long-term investments in the absence of secure HLP rights.

The fall of the government has brought challenges and opportunities to securing HLP rights that this action directly responds to. A key challenge is that many legal frameworks that support individual ownership, such as the 2018 Land Management Law, are uncertain given the power transition that has occurred. A key opportunity is that many of the impediments to securing HLP rights were associated with the former government, including a reluctance to provide urban land to vulnerable groups and rather allocate it to well-connected individuals

To respond to the current context, challenges and opportunities, the proposed project will utilize a community-centered approach to strengthening HLP rights in urban informal settlements where insecure property rights have resulted in historic threats of eviction and barriers to humanitarian investment. In this way, the following activities will be implemented:

1. Communal land claims of 30,000 vulnerable people living in informal settlements in Kabul and Herat are documented and mapped; maps are endorsed by Community Development Councils and/or Gozar Assemblies

2 Community-based settlement plans are developed for 8 informal settlements in Kabul and Herat and their priority humanitarian investments to upgrade communal infrastructure are actioned; settlement plans and investments are endorsed by Community Development Councils and/or Gozar Assemblies

3 Coordination with community organizations and humanitarian agencies to extend shelter, infrastructure, and service investments in informal settlements through development of a strategic plan.

The three results will result in the projects key outcome: strengthened communal HLP rights for displaced people. First, documenting the socioeconomic aspects and mapping the spatial attributes of settlements, in coordination with Community Development Councils and/or Gozar Assemblies increases the legitimacy of informal settlements, hence strengthening their communal HLP rights. Developing a new settlement plan and implementing priority investments identified by the community consolidates informal settlements, strengthening communal HLP rights, as well as providing lifesaving essential services (e.g. drainage) to those most in need.

Job Summary:

Under the overall supervision of Project Manager will undertake the following tasks and activities:

Duties & Responsibilities:

Duties and responsibilities

UN-Habitat is looking for an experienced Architect or Urban Planner with experience in settlements and shelter design to provide specialized support to the work of the Securing Communal HLP rights in Afghan Cities 2 in designing and developing sustainable settlements solutions for recent and protracted IDPs, returnees as well as vulnerable host communities. Based in Kabul and Herat with some missions to provinces, the incumbent will be expected to analyse the variety of housing and settlement options available for the displaced populations in urban or peri-urban contexts and support the implementation of the most suitable durable solutions. Under the direct supervision of the International Urban Planner& Shelter Expert and in close collaborations with Programme Managers and the HLP Rights Advisor, the Senior Urban Planner will undertake the following tasks and activities:

Key Responsibilities:

•   Conduct technical feasibility studies on site absorption capacity for identification of adequate sites in close coordination with Project Partners.

•   Conduct site analysis looking at site conditions, site occupation, water availability, access, environmental risks, existing plans and other relevant aspects to inform development of settlement plans and upgrading plans.

•   Support Project partners technical departments in developing area plans and strategies, technical urban and infrastructure plans with specific attentions to road layout, public spaces and facilities, drainage, sanitation, and waste management and ensure compliance with site planning and sustainable urban planning standards.

•   Support project partners technical departments as well as Humanitarian partners in developing housing and settlement solutions fit for context and using sustainable construction technics and materials.

•   Conduct participatory community mapping of existing informal settlements and support GIS in creating and updating maps of the settlements.

•   Facilitate the development of community upgrading plans and community development plans.

•   Support durable solutions profiling of existing IDPs and returnees’ communities and contribute to response plans.

•   Provide support to the effective and efficient execution of program activities by working in close collaboration with the local authorizes, relevant institutions and project teams, at national and local levels.

•   Contribute to the consolidation and development of new ideas, concepts, innovations and new program and approaches.

•   Contribute to design conceptualization of housing, amenities, neighbourhood models and settlement development and design guidelines.

•   Prepare necessary architectural/construction drawings and graphics for settlement design, housing design, amenities, settlement strategy diagrams and other graphics required to produce guidelines and manuals for the execution of the program priorities.

•   Report work progress to urban planners and team leaders.

Note: Female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply and open to recent Graduates or students enrolled in last year of their degree

Work implies frequent interaction with the following:

•   Collaboration and working closely with Management, Technical Teams in Herat and Kabul

•   Close coordination with government stake holders

Results Expected:

•   Conduct feasibility studies and site analysis for the Master planning of allocated lands and townships to IDPs and Returnees of high returned provinces.

•   Design and Monitoring the Detailed Plans, Strategic Development Plans of the Townships.

•   3D models, Architectural drawings, good for construction drawing sets.

Any other graphics required to explain settlement design, urban design concepts and housing construction.

Job Requirement:

Competencies (Select 3 Maximum)

Professionalism: Ability to identify and resolve budgetary problems and identify sources for data collection. 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

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.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.

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.

Commitment to Continuous Learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.

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


a)      Education:

b)     A bachelor’s degree in one or more of the following disciplines: Urban/Regional planning, Urban Design, human settlements, or related discipline.

c)      Experience: 

d)     At least two years of demonstrated professional experience in settlement planning with sound knowledge of urban development approach and standards; variety of settlement typologies available in Afghanistan and in the region. Knowledge of architectural design and vernacular construction technics. Extensive experience of managing development programmes working with community groups-previous experience working with IDP and returnees and in informal settlements an asset.

Proven participatory planning, coordination, abilities with strong background in the development of technical guidelines, cost estimations/Bill of Quantities.

e)     Language:

Good written and spoken English and Dari or Pashto languages

f)       Other:

Core Competencies: Professionalism, leadership, teamwork, communication

Desirable:  Knowledge of the Sphere Standards for site planning and shelter; basic water, sanitation, and drainage principles.

Personal Attributes:  A strong commitment to human rights, gender sensitivity and pro-poor development work; consultative and empowering working style and willingness to learn from others.

Computer Skills: Advanced computer and design skills in CAD software, GIS and GPS Technology and devises, Illustrator, InDesign or other graphic software, Word, Excel, and project management applications.

Job Location:

Afghanistan, Kabul

Submission Guideline:

Interested Afghan National Candidates should submit the following required documents.

1.      A cover letter that shows how your qualifications and experience meet the VA requirement.

2.      An update CV+P11 form for individual contractor (IC) that contains all your information to the indicating on the SUBJECT line the vacancy number of the position, please note that applications received after the closing date (30 November 2022) will not be given consideration. Only short-listed candidates whose applications respond to the above criteria will be contacted for an interview.

Note: Subject line must be: (Re-2022-08-211) or your application may not be considered.

Submission Email:

For more details about UN-HABITAT and UN-HABITAT Afghanistan Country Programme refer Website: and

Submission Email:

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