Job Opportunity : Associate Settlement Planning Officer
This position is advertised open to internal and external applicants.
Procedures and Eligibility
Interested applicants should consult the Administrative Instruction on Recruitment and Assignment of Locally Recruited Staff (RALS). Applicants must be nationals of, and be locally recruited within the country of their employment.
Duties and Qualifications
Associate Settlement Planning Officer
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Associate Settlement Planning Officer works under the overall supervision of a more senior settlement planning colleague, Technical Coordinator, Programme Officer or the Head of Office. The incumbent works in coordination with other colleagues in the field, in particular, protection, health, community services, water and sanitation, energy and environment, camp management, etc... In addition to settlement planning, the incumbent may also assist with the functions in the areas of infrastructure design, implementation and site selection. S/he acts as focal point for maintaining effective coordination with any established settlement / shelter sector working group at her / his particular level. In addition, s/he is responsible for the strategic management and monitoring of the implementation of settlement planning activities, and for collaboration with Administration, Finance and Programme on all programmatic issues within the Area of Responsibility (AoR). S/he shall be working closely with other sections on settlement and general infrastructure related activities and provides functional technical guidance to the team as well as to the technical experts in the Field.
The Associate Settlement Planning Officer provides support to emergency and protracted operations in designing and developing sustainable settlements to host people of concern (POC) to UNHCR. A settlement should take into consideration the risks associated with settlement locations, spatial allocation of functions while addressing the needs of the population, the availability of resources, the amelioration of living conditions, the provision of services, enhancing transportation networks as well as recreational spaces.
The incumbent will therefore be expected to provide support to the supervisor in analysing the variety of settlement options, urban, rural, formal or informal and ensure that spatial allocation of lands is decided in support of the protection, access to basic services, livelihoods, and socio-cultural life of displaced people and the host community. S/he will also assist in negotiations with national and local government authorities regarding land acquisition and site development works.
The Associate Settlement Planning Officer liaises and co-ordinates UNHCR settlement and construction related activities within the area of responsibility (AoR), in accordance with UNHCR policies and priorities and maintains contacts with the local officials and implementing partners to discuss and share information on the assessment of infrastructure conditions in refugee-hosting areas.
The incumbent should maintain regular communication with the shelter and settlement team in HQ for technical advice, information, communication and access to updated global tools and resources.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
- Conduct assessments, analysis and joint inter-sector needs assessment exercises as appropriate, and provide support in selection of potential sites in accordance with the Master Plan approach to settlement planning taking into consideration protection concerns, national legislation, environmental considerations, appropriate density, and access to basic services including water, hydrological concerns, socio/economic issues, and cultural inclusion and HLP matters.
- Develop settlement layouts that respond to natural topography and drainage patterns of the site to reduce construction and maintenance costs.
- Work with the relevant technical, programme and supply colleagues in close coordination with implementing and other concerned parties to develop implementation modalities and work plans for the settlement plans. Provide technical inputs and advice to Programme in the process of Implementation Partner Selection and review of PPAs of all sector related partners and partners with construction related activities in their budget.
- Provide support in Preparedness through the provision of technical inputs in the development of contingency plans for population movements. Provide support in developing and updating agreed response strategies (MPAs and APAs) for refugee sites, including transition/exit strategy for site consolidation and closures within the AOR.
- In close consultation with partners, conduct assessments, provide concrete initiatives and develop specific strategies to make sure that residential areas, key services and infrastructure are not susceptible to the risk of natural hazards such as flash floods and landslides.
- Provide support in ensuring that UNHCR¿s operation within the AOR is technically sound in the field of settlement planning to best meet the needs of POC.
- Liaise with relevant authorities and government counterparts to ensure strong coordination and partnership. Develop settlement plans that are aligned with regional, national land use plans and planned developments.
- Provide support in the process of site selection and land negotiations with the national government, local government, local community leaders and the landlords for the settlements within the AOR. In doing this, ensure that the risk of conflict linked to land tenure is addressed and mitigated while continuing to pursue actions that increase the security of tenure for displaced populations.
- Develop and implement Settlement plans in a consultative process with Senior Management, relevant technical colleagues, implementing partners, and other relevant stakeholders. Maintain, support or complement existing coordination mechanisms.
- Develop Settlement Master Plans in alignment with the UNHCR guiding principles of the Master Plan Approach to Settlement Planning. Ensure periodic updates on the Masterplan taking note of the expansion and densification of the settlement and develop plans for any settlement extensions.
- Work together with implementing and operational partners to ensure the use of common standards and tools for information collection and data management, including in needs assessments and monitoring.
- Support and provide inputs in advocating for the mobilization of resources, where applicable. Identify core advocacy concerns for the sector and contribute key messages to the broader multi-sectoral advocacy initiatives including coordinated inputs into donor proposals and multi-agency appeals.
- Provide support to risk management, utilising adequate project management tools and conducting regular monitoring of settlement and infrastructure works so these are implemented according to plans and completed within designated timelines and budget, and ensure that this information is captured in the global monitoring and evaluation framework.
- Collaborate and coordinate with all functional units in UNHCR and relevant technical actors in the feasibility and technical assessments, planning and development of sites, including protection, environment, health, education, water and sanitation.
- In coordination with relevant focal persons and technical colleagues, carry out appropriate assessments and mapping exercises such as environmental impact assessment, useable land area assessment, mapping of services, mapping of host communities, livelihood assessments, etc.
- Promote the integration of agreed priority cross-cutting issues (e.g. age, environment, gender, and human rights) in sector/inter-sector needs assessments, analysis, planning and monitoring.
- Work to support active participation of communities and promotion of community-based approaches in the planning and implementation of settlement and masterplan activities.
- Develop adequate reports and share information, both within the settlement planning stakeholders and with other sectors through inter-sector communication channels. Work on the reporting and monitoring through the provision of 4W, SIP and site monitoring information.
- Promote and ensure the accountability to affected populations and the identification of durable solutions that also promote peaceful co/existence with the host communities.
- Provide equitable access to basic services for both the displaced and host communities while making emphasis on meaningful inclusion of the site community groups (women, youth, elderly and persons with specific needs) in decision-making processes including through governance structures and sectorial focal points.
- Maintain a strong collaboration with the Shelter and Settlements Section in HQ.
- Perform other related duties as required.
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P2/NOB - 3 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 2 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 1 year relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Urban Planning; or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
Relevant Job Experience
Managerial and technical ability to support a specialist team in emergency and/or protracted situations. Previous similar job experience in the humanitarian settlement planning / infrastructure field, knowledge of technical drawing software, GIS tools and an ability to produce technical plans, undertake spatial analysis, site assessments and conduct training.
Advanced awareness of settlement planning best practice and guidance with basic understanding of several other technical sectors. Appropriate work experience in Shelter, Settlements and Infrastructure in a Humanitarian Context.
SP-Infrastructure Development/Construction Management/Property Management;
IT- Computer Literacy;
EM-Emergency Management - Operations/Preparedness/Response;
PG-Programme Management (project formulation, programme cycles and reporting standards);
SP-Rural Settlement Development;
SP-Rehabilitation and development programmes;
EX-Field experience with UNHCR and/or with other humanitarian organizations;
SP-Natural Resources Management;
SP-Environmental Assessment/Planning/Monitoring/Evaluation of integrated projects/programs;
SP-Emerging environmentally sustainable and appropriate technologies, and renewable energy;;
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.
As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.
This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.
Good Knowledge of English and fluency in French.
Knowledge of local language is an asset
Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).
Only shortlisted candidates will be invited for an eliminatory written test.
Candidates who will pass the written test shall be invited for an interview.
See below for this postion's Operational Context
Nature of the Position
The post of Associate Settlement Planning Officer is to help address operational CCCM responsibilities. In the Far North people fleeing the conflict are hosted in over 70 sites or in communities where basic amenities are lacking and jobs, water and agricultural land are scarce. Some of these sites see the cohabitation of IDPs and refugees and did not received any type of assistance since more than one year. Several departments record no camp coordination and only few arrondissements see UNHCR and authorities co-facilitating the assistance provision.
In this regard the temporary incumbent will :
(1) boost the internal-organizational learning on CCCM operational activities in IDP contexts,
(2) guide operations to address critical gaps in the key field of operations where examples can be applied and shared,
(3) Conceiving and promoting a sustainable CCCM Coordination strategy on the short, medium and long term,
(4) Capacity building for partners on CCCM scope, mandate and application while transferring capacity to local authorities,
(5) With the support of CCCM partners profiling IDPs sites and establishing IM tools to track the response in a coherent way.
The Associate Settlement Planning Officer will be based in Maroua in the Far North where he/she will be responsible for CCCM sector for 70% of his/her time. The incumbent will work jointly with the Associate Information Management Officer also based in Maroua and with the Shelter Cluster Coordination Officer based in Yaounde for 30% of the working hours on common CCCM/Shelter issues.
Living and Working Conditions
As per the IASC guidelines, in Cameroon UNHCR is leading the humanitarian coordination for the shelter sector at national and regional level. The clusters have only been activated in the North West/South West regions while in the Far North and at the national level, UNHCR leads coordination through a sectorial approach (including government co-lead in some instances). In 2020, Cameroon remained the most affected country by the conflict in the Lake Chad Basin, after Nigeria. The Far North region has seen a sharp upsurge in violence. Ongoing hostilities have forcibly displaced a total of 559,699 individuals (OCHA/UNHCR -October 2020) including 114,496 Nigerian refugees, 321,886 internally displaced people and 123,489 IDP returnees. The affected population is regularly subjected to armed attacks, kidnappings, including kidnapping of children, looting and destruction of property and infrastructure. Protection risks are often different, depending on gender, age and diversity. Security threats also include arbitrary arrests, forced recruitment and physical violence, primarily affecting men and boys. Girls and women remain particularly vulnerable to violence including sexual and gender-based violence (hereafter GBV) due to the combined effect of pre-existing cultural and traditional discriminatory norms and practices, gender discrimination and socio-economic vulnerability caused by the crisis. Security threats are exacerbated during the heavy rainy season that limits movement of law enforcement forces and road access in many areas in the Far North Region.¿
Duration of Appointment
The length of the post is till end of December 2021.
Closing date for submissions or applications is 5th August 2021.
All applications must be submitted ONLINE at : https://www.unhcr.org/afr/careers.html