Urban Specialist/Gender Focal Point

UNOPS, Brussels, Belgium

Skill Required:, Business Development/ Resource MobilizationMonitoring and Evaluation
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
25th March, 2019

Job Description

Background Information - Job-specific:

Background information – Cities Alliance:

The Cities Alliance is a global partnership promoting the role of cities in poverty reduction and sustainable development. Hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and managed by a Secretariat based in Brussels, the Cities Alliance is a unique partnership with a diverse membership, which is committed to strengthen both developmental impacts through improved coherence in urban development. Cities Alliance is a global leader with a strong track record in grant making, that supports strategic city planning, slum upgrading strategies and national policies designed to make cities more inclusive and sustainable. Through UNOPS, the Cities Alliance operates a Multi-Donor Fund supported by an efficient, and flexible grant-making mechanism with a global reach.

Cities Alliance activities are guided by its 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, with a recalibrated business model combining a Global window for normative work and a Country/City window for operations across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the MENA region. Through the Strategic Plan, Cities Alliance members have made clear commitments to ensuring that the Cities Alliance is a global leader in promoting gender policies that are institutionalized, and which improve the daily lives of ordinary citizens.

Background information – job specific:

Cities Alliance is seeking a highly motivated and dynamic Urban Specialist as the partnership’s Gender Focal Point. S/he will have responsibility for keeping the Cities Alliance at the forefront of international best practice, influence both members and partners, and act as an advocate for Cities Alliance policies.

Under the guidance and supervision of the Head of Global Programmes, the incumbent will perform a broad range of analytical and operational functions to continually increase the gender mainstreaming capacity of the Cities Alliance in general, and particularly through its operational windows and at corporate level. This will require the continued revision and updating of the Gender Mainstreaming Strategy and its Action plan for the Secretariat, ensuring that grant procedures are gender-responsive. S/he will oversee the application of tools such as the Gender Marker System, the development of a Gender portfolio for both normative and operational activities, and provide cross-support to projects as needed to inform gender-responsive programming and monitoring. S/he will be required to represent the Cities Alliance internationally, contribute to effective and efficient team work, delivering results on time, within budget and to the highest quality standards.

Functional Responsibilities:

  • Develop, maintain and disseminate a comprehensive knowledge base on the gender perspectives in cities to promote the professional development of staff in this area and provide information as required for different purposes;
  • Provide cross-support to business development for global and country programmes while providing specialised expertise on gender mainstreaming opportunities in cities, and in urban development generally;
  • Engage with Cities Alliance Members and Partners to share experiences and approaches to gender mainstreaming in urban policies;
  • Update the overall Gender Mainstreaming Strategy and action plan, identifying concrete actions to be taken by the secretariat on a biennial basis, to be included in the programme budget;
  • Develop and disseminate a collection of good practice examples of gender mainstreaming in cities and urban development as in the work programme of the Cities Alliance;
  • Ensure the application of the Gender Marker System within Cities Alliance grant making procedures;
  • Development of necessary methods and tools, such as overall guidelines and guidelines for specific processes and the work of different parts of Cities Alliance’s work programme;
  • Represent the secretariat at select workshops and events where information on gender mainstreaming in cities is requested;
  • Develop indicators for assessing progress with gender mainstreaming, adapted to the various types of work in different parts of the Cities Alliance Work Programme;
  • Collaborate, as relevant, within UNOPS and other inter inter-institutional working groups as the Cities Alliance Gender Focal Point.

Education/Experience/Language requirements:

Education: Master’s degree in Urban Studies, Business Administration, Development Studies, Economics, Finance, Social Sciences, Political Science or related fields required; a PhD (Doctorate) in any of these fields would be an asset.


  • At least five years of work experience in the international development sector on urbanization issues is required. Out of the five years, at least two years of work experience on Gender Mainstreaming Issues is required.
  • Previous experience in developing countries and/or prior work experience with UNOPS or UN Agencies would be an asset.
  • Previous experience in Monitoring & Evaluation activities would be an asset.


  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Working knowledge of French, Spanish and/or Arabic would be considered an asset.


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