International Senior Architecture Consultant

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Baghdad, Iraq

UNESCO is completing phases I and II of the project Reviving Mosul and Basra Old Cities, generously funded by the European Union, which has created jobs for young people and developed their employable skills through heritage rehabilitation and the promotion of cultural activities and entrepreneurship in the two cities. The project is part of “Revive the spirit of Mosul” flagship initiative, launched by UNESCO in 2018.
The multi-faceted benefits of these interventions have not been lost on the regional and central Authorities who have expressed their interest for a greater “buy-in” in initiatives contributing to the development of cultural industries.  The aim of the Phase III of the project Reviving Mosul and Basra Old Cities is to create the right conditions for local stakeholders to take over the process by supporting them develop policy frameworks while building up capacities at each step of the value chain: decision makers, community representatives, academics, technical agents, and workers involved in the recovery of the Old Cities and the promotion of their cultural life.
Within the general framework set out by the Sustainable Development Goals approved in 2015 by the UN member states in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the specific objective (outcome) of Phase III is the creation of jobs in Mosul and Basra driven by the endogenous reconstruction of the built heritage of the Old Cities and by a revived cultural life led by local stakeholders. Four project outputs articulate the activities of the project:
The increased ability of the Public and Private Sectors to engage and participate in the urban heritage recovery process of Mosul and Basra.   
The improved technical skills of the stakeholders involved in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Mosul and Basra’s urban heritage.   
The recovery of the Old Cities of Mosul and Basra driven by the reconstruction and rehabilitation of heritage buildings and spaces. 
A revived cultural life contributing to community engagement, social cohesion, awareness raising, income generation and job creation. 
The project will focus on two areas of support: youth employment, on one hand, and building the capacity of the institutions and actors, public and private, involved in the rehabilitation and safeguard of cultural heritage assets on the other. Developing local awareness, skills, knowledge, and technical capacity on the management of cultural heritage is a precondition for the authorities to be able to lead a locally driven process of urban recovery. The approach and activities address and support both areas simultaneously to produce synergies and mutually enriching results. 
Main duties and responsibilities:
Under the overall authority of the Director of the UNESCO Office for Iraq and under the direct supervision of the Chief of Culture Programme, the incumbent Senior Architecture Advisor shall carry out two sets of tasks:
Coordinate, manage and implement the activities programmed for the Basra component of the project “Reviving Mosul and Basra Old Cities Phase III”.  For this set of activities, he/she shall liaise and report to the Senior Project Officer in charge of the Project.
In line with the UNESCO Culture Sector strategy, provide expert advice to UNESCO on interventions related to urban recovery or to the conservation or rehabilitation of historical built heritage. He/she shall elaborate strategic frameworks and concept notes for the formulation of project proposals and will undertake missions necessary for the needs of the Iraq culture programme. For this set of activities and any activities with high risk, he/she shall report to the Chief of the Culture Programme – Iraq.
Main duties and responsibilities consist in:
  • Put in place the project elements necessary to ensure the successful inception of the Basra component of Project and coordinate with project partners and stakeholders to that end.  Liaise closely with the UNESCO Team responsible for the implementation of the Project.
  • Plan, coordinate and supervise the actions outlined in the project document to ensure that in Basra the objectives of the project “Revising Mosul and Basra Old Cities Phase III” are met in a timely fashion within the available budget.
  • Monitor the execution of the budget of the Basra component of the Project and proactively report to the Project Officer deviations with respect to the approved project budget.  
  • Develop, coordinate and support the awareness raising and capacity building activities outlined for Basra in the project document.
  • Support the training activities (TVET) of the Project in Basra in coordination with Education Unit of UNESCO Iraq office.
  • Supervise and support the design teams preparing the technical documentation needed to tender and execute conservation, rehabilitation or new construction works coming under the Basra component of the Project.
  • Plan, coordinate and support the activities relating to the pre-design, design, and tendering of the architectural interventions done in Basra under the Project and coordinate and oversee the execution of the construction works.  Ensure that construction management and work supervision tasks are effectively carried out by the technical teams assigned to the Basra components of the project:  timeliness in progress of the works, quality of the works, reporting, submittals and their approval, instruction to contractors, documentation of decisions, responses to Contractors’ Requests for Information, certification of payments, and, in general terms, ensure that all the required tasks are being discharged in a timely manner by the Contractors and by UNESCO’s supervision team.  
  • Provide support to the Cultural Life activities of the project carried out in Basra.
  • Support UNESCO in drawing up tendering dossiers for construction works (Invitation to Bid-ITB) located in Basra; assist UNESCO on technical matters throughout the bidding process, provide “clarifications to bidders”, and carry out and participate in the technical evaluation of the bidders’ proposals, including for the project activities in Mosul.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with implementing partners/consultants/contractors covering the range of expertise required to successfully implement the project activities in Basra in respect of the rules and regulations of the Organization.
  • Provide support to the Chief of Culture and Project Officer to liaise and facilitate consultations between donors, relevant local authorities, UN partners, CSOs, private companies and community stakeholders as is necessary to roll out the Project smoothly; organize briefings and information sharing meetings and participate in them.
  • Provide support to Chief of Culture in reports and briefs periodically on the Project  and UNESCO management, as required and as per agreed schedule and deadlines.
  • Support UNESCO in the organization of events to enhance awareness raising, community engagement and program visibility both inside and outside Iraq.
  • Provide expert advice to UNESCO on urban recovery and heritage conservation and support the preparation of project proposals for Iraq related to these topics. Undertake the missions required for the development of the culture programme at the request of UNESCO senior management.
  • Support UNESCO in the preparation of brochures, pamphlets or publications related to the activities or achievements of the Project.
  • The incumbent is expected to carry out missions to Basra as required for the smooth implementation in Basra of the Project, and to other sites relevant to his/her advisory role to UNESCO Culture sector in Iraq at the request of the Chief of Culture and/or UNESCO upper management.
Expected results, reporting, and duration of the assignment:
 Key deliverables /Results
Monthly Reports, Briefs and Mission Reports:
  • The Consultant will submit monthly progress reports to the attention of the Senior Project Officer and the Chief of Culture Programme. He/she will brief the Chief of Culture Programme and the project team members on all relevant activities and meetings attended in support of the assignment, and brief on specific aspects of the projects as requested by the Supervisor. 
  • Relevant documentation such as mission reports and minutes of meetings with partners and stakeholders will be annexed to the monthly activities reports. 
Agreements, MOU’s, RFQs, RFPs and TORs:
  • The Consultant will draft, or will participate in the drafting, of documents related to Phase III of the Reviving Mosul and Basra Old City project. These documents will include, but not be limited, to Memoranda of Understanding with project partners; RFQs and RFPs for the provision of material, equipment, and services; and TORs for the recruitment of consultants or technical personnel needed for Phase III.  
Evaluation reports:  
  • The Consultant may be called upon to participate in the evaluation of candidates for Phase III project positions and in the interview of the short-listed candidates. Similarly, the Consultant may be called upon to participate in the technical evaluation of proposals received in response to tenders related to Phase III of the project.
  •  The corresponding evaluation reports will be submitted to the HR and/or Procurement departments of UNESCO. 
Other deliverables:
Inputs and contributions to Donor Reports, Concept Notes, Project Proposals, MOUs, Cooperation Agreements, and other documents at the request of UNESCO management.  
  • Bi-monthly (every two months) progress report.  
  • For each reporting period the Consultant will submit a Report describing the activities undertaken during the period and their progress, the challenges encountered, risks, and the solutions and mitigation measures proposed. The report will include – in the form of annexes – the deliverables and any other specific technical documents produced during the period.
  • The Final Report will describe the progress of the project activities during the last reporting period and provide an overview of the tasks carried out during the duration of the assignment, of the challenges encountered, and of the actions undertaken. It will provide recommendations for the next phases of the work. The Final Report will include – in the form of annexes – the deliverables and any other specific technical documents produced during the last reporting period. 
 Duration and location:
  • The proposed start date is 1 February 2024, for a duration of 11 months with a 3-month probatory period, with the possibility of extension up to 3 years, subject to the availability of funds and satisfactory performance. 
  • The position is a part-time consultancy (at least 50%)  based in Erbil, and the consultant is expected to carry regular missions to Basra/Iraq.
  • Individual Consultant profile
Required Qualifications:
Academic qualifications: 
  • Advanced university degree (equivalent to Masters) in architecture, architectural conservation, engineering, or a related field. 
Professional qualifications:
  • To be registered as an architect with a License to practice at the Architectural Association or local equivalent in the country of origin. 
Work Experience: 
  • A minimum of  10 years of progressively responsible relevant work experience in architectural design and heritage or related fields as well as in construction management and in the supervision of architectural works. 
  • A minimum of 7 years of experience as a construction project manager.
  • Demonstrable experience in conservation or adaptive re-use projects and new construction. Relevant experience acquired at the international level and in a post-conflict context. 
  • Demonstrable experience in organizing participatory planning processes with beneficiary communities. 
  • Demonstrable experience as a Team Leader and management in at least three internationally funded projects dealing with construction, architectural planning, urban planning or local development issues.
  • Experience working with specialized IT engineering/architectural programs such as AutoCAD, or other similar technical software.
Language Requirement:
  • Excellent knowledge of English language (both written and spoken).