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. This position is in the UN-Habitat Kuwait office that serves Arabian Gulf countries as part of UN-Habitat Regional Office for Arab States (ROAS). The office provides support to all national offices in the MENA region and liaise with potential donors, provides political advice, and provides capacity building for professionals in Urban Planning, Strategic Planning and related fields. The office also is responsible for coordinating the Agency’s substantive, normative and operational work on various dimensions of Policy, Legislation and Governance. The office aims at expanding its capacities to include Climate Action in line with the Domain of Change 3; Strengthened climate action and improved urban environment; . The UN-Habitat GCC Kuwait office will also aim to develop, document, pilot/test and disseminate norms, standards, tools, methodologies, regulatory frameworks, operating procedures and practices at global, regional, national and sub-national levels; offer tailor- made solutions on policy, legislative and governance for cities, regions and metropolitan areas; and generate and manage cutting-edge knowledge and data in relation to these areas.
In line with the above main focus, Kuwait and Iraq country offices joined hand to respond to the impact of climate change in southern Iraq, which was heavily impacted by desertification in the past few decades causing Sand and Dust Storms that causing significant socio-economic damages to Kuwait, with estimated economic disruptions of up to USD 190 million annually and severe health impacts on its population. To reduce sand and dust storm events in Kuwait, it is critical to prevent and mitigate desertification in areas where sand and dust storms are originating, i.e., southern Iraq. Simultaneously, measures should also be taken in Kuwait to minimize the impact of sand and dust storms and mitigate multiple challenges caused by them.
The project aims to improve resilience of cities and communities in Kuwait and southern Iraq to transboundary sand and dust storms through three components: (1) preparation, (2) physical implementation, and (3) monitoring, evaluation, reporting and quality control.
Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships: The incumbent will be working in the office of UN -HABITAT in Kuwait and would possibly travel to other Cities in the Region. The incumbent reports to the Head of Office for Arab Cities in Kuwait.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of the Head of GCC and Kuwait Office, the incumbent will perform the following duties:
Ensure strategic management of the project and provide day-to-day financial and administrative management for the delivery of the project’s activities focusing on the achievement of the following results:
- Oversees the day-to-day project implementation and ensures achievement of targets as outlined in the project work plan.
- Leads and supervises the project team, builds team coherence and establishes clear roles and responsibilities among team members.
- Mobilises goods and services and other project inputs, including preparing ToRs for expert consultants, meetings and workshops.
- Ensures that the quality of project inputs meet the expected standards and are sufficient to produce project outputs and targets.
- Takes overall responsibility for the project and performs oversight roles for project compliance against the relevant government and UN regulations for project management.
- Takes responsibility for updating and revising project performance as necessary.
- Manages critical issues, troubleshoots problems and develops solutions to the overall processes of the project implementation.
- Consults with the Project Manager in Iraq for any issues that require his or her attention, including issues related to deviation from the approved work plans and its tolerance (e.g. deviation from the approved target, and/or budget); and
- Ensures effective monitoring of the project performance, and the preparation of high quality and results-oriented progress reports.
- Represent the Head of Office at meetings as appropriate and when assigned.
- Undertake other related assignments as required by the Head of Mission.
Ensure effective planning, budgeting, and implementation of the project in Kuwait:
Prepares project’s annual and quarterly work plans and reports in collaboration with the project manager in Iraq.
Implements project work plan and ensures that the project remains within the tolerance level of the approved work plan.
- Conducts regular monitoring to ensure achievement of targets in line with the annual work plan and that project implementation at all levels complies with the approved project SoP;
- Prepares quarterly project reports, in line with the standard template and presents it to the donor after obtaining the approval of Kuwait office.
- Provides additional inputs and data for external project reports as necessary and required by the donor after obtaining the approval from the head of Kuwait office.
- Organizes quarterly project meetings with partners in both Kuwait and Iraq in collaboration with Iraq Project Manager and provides the quarterly progress reports to the Head of GCC and Kuwait Office.Liaises with UN Habitat Offices, to initiate project review and evaluation processes.
Create and nurture strategic partnerships and support to the implementation of resource mobilization:
Establishes and maintains good working relationships with the relevant public and development partners who are the principal counterparts for the project.
- Initiates and maintains partnerships with development partners, government institutions, private sector, civil society and other stakeholders to contribute to the achievement of project results.
- Builds project reputation for quality design, reliable delivery as well as integrity and accountability.
- Identifies and works with key partners/stakeholders to ensure synergies with other projects/initiatives and to avoid duplication of activities among actors.
- Maintain consistent communication with UN Habitat GCC Office and with UN Habitat Iraq Office, in order to foster greater cooperation.
- Identifies opportunities for mobilizing resources for the project and prepares substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation; and In coordination with the Head of GCC and Kuwait Office, and UN Habitat Iraq Office Communication unit and other relevant counterpart communications department, strengthens the communication of the project in order to communicate results, deepen stakeholder knowledge and buy-in to the project, and to facilitate resource mobilization for the project.
Facilitate knowledge building and management for and from the project implementation:
Identifies best practices and lessons learnt from the project and from other initiatives that can be helpful to the project in achieving its goals and objectives.
- Organizes and delivers trainings for the operations/project staff on project/programme management issues.
- Conducts internal capacity building training for project staff to facilitate appropriate management and timely delivery of project outputs.
- Identifies policy issues for codification and sharing.
- Leads in generating knowledge products such as best practices and lessons learnt for knowledge sharing; an
- Contributes to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
Plans and acts transparently, actively works to removes barriers; Creates awareness of substantive opportunities and risks among others; Navigates complex circumstances thoughtfully and is solution minded
Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them; Integrates diverse contributions to formulate coherent approaches; Aligns innovation to service delivery components; Manages prototype / pilot efforts and seeks feedback.
- People Management:
Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others; Coaches team members to appropriately share knowledge across teams; Addresses conflicts in a timely, sensitive manner; escalates to leadership when appropriate; Recognizes members of the team for their efforts and successes; Optimizes individual and team abilities.
- Communication & Relationship Management:
Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others; Persuades others to embrace new ideas, even when controversial; Empathizes with client perspectives and needs and communicates messages with the clients’ experiences in mind; Creates opportunities for developing new client relationships.
Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions; Anticipates constraints and identifies solutions; Expands capacity of team to deliver on time, on target, and within organizational standards; Ensures high quality of work in terms of both substantive depth and adaptive relevance to client needs; accepts responsibility for implementation / team deliverables / client satisfaction consistent with organizational standards; Exhibits thorough organizational awareness of UNDP’s approach to client service delivery and integrity and accountability; Exhibits sound judgment and the ability to make reasonable decisions in complex situations.
Advocacy/Advancing A Policy-Oriented Agenda
- Identifies and communicates relevant information for a variety of audiences for advocating UNDP’s mandate
- Advocacy skills to promote gender equality approaches, to achieve the UNDP Gender Equality agenda or national gender equality agenda with internal and external partners
Results-Based Programme Development and Management
- Assesses project performance to identify success factors and incorporates best practices into project work
- Researches linkages across programme activities to identify critical points of integration
- Monitors specific stages of projects/programme implementation
- Analyzes country situation to identify opportunities for project development
- Participates in the formulation of project proposals and ensures substantive rigor in the design and application of proven successful approaches and drafts proposals accordingly
- Excellent written communication and analytical skill to synergize project financial delivery and support internal capacity.
Building Strategic Partnerships
- Maintains an established network of contacts for general information sharing and to remain up-to-date on partnership related issues
- Analyzes and selects materials for strengthening strategic alliances with partners and stakeholders
- Strategic thinking and building partnerships to promote Gender Equality
Innovation and Marketing New Approaches
- Generates new ideas and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things
- Documents and analyses innovative strategies/best practices/new approaches
- Analyzes information/databases on potential and actual donors
- Develops a database of project profiles. Identifies opportunities for project proposals for presentation to donors
Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing
- Generates new ideas and approaches, research best practices and proposes new, more effective ways of doing things
- Documents and analyses innovative strategies and new approaches
- Promotes knowledge management on gender equality issues
- Promotes gender sensitive environment in the office through leadership and personal example
Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise
- Strong aptitude on public administration and management of development project in the public sector.
- Understands and applies fundamental concepts and principles of a professional discipline or technical specialty relating to the position
- Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks
- Strives to keep job knowledge up-to-date through self-directed study and other means of learning
- Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments
- Demonstrates in-depth understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments
- Theoretical and/or practical knowledge of gender equality and women’s empowerment in development programming
- Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior and high-ranking members of national and local institutions, government and non-government.
- Research potential solutions to internal and external client needs and reports back in a timely, succinct and appropriate fashion
- Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines
- Anticipates client needs and addresses them promptly
- Ability to analyze differentiated needs and interests of men and women as well as with a specific emphasis and respect to sexual orientation, region, ethnicity, age, disability, language etc.
- Ability to consider that men and women are affected differently from different interventions and needs to be approached differently.
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced university degree Political Science or Law, management, law, engineering, economics, political science or a related field, or Bachelor’s degree in combination with additional 2 years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the Master’s degree is required. UN related special training courses will be an asset.
- At least 7 years with master’s degree, or 9 years with Bachelor of relevant experience of progressive experience in managing donor-funded programmes/portfolios is required, Experience in budgeting, monitoring & evaluation and human resource/finance administrative support work, resource mobilization, consultant management, reporting, desk research and providing political-strategic advice in the GCC region and developing strategic plans in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Operational and/or communication experience in the Private Sector is desirable. Experience in the UN system's work and activities is desirable.
- Fluency in oral and written English and Arabic language is required.