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Project Manager (UNHABITAT) Vacancy in Ethiopia 2021

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


Project Background:


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the United Nations 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.


Through its Regional Office for Africa (ROAf), located in Nairobi, Kenya, UN-Habitat has been supporting African governments to take early action to position themselves for predominately urban populations to achieve sustainable urbanization and the right to adequate housing for all, within the framework of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda – particularly Sustainable Development Goal 11 to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” – and the New Urban Agenda.


Since 1998, the UN-Habitat has implemented several projects in Ethiopia. Key areas of partnership include: Capacity Building for Sustainable Urban Development, Implementation of the Habitat Agenda, Integrating Local Development Planning and Slum Upgrading in Urban Policy, Cities without Slums, Water for African Cities Programme - Phases I and II, Promoting Sustainable Transport Solutions for East Africa (SUSTRAN), Support to the improvement of Public Spaces in Addis Ababa, Support in rehabilitation of Solid waste dump sites in a number of cities, Support in development of Structural plans, Supporting the Ethiopian Cities Sustainable prosperity Goals (ECSPGs), and Development of the State of Addis Ababa Reports.


Together with the Ethiopian Ministry of Urban Development and Construction (MUDCo), UN Habitat’s latest endeavor is the preparation of Regional Development Spatial Plans to strengthen coordination and cooperation among spatial development plans at all levels (federal, regional, local) and to identify unique opportunities and comparative advantages to support regional economic development, complementarity for growth and also to attract investments.


The main objective of the project is to prepare regional development spatial plans for the regional states of Tigray, Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali, Benishangul Gumuz, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People (SNNP), Gambella, Harari and Sidama that can enable them define and achieve their own development goals in line with the national development goals.


Objective of the Project:


The main objective of the project is to prepare regional development spatial plans for the regional states of Tigray, Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali, Benishangul Gumuz, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People (SNNP), Gambella, Harari and Sidama that can enable them define and achieve their own development goals in line with the national development goals.


The specific objectives of the assignment for each Regional Development spatial plan are:

To conduct situational analysis: this includes regional spatial diagnosis and base-mapping at Wereda level, summary of the key strategic issues (constraints and opportunities) and determination of the emerging spatial structure which influences regional development, based on desk review, data collection (Matrix of Function and spatial documents), and consultative workshops;

To identify the existing resources and plan utilization of such resources in each region;

To prioritize and guide investment decisions as per the regional spatial development plan;

To prepare a complete Regional Spatial Development Framework (SDF) comprising of vision for 2040, spatial development strategies (i.e. goals, objectives, targets, and strategies) and planning guidelines for the desired future, in the context of the national development goals as stipulated in strategic development plans of the country (i.e. NUSDP and the Ten-Year Perspective Plan) and other relevant global agendas, especially the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda (NUA);

To identify and prepare regional development policies and measures (i.e. policy statements, programs, projects, etc.) that can achieve the objectives under the SDF following the regional spatial structure proposed based on a preferred scenario;

To develop a comprehensive implementation plan, including an investment roadmap, institutional arrangements and legislation framework, and organizational capacity development program;

To prepare a monitoring and evaluation system that inform government budgeting, private investments, public-private partnership, etc…

Duties and Responsibilities

The incumbent’s duties are outlined below and will be fulfilled in line with the prevailing UN-Habitat rules and procedures.


Key functions are summarized in the following:


Ensuring effective project management of the assigned project by maintaining the delivery of appropriate technical, operational and administrative outputs, while tracking the project progress through monitoring, evaluation and reporting;

Liaison with MUDCo and Regional project offices Establishing strong relationships maintaining collaborative working relationships among key project partners (i.e. client, regional and national steering committees etc.), through effective communication, consultation and reporting;

Aligning the project with UN values and UN-Habitat priorities.

More specifically, the Project manager’s core duties and responsibilities are the following:


  1. Project Planning:

Overall responsibility of managing the implementation of all activities stipulated in the relevant technical and financial project documents ensuring their adherence to timelines and the existing financial, procurement and administrative procedures of the UN-Habitat;

Designing and implementing all-inclusive project management plan (PMP) comprising detailed work plans, all project tasks and activities with their respective milestones, project governance, and defining roles and responsibilities of appropriate stakeholders;

Organise meetings and workshops.

  1. Project Implementation and follow-up:

Overall responsibility of managing the implementation of the project ensuring technical quality and standards are considered and respected during project implementation;

Following up already identified project risks, continuous assessment on new risks, and informing UN-Habitat through risk matrix comprising appropriate mitigation measures for further consideration;

Ensure project implementation is on time, target and budget;

Ensure budget utilization and physical target achievements are reviewed at least once a month as per work plan. Maintain regular update of the workplan and track outputs;

Organize regular project coordination meetings with project team;

Developing project communication plan (strategies) and upkeeping regular communication on project goals and activities as per the Plan with the local and international counterparties (i.e. ROAf, Client, consultants and experts, regional steering committees and technical working groups, etc.);

  1. Administration and Operational Management of Project Implementation:


3.1. Finance

Overlook the overall project spending as per the project’s target;

Forecast monthly cash requirements of the project and submit requests on time.

3.2. Logistics

Layout and plan team movements as per the project plan;

Send accurate and precise procurement and recruitment orders in a timely manner;

Ensure proper management and use of the project assets;

Ensure project records and documents are adequately prepared, compiled and filed in a timely and orderly manner

3.3. Administrative/HR:

Participate in recruitment of technical staff (development of ToRs, organograms, interviews, specifications, product/service checklists), briefing and payment approvals of national and international staff and consultant participating in the project;

Management of administrative and technical staff (Team leaders of regional project offices) assigned to the Project, mobilizing the required project equipment and services ensuring positive working environment and good team dynamics;

Undertake regular appraisals of staff and Ensure capacity building among staff in relevant sectors;

3.4. Transparency:


Ensuring effective public and community engagement in project activities;

Ensure staff awareness of and respect of UN Habitat’s code of conduct

3.5. Security


Contribute to the updating of the security guidelines in the project areas and monitor local security situation;

Ensure that each member of the project team is aware of security issues.

  1. External relations:

Support, facilitate or undertake communication and liaison activities to involve and actively consult stakeholders in all stages of project design and implementation;

Liaise and cultivate good relation with MUDCo, Federal and regional committees, technical working groups and the WB;

Ensure that at all times external contact is conducted in a sensitive and respectful manner.

  1. Quality control:

Quality assurance of project outputs (research reports, graphics, database, and statistical analysis) ensuring quality and timely delivery of all agreed draft and final project deliverables to client and other project stakeholders (i.e. federal project evaluation team, federal and regional steering committees and technical working groups, etc.);

Overall responsibility for maintaining database and correspondence, supervising (guidance, coaching and mentoring) project staff, consultants and experts with a view to achieving best project results;

Assess activities undertaken, ensure lessons learned are documented, shared and reflected in project planning and decision making.

  1. Reporting:

Provide regular and timely updates on progress and challenges to team leaders, country program manager and RoAf;

Draft internal progress reports and contribute to the compiling of monthly financial reports through regular budgetary follow up;

Contribute to drafting of project progress reports for external bodies, ensuring the quality and accuracy of technical information provided.


Prepares a comprehensive project management plan (PMP) and submits to the UN-Habitat for agreement and approval;

Drafts Terms of References (ToRs) for key inputs (i.e. project staff, training, mission and procurement) and submits these to the UN-Habitat for clearance and approval, and administers their timely mobilization;

Prepares and updates project annual and quarterly work plans and ensures their timely submission to the UN-Habitat and MUDCo for agreement and approval;

Reviews technical reports (i.e. inception reports, situational analysis reports, RDSP proposals and Implementation Plans) and ensures their timely submission to MUDCo and its regional counterparts for endorsement;

Monitors technical activities carried out by responsible parties (i.e. National Project Advisors, Regional Planning Teams, etc.) and provides overall supervision and coordination of their work to deliver the expected outputs;

Prepares quarterly project progress reports, ensures their timely submission, and participates in performance review meetings with the UN-Habitat and MUDCo;

Prepares and reviews major event and mission reports and submits these timely to UN-Habitat and MUDCo and its regional counterparts as appropriate;

Manages the project budget by ensuring that project funds are disbursed properly, expenditure is in accordance with the project work plans, financial supporting documents are properly kept and financial procedures are properly applied;

Supervises Project Management Office (PMO) staff and local and international short-term consultants working for the project;

Prepares project final (exit) report and ensures timely submission to UN-Habitat and MUDCo;

Presents project outputs on Federal Steering Committee meetings and attends Regional Steering Committee meetings;

Keeps the UN-Habitat, MUDCo and communities regularly informed about project progress and implementation issues, as appropriate.



Taking responsibility for managing budget and delivering results under tight schedule, meeting deadlines, quality and on-budget delivery of the required project outputs;

Knowledgeable about and establishing commitment to UN-Habitat’s core mandates and values;

Handling confidential and politically sensitive issues in a responsible and mature manner;

Listening effectively to others, respecting difference of opinions, and finding common ground to solve problems, and actively supporting and implementing final group decisions;

Essential interpersonal, negotiation and networking skills to establish and maintain effective communications with project partners and stakeholders;

Demonstrating integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards and displaying cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Required Skills and Experience

Educational Requirements:

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in urban and regional planning or physical sciences relevant to development and management of spatial plans is required;

Formal training in project management is an asset;

Recognised experience and knowledge on urban and regional planning;

Excellent knowledge of the Ethiopian context


Project management experience, programme/project coordination and monitoring and/or provision of advisory services with proven capabilities in leadership and management of large team.

A minimum of 8 years of relevant professional experience in the areas of urban and regional planning

At least three years of project management experiences in the international domain.

Good knowledge of the policies and institutional frameworks relevant to the urban and regional development and planning

Demonstrated experience in liaising and co-operating with government officials, federal and regional authorities, academic institutions, NGOs and the private sector.

Excellent communications, report writing and analytical skills.

Experience in working within the UN systems is highly desirable.

Ability to work well under pressure and against deadlines.

Language Requirements:

Excellent written and oral communication skills are required in both Amharic and English; knowledge of additional local languages is an advantage.


Important applicant information


All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.


Applicant information about UNDP rosters


Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.


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