Job Opening

Posting Title: Researcher
Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Duty Station: NAIROBI
Posting Period: 31 December 2021 - 18 January 2022
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Human Settlements Programme-171617-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The specific objectives are to contribute to advocacy, demonstrate the impacts of sustainable transformation in slums and informal settlements, and accelerate the implementation of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) based on new knowledge, know-how and data trends.

Work Location

Home Based

Expected duration

1.5 Months

Duties and Responsibilities

In 2003, UN-Habitat published The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements, the results of the first global assessment of slums by the United Nations since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration. The report proposed a newly accepted operational definition of slums, and with the first global estimates of the numbers of slum dwellers, painted a dire picture of the situation in slums, which are predominantly a physical and spatial manifestation of urban poverty.
The report, which remains one of UN-Habitat’s most read publications and a relevant resource for many global stakeholders, discusses the challenge of slums and the factors underlying their formation. In view of the developments and innovative solutions that have been successfully applied in addressing the challenge of slums, and the importance of slums and informal settlements on the global development agenda, the time is ripe to publish the Solutions to Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements 2020.

The proposed publication, whose provisional title is Solutions to Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements 2020, will provide the direction needed by key development stakeholders to step up in their commitment to reducing urban poverty and inequalities, leaving no one behind. UN-Habitat is committed to assisting member states to meet the challenge of slums and enable countries to transform the lives of the urban poor strategically and at scale, incrementally putting the people at the center of the interventions.
The Report will assess the impacts of the slum upgrading and prevention solutions and developments (including policies) adopted by governments, civil society groups and international organizations over the past 20 years. In addition, it will demonstrate how large-scale transformations have and can be actioned in a way that allows for physical improvements, socioeconomic development, cultural identity, wellbeing and belonging without resorting to forced evictions.
The topic of slums and informal settlements has been high in global debates for 20 years. As a result, many countries have abandoned slum demolitions and forced evictions – a gross violation of human rights – in favor of inclusive policies, legislation and people-centered investments. In contribution, UN-Habitat alone reviewed more than 50 policy frameworks over the past 10 years and leveraged more than one billion USD in several countries including Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Fiji, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger and Papua New Guinea.
Essentially, this publication will examine the developments and innovative solutions that have been successfully applied by the United Nations and development partners to address the challenge of slums. Furthermore, it will assess the impact of the slum upgrading and prevention solutions and policies adopted by governments, civil society groups and international organizations since the inception of the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP).
With the recognition of the challenge of slums in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG #11.1 and elevation of sustainable urbanization and development to an “Urban Goal”, this is the opportune moment to strengthen the call to the global community to redouble their efforts if related goals and targets are to be realized by 2030. Therefore, the purpose of the publication will be to refocus global discussions around upscaling slum upgrading interventions to meet the challenge of slums in less than a decade.

Under the guidance of the Publication Coordinator of the Participatory Slum and Upgrading Programme (PSUP), the Researcher (Consultant) will be responsible for the following duties:
1) Develop indicators and methodologies for review and evaluation of specific topics related to informal settlements and related issues (e.g. urban development, housing, economic development, demographic and social indicators, etc.) at global, regional and national levels; assess implications in terms of policies, regulatory framework and institutional set-up and identify best practices in terms to policy development and interventions.
2) Select and evaluate a variety of documents and existent data. Compile, systematise, process and manipulate data sets derived from a variety of sources. Assemble and examine original statistical material to ensure accuracy, clarity and validity; make appropriate adjustments.
3) Design substantive quantitative or qualitative research on selected aspects of critical areas of concern. Organise consultations with key experts and informants from diverse technical backgrounds. Co-operate with research institutes and organisations in the collection of data. Assist in liaising with United Nations system organizations to obtain necessary statistical and other relevant information.
4) Summarise pertinent material and prepare charts, graphs and other outputs for reporting and presentation of various data. Prepare a variety of reports, presentations, tables, lists, charts, data sets, diagrams and other background materials/notes for information in order to facilitate the in-depth analysis of the retrieved information by the supervisor and other users.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: A minimum of a master’s degree in urban planning or development, social science or related field is required. A PhD in related fields will be an added advantage.
Experience: a. Five years of demonstrated ability to complete in-depth studies and proven track record as author or researcher of international publications and reports is required.
b. Knowledge of urban development and related fields and knowledge and practical application of theories and concepts related to urban development and informal settlements is preferred.
c. Very good knowledge of region or country of assignment, including the political, economic and social dimensions, and the ability to relate socio-economic issues, trends and perspectives, including gender issues, to urban development initiatives/programmes in affected country/region is required.
d. Knowledge of research methodologies, data collection and maintenance. Ability to identify, extract, analyse and format data from a wide variety of standard and non-standard sources. Ability to identify, extract and analyse statistical data is desirable.
e. Strong analytical capacity and the ability to identify, analyse and articulate difficult issues/problems is preferred.
f. Proven ability to independently provide effective research in an efficient and timely manner and present findings in organised, accurate way, accomplished with use of initiative and with only general guidance from higher level staff is required.
g. Ability to work under pressure, with availability for overtime and on-call assignments, depending on the needs of the service is desirable.
Language: Fluency in oral and written English is required.

No Fee


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