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Settlement Planning Assistant


Opportunity Deadline


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Job Description

  • Location: Afghanistan, Kabul
  • Organization: UN-Habitat
  • Salary: N/A
  • Vacancy No: 2023-11-230
  • Gender: Both
  • Deadline: 5 December 2023

About UN-Habitat

The position is located with the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific of the Regional Program Division and based in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Regional Program Division is responsible for consolidating and enhancing the linkages between UN Habitat’s activities in the field with the Strategic Plan, the 2030 Agenda, and the UN-Habitat’s overall future priorities and to make sure that they are appropriate to the country context.

UN-Habitat’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific manages UN-Habitat’s project portfolio in the Asia and Pacific region. It ensures that country priorities are in alignment with the UN-Habitat’s organizational policies and strategic objectives and brings through its Regional Representative to the attention of the Executive Management Committee (EMC) opportunities and challenges in the region, allowing for timely feedback and responses to urgent demands and requests from the Member States.

The Afghanistan Programme is a strategic partner of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in promoting sustainable urban development. Since 1992, UN-Habitat has worked closely with the government, municipal and local authorities, especially Afghan communities, contributing to the physical and social reconstruction of the country. Our work has focused on assisting the government in the development of urban policies and regulations; strategic urban planning; increasing municipal revenue; establishing community-based organizations; addressing the land and housing needs of IDPs and returnees and contributing to the provision of basic urban services.

Job Summary

Insecure Housing, Land and Property (HLP) rights have resulted in frequent evictions for residents of informal settlements. across Afghanistan, harming already vulnerable populations. Consequently, averting evictions is a priority to arrest a worsening humanitarian crisis. As well as evictions, insecure HLP rights constrain lifesaving service and infrastructure investments in informal settlements, leading to unsafe physical environments (unlit streets, exposure to disease, unsanitary/unavailable/inadequate WASH), and increasing safety risks, particularly for women. The proposed action deploys a community-based approach to strengthen HLP rights and make gender safe investments in informal settlements in two Afghan cities. This action will reduce the threat of eviction and increase women’s safety in the cities of Kabul and Herat where the 2023 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) shows high HLP and GBV risks, as well as overall humanitarian need.

Duties & Responsibilities

Duties and responsibilities

The GIS Assistant will report to the Project officer. He/she will be assigned for the following specific duties and responsibilities:

  • Digitize all project target area through ArcGIS and/or QGIS.
  • Supervise and assist survey teams in using of maps and improve proficiency as whole.
  • Operate with android application and SQL databases required for, the program and support the land use and hazard mapping component of the project.
  • Support the use of satellite images for data collection and analysis, e.g., print/plot satellite images of optional areas in different templates as required by the survey teams.
  • Ensure that the unique codes within GIS and Database are sequenced and they are both the same.
  • Ensure that the Satellite images are geo-referenced correctly.
  • Support planning departments using definition query methods.
  • Provide technical support to the project in data analysis and ensure required outputs are generated in the expected formats.
  • Check the quality and completeness of the survey forms completed by the surveyors and synchronized into SQL.
  • Perform Data/file management and maintenance tasks.

·        Develop map layouts (cartography), including standardized color schemes and standard templates for high quality hard copy output.

·        Support in linking GIS maps to Powerbase or similar dashboard information.

·        Support in capacity development for lead partners in case of a need.

·        Other duties as assigned by the project officer, outputs may overlap with another programs/project as and when required.

Duties and Responsibilities:

UN-Habitat is looking for an experienced Architect or Urban Planner with experience in settlements and shelter design to provide specialized support to the work of the Securing Land Rights for Gender-Safe Informal Settlements in designing and developing sustainable settlements solutions for recent and protracted IDPs, returnees as well as vulnerable host communities. Based in Kabul and Herat with some missions to provinces, the incumbent will be expected to analyze the variety of housing and settlement options available for the displaced populations in urban or peri-urban contexts and support the implementation of the most suitable durable solutions. Under the direct supervision of project officer and in close collaborations with provincial team leaders, Settlement Planning Assistant will undertake the following tasks and activities:

Key Responsibilities:

·        Conduct technical feasibility studies on site absorption capacity for identification of adequate sites in close coordination with provincial team leaders and project officer.

·        Conduct site analysis looking at site conditions, site occupation, water availability, access, environmental risks, existing plans, focusing on GBV risk mitigation project. and other relevant aspects to inform development of settlement plans and upgrading plans.

·        Support Project technical teams in developing area plans and strategies, land use, technical urban and infrastructure plans with specific attentions to road layout, public spaces and facilities, drainage, sanitation, and waste management and ensure compliance with site planning and sustainable urban planning standards.

·        Conduct participatory community mapping of existing informal settlements and support focused on GBV risks and corresponding mitigation activities and updating maps of the settlements.

·        Facilitate and support teams in the development of community upgrading plans and community development plans.

·        Support durable solutions profiling of existing IDPs and returnees’ communities and contribute to response plans.

·        Provide support to the effective and efficient execution of program activities by working in close collaboration with project team.

•    Contribute to design conceptualization of housing, amenities, neighbourhood models and settlement development and design guidelines focus on GBV mitigation projects.

·        Prepare necessary architectural/construction drawings and graphics for settlement design, housing design, amenities, settlement strategy diagrams and other graphics required to produce guidelines and manuals for the execution of the Securing Land Rights for Gender-Safe Informal Settlements HLP-GBV project priorities.

·        Contribute to collaborating works of UNHABITAT within the shelter cluster activities.

•    Report work progress to project officer.


Work implies frequent interaction with the following:

·        Collaboration and working closely with Technical Teams in Herat and Kabul

 Results Expected:

·        Conduct feasibility studies and site analysis for the Master planning of allocated lands and townships to IDPs and Returnees and host communities focus on GBV mitigation in high returned provinces.

·        3D models, Architectural drawings, good for construction drawing sets as required.

Any other graphics required to explain settlement design, urban design concepts and housing construction as required.


Job Requirements


a)      Education: A bachelor’s degree in architecture or urban planning.

b)     Experience: At least three years of demonstrated professional experience in settlement planning with sound knowledge of urban development approach and standards; variety of settlement typologies available in Afghanistan and in the region. Knowledge of architectural design and vernacular construction technics. Extensive experience of managing development programs working with community groups-previous experience working with IDP and returnees and in informal settlements asset.

c)      Language: Good written and spoken English and Dari or Pashto languages

d)     Other skills:

Core Competencies: Professionalism, leadership, teamwork, communication

Desirable:  Knowledge of the Sphere Standards for site planning and shelter; basic water, sanitation, and drainage principles.

Personal Attributes:  A strong commitment to human rights, gender sensitivity and pro-poor development work; consultative and empowering working style and willingness to learn from others.

Computer Skills: Advanced computer and design skills in CAD software, GIS and GPS Technology and devises, Illustrator, InDesign or other graphic software, Word, Excel, and project management applications

Competencies (Select 3 Maximum)

·        Professionalism: Ability to identify and resolve budgetary problems and identify sources for data collection. 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

·        Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; 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.

·        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.

Submission Guideline

Interested Afghan National Candidates should submit the following required documents.

1.      A cover letter that shows how your qualifications and experience meet the VA requirement.

2.      An update CV+P11 form for individual contractor (IC) that contains all your information to the unhvacancies@unhabitat-afg.org  indicating on the SUBJECT line the vacancy number of the position, please note that applications received after the closing date (05 December 2023) will not be given consideration. Only short-listed candidates whose applications respond to the above criteria will be contacted for an interview.

Note: Subject line must be: (2023-11-230) or your application may not be considered.

Submission Email: unhvacancies@unhabitat-afg.org

For more details about UN-HABITAT and UN-HABITAT Afghanistan Country Programme refer Website: www.unhabitat.org and www.unhabitat.af

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