Job Opening

Posting Title: Urban Resilience Specialist
Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Duty Station: BARCELONA
Posting Period: 24 January 2023 - 02 February 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Human Settlements Programme-199181-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service

The overall objective of this project is to build more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient cities, by strengthening the capacity of key public, private and civil society stakeholders to measure, make decisions, plan and develop actions for building resilience to ensure that public and private investments are risk-informed and that early interventions in crisis-prone cities are linked to longer-term development goals in line with the actions of the New Urban Agenda. This joint initiative aims at improving local government and stakeholder understanding of, and capacity for, developing and implementing resilience action plans.

Work Location


Expected duration


Duties and Responsibilities


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. UN-Habitat helps the urban poor by transforming cities into safer and healthier places with better opportunities. It works with organizations at every level, including all spheres of government, civil society and the private sector.

As the main UN Agency responsible for ensuring the sustainable development of cities, towns, and other human settlements, UN-Habitat is strategically placed to coordinate the humanitarian and development efforts of multiple actors and policy makers at all levels in the common pursuit of urban resilience. UN- Habitat’s approach to strengthening urban resilience as a key determinant for ensuring the effectiveness of response interventions during times of crises, and subsequent sustainable development, is embodied in its City Resilience Global Programme (CRGP).

The CRGP goes beyond conventional approaches to ‘risk reduction’, delivering a forward-looking, multi- sectoral, multihazard, multi-stakeholder model for building resilience that recognizes the complexities and unique value of cities, and the inherent interdependencies of each part of an urban system.

Fast growing cities and urban areas of the world are engines of growth and wealth accumulation. This growth can have positive social, cultural and educational impacts. On the other hand, evidence demonstrates that fast economic growth, combined with rapid sprawling population expansion in urban areas, also increases disaster vulnerability and exposure. The level of urbanization is far higher in the developed world; however, the annual ‘urbanization rate ’ is much faster in the developing world. The primary urban agglomerations with the highest concentrations of people and economic activity mostly overlap with the areas of extreme or high risk related to disasters such as coastal areas, along rivers and in flood plains.

This joint initiative with UNDRR (UN Office on Disaster Risk Reduction), UN-Habitat and the European Commission aims at improving understanding of, and capacity to, address disaster risk at the local level in crisis-prone cities. UN-Habitat will focus on supporting local capacities from crisis-prone cities, and humanitarian partners, in measuring their resilience status and have an action plan in order to build resilience.

The action builds on the achievements of the Hyogo Framework for Action – Building the Resilience of Nations 2005-2015 and paves the way toward the implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction) 2015-2030 at the local level and the New Urban Agenda adopted at Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador October 2016. The Action will also contribute to the European Commission’s Action Plan for Resilience in Crisis Prone Countries 2013-2020 and The EU Approach to Resilience: Learning from Food Security Crises.

The project will work with local government institutions, to plan, coordinate, implement and support the various outlined activities. The primary and most direct beneficiaries will be local stakeholders, city authorities and civil society. Women, children and other at-risk groups, often disproportionately affected by crises situations, will be engaged and receive additional attention.

Under the direct supervision of the Head of the City Resilience Global Programme (CRGP), the consultant will provide substantive professional support to the Programme and will undertake the following tasks:


• Task 1: CRGP programme implementation in Terres de l’Ebre, Catalonia (and in any other CRGP city under implementation)
o Conduct research, perform data collection and analysis, report writing and CRPT tool revision and calibration for territorial scale

• Task 2: CRGP programme workshops design and preparation, translation of materials in the implementation in Terres de l’Ebre, Catalonia (and in any other CRGP city under implementation)
o Design workshop dynamics and prepare workshops materials, translate materials into Catalan and Spanish

• Task 3: CRGP programme graphic and visual alignment of the report contents in the implementation in Terres de l’Ebre, Catalonia (and in any other CRGP city under implementation)
o Liaise with the communications team and prepare the publishing of the Territorial context chapter of Terres de l'Ebre, Catalonia report

• Task 4: CRGP programme data collection and analysis in the implementation in partner cities under cooperation agreement of Barcelona City Council
o Conduct research, perform data collection and analysis, including of GIS data, for the tool implementation

• Task 5: CRGP programme technical implementation in partner cities under cooperation agreement of Barcelona City Council
o Conduct research, perform report writing, design and prepare workshops, provide translation into Catalan, Spanish, French.

The expected results are:

1. Increased commitments to build local-level resilience.
2. Local Resilience and investments measured.
3. Key issues and challenges identified in linking early interventions in crisis-prone cities to long-term sustainable development inputs.
4. Capacity is built in cities and local governments to develop and implement integrated local climate and disaster resilience action plans.
5. Crisis-prone cities have enhanced capacity to develop and implement plans to increase their resiliency.

Qualifications/special skills

Advanced university degree (Master's degree) or equivalent in Urban or Regional Planning, Architecture, Development Studies, Engineering, or similar fields is required, and a first level university degree with a combination of two qualified years of experience will be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.
A minimum of 2 years of experience is required in developing strategies, guidelines, toolkits or policies for effective urban environments, and in liaising with private and governmental authorities, other national/international institutions and NGOs and in working within fragile urban environments.
Ability to work with minimal supervision and with good sense of initiative to keep the supervisor regularly informed of progress.
Ability to work co-operatively with other staff and share experience.
Ability to work effectively under pressure.
Good communications, reporting and representation skills.
Good teamwork and drive for results.
Excellent computer skills in Microsoft Office, spreadsheets and other software packages required.


• Fluency in spoken and written English is required.

• Knowledge of other languages (Spanish, Catalan and/or French) would be an additional asset.

No Fee


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