Job Opening

Posting Title: Sustainable Housing Expert
Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Duty Station: NAIROBI
Posting Period: 08 October 2021 - 18 October 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Human Settlements Programme-165609-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Specific Objectives of the Joint Programme

The specific objective of the programme is to equip UN country teams with the necessary tools and information to:
1. Support governments in transforming their buildings and construction sector to be a resource efficient, low carbon and climate resilient sector, through coherent policy support and results-focused programming based on science and facts.
2. Raise awareness and strengthen the capacity of national stakeholders on sustainable buildings and construction related benefits and opportunities with an emphasis on material efficiency.
The joint programme will use the country’s UNSCDF as a strategic entry point for the UN to:
● Engage with national governments and buildings and construction value chain stakeholders, and advocate for mainstreaming sustainable buildings and construction approaches and practices.
● Link UNCT operations with public and private SBC related stakeholders such as relevant ministries and institutions, SMEs, think tanks, construction sector chambers/federations/associations, academia, and innovation sector related to SBC.
● Promote the opportunities and critical role of buildings and construction, namely housing, as a key sector for countries to achieve their SDGs and NDCs, including enhancing the demand for sustainable buildings and construction from national decision makers, and value chain stakeholders from private companies to consumers.
The joint programme will provide guidance to UNCTs and governments by collecting, improving, and disseminating tools and approaches to:
● Mainstream sustainable buildings and construction approaches that are tailored to local contexts (e.g. through using country assessments, building and construction roadmaps, NDC guidance, etc.)
● Guide and support countries national buildings and construction value chain stakeholders in developing coherent sustainable buildings and construction strategies, plans, policies and regulation, and processes to support sustainable and resource efficient materials use in planning, design, procurement, construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning for buildings and construction.
● Establish National Alliances for Buildings and construction, strengthen local skills and capacities and encourage locally adapted research and innovation on sustainable and resource efficient materials use.
● Assess the investment value in SBC approaches, with an emphasis on housing sector related programmes.


Output 1: Report of the final 2 Multistakeholder groups for Sustainable buildings and Construction in Burkina Faso and Sri Lanka: contribute and assessment of the entities to be engaged and organisation of multistakeholder sessions both virtually and at the country. The intention of this output is to set up a team at each country to help validate, communicate, and implement the developed tools and to tailor the tools to the country needs.

Output 2: Value-assessment methodology: The intention of this work is to deliver an updated version of Sherpa tool with a focus on sustainability and resource efficiency, tailored to the needs of the countries. A next step will be to pilot this and other tools at country level for both Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso.

Output 3: Country assessment reports of Burkina Faso and Sri Lanka s: focused on housing, buildings, sustainable materials, circular construction practices and construction status following UN-Habitat’s National Housing Profile methodology the Global ABC roadmaps from UNEP, as well as the One Planet Network’s SBC Country Assessment Tool.

Output 4: Report of selected national housing programs for tool piloting: Support to identify and evaluate 2 national housing programs, 1 for each country to pilot and improve the developed tools.

Output 5: Assessment report of 2 national housing programmes: by tailoring the tools and timeline to the country needs and implementing the developed tools, organising stakeholder workshops, and contributing to technical assessment.

Output 6: Reports of the Global dissemination of the project: Hold 2 global webinars and 2 local sessions for project dissemination and mainstreaming. Include dissemination of tools and project development. Hold a final Internal Steering Committee and assist in preparation of MPTF Steering Committees.

Work Location

Home based

Expected duration

12 Months

Duties and Responsibilities


UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate and affordable housing for all. It works with organisations at every level, including all spheres of government, civil society and the private sector, to help build, manage, plan and finance sustainable urban development.

UN-Habitat, through the Land Housing and Shelter section, supports New Urban Agenda partners and governments at all levels in formulating and implementing progressive housing sector reforms, policies, programmes and legislation which contribute to the creation of inclusive and sustainable cities, and comply with international law relating to the right to adequate housing. It provides expertise to support sound analysis of the housing sector and, in particular, the review of key legislation and elements affecting affordable housing provisions. UN-Habitat assists governments to formulate and implement policies and strategies designed to maximise the impact of housing in national socio-economic development and employment generation, as well as in sustainable urban development. It helps with in-depth local diagnosis of the state of the housing sector and provides technical support to the formulation of sustainable housing and construction sector related policies and programmes, as well as subsequent implementation strategies.


The buildings and construction sector accounted for 36% of final energy use and 39% of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018, 11% of which resulted from manufacturing and procurement of building materials and products such as steel, cement and glass (GlobalABC, 2019)—making the building sector the single most significant industry in terms of emissions. In addition, the building sector consumes 12% of freshwater and 30% of raw material and it generates approximately 20% of water effluents and as much as 40% of landfill waste globally (WEF, 2016). With the building stock set to double by 2050, emissions, energy and resource consumption of the sector are set to increase.
Considering that 50% of the building stock that will exist in 2050 is yet to be built (UN Habitat, 2015), out of which in average housing can make up from 45-70% of all buildings in cities, there is a huge opportunity for introducing more sustainable production, procurement and consumption approaches in the buildings and construction sector that mitigate environmental pressures and change building practices to provide adequate, attractive and affordable housing. In this context, there is an urgent need to take stock of the successful sustainability approaches and experiences in the sector to inspire and influence governments to overcome policy shortcomings and reveal the full potential of this sector for sustainable development.


Through am emphasis on resource efficiency (SDG12) in the buildings life cycle - planning, design, procurement, construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning - with a specific focus on housing and construction materials, UN-Habitat, UNEP, and UNOPS are establishing a Joint Programme aiming for a strategic advance on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, as well as the national commitments made under the Paris Agreement.
The aim of this Joint Programme proposal is to offer a strategic approach for the UN to help countries in addressing resource efficiency by focusing on improving the sustainability of buildings and their impact on the environment, in particular on carbon emissions. This will be achieved through fostering the transformation of the buildings and construction sector; being one of the sectors with the biggest potentials to strive for sustainable consumption and production, along with food production.
In particular, the consultant will provide direct support to the implementation of the “Multi-agency support to un country teams in mainstreaming resource efficiency in the housing, buildings, and construction sector” and the links between this project and the overall work from the Land Housing and Shelter section on the field of sustainable housing.
The Joint Programme is expected to occur in 2 of the following short-listed countries: Argentina, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Mexico, Philippines, Senegal, or Sri Lanka


Following the aforementioned project backgrounds and objectives, the consultant, will be supervised by the Programme Manager, within the Land Housing and Shelter section as lead implementing entity for the Joint Programme. The specific responsibilities are:

• Contribute to the project execution, according to project work plan, ensuring accordance with UN-Habitat rules and regulations:
• Prepare and participate in periodic coordination meetings with the project team (UNEP, UNOPS, and UN Country Offices).
• Conduct research, prepare analytical reports, background notes, as well as present information gathered from diverse sources in a succinct and coherent way.
• Prepare drafts of Terms of Reference for the different programme activities, including procurement of goods and services, preparing agreements of cooperation with third parties, etc.
• Prepare documents for workshops, seminars, meetings and other events related to the project´s objectives
• Follow and implement the programmes workplan and specific activities for each project component.
• Keep the project documentation and records organized and available for consultation;
• Contribute to the effective project execution.


The expert will be prompted to look at a number of cross-cutting themes in the template/guidelines provided to complete the aforementioned products, these include human rights, youth, gender, climate change, etc.
Most importantly, the expert should pay attention to studying how far the housing sector and climate change are related, and how addressing the sustainability of the sector can have positive impacts on climate change.

Qualifications/special skills

Competency: Professionalism: 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.
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 the audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
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 and Organizing: Demonstrated effective organizational skills and ability to handle work in an efficient and timely manner. Demonstrated ability to coordinate tasks to meet deadlines
Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (masters or similar) in engineering, architecture, material science, environment-related science, economics, urban management, or other fields related to housing construction and sustainable urban development is a requirement
Experience: 2 years of relevant professional experience, including preparing project proposals and coordinating projects implementation is a requirement. Experience in writing analytical texts relating to green building, construction materials, housing issues, and urban development issues is desirable
Language: Fluency in spoken and written English is required. Fluency in Spanish is desirable

No Fee


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