Vacancy Announcement: Global Future Cities Programme Local Strategic Advisor – Consultant

Job Opening

Posting Title: Global Future Cities Programme Local Strategic Advisor – Consultant

Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme

Duty Station: NAIROBI

Work Location: Yangon, Myanmar

Expected duration: 6 months with the possibility of extension

Posting Period: 25 August 2020 – 08 September 2020

Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Human Settlements Programme-140153-Consultant

Staffing Exercise N/A


Result of Service

The overall result of this consultancy is to enhance the national and local governments to scale up successful local-level approaches through tools development and application, and project finance, planning and policy advise towards sustainable urbanization.

Duties and Responsibilities

About UN-Habitat

UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable and resilient towns and cities. It is the focal point agency for all urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system. UN-Habitat envisions well-planned, well-governed and efficient cities and towns, with adequate housing, infrastructure and universal access to employment and basic services such as water, energy, and sanitation.

UN-Habitat Urban Planning Lab

The Urban Planning and Design Lab (Urban Lab) is an initiative from UN-Habitat to promptly respond to the requests of national and local governments to support sustainable urban development. The Urban Lab is the integrative facility of the Agency where innovative processes and partnerships are translated into tangible and transformative solutions to complex urban challenges. Throughout, the Urban Lab acts as a neutral broker, managing knowledge in complex stakeholder settings to resolve multi-sectoral, multi-scalar and multi-stakeholder challenges.

The Lab brings together a multidisciplinary team of urban planners, environmental, data-science, mobility, legal and financial experts, providing a holistic and proactive approach to sustainable urbanization. Hence, the Lab captures the necessary thematic disciplines, experts, actors and stakeholders.

In this context, the Urban Lab applies an integrated approach to systemic and strategic planning to deliver transformative change for sustainable urbanization and to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda.

Global Future Cities Programme

The Global Future Cities Programme (GFCP) under the UK Foreign and Commonwealth’s Prosperity Fund (UK FCO) aims to deliver targeted interventions in 19 cities across 10 countries to encourage sustainable development, increase prosperity whilst alleviating high levels of urban poverty. The programme will also create significant short and long-term business opportunities in growing markets forecast to be regional growth hubs. In addition, the programme will make a significant contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA). The Global Future Cities Programme includes cities in Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, Turkey, Burma/Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The programme builds upon three integrated pillars, that collectively will address key barriers to prosperity, in selected cities:
• Urban planning – technical assistance for spatial restructuring (city strategies, urban renewal, regeneration, master planning and planning frameworks)
• Transportation – technical assistance to support cities to develop integrated multi-modal public transport systems
• Resilience – technical assistance to develop strategies to address the impact of climate change (e.g. flooding) and ensure development is sustainable

The programme is delivered in two phases: a Strategic Development Phase, followed by an Implementation Phase. The strategic phase has been completed, and the programme is seeking to engage a Local Strategic Advisor to support the project’s implementation phase.

Strategic Development Phase

The Strategic Development Phase of the GFCP was implemented by UN-Habitat’s Urban Lab as a lead executive agency from April to December 2018. This phase aimed at supporting the UK FCO in the identification, further definition and validation of 30 urban interventions in the 19 cities part of the Programme. UN-Habitat’s contribution focused on supporting an improved definition of strategic and transformative projects that are implementable and which contribute to the city’s objectives, while at the same time ensuring an adequate level of city ownership and citizen engagement.
This resulted in the development of Terms of References (ToRs) for each of the 30 urban interventions, supported by 19 city context reports, eight thematic cluster papers, five policy papers and two normative reports, as input and basis for the Implementation Phase. The Strategic Development Phase contributed to demonstrating how each intervention could contribute to multiple SDGs and gave recommendations based on international practices, while aligning with city visions for development.

Implementation Phase

The Implementation Phase of the GFCP will occur from September 2019 to March 2022. During the Implementation Phase, the 30 urban interventions will be delivered also contributing to the positioning the GFCP in an international context and demonstrating the added value of bridging global and local development agendas through achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and implementing the New Urban Agenda.

While the UK FCO is ultimately responsible for the delivery of the Global Future Cities Programme, the 30 urban interventions will be carried out in the form of Technical Assistance by private sector Delivery Partners with international and national presence, as well as expertise in cross-cutting issues, SDGs and the NUA.

Across the programme, the urban projects identified cover thematic areas such as: transport and mobility strategies, policies and plans; urban planning and urban renewal plans and policies; street design and public space; strategies, systems and policies to enhance resilience in an urban context; smart city development and sustainable systems for management and governance of urban data.
The UK FCO has requested UN-Habitat’s Urban Lab to support the Implementation Phase by providing strategic advice, knowledge management and quality recommendations on both Programme and local levels. A programme level capacity building component will be delivered with the support of an implementing partner, the United Kingdom Built Environment Advisory Group (UK BEAG). The Urban Lab’s main contribution will be to work as a neutral actor, facilitating processes to make sure that interventions adequately incorporate principles for sustainable urbanization, that cities are capacitated to sustain the interventions in the long-run and that knowledge will be shared on local and global level.

Duties and Responsibilities

The consultant will be hired and work under the overall supervision of the Head of the Urban Lab with the direct supervision of the Programme Manager of the Global Future Cities Programme.He/She will perform the following duties and responsibilities:

1. Application of the SDG Project Assessment Tool:

Coordinate Project assessment sessions for projects in Yangon, Myanmar, together with the UK FCO Country Programme Managers and UN-Habitat’s local presence;
Apply the SDG Project Assessment Tool (in collaboration with City authorities and Delivery Partners) on projects in Yangon, Myanmar to assess milestone deliverables (urban plans, strategies, systems, policies, etc.) to help capacitate city authorities in assessing the development of the urban projects, and to provide recommendations to enhance their quality, effectiveness, viability and sustainability beyond the Programme’s timeframe.

2. Technical Review of Project Deliverables:

Technically review deliverables (urban plans, strategies, systems, policies, etc.) and provide recommendations on projects in Yangon, Myanmar, eventually adapted into roadmaps/ strategies to sustain the interventions beyond the programme period (considering financial strategies, legal frameworks, local capacity, governance, etc.);
Align project recommendations to the SDGs and New Urban Agenda and safeguard UN-Habitat’s cross-cutting issues on Climate Change, Gender Equality, Human Rights, and Youth.

3. Documentation of the Programme’s impact through Human Interest Stories:

Interviews and community visits to develop Human Interest Stories;
Write-up and distribution of Human Interest Stories through the Global Future Cities Knowledge Platform.

4. Technical advice and support to the Capacity Building Programme:

Provide technical advice and support the development of methodology and content of the programme level capacity building component, including in-country- and/or programme-level training and dialogue events, thematic learning webinars, etc. to UN-Habitat’s implementing partner, the UK Built Environment Advisory Group (UKBEAG), that will deliver programme level capacity building.;
Provide technical and policy advice on urban planning and design to build capacity of city authorities.

5. Technical advice on overarching Programme components:

Carry out research on best practices and international benchmarks that could be applied across the projects of the Programme in the areas of urban planning, mobility, resilience and data systems to support the development of Normative Outputs and the organisation of Expert Group Meetings;
Provide advice and develop the main thematic areas for city-to-city learnings and knowledge exchange;
Provide technical support the facilitation and curation of the Knowledge Platform;
Provide technical support the improvement of the LogFrames and Theories of Change for Myanmar.

6. Communication

Facilitate communication between stakeholders and overcome potential linguistic barriers. The Local Strategic Advisor will be responsible for the translation of key documents and moderate meetings and events when necessary.
Optimize the logistic organization and to ensure time- and cost-effective development of the activities, the Local Strategic Advisor will support the Urban Lab to find substantive and logistic synergies between different components of the Programme.

Qualifications/special skills

Competency: Technological Awareness. Keeps abreast of available technology, understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office, actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks, shows willingness to learn new technology.

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; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed, Excellent drafting ability and communications skills, both oral and written; proven ability to communicate complex concepts orally; ability to prepare written reports that are clear, concise and meaningful.

Teamwork. Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Client orientation. Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients ” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in architecture, urban planning/design, social sciences, engineering, or related fields is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two (2) years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience: A minimum of three (3) years of relevant work experience in the fields of urban planning, sustainable development, or similar is required;

Experience in all levels of urban development from project development to practical completion and monitoring is desirable;
Experience working with government in Myanmar and on social change projects is an asset;;
Working knowledge and experience in urban planning and policies is an asset and with international development agencies and in particular the United Nations is an asset.

Language: Fluency in English and Burmese, written and verbal is required.

Additional Information


The consultant will be hired under the overall supervision of the Head of the Urban Lab / programme manager of the Global Future Cities Programme. The consultant will report to the Urban Lab according to the activities need. The consultant is expected to continuously liaise and coordinate with the Urban Lab, and a minimum of two follow-up calls a month will take place to discuss the activities development at the country level.

The activities developed by the Local Strategic Advisor, including meetings and communications with local stakeholders at the country and city level, will be discussed and agreed in advance with Urban Lab.

The Consultant will, according to specific arrangements with UN Habitat local offices, integrate in the existing structure of the local office to benefit from the existing expertise and knowledge networks whenever possible and will provide periodically updates to the local offices.

The UK FCO Country Programme Manager has the role to supervise the implementation of the country-specific component of Programme, ensuring an effective activities’ development and a clear coordination between the City, the Delivery Partner and the Strategic and Capacity Building Partner – UN-Habitat, supported by UK BEAG. The Local Strategic Advisor together with the Urban Lab will communicate and agree in advance the planned activities to the UK FCO Country Programme Manager. The Local Strategic Advisor will comply with agreed programme governance, reporting mechanisms and stakeholder management plan. UK FCO, Delivery Partners and the Local Strategic Adviser will coordinate to ensure stakeholders are engaged on activities of all partners in the same avenue when possible for a consistent and harmonised programme management.

No Fee



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