Urban Planner, Clean and Green Cities Programme (CGC)

UN Human Settlements Program, Kabul, Afghanistan

Skill RequiredHR and Admin Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Email for CV Submission: 
Closing Date for Applications: 
13th January, 2017

Job Description

ORGANIZATIONAL LOCATION: UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP)

DUTY STATION: Kabul, AFGHANISTAN; travel to other provinces may be required for programme familiarisation

Duration and Start date: 12 months from February 2017 (to be extended based on performance evaluation)

Grade: UNOPS IICA 1 (P-2 Equivalent)


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, will support the Government of Afghanistan to implement Clean and Green Cities Programme over the duration of two years (October 2016 to September 2018).

Afghanistan is at a critical juncture. The 'triple transition' of political, security and economic transitions from late 2014 and 2015 is being felt even more strongly in 2016. Citizens are frustrated and losing hope. Unemployment has reached unprecedented levels. Every day hundreds of Afghans are migrating outside the country. Urban food insecurity is rising. Urban households are struggling to make ends meet, which is mostly affecting women and girls.

The challenges of urban poverty, unemployment, and socio-economic marginalization are getting worse due to the international drawdown and economic slowdown. Urban poor households, IDPs, and female-headed households are, and will continue to be most affected from these macro-economic changes. Yet global experience has shown that urbanization is a source of development, not simply a 'problem to be solved'. The inevitable and positive urban transition presents both opportunities and challenges given the current form and structure of the major cities.

In response, in late 2015 the National Unity Government (NUG) unveiled a 'Jobs for Peace' initiative. This ambitious initiative identified several opportunities to improve the economic stability, harness excess unemployed labor, and strengthen government capacity and legitimacy. The initiative identified major Afghan cities as key hubs in need of stabilization and job creation, which could ensure the poorest and most vulnerable could benefit from economic stimulus to maintain social gains made over the past decade.

'Clean and Green Cities' (CGC) will invest in labor intensive urban clean-up, repair, beautification, and basic solid-waste management activities. The expected impacts are: (i) improve well-being of citizens and urban environmental quality, (ii) increased trust between citizens and municipalities and strengthened government legitimacy, and (iii) augmented economic and labor stimulus to the poorest households which will have multiplier effects on the urban economy, and (iv) Increased private sector confidence and investment for job creation.

Timeframe: 2 years; October 2016 to September 2018

Locations: The program will be implemented in twelve strategic Afghan cities. Kabul, the capital is the largest and most strategic in terms of stabilizing the NUG and creating urgent jobs. The four ‘Regional Hub’ cities (Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar) play an equally important role in urban Afghanistan as essential hubs of stability in their respective regions (West, South, East and North). Seven other fast growing and strategic cities are included: Charikar, Farah, Bamyan, Mehterlam, Gardez, Kundooz, and Lashkar Gah.

Program Objective: The Overall Objective of the program is: "Stabilization of target cities and the Afghan government to bridge the critical juncture in 2016/17” giving sufficient stabilization until the large-scale Urban Solidarity Program (Citizens Charter in Cities) starts.

The Specific Objective (SO) is “Improved state-society relations, urban stabilization and job creation”, where urban citizens see municipalities delivering basic neighbourhood services, thus leading to increased hope and government legitimacy.

The program has three components with associated activities, differentiated by their implementation location and approach:

Component 1: Urban upgrading and environmental improvement of high-profile public spaces in five major cities.

Component 2: Labor-intensive neighborhood renewal in seven secondary cities

Component 3: Labor-intensive clean up, repair and maintenance in five major cities

CGC Programmes requires the technical and advisory support of an Urban Planner on Components one and two, listed above. The key activities under these components are:

  1. Participatory mapping, rapid diagnosis and selection of priority public spaces to upgrade;

  2. Sub-project design, development, contracting with a focus on local materials, high-visibility and labor-intensive projects;

  3. Sub-project implementation, control, monitoring and evaluation and handover.


Under the overall supervision of Senior Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP), and Country Programme Manager, and direct supervision of CGC Programme Managers, Urban Planner will be responsible for:

  1. Guide procurement process and ensure implementation of operational strategies.

  2. Supervise and monitor project proposals including technical design, cost estimation, bill of quantities and other details for sub-projects.

  3. Remain responsible for maintaining appropriate level of accountability and transparency in disbursement and utilization of block grants and development funds.

  4. Establish a comprehensive system of keeping all necessary technical, procurement and financial records related to sub-projects being implemented in target cities.

  5. Develop appropriate supervision, monitoring and evaluation systems for community based infrastructure and services related projects.

  6. Encourage participatory approach and conduct regular supervision, monitoring, and evaluation of all neighbourhood level projects in selected Gozars and CDCs.

  7. Urban planning advisory, and technical assistance to CGC programme.

  8. Review and analyze issues and trends from existing reports and database, community actions plans and visioning documents from UN Habitat programmes, and coordinate inputs to visioning and area-based urban development in CGC target cities;

  9. Lead the technical team in incorporating urban planning best practices, urban design, development guidelines to ensure human-scale and standard practices suitable to the local urban context in the area-based upgrading sub-projects;

  10. Provide urban design and engineering inputs in response to the specific needs of vulnerable and marginalized groups-women, children, aged-population, internally displaced persons, refugees and returnees;

  11. Participate in knowledge management and input of in-house experience and lessons learnt into developing public space audit, design guidelines for urban spaces and streetscapes;

  12. Contribute to policy dialogue with clients, partners, national constituencies and development partners on matters of urban planning and the environment, through substantive support to the promotion of policy dialogue.

  13. Programme implementation support

  14. Assist the National Programme Manager in the effective and efficient execution of programme activities by working in close collaboration with the relevant institutions and project teams, at the national and local levels;

  15. Ensure coordination of different programme components during the implementation of the sub-projects and related activities;

  16. Support the National Programme Manager in the development of annual implementation programme work plans and coordinate the timely completion of contracted targets.

  17. Perform other duties and responsibilities, which are within the expertise and experience as may be required by Country Programme Manager in support of the activities of the Agency and programme.


Team Work: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals

Leadership: Ability to lead dynamic work teams. Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support

Communication: Strong communication skills. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed

Respect for Diversity: Works effectively with people from various background

Integrity: Demonstrates the values of the United Nations in daily activities and behaviour and does not abuse power or authority

Partnership building: Promotes partnerships and is proactive in pursuing new partnerships. Builds strong relationships with clients and external actors; Promotes team work and in-depth understanding of donor relations in post-conflict situation.


Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in civil/urban engineering, urban and regional planning, urban policy, architecture, urban design, urban studies, land studies, human settlements or related discipline.


At least three years of progressively responsible experience with:

(i) involvement in complex urban development programming, including in fragile states

(ii) providing policy and technical assistance to governments

(iii) urban infrastructure programming

(iv) community-based development

(v) familiarity with the UN in Afghanistan or related contexts

Qualifying years of experience are calculated following the receipt of the first level university degree recognized by the United Nations. Prior experience with UN funds and programmes on various operational modalities is an added asset.


Proficient in database management, Word, Excel, email, internet and preferably project management applications.


  • A strong commitment to gender sensitive, social inclusive and pro-poor development work

  • Ability to work with multi-disciplinary team

  • Consultative and empowering working style and willingness to learn from others

  • Willingness to travel as required


English and French are the working languages of the UN secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another UN official language and/or Dari/ Pashto will be an advantage.

International Travel (Home-Kabul):

For all international travel that are expected of the Urban Planner, a returned air ticket on least-cost economy to Afghanistan, and visa fee will be paid only after completion of the mission and upon submission of Travel Claim form, copy of E-ticket, used boarding passes, visa receipt and other relevant travel documents. Three quotations from the reputable travel agents shall be submitted for UN-Habitat’s clearance prior to purchase of tickets.

Local Transportation:

For local travels that are expected of the Urban Planner, such as vehicle and flight arrangements to provinces will be covered by UN-Habitat.

Travel Advice/ Requirements:**

The Urban Planner must abide by all UN security instructions. Upon arrival he/she must attend a security briefing provided by UNDSS. He/she should undertake Basic and Advanced Security Training as prescribed by UNDSS. Regular missions will be undertaken for which UNDSS authorisation must be sought.

Reporting Arrangements:

The Urban Planner will work under the overall supervision of Senior Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP), and Country Programme Manager and direct supervision of CGC Programme Managers in Afghanistan Office.


The application should comprise:

  • Completed UN Personal History Form (P11). Please download the form (MS-Word) from UN-Habitat/ROAP-vacancy website: www.fukuoka.unhabitat.org

  • Cover memo or motivation letter for the position (maximum 1 page).

  • Full resume, indicating the following information:

  • Educational Background (incl. dates)

  • Professional Experience (assignments, tasks, achievements, duration by years/ months)

    All applications should be submitted to:

    UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific**

    ACROS Fukuoka, 8th Floor

    1-1-1 Tenjin Chuo-ku, Fukuoka, 810-0001 Japan


    Please indicate the Post Title: “6. AFG-Urban Planner (CGC)” in your e-mail subject.

    Please note that applications received after the closing date stated below, will not be given consideration. Only short-listed candidates whose applications respond to the above criteria will be contacted for an interview. The fee will be determined according to the qualifications, skills and relevant experience of the selected candidate. In line with UN-Habitat policy on gender equity, applications from female candidates will be particularly welcome.

    Deadline for applications exended until 13 January 2017

  • * People who have submitted applications do not need to re-submit. *

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