Senior Programme Officer, Human Settlements, P-5

  • Location
    Montreal, Canada
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Jun 17

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

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. The Montreal Office fosters linkages among research, policy, and action to advance sustainable urban development globally. The office will activate a network of key partners to accelerate the quality and scale of urban sustainability solutions to implement the UN-Habitat Strategic Plan, with a focus on climate and biodiversity solutions to enhance urban resilience and protect vulnerable groups. It will promote the development and synthesis of science, data, innovation, and solutions on urban sustainability to improve the urban environment. In addition, the Montreal Office will establish close working relations with Canadian and North American local governments. The focus of this position is to lead the work of the Montreal Office, in strong partnership with other UN-Habitat Divisions, Units and Regional and Country Offices and the incumbent will work closely with internal and external partners to identify areas in which the office can substantively contribute to accelerate sustainable urban development and in particular urban biodiversity and climate change action. The position is based in the Montreal Office, Montreal duty statiion. Under the direct supervision of the Director, UN-Habitat New York Office and in close liaison with the Director of the Global Solutions Division, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:


  • Lead the Montreal Office to develop, implement and evaluate the overall workplan and the programmes/projects of the Office; supervise team members in programme/project development, implementation, monitoring and assessment; directs review of relevant documents and reports; identifies priorities, problems and issues to be addressed and proposes corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and initiatives follow-up actions.
  • Strategically engage and support UN-Habitat Regional and Country offices in joint development of programme and project development and in establishing linkages and synergies with existing work at the operational-normative interface.
  • Serve as an effective spokesperson and establish collaboration and partnerships with key officials at all levels inside and outside the organization.
  • Oversee strategic relationship, evaluation and reporting with donor partners.
  • Develop and lead deployment of strategic narratives about the Office’s work and its value in discussions with strategic partners.
  • Lead team members' efforts to collect and analyze data and provides insight to identify trends or patterns for data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation and reporting. Ensures that everyone can discover, access, integrate and share the data they need.
  • Supervise preparation of various written outputs, e.g. background papers, analysis, substantial sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications.
  • Direct substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations.
  • Facilitate the development and implementation of a resource mobilization strategy.
  • Coordinate activities related to budget and funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements) and ensure preparation of related documents/reports (pledging, work programme, programme budget).
  • Lead field missions where needed, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries.
  • Ensure effective utilization, supervision and development of staff; guides, evaluates and mentor's staff and champions reflective learning practices.
  • May perform other duties as required.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to particular sector, functional area or other specialized field. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. The ability to analyze and interpret data in support of decision-making and convey resulting information to management. 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.
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors 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.
  • Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
  • 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.
  • Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international development studies, social sciences, urban planning, environmental or climate change management, or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two (2) years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. Successful completion of both degree and non-degree programs in data analytics, business analytics or data science programs is desirable.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in project or programme management, administration or related area is required A minimum of three (3) years of experience in resource mobilization (including proposal development and donor relations) is required. Experience working in strategy, policy and project delivery in the area of urban climate and biodiversity action, and their intersections is desirable. Experience in the field of capacity development, institutional reform or training with a focus on sustainable urban development is desirable. Experience in data analytics or related area is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required; Knowledge of French is desirable. NOTE: ''Fluency'' equals a rating of ''fluent'' in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and ''Knowledge of'' equals a rating of ''confident'' in two of the four areas.

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate you saw this position on