Job Opening

Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Duty Station: NAIROBI
Posting Period: 21 September 2022 - 05 October 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Programme Management-UN-HABITAT-191018-J-Nairobi (O)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the agency for human settlements mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities ( The agency has been focusing on urban development for over 40 years. Working with governments and local partners, its high-impact projects combine world-class expertise and local knowledge to deliver timely and targeted solutions.

Within UN Habitat, the Urban Practices Branch supports governments and local authorities with tested approaches, guidelines, and tools to plan the growth of cities in an inclusive, sustainable, and future-proof way, in tune with social, cultural, economic, and environmental concerns and particularities. The Branch has five areas of work which are closely related: (1) Policy, Legislation and Governance, (2) Urban Basic Services, (3) Land, Housing and Shelter, (4) Planning, Finance and Economic Development, and (5) Human Rights and Social Inclusion.

The work of the Policy, Legislation and Governance Section (PLGS) focuses on a broader framework through different scales (metropolitan, regional, national and trans-national). The Section plays a critical role in implementing the Agency’s Strategic Plan, flagship programmes, the relevant Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda. The Section works with and in collaboration with other parts of the agency (both at Headquarters and in the field) to support national and local governments and partners. The Section fosters high impact initiatives, programmes and projects that draw from its world-class expertise and knowledge to deliver timely, fit-for-purpose and targeted solutions. The Section serves as the Agency’s focal point and global solutions center of excellence on Urban Policy, Legislation and Governance. The Section conducts activities in knowledge management, tools and frameworks development, capacity building, policy dialogue, and advisory services.

PLGS plays a key role in supporting the delivery of the following intervention areas:
1. National Urban Policies from pre-feasibility, diagnostic, development, implementation to monitoring and tracking progress;
2. Metropolitan and City-region studies including in development of corridors, clusters and systems of cities and promotion of a green economy, smart city approach and urban-rural linkages;
3. Spatial Planning Frameworks at metropolitan, regional, national and supra-national levels;
4. Digital governance as a new approach to be used in many countries
5. Urban-Rural Linkages; developing tools and implementing the Urban-Rural Linkages: Guiding Principles and framework for action;
6. Developing document, pilot/test and disseminate norms, standards, tools, methodologies, regulatory frameworks, operating procedures, and inspiring practices at global, regional, national and sub-national levels;
7. Designing tailored-made solutions on policy, legislative and governance for cities, regions and metropolitan development, enhance urban-rural continuum, with the view to reduce spatial inequality and poverty and increase shared prosperity;
8. Generating and managing cutting-edge knowledge and data (including Indexes and database) on Policy, Legislation and Governance.

The interns will be under the direct supervision of the UN-Habitat, Nairobi, Policy, Legislation, and Governance Section/Urban Practices Branch (UPB), Chief of PLGS.

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Nairobi, Policy, Legislation, and Governance Section/Urban Practices Branch (UPB) internship is for six (6) months.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants may be requested to undertake the internship remotely in view of constraints regarding visa issuance, international travel and access to UN premises. Applicants must be willing and prepared to undertake the internship remotely for a part or the entirety of the internship. The work hours during the internship shall be determined based on individual discussion between the intern and the supervisor(s) taking into consideration the minimum requirements of the Organization and the time difference between the hosting office and the location of the intern.

The Internship is UNPAID and full-time.

Interns work five days per week under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned.


Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual's background; the intern's assigned office as well as the internship period.

Under the direct supervision of the Chief, the interns will:
1. Research and Copy Editing
- Review introductory materials of the PLGS portfolio and research on contemporary topics related to the Policy, Legislation and Governance Section in the context of sustainable urbanization and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals;
- Analyze and present the data gathered from diverse sources in reports, tools, and normative products among others;
- Copy-edit and finalize project reports/deliverables (e.g. NUP and URL)
- Assist in translation and review of background documents, concept notes among others from English to French and French to English as appropriate.

2. Tools Development and Management.
- Assist in developing tools, frameworks and guidelines, policy documents, and/or concept notes to build the PLGS portfolio on Policy, Legislation and governance-related work and Metropolitan studies;
- Assist in developing tools, frameworks, and guidelines, study of cases, policy documents, and/or concept notes to build the PLGS portfolio on Subnational Urban Policy and intermediate cities;
- Assist in identifying research gaps and undertake activities, with the collaboration of research institutions, to fill any identified gaps in order to augment the Section’s portfolio;
- Assist in database management and NUP / URL assessment framework, including data mining, data visualization back-end management, and data collection from regional/country offices/partners to enlarge section knowledge repository.

3. Drafting and Communications
- Contribute to written outputs e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies and inputs to publications;
- Assist in producing the Global State of URL report, Songyang Legacy report;
- Assist with outreach activities and the production of awareness materials that will support the rolling out of the PLGS work plan;
- Assist with the production of communication materials and updates for the Section’s websites.

4. Project Development and Management
- Support in the francophone project countries on urban-rural linkages work in preparation of tools, concept notes, background documents among others.
- Assist in planning, preparing and implementing PLGS related project-related events (webinars, meetings, workshops, conferences, Expert Group Meetings, etc.) and support the implementation of specific recommendations arising from these events;
- Assist in the design of training programs and materials related to the PLGS projects, including through the identification of training needs and demands from key national and local stakeholders;
- Perform other tasks relevant to the candidate and PLGS, as jointly determined with the PLGS team.


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.

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.


Applicants must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:
a. Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
b. Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree program (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent);
c. Have graduated with Bachelor's degree, Masters, PhD or equivalent

Be computer literate in standard software applications (Microsoft Office).

Have demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter and the New Urban Agenda;

Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views.

Preferred areas of studies:
Urban/Public Policy, Governance, Urban and Territorial Planning, Law, Urban Development, Metropolitan Management, Communications and IT, Project Development or Management, Architecture, or other related fields (Master or PhD candidate preferable).

It is mandatory to undertake the NUP E-Learning and attach the certificate. Kindly see the link below.

Strong interest in PLGS’s portfolio of works and is self-motivation is an asset;

Strong writing skills; experience with academic writing or reporting is an asset;

Good analytical skills; experience with research and/or familiarity with research methodologies is an asset;

Knowledge of Programming language, Java script etc. Knowledge of web design, UX design, back end and front end development is an asset;

Knowledge of design or web software such as the Adobe creative suite (e.g. Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop) is an asset;

Ability to work and deliver outputs independently in a timely manner, with minimal supervision is an asset.

Based on the four (4) categories of tasks, each candidate shall prioritize her/his category of interest in the scale of 0 to 5. The level 5 will be considered as the best category in which the candidate expresses more confidence. All the categories shall be rated by each candidate applying

Work Experience

No working experience is required to apply for the United Nations Internship Programme. Your training, education, advance course work or skills should benefit the United Nations during your internship.

Justification of your first choice among (i) project development and management, (ii) drafting and communications, (iii) tools development and management, and (iv) research and copy editing, the four categories listed in this Term of Reference (TOR) and the skills needed to perform better in your first choice is desirable.

Knowledge of Policy, Legislation, and Governance is required.

Knowledge of how you will contribute to the work of the Policy, Legislation, and Governance Section based on the Terms of Reference is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this internship, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is desirable.


Potential candidates will be contacted by hiring manager directly for further consideration.

Special Notice

Your application for this internship must include:
1. A completed application (Personal History Profile) and Cover Note, through the UN careers Portal. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The Cover Note must include:

- Title of the degree you are currently pursuing
- Graduation Date
- IT skills and programmes you are proficient in
- Explain why you are the best candidate for this specific internship

Explain your interest in the United Nations Internship Programme, ensure to include all past work experience (if any).

2. Proof of enrollment from current University (if not graduated).

3. A copy of degree certificate (if you have already graduated).

Due to a high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted.

“In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants may be requested to undertake the internship remotely in view of constraints regarding visa issuance, international travel and access to UN premises. Applicants must be willing and prepared to undertake the internship remotely for a part or the entirety of the internship".

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.

No Fee


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