United Nations Human Settlements Programme
UN-Habitat in Damascus, Syria
Posting Title: Chief Technical Adviser (Project Post), P5
Job Code Title: Senior Technical Adviser
Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Duty Station: DAMASCUS
Posting Period: 15 December 2022 – 12 February 2023
Job Opening Number: 22-Economic Affairs-UN-HABITAT-192927-R-Damascus (E)
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Organisational Setting and Reporting
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) is the agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. The Chief Technical Advisor (Head of Programme) will lead a number of international and national professional and support staff based in Damascus and the field offices in the development, implementation and monitoring of the programme. He/she shall be responsible for the formulation of resource mobilization and fund-raising strategy through the development of joint programmes and bi-lateral initiatives with donors. This post is located in the UN-HABITAT, Regional Office for Arab States (ROAS), at the Damascus duty station.
Under the direct supervision of the Regional Representative of the Regional Office for Arab States, the Chief Technical Advisor (Head of Programme) will lead the programme team in Syria to implement UN-Habitat’s mandate in the current emergency situation focusing on development of city profiles to identify the rehabilitation/recovery needs of damaged housing and public facilities and utilities. He/she will represent UN-Habitat at the United Nations Country Team and Humanitarian Team, in addition to other forums and coordinate with the government counterparts and local authorities to identify needs and advocate among the donor’s community for fund raising within the following duties and responsibilities.
- Liaise with government authorities at the different levels on behalf on UN-Habitat, in the various regions of intervention, ensuring high-level of collaboration and mutual understanding. Develop new projects and programme proposals individually or jointly with other UN agencies and partners.
- Provide managerial and technical support and backstopping to the teams of national experts in the different regions, ensuring good coordination and efficient output delivery, avoiding any potential inter-personal conflict, optimizing the use of existing resources and enhancing team spirit.
- In collaboration with the operations team located in the Regional Office for Arab States (ROAS), maintain control and proper knowledge of all aspects related to the project budget management, procurement and recruitment issues including preparation of Terms of Reference (TORs).
- Develop and support the implementation of activities in the different sectors where UN- Habitat is intervening in Syria, especially around rapid city and neighborhood profiling and urban information analysis, urban emergency shelter and housing development, delivery of basic/social services, institutional training and capacity development especially concerning emergency planning and response, establishment of sustainable livelihoods mechanisms in urban areas, among other issues, trying to ensure maximum synergy and coordination at all times.
- Carry out regular project monitoring activities/missions when security conditions allow and ensure timely and quality delivery of planned/expected accomplishments and results and prepare narrative reports to donors, as well as regular progress reporting to ROAS, HQ and donors.
- Ensure good coordination with UN agencies in all UN-Habitat interest activities in Syria, and participate in relevant inter-agency meetings, reinforcing the agency’s leadership concerning UN-Habitat mandate and comparative advantage in Syria from the side of international community.
- Support the development of new projects and carry out regular fund-raising activities with donors, following a clear advocacy strategy, ensure the preparation of regular publications on UN-Habitat activities in Syria, including the establishment and circulation of a newsletter in soft format and short documentaries in web format.
- Participate in and/or coordinate all UN-Habitat missions coming from HQ or ROAS visiting Syria.
- Leads team members efforts to collect and analyze data and provides insight to identify trends or patterns for data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation and reporting. Ensures that everyone can discover, access, integrate and share the data they need.
- Perform other related duties as assigned.
PROFESSIONALISM: Ability to perform a broad range of administrative functions, e.g., budget/work programme, human resources, database management, etc. Ability to apply knowledge of various United Nations administrative, financial and human resources rules and regulations in work situations. The ability to analyze and interpret data in support of decision-making and convey resulting information to management. 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.
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.
LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: Empowers others to translate vision into results; Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; Drives for change and improvements; Does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; Demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision- making authority; Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; Appraises performance fairly.
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.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in urban and regional planning, architecture, engineering, Political Science, Business Administration, Economics or related field. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.
Successful completion of both degree and non-degree programs in data analytics, business analytics or data science programs is an advantage.
A minimum of 10 years progressive responsible experience in project or programme management, administration or related area is required.
Experience working on governance, planning, conflict resolution or policy related issues in the area of human settlements in the middle north Africa/ Arab region is required.
Experience in international Development in the Middle East region is desirable.
Experience working on governance, planning, human security or policy related issues in the area of human settlements is desirable.
Experience in senior level interaction with UN Government counterparts is desirable.
Experience in data analytics or related area is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English is required. A good working knowledge of Arabic is desirable.
NOTE “Fluency equals a rating of “fluent” in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and ” Knowledge of equals a rating of’ confident” in two of the four areas.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
This is a project post. Appointment against this position is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension.
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary- General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral or geographical move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
Individual Contractors and Consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for or be appointed to any professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions, within six months of the end of their current or most recent service. For such positions, at least six months need to have elapsed between the end of a consultancy or individual contract and the time of application and consideration for an appointment as a staff member under the Staff Rules and Regulations of the United Nations.
Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.
Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply. Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.
Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as “retirement.” Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.
At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. Online applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please resubmit the application, if necessary. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira “Need Help?” link.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
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