Innovate Counties Challenge Project Coordinator (Consultant), (Nairobi), Deadline:25 April 2017

Issued on: 18 April 2017






Innovate Counties Challenge Project Coordinator (Consultant)


3 months


25  April 2017


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, 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. The main documents outlining the mandate of the organization are the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements, the Habitat Agenda, the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements, the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium, and UN General Assembly Resolution A/56/206.
The United Nations Millennium Declaration recognizes the dire circumstances of the world’s urban poor. It articulates the commitment of Member States to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020- Millennium Development Goal No. 7, Target 11- which is UN-Habitat’s mandate.
As our cities and towns grow at unprecedented rates, setting the social, political, cultural and environmental trends of the world, sustainable urbanization is one of the most pressing challenges for the global community in the 21st century. In 1950, one-third of the world’s population lived in cities. Just 50 years later, this proportion has risen to one-half and will continue to grow to two-thirds, or six billion people, by 2050. Cities are now home to half of humankind. They are the hub for much national production and consumption- economic processes that generate wealth and opportunity. But they also create disease, crime, pollution and poverty. In many cities, especially in developing countries, slum dwellers number more than 50% of the population and have little or no access to shelter, water and sanitation. This is where UN-Habitat is mandate to make a difference for the better.

Youth and Livelihoods Unit 
UN-Habitat’s youth programme, housed in the Youth and Livelihoods Unit, is one of the longest running youth programmes within the UN system. Founded in 2002, the Youth Unit focuses on four thematic areas: urban public spaces, post-conflict and resilience, governance and livelihood development, and youth-led development. The Youth Unit also undertakes research, having published over 25 publications on youth and urbanization, which leads to improved policy development at the local, national and international level. 

Core activities of the Youth Unit are the One Stop youth Resource Centre programme, the Urban Youth Fund, the Youth and Governance programme and the Youth 21 initiative.  

About the project
To deal with the challenges of the 21st century, new city thinking is needed. Information and
Communications technologies (ICTs) present opportunities for developing more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable cities. In addition, they present opportunities for citizens to take part in decision making and governance processes and hold policy makers to account for their decisions. These ICT processes have the potential of creating the progressive cities of the future. 
In recent years, UN-Habitat has increasingly been working on diverse projects related to ICTs and sustainable cities. UN-Habitat is collaborating with an international programme aiming to change the relationship between citizens and their governments in a project to establish ICT based mechanisms for democratic and inclusive participation at local level to enhance youth engagement in local governance in Kenyan small and medium sized cities dubbed – Innovate Counties Challenge. Additionally, UN-Habitat has partnered with a private sector technology company in a project addressing the contribution of ICTs to sustainable urban development – ICT as a driver for urban prosperity. ICTs are a major infrastructure component of most cities but are not always considered a natural part of the planning and implementation of development and extension of urban areas. Consequently, ICT considerations seldom have a focal point in urban planning. The ICT and Sustainable activities investigate the role ICTs can take as a technical component for connectivity and an enabler for social change in the society at large and combines both research and practical elements. 
Implementation of these two projects is aimed at scaling ICTs as a driver of innovations in cities. ICT innovations are often targeted at the middle class who are seen as the most likely adoption group. Thus these projects will take special consideration of disadvantaged groups such as women, the disabled, youth, etc., and the urban poor. This is based on the research project that served as a baseline for the exploration of specific cities and thematic areas, drawn from UN-Habitat’s work in urban planning, mobility, governance and resilience. From these projects, frameworks and theories will be also developed through the production of concrete concepts, prototypes, data visualizations, analytics assessments, toolkits, and guidance notes.

Why is a Consultant requested/needed?
The consultant will provide methodical guidance and coordinate project activities while working as a focal point to existing and new project collaborations, internally and externally. The consultant will also spearhead the design, planning and implementation of work programmes jointly developed with participating UN-Habitat branches. She/he will develop concept papers, organize expert group meetings, map out the ICTs and cities ecosystem; and conceptualize practical projects among other duties. As an emerging thematic area, there is limited expertise, hence the need for a consultant with ICT competencies.

The Consultant will primarily report to Mr. Douglas Ragan, Head of the Youth and Livelihoods Unit under the Innovate Counties Challenge project; and liaise with relevant UN-Habitat units under ICT as driver for urban prosperity projects, programme officers and administrative staff and with the technology partner and coordinate with them to implement the duties according to programme priorities.


Terms of reference: 
The consultant will spend majority of their time coordinating the implementation of the Innovate Counties Project and support the ICT as a driver for urban prosperity project
The expected tasks include:

  • Coordinate ICT and sustainable cities projects in collaboration with participating UN-Habitat branches and external partners
  • Organize expert group meetings, training sessions and multi stakeholder sessions aimed at enhancing the delivery of the projects. 
  • Establish and managing partnerships with counties, academic institutions and researchers as and when required by the projects, including with the preparation of agreements of cooperation with research and implementing partners.
  • Produce annual project reports on the projects.
  • Monitor the financial expenditure of the projects.
  • Provide communications, monitoring and administrative backing to the projects.
  • Arrange and take part in regular project team meetings.

Output expectations:

  • Organize one urban challenge workshop
  • Organize three urban bootcamps for county governments in three counties
  • Organize three hackathons in three counties
  • Produce reports on the aforementioned activities

It is expected that the consultant will undertake occasional missions to meet with the project team and to support project activities in Kenya as well as being part of the delegation to the UN-Habitat III conference.
The UN Office at Nairobi (UNON) provides language training in all official UN-languages plus Kiswahili. This service is also available to the Consultant. UNON also periodically offers training in a number of other areas such as competency-based interviewing skills, results-based management and project management. These trainings courses will be open to the Consultant.  However, participation on a course cannot be guaranteed as limited places are available.
The supervisor and Consultant will discuss and agree on specific training needs and opportunities (for example in relation to project development and management). 


  • The incumbent is required to have a university degree fulfilled when applying for the position. The academic background should be in any of the following fields: International Development, Social Sciences, Administration, Urban Development. A relevant Masters degree is an asset.
  • The incumbent should have at least 4 years of relevant work experience. Experience from the ICT or telecommunications sector is an asset.
  • Good project cycle coordination and management skills covering project design, implementation and monitoring.
  • An understanding of urban planning, urban development, urban policy and legislation and sustainable urbanization. Knowledge of the smart cities field, ICT4D projects, or urban indicators is an asset.
  • Excellent ICT skills and analytical and communication skills.
  • The ability to draft a wide selection of written communication and to articulate ideas in a clear and concise manner. Research skills, particularly in the technology field, are an asset.
  • Good interpersonal skills, previous exposure to cross cultural environments is advantageous.
  • Ability to work well in a team whilst also having the capacity and initiative to work independently is required.
  • Knowledge of the UN, including working experience in a developing country and working experience with the UN (work within the UN, or working with UN agencies and programmes) are assets.
  • Fluency in English, written and verbal, is required. Working knowledge of Kiswahili, is an asset as significant work in Kenya is expected.

The principal competencies required to carry out the duties of the job are:

  • Technological Awareness Keeps abreast of available technology, understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office, actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks, shows willingness to learn new technology.
  • 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; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed, Excellent drafting ability and communications skills, both oral and written; proven ability to communicate complex concepts orally; ability to prepare written reports that are clear, concise and meaningful.
  • Teamwork  Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; 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.
  • Planning and organizing Able to develop clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for contingencies in planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Living conditions at duty station

  • The UN classifies Nairobi as a class B duty station
  • Nairobi enjoys normal living conditions for a developing country in Africa.
  • Comprehensive security advice and support is provided upon arrival.


Payments will be based on deliverables over the consultancy period. There are set remuneration rates for consultancies. The rate is determined by functions performed and experience of the consultant. The fees will be paid as per agreement.

Applications should include:

  • Cover memo or motivation letter (maximum 1 page)
  • Summary CV (maximum 2 pages), indicating the following information:
  • Educational Background (incl. dates)
  • Professional Experience (assignments, tasks, achievements, duration by years/ months)
  • Other Experience and Expertise (e.g. Internships/ voluntary work, etc.)
  • Expertise and preferences regarding location of potential assignments
  • Expectations regarding remuneration
  • UN Personal History Form (please use the United Nations standard personal history form available upon request or via:
  • Proof of relevant work (at least two)

Please be advised that since April 15th 2010, applicants for consultancies must be part of the 
UN-HABITAT e-Roster in order for their application to be considered. You can reach the e-Roster 
through the following link:

All applications should be submitted to:

P.O. Box 30030, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya


Deadline for applications:  25 April 2017

UN-Habitat does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. If you have any questions concerning persons or  companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of these offices and requesting the payment of a fee, please contact:

Source: UN-Habitat

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

Deadline/closing date: 
Tuesday, April 25, 2017