Job Opening

Posting Title: SDG Localization Expert (Niš)
Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Duty Station: NAIROBI
Posting Period: 22 May 2023 - 01 June 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Human Settlements Programme-209635-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

In performing the above-described duties and responsibilities, the Consultant shall provide the following results:

Handover of the final report of the VLR of the city of Niš.

Work Location

Nis, Serbia

Expected duration

11 months

Duties and Responsibilities

Organizational background

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. Based in Nairobi (Kenya), it is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. UN-Habitat is the lead agency within the UN system for coordinating activities in the field of human settlement development and the UN leading the collaboration with local and regional governments and their networks.

During the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2015, 193 Member States, convened at the Global Summit on Sustainable Development to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are universal and relevant to all Member States, from both the global north and global south. As demonstrated in the past years of implementation, it is widely acknowledged that the local level and local action are critical for the overall success of the 2030 Agenda – the SDGs need to be localized. This particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that highlighted the critical role of local governments in responding to the immediate health emergency and in planning the long-term recovery. In this context, to complement national SDG review processes including the Voluntary National Reviews, cities have been developing and increasingly using Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) as the main tool to monitor and report on their own SDG progress. The VLR global movement has grown exponentially and VLRs are emerging as critical instruments to accelerate the SDG localization process and to amplify the voice of local governments within international and UN-led fora.

As the UN Agency focal point to work with local and regional governments, UN-Habitat has supported VLRs through different workstreams and by intervening at different levels - local, national, and global: i) UN-Habitat has established strategic partnerships with the main UN and international partners working on VLRs and SDG localization, such as UNDESA, UN Regional Economic Commissions, as well as member states and local and regional governments globally; ii) UN-Habitat technically supports local governments across diverse regions to develop their VLRs; iii) as of knowledge development, UN-Habitat works alongside partners to provide local and regional governments with cutting-edge knowledge and learning opportunities on VLRs and SDG localization; iv) UN-Habitat advocates and builds capacities on sustainable local development and VLRs by organizing international events and peer learning opportunities. Finally, Voluntary Local Reviews are the cornerstone of UN-Habitat's comprehensive approach to SDG localization, anchored on three intertwined pillars on: the Global Urban Monitoring Framework; Voluntary Local Reviews; and SDG Cities Flagship Programme.


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

Cities accommodate more than half of the global population, and by 2050 more than 2.5 billion people will be added to the world's urban population. Around two thirds of the SDG targets and indicators have an urban dimension. It is no surprise therefore that the "battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in cities." The New Urban Agenda outlines how cities can drive the achievement of sustainable development and highlights the importance of urban policy, inclusive, accountable local governance, effective urban planning, efficient local revenue systems and effective, equitable service delivery.

The United Nations Development Accounts (hereafter referred to as "UNDA") was established by the General Assembly in 1997, as a mechanism to fund capacity development projects of the economic and social entities of the United Nations aimed at enhancing the capacities of developing countries in the priority areas of the UN development agenda.

The assignment is designed to technically support the implementation of the project 'Voluntary local reviews: evidence for greener, resilient and sustainable urban recovery in Eastern European and Central Asian countries in transition'. The project aims at providing support to selected pilot cities and countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries in transition to develop VLRs as accelerator of SDG localization Recovery from the pandemic (and the impact of regional conflicts).

Niš is a pilot city of the UNDA14 project with the intention of providing lessons learned and innovative approaches to be scaled up and replicated in several other cities in Serbia.

The implementation and drafting of the VLR of Niš will be led by the consultant under the coordination of UN-Habitat's SDG Localization and Local Governments Team and in close collaboration with the technical focal points in Niš.

Duties and Responsibilities

The consultant will carry out the following tasks and responsibilities:

1. Data Track

Data collection: working with relevant partners and departments in Niš to collect the relevant data against the Global Urban Monitoring Framework
Data cleaning: The consultant will be responsible for cleaning the vector data to properly analyze the data generated by the piloting the Global Urban Monitoring Framework.
Generate map-based analysis: based on the cleaned data, the consultant will submit a series of analytical maps (tool: Spatial SWOT) to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the territory, and the opportunities and threats faced in the territory.

2. Stakeholder's Engagement Track

Working with different stakeholders, including local community representatives, the consultants will suport the organization of consultation forums to:
• Review the data and collect additional qualitative information.
• Present and discuss the spatial SWOT, and to prioritize issues as perceived by different stakeholders.
• Discuss the SDG Discussion Papers
• Finalization of vision and strategic objectives and long list of projects for submission to the Mayor for approval.

3. SDG Research Track

The consultant will draft SDG Discussion Papers that will provide a detailed overview of the status of progress towards the SDGs of Niš. Based on the data cleaned and analyzed (through the UMF) as well as on the basis of the information collected through the stakeholder engagement process (situation analysis described above, The SDG Discussion papers will constitute the core of the VLR and the basis for the development of the vision, strategic objectives, list of projects and action plan for Niš.

Reporting line

The consultant will be working under the direct supervision of the Human Settlements Officer of the SDG Localization and Local Governments Team of the Urban Practices Branch of UN-Habitat HQ, Nairobi. S/he will be responsible for contributing to the implementation of the activities in Niš linked to the Voluntary local reviews: evidence for greener, resilient and sustainable urban recovery in Eastern European and Central Asian countries in transition project. The work and supervision of the consultant will be coordinated with the technical focal points of the city of Niš as well as with all the implementing partners of the project.

Qualifications/special skills

A first-level university degree in sustainable development, urban planning, data and statistics, urban or local governance, urban management, public administration or a related field is required.
A minimum of two (2) years of experience in project/programme management, data analysis and research or related area is required.
Experience working on the development and publication of city reports is highly desirable, as well as previous experience of working with the SDGs at the local level.
Knowledge of the local context of the city of Niš or experience with the City Council is desirable.


Fluency in oral and written English and Serbian is required.

No Fee


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