National Project Officer-Housing Specialist

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme, Hawassa, Ethiopia

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
20th September, 2018

Job Description


UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future with a mission of promoting socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all. It is present in Ethiopia since 1998.

While providing its support to sustainable urban development in Ethiopia, UN-Habitat has developed a guiding document called UN-Habitat Country programme for Ethiopia (2016-2020). Building on global frameworks such as SDG 11, the New Urban Agenda and Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II), the country programme is organized around four pillars: Urban Regional Planning, Urban Resilience, Housing and Urban Basic Services, Urban Monitoring and Research Advocacy. It also considers cross cutting issues such as Awareness Raising - Participatory Approach Capacity Development - Technical Advice - Policy Support. Subsequently, UN-Habitat and the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (MUDHo) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding in February 2018 which provides a legal framework to implement the UN-Habitat Country programme.

The country’s first large-scale industrial park has been recently established in Hawassa, the fastest growing city countrywide, with a population of 350,000 people and a growth rate of 4%. The Industrial Park Development Corporation (IPDC) opened the first phase of the Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP) in July 2016. Since then 37 sheds were rented to investors, while 15 additional sheds are under construction.

Since most of future workers will come from the region surrounding Hawassa, according to a recent study commissioned by DFID, the housing demand will increase exponentially, with 6,000-7,000 workers expected by December 2017 and 35,000-40,000 workers expected by 2021.

A number of development partners, in collaboration with the industrial park tenants are already working on infrastructure to support the park and its integration with the city. However, the current initiatives are focused on delivering worker accommodation in the short term and there is not yet any clear donor support focused on (i) a longer term housing strategy for Hawassa city; (ii) broader hard and soft infrastructure considerations including access to basic/social services and infrastructure, public spaces, etc.; or (iii) dedicated support to the city on issues of integration and cluster development planning.

Hence the key issues to be addressed mainly concern the urban (and cluster-regional) planning of the city under this new industrial scenario, as well as the imminent and future housing and solid waste management challenge.

Under this project, UN-Habitat plans to provide technical expertise to Hawassa’s City Administration, which is responsible for land use planning and management in the areas surrounding the HIP.

The aim is to progressively create sufficient local capacity and to reinforce coordination with the HIP, IDPC, the regional government and other concerned stakeholders.

Specifically, UN-Habitat’s role will be to station technical experts in Hawassa with a view to build adequate capacity on-the-job to cope with the urbanisation impacts of the industrial park.

This will be done by promoting an integrated city cluster development approach. In particular, adequate spatial and urban planning is considered to be the right entry point to address the housing and waste management issues in an integrated manner.

Objective of the Assignment

The objective of this assignment is to provide technical support and on-job capacity development on housing issues to the planning department of the Hawassa City Government, as well as to be responsible for mainstreaming poverty reduction in the framework of the elaboration of Hawassa’s structure plan.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Urban Planner/Team Leader recruited to manage the project and the UN-Habitat Programme Manager for Ethiopia, with the support from the UN-Habitat Regional Offices for Africa (ROAf) and for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP), the Urban Basic Services Branch at UN-Habitat HQ, and in close collaboration with national and local counterparts as well as Development Partners, the incumbent of the post will have to fulfil the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Support the structural plan team in Hawassa on housing aspects, including housing and serviced land provision, slum upgrading, housing affordability and housing finance;
  • Mainstream poverty reduction and human rights concepts and issues within Hawassa’s structural plan;
  • Support UN-Habitat’s team and the structure plan team to analyse, collect, compile and interpret socioeconomic and housing-related data and on the preparation of a diagnostic to guide and inform the structure plan;
  • Support technical staff on designing adequate and affordable housing solutions and feasible service and infrastructure provision schemes in the framework of the structure plan;
  • Organize and support training and capacity development activities related to housing, poverty reduction and human rights;
  • Collaborate with UN-Habitat’s experts from thematic branches and report to the Urban Planner/Team Leader and to the UN-Habitat Programme Manager for Ethiopia;
  • Support the Urban Planner/Team Leader on the preparation of progress reports regarding the implementation of the project, especially related to housing, service and infrastructure provision and poverty reduction issues;
  • Support UN-Habitat’s team and the structure plan team in identifying or suggesting possible solutions and methodologies on affordable housing and on developing fundable project proposals
  • Support communication and liaison with donors, IPDC, government partners and other key stakeholders related to the project;
  • Attend meetings and networking activities related to Hawassa structure plan and UN-Habitat’s mandate in Hawassa and SNNP region;
  • Perform any other tasks requested by the Urban Planner/Team Leader and UN-Habitat’s Programme Manager for Ethiopia.


  • Ability to analyse, interpret, spatialize and synthesize information;
  • Ability to work independently with a high degree of responsibility, in a flexible manner and often under pressure;
  • Good communication and writing skills.

Required Skills and Experience

Educational Qualification:

  • Master degree in urban planning/management, civil engineering, architecture or equivalent.

Work Experience:

  • Minimum of 5 years of working experience, with relevant previous experiences related to housing, slum upgrading, urban planning/management, architecture, engineering or related fields;
  • Working experience in urban planning and housing issues in Ethiopia, especially with governmental officials;
  • International working experience related to housing issues and knowledge of the UN system is an asset.


Proficiency in both oral and written English and fluency in Amharic.


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