Director, Regional Office for Africa, D1

  • Location
    Nairobi, Kenya
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Nov 20

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the agency for human settlements. 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. This post is located in the Regional office for Africa (ROAf), Nairobi duty station.


Under the overall guidance and direct supervision of the Director, Programme Division, the incumbent is responsible for the development and implementation of all policy, planning, budgeting and operational aspects of UN-Habitat’s Regional Office for Africa, including technical cooperation activities and work programme elements entrusted to the Office. The incumbent is also responsible for liaising with partner constituencies in the region, including local authorities, the private sector, regional organizations, governments and local authorities.

Policy Making

  • Contribute to the overall policy and strategy development within UN-Habitat by bringing specific perspectives on priority issues and trends in the region under his/her supervision, ensure flow of information and feedback from the region to the Regional Office and other Divisions of UN-Habitat.
  • Lead in the development and implementation of UN-Habitat’s operational strategy for the region and sub-regions under his/her supervision.
  • Provide documentation on the Regional Office’s activities to the UN-Habitat Assembly, the UN-Habitat Executive Board, the Committee of Permanent Representatives to UN-Habitat and any other organs of the UN concerned with the work of UN-Habitat.

Programme Development

  • Provide intellectual leadership and guidance in the development and forward planning of the substantive work of the Regional Office, ensuring that UN-Habitat priorities are being followed, promoted and implemented.
  • Coordinate the formulation and implementation of the strategic plan and work programme in the region, including technical cooperation projects, and facilitate the flow of information to and from Headquarters.
  • Be pro-active in identifying emerging needs and issues in the region and respond as they develop; assess effectiveness and relevance of the Regional Office’s activities on a continuing basis and ensure quality control of outputs.
  • Maintain close and regular liaison with Headquarters, regional and sub-regional offices of the UN Development Coordination Office, UN Resident Coordinator offices and other multi-and bi-lateral donor agencies, including development banks and private foundations, as well as with national governments and local authorities on programme development and coordination.
  • Ensure coordination, within a regional policy framework, with and among the regional components of Global Programmes and directly implement them in coordination with Headquarters, when needed.
  • Promote collaborative partnership arrangements for capacity building in the region, involving partners within and outside the UN-system at the local, national, regional and global levels.
  • Provide substantive advice to Governments and other partners in UN-Habitat’s areas of competence.
  • Organize regional policy events establishing partnership between the Regional Office and partner constituencies in relation to normative activities of UN-Habitat.
  • Management and Supervision of the Regional Office’s Daily Operations
  • Manage and supervise the work, including administrative, personnel, procurement, and financial management, of the Regional Office.
  • Ensure compliance with UN administrative/financial rules and regulations as recipient of the Delegation of Authority from the Executive Director, maintaining standards of application and ensuring full accountability to auditing procedures.
  • Carry out the responsibility of Approving Officer for financial authorizations for accounts under the Regional Office’s control.
  • Ensure supervision and monitoring of the technical cooperation project portfolio by verifying compliance with established rules and guidelines for all actions taken as well as congruence with UN-Habitat’s and UN policies.
  • Take responsibility for the Regional Office’s reporting, including annual reports and quarterly reports, such as internal reporting on its activities as may be required by UN-Habitat’s policies or by auditors and for other monitoring purposes.
  • Monitor and evaluate the performance of the Regional Office’s staff.

Resource Mobilization

  • Develop and implement a resource mobilization strategy in close cooperation with the Resource Mobilization Unit of UN-Habitat and maintain high level policy dialogue with regional and national constituencies as well as with multilateral and bilateral development partners, including the private sector.
  • Ensure the self-financing of the Regional Office by securing adequate revenue from project execution and technical services.
  • Secure resources (including secondment of personnel and interns) for work programme activities assigned to the Regional Office, such as regional meetings, publications etc.

Networking and Information Activities

  • Implement advocacy and thematic activities within the Region related to the main policy messages promoted by UN-Habitat and ensure their dissemination and application at regional, national and local levels, with special emphasis on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and relevant Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Lead and coordinate liaison with regional partner constituencies within Government and civil society (regional ministerial bodies, parliamentarian fora, regional municipal associations, NGO fora and networks etc), ensuring a collaborative approach to urbanization and human settlements development and management within the region.
  • Represent UN-Habitat in major development programming exercises at the regional and national levels gathering Government representatives, organizations constituting the UN development coordination system, as well as multilateral and bilateral donors so as to mainstream urban and human settlements development priorities within the overall context of sustainable development.
  • Represent UN-Habitat at international conferences, major regional fora, expert meetings and Tripartite Review Meetings and other meetings related to the Regional Office’s and/or UN-Habitat’s activities.
  • Develop and manage, in consultation with the UN-Habitat Headquarters, appropriate information and communication activities within the Region.


Professionalism: Ability to perform a broad range of administrative functions, e.g., budget/work programme, human resources, database management, etc. Ability to apply knowledge of various United Nations administrative, financial and human resources rules and regulations in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches takes to skills; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; and actively supports the development and career aspirations for staff.


  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in urban and regional planning, housing, or social sciences relevant to development and management of human settlements.
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in multi-disciplinary human settlements development work, of which at least ten on the international arena is required.
  • Experience in project/programme delivery, raising funds, and negotiating with high-level Government and multi and bilateral technical funding agency officials in the Africa Region is required.
  • Experience supervising a large multicultural office is required.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required.

Application instructions

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