UN-HABITAT Special Assistant, Administration Jobs in Kenya

UN-HABITAT Special Assistant, Administration Jobs in Kenya

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.

  • Under the overall leadership of the Executive and Deputy Executive Director, the Special Assistant/Principal Adviser will provide strategic policy advice on emerging human settlements policy issues and programme related matters and act as team leader and coordinator to selected reform processes in the context of UN-HABITAT restructuring.

  • The incumbent will work in close coordination and cooperation with senior managers in UN-HABITAT and where required with other offices of the UN-Secretariat, Funds and Programmes and specialized agencies.

  • The Special Assistant is ex-officio member of UN-Habitat's Executive Committee. Under the overall leadership of the Executive and Deputy Executive Director the incumbent will perform the following duties;


  • In cooperation with relevant offices, lead the identification of emerging human settlement policy issues, undertake preliminary research, identify and promote the need for further research and provide briefings to the Executive Director, the Deputy Executive Director and the Executive Committee.

  • Draft, finalize and present policy briefs and papers on emerging human settlements issues for consideration by the Executive Director, the Deputy Executive Director and the Executive Committee.

  • Draft policy statements and speeches for the Executive Director.

  • Provide in close cooperation with the Office of Resource Mobilization and Strategic Partnerships support and assistance to UN-Habitat funding raising activities.

  • Lead and coordinate selected reform processes an directed by the Executive Director, in particular in areas related to programme coordination, results based management and resource planning, as well as information communication.

  • Provide strategic policy guidance and participate in the development of coherent and impact based programmes of work responding to the mandate of the UN-Habitat Assembly.

  • Lead other strategic teams established by the Executive Director to address policy and other issues.

  • Provide direction and support on the integration and emerging human settlements issues in UN-Habitat's programme of work and in the work of the substantive offices.

  • On behalf of the Executive Director support the building of high -level alliances in key UN-Habitat partners (UN agencies, IGOs, Governments, municipalities, NGOs, Regional and National institutions academia and private sector) to enlist their support and involvements in human settlements policy development.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas being supervised. Ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines 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.

  • 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 the
    audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

  • Planning and 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 improvement; 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. The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

  • 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.


  • An advanced university degree in Economics, Law, Social Sciences, Communication, Management or related fields is required.

  • A first-level in any fields of studies with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree in the specified fields of studies.

    Work Experience

  • A minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible professional experience, including experience in human settlements policy analysis and development and related operational issues is required.

  • Experience and practical understanding of the links between policy development and implementation, with experience across several sectors combined with the ability to think strategically and to clearly articulate strategic directions is required.

  • Experience in leading teams as well as excellent written communication skills is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

    How to Apply

  • For more information and job application details, see; UN-HABITAT Special Assistant, Administration Jobs in Kenya

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