UN-HABITAT Urban Resilience Programme Support Intern Jobs in Kenya

UN-HABITAT Urban Resilience Programme Support Intern Jobs in Kenya

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities. UN-Habitat is the focal point for all urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system. UN-Habitat works with partners to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities. UN-Habitat promotes urbanization as a positive transformative force for people and communities, reducing inequality, discrimination and poverty.

The internship is located in the Regional Office in Africa (ROAF), UN-Habitat, Nairobi. The Southern African region and South-West Indian Ocean are highly exposed to transboundary extreme climate-related events, floods, drought and cyclones. More threats exist in this region that compound the effects of these natural hazards, some of natural origin (such as earthquakes, volcanic activity, among others) and others induced by anthropogenic interventions, such as land and environmental degradation and uncontrolled urbanisation.

These events have resulted in loss of lives and livelihoods and displacement of millions of people. The unprecedented urban growth witnessed in the region has resulted in the progressive accumulation of risk in cities and towns, largely due to weak urban governance capacity to manage rapid expansion. Much of the population expansion has been taking place outside, or in the absence of, official planning frameworks.

As a result, large numbers of people satisfy their housing needs in informal settlements, often located in high-risk areas exposed to a range of hazards. Urban risks are exacerbated by the increasing severity and unpredictability of climate change effects.

UN-Habitat has developed an extensive portfolio of work on Urban Resilience, Climate Action and Disaster Risk Reduction in sub-Saharan Africa, including normative, policy-level and practical infrastructure interventions at the regional, national and city-levels. At the request of Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and the Union of Comoros, UN-Habitat has facilitated since 2010 the establishment of the Technical Centre for Disaster Risk Management, Sustainability and Urban Resilience (DiMSUR), which was launched in 2013.

UN-Habitat and DiMSUR have developed the City Resilience Action Planning (CityRAP) methodology which main objective is to enable local governments of secondary cities to understand risks, prioritise key issues and plan practical actions to progressively build urban resilience. So far, it has been implemented about 45 times across almost 20 countries, leading to some notable achievements, like the approval of the project proposal entitled ‘Building urban climate resilience in south‐eastern Africa’ by the Adaptation Fund.

The current portfolio of UN-Habitat on Urban Resilience, Climate Action and Disaster Risk Reduction is expanding in the Sub-Saharan African countries, through the development of new projects/ programmes and the establishment/ consolidation of valuable partnerships, for example with UNDP and the African Union.

UN-Habitat is also expanding its portfolio for the African Small Island Development States (SIDS) which face multiple challenges due to their often high vulnerability and exposure, extreme climate, and remote location. These countries are affected by common/transboundary climatic threats, triggering consequences such as devastating tropical cyclone seasons, both seasonal and acute drought, increased incidence of heavy rains, and a rise in sea level.

Additionally, some of these countries face challenges to respond with adequate measures due to limited institutional capacity, scarce financial resources and a high degree of vulnerability to systemic shocks.

The nature of the ROAf Resilience Programme in SIDS varies from normative and legislative technical assistance to national entities to improve national policies, planning codes and land administration systems to improve urban tools and include urban resilience and DRR; green, pro-poor and resilient Covid-19 post-recovery initiatives; empowering of informal communities to integrate Nature-based Solutions and Ecosystem-based Adaptation
in their resilience building efforts; and various sub-regional initiatives leveraging the potential of digital technology to transform and enhance urban space and encourage the connectivity between insular governments.

The Urban Resilience Programme Support internship is for 6 months. The internship is UNPAID and full-time. Interns work five days per week (35 hours) under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned. Under the direct supervision of the overall supervision of the Human Settlements Officer in the Regional Office for Africa, the intern will contribute in the following ways

  • Familiarize him/herself with UN-Habitat’s mandate and the tools developed.

  • Support the City Resilience Action Planning (CityRAP) Tool implementation in various secondary cities.

  • Support the implementation of activities of ROAf’s country portfolios for Malawi, Namibia, Madagascar and African SIDS.

  • Contribute to team efforts towards innovative solutions to urban resilience challenges through research, data analysis, and stakeholder engagement.

  • Support the development of new projects and fund-raising proposals, and undertaking research regarding urban resilience, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

  • Support for the organization of events and conferences in terms of content creation, logistics, etc.

  • Perform other tasks as needed, including but not limited to note taking, drafting minutes, translations, attendance to meetings. Due to a high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted.

    Qualifications/special skills

    Applicants must at the time of application, meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher),

  • Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree program (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent),

  • Have graduated with Bachelor's degree, Masters, PhD or equivalent. Be computer literate in standard software applications (Microsoft Office Suite).

  • Have demonstrated a keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter.

  • Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which includes a willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views.

  • Preferred areas of study: Degree in Urban Planning, Town Planning, Architecture, Social Science, Economics, Geography, International Development or any other related studies.

  • Applicants to the UN Internship Programme are not required to have professional work experience. However, a field of study that is closely related to the type of internship that you are applying for is required.

  • Applicants must be a student in the final year of the first university degree (bachelor or equivalent), Master’s or Ph.D. Programme or equivalent, or have completed a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D. Programme. Do you meet any of the above criteria? If yes, please indicate which one and attach proof to the application. Please note that you will have to provide an official certificate at a later stage.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this internship position, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is desirable.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; UN-HABITAT Urban Resilience Programme Support Intern Jobs in Kenya

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