Job Opening

Posting Title: National Consultant: Accountant/Public Accountant
Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Duty Station: CAIRO
Posting Period: 16 November 2022 - 15 December 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Human Settlements Programme-194984-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The service will ultimately result in designing a legally justified method(s) to book-keep and label betterment levy proceeds under the account receivables of Qena and Damietta governorates. The proposed accounting treatment should guarantee the preservation of the betterment levy revenue to finance future urban development projects. The operational translation of the proposition should be given by a procedural manual. Local officials of relevance should be acquainted with the practical steps via capacity building activities.

Work Location

Cairo, Egypt

Expected duration

6 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. It is the focal point for all urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system.

UN-Habitat and the New Urban Agenda (NUA)
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.

Mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1978 to address the issues of urban growth, it is a knowledgeable institution on urban development processes, and understands the aspirations of cities and their residents. For forty years, UN-Habitat has been working in human settlements throughout the world, focusing on building a brighter future for villages, towns, and cities of all sizes. Because of these four decades of extensive experience, from the highest levels of policy to a range of specific technical issues, UN-Habitat has gained a unique and a universally acknowledged expertise in all things urban. This has placed UN-Habitat in the best position to provide answers and achievable solutions to the current challenges faced by our cities. UN-Habitat is capitalizing on its experience and position to work with partners to formulate the urban vision of tomorrow. It works to ensure that cities become inclusive and affordable drivers of economic growth and social development.

In October 2016, at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III – member states signed the New Urban Agenda. This is an action-oriented document which sets global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities. Through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors, including at all levels of government as well as the private sector, UN-Habitat is applying its technical expertise, normative work and capacity development to implement the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 11 – to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Urbanization is a key driver of development. Hence, sustainable planning and governance of urbanization is crucial to accommodate the rapid population growth, empower cities to optimize the value of urbanization and ensure even development, inclusion and equality. Rapid urbanization presents a unique opportunity to lift millions out of poverty when managed sustainably. However, inadequate urbanization management, doubled with rapid population growth has adversely affected quality of life leading to lack of adequate housing, and increasing inequality. These conditions contribute to diseconomies (e.g., congestion, pollution, displacement) that overtime negatively affects the overall city prosperity, efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.

UN Habitat in Egypt
Established in 2005, UN-Habitat Egypt Programme has been providing technical support to national counterparts on a wide range of urban issues. Adopting an integrated approach, UN-Habitat Egypt has supported reforming and improving urban planning and management through three main sub-programmes, namely, urban planning and design; urban policies, legislation and governance; and urban basic services and mobility.

Urban Policy, Legislation and Governance Programme
The Urban Governance, Policies and Legislation Programme in Egypt works towards tackling the multi-dimensional urbanization context with a special attention to urban management, urban planning, urban economy where all stakeholders are empowered and enabled to engage and play their expected role(s).The programme is working with all stakeholders and on different levels to find new appropriate, realistic and context driven ways of making sure that the urbanization processes are providing acceptable spatial standards and services. The programme is also working towards enhancing the capacity of relevant actors in reforming the legal and institutional framework governing urban development; promoting the empowerment of local government; enhancing land tenure security; establishing processes for participating and inclusive planning process; enhancing local economic development and social entrepreneurs. The programme provides legislation enhancement and policies development support on the national level in order to replicate and scale up all of its successful interventions.

“Hayenna” – Integrated Urban Development Project
In 2018, the Ministry of Housing, Utilities, Urban Communities (MoHUUC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the General Organization for Physical Planning (GOPP), the UN-Habitat and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Cooperation (SECO) signed three different agreements (the project agreement, the separate agreement, and the contract) governing the Hayenna- Integrated Urban Development Project.

Hayenna project employs an integrated urban development approach to plan the process of urbanization in a way which optimizes and capitalizes the value of urbanization for all, through participatory and inclusive comprehensive planning. The integrated urban development approach transcends the sole focus on physical planning to consider other aspects related to economics, institutional as well as human capacities.

Hayenna project pilots the Participatory and Inclusive Land Readjustment (PILaR) approach, which is a modern methodological framework for land readjustment to developing countries contexts. The PILaR is a mechanism through which land units that have different owners and claimants are combined into a single area through a participatory and inclusive process for unified planning, re-parcelling and development. The development includes serviced urban land delivery made possible by the provision of infrastructure, public space and other urban amenities at a reasonable standard. PILaR relies on negotiated processes that allow local authorities, citizens and groups to articulate their interests, exercise their formally and socially legitimate rights, meet their obligations, and mediate their differences. The PILaR places an emphasis on participation of different stakeholders to ensure inclusive outcome aiming at efficient land management and optimal use of land, improved infrastructure and public space, enhanced local economic development, developed institutional capacity for community engagement and better land vale sharing options to help finance infrastructure.

The project follows the UN-Habitat’s three-pronged approach that combines urban planning and design, public finance management (PFM) and local economic development (LED) in an integrated framework for urban management. The project takes place in two governorates, Qena and Damietta. Two pilot sites were selected in Qena, al-Humydat and al-Ma’ana, and one site in Damietta, al Shoura.

The underlying terms of reference fall under the second dimension of the project; the PFM. It should be clear that the PFM component in Hayeena project focuses on how to improve the financial status of the local authorities in light of what is available of revenue sources. In other words, it focuses on the efficiency of local revenue generation and local investment planning given the current fiscal structure. Under the existing legislative framework, the local authorities have two main local revenue sources away from transfers from the central government: (1) tax revenues: as percentages from taxes levied by the central authorities, of which are the different forms of land-based charges (of which is the betterment levy due in the cases of land readjustment), in addition to revenue from other local fees and charges; (2) non-tax revenues which are mainly returns on owned assets by the governorate (lands or productive projects) and special funds revenues (which are the focus of an ongoing consultancy).

The UN Habitat and its partners believe that a comprehensive vision for the role of the local governorate authorities is crucial for the sustainability of land reform and to guarantee the distribution of benefits among the citizens. The financial flexibility of local authorities is indispensable for better service provision and for enabling them to better perform their functions.

Betterment Levy in Egypt
According to law no. 222/1955, a Betterment Levy charge shall be imposed on all buildings and lands benefiting from an increase in value caused by one of the following features:
o improvement of public infrastructure,
o approval of a detailed plan,
o granting an exception from the building height restriction,
o approval of a change in land use.

Pilot sites where Hayeena project is operating are to be subject for the imposition of betterment levy charges following the approval of detailed plans endorsing land re-adjustment. Charge proceeds should ultimately be used by the local administrative authorities to finance the replicability of the PILaR methodology on other areas.

Special local funds and accounts are the pool at which the governorates hold their own revenue sources. Each local fund, account and project should function under an executive regulation governing its scope of work and financial operations. Allocation of betterment levy proceeds towards specific functions should be granted by a defined accounting treatment.

An accounting treatment entails (1) specifying the special account/fund under which the betterment levy charge receivables should be recorded, (2) the labelling of the proceeds as well as (3) the regulations guiding the disbursement for a defined purpose.

The proposed accounting treatment should be designed to serve two considerations, (1) limiting the use of collected betterment levy – by the governorate- to finance urban development effort; (2) preserving the right of the governorate to keep its whole share of the levy proceeds.

The consultant will work closely with the Urban Governance, Policies and Legislation Programme and under the direct supervision of the Programme Manager to fulfill the following tasks:

The consultant will undertake the following responsibilities, for the selected governorates:
a- Surveying and collecting betterment levy cases implemented in Egyptian governorates (other than the governorates of project operation) with the purpose to identify the intervention led to the applicability of the betterment levy, the valuation methodology of the levy rate/amount and most importantly the accounting treatment and its legal justification.

b- Identifying the possible scenarios (if applicable) to book-keep betterment levy proceeds under the governorate’s receivables, backed by the justifying legislative framework. Analysis should extend to differentiate the consequences and limitations of each scenario.

c- Concluding the possible legal solution for book-keeping the betterment levy within the local accounts receivable in Qena and Damietta governorates. The proposition should serve two considerations, (1) limiting the use of collected betterment levy – by the governorate- to finance urban development effort; (2) preserving the right of the governorate to keep its whole share of the levy proceeds.

d- Identifying all the legal steps needed to formulate the recommended accounting including the decrees necessary, executive regulations or any other steps.

e- Producing a procedural manual to guide the implementation of the proposed accounting treatment.

f- Preparing and delivering capacity building program(s) to acquaint stakeholders with the proposed accounting treatment detailed in the manual. This effort should include identification of relevant stakeholders, and development of all training materials relevant to the topic.

Qualifications/special skills

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in accounting, economics, political science, public administration, or any related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

5 years of relevant practical experiences in public policy and/or public accounting system is required

Familiarity in working with public administration units and practical knowledge of local special funds regulations and book-keeping are desirable

Experience in conducting fieldwork and capacity building is preferred

Previous work experience with international organizations and NGOs is an asset

Publications and research record is an asset


Fluency in oral and written Arabic is required. Knowledge of English is required.

No Fee


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