Individual Consultant - Architecture and Resettlement Planning Expert (For Indian Nationals only)

Location : Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, INDIA
Application Deadline :19-Feb-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :


Since August 2018, a series of floods and cyclones have affected various states of India. From August 1st to August 20th, the state of Kerala received excessive rains, which triggered several landslides and forced the release of excess water from 37 dams across the state, aggravating the flood impact across the state. The scale of floods in Kerala was unprecedented, which affected 14 districts, and caused a loss of approximately US$ 4 billion.

UNDP supported the state governments in responding to the disaster. UNDP helped the government in coordinating response functions and managing information. In Kerala, UNDP set up the Recovery Hub in partnership with other UN agencies, coordinated the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) on behalf of the UN system, and implemented several early recovery interventions.

The PDNA provided a comprehensive assessment of damage and loss, and estimated recovery needs. Following the PDNA, the Government of Kerala has set up a new initiative, Rebuild Kerala Initiative (RKI), to develop recovery plan and implement it. UNDP has decided to provide technical assistance to RKI.

UNDP has also conveyed its support to other state governments for planning and implementing recovery efforts. Building on its longstanding engagement with state governments, UNDP would provide support to state governments for developing the recovery policy framework, setting up the institutional mechanisms, and providing technical assistance in various sectors. State governments have also responded positively to UNDP’s assistance and sought its assistance in dealing with various aspects of recovery.     

In view of UNDP’s proposed support to state governments for developing the recovery programme, it has become essential to provide technical assistance through a SURGE Plan. The SURGE Plan will provide the foundation for UNDP’s expanded recovery programme and capacity-building support to all the states. The SURGE Plan will also help UNDP to develop a resilience agenda at the national level in line with the vision of the Prime Minister’s 10-point agenda on DRR and the Sendai Framework.

The CO has identified the need for the short-term SURGE Advisors for deployment to support the CO’s programme vision. Out of these Surge Advisors will be an Architecture and Resettlement Planning Expert, who will provide support for recovery planning in infrastructure construction area in Kerala.

Under the guidance of the Recovery Advisor, the consultant will act as an expert on hazard-resistant construction standards and land use planning. S/he will work with the Housing Recovery Specialist to support UNDP’s involvement in the preparation and coordination of overall housing recovery and reconstruction program.  The Architecture and Resettlement Planning Expert will be based in Trivandrum and visit other flood-affected districts in Kerala as needed. If need be, the Expert would visit other states of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha to support relevant work in those states done by UNDP.

Organizational Context 

The 2018 floods and landslides caused considerable damage to housing in Kerala. While the flood damage to houses was largely caused by the impact of swelling waters, damage to houses in hilly terrain were largely caused by faulty location on unstable mountain slopes. Landslides have made future housing prospects in these tracts untenable.

The Government of Kerala will reconstruct 17,316 new houses while conducting substantive repairs to 46,000 houses. Additionally, 41 hospitals will be reconstructed and 53 will undergo extensive repairs. Similarly, 114 completely damaged Anganwadi centres will be re-built, and repairs undertaken for 1,219 partially damaged Anganwadi Centres, 1,613 schools and 152 continuing education centres. In the process of reconstruction of all the buildings, it is important to keep in mind that reconstruction is not only in the right location, away from flood plains and slopes, but also uses disaster resilient construction techniques.

Additionally, if all these were to be designed as “green buildings” they would already make a turnaround and contribute to making Kerala a green state. Kerala has demonstrated the feasibility of alternative, low-carbon footprint construction technologies practiced by Laurie Baker, Habitat Technology Group, Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD), People’s Movement for Sustainable Architecture, Government sponsored Nirmiti Kendras, and therefore, the state has the experience and capacity to make this happen.

Physical reconstruction, as per the Kerala State Disaster Management Policy, needs to be sensitive to the hazards of the particular location, what kind of resources and capacities people have to be involved in the rebuilding, and what designs are appropriate for a particular hazard. This requires establishing a broad framework of land use and multi-hazard zoning, with development and construction activities being restricted to certain zones. This is to be further supplemented by enhanced capacities to incorporate disaster risk resilient designs, house-owners’ awareness on safe building practices and risk resilience, and adoption of construction technologies that ensure a reduced carbon footprint.

With the objective of supporting hazard-resistant construction standards, land use planning and hazard zonation in course of housing recovery, UNDP has decided to hire the services of an Architect and Resettlement Planning Expert. Working with the Housing Recovery Specialist, the Architect and Resettlement Planner would provide services for improving the architectural, land use and planning component of the recovery programme.

Duties and Responsibilities

Functions / Key Results Expected

1) Provide advisory services related to planning and building regulations to the KRI and other government agencies:

  • Provide strategic advice to RKI on development and implementation of risk-resilient settlement development recovery policies and strategies.
  • Analyze current urban and rural planning and building regulations practices in flood-affected districts of Kerala, particularly in Kuttanad and Wayanad-Idukki regions.
  • Review and suggest proposed amendments in some of the relevant Housing Policies, Acts and Rules in Kerala, particularly the Panchayat Building Rules and Building Construction Rules from the point of view of improving hazard-resistance and risk reduction.
  • Develop an awareness programme for the government engineering teams on housing rules and regulations, with the objective of promoting hazard-resistant features in housing programmes.
  • Work with the Housing Recovery Specialist in strengthening local capacities in building skills and regulations. Support training programmes for engineers and masons engaged in recovery and reconstruction.

2) Develop resettlement and relocation plans for communities and home-owners affected by floods:

  • Working with the Housing Recovery Specialist, develop resettlement and relocation plans for those communities which are likely to be displaced due to possible hazards; advise the state and district administration on risk-informed settlement planning.
  • Develop cluster housing approach if ‘safe’ land is not available for separate homesteads. It would suggest promoting settlements of two- to three-storeyed houses in areas considered safe.
  • Suggest the provision of civic amenities and improved infrastructure in settlement plans, which are consistent with traditional settlements of Kerala. Suggest facilities for improved sanitation along with the houses.
  • Within settlements, promote energy-efficient architecture, appropriate waste management features (including recycling of waste water), maximising efficiency of water use and adopting alternative energy resources and rainwater harvesting. Suggest solutions for greening of Kerala.

3) Provide architectural service for reconstruction and repairs of houses affected by floods:

  • Working with Housing Recovery Specialist, prepare prototype architectural design of houses to be reconstructed for different regions of Kerala. Provide a basket of design options with minimum 500 sq ft covered area with a toilet and roof access facility. Such designs should be based on local building practices and improve hazard-resistant features of housing.
  • Develop architectural solutions for repairs of houses affected by floods; these solutions should be cost-effective, replicable and consistent with the government’s housing recovery policy. 
  • If there is a need for retrofitting of houses and other structures, suggest appropriate retrofitting design solutions and mode of implementation. 

Impact of Results

The Architecture and Resettlement Planning Expert will help develop and implement housing recovery programme at the state level in Kerala that will help the state government and UNDP to deliver, in a timely and effective manner, housing interventions that focused on better cconstruction technologies and designs, aimed at speedy recovery of the people affected by floods.

The key results will have an impact on the overall recovery and resilience process and will help people live in safe houses, recover from the impact of floods, and improve quality of living and get access to better infrastructure.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional Competencies:

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to lead strategic planning, change processes, results-based management and reporting.
  • Ability to apply development theory to the specific country context to identify creative and practical approaches to overcome challenging situations.

Management and Leadership

  • Demonstrates team-building capacity including interpersonal and communication skills and ability to cope with a difficult environment where formal institutions of government are at the embryonic stage.
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback.
  • Deals diplomatically with challenging bureaucratic processes, and pressure to meet strict deadlines.
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.
  • Ability to lead effectively with the use of mentoring as well as conflict-resolution skills.
  • Remains calm, in control, and is good humored even under pressure.
  • Proven networking, team-building, organizational and communication skills.
  • Capacity to work under pressure, manage stress and adapt to rapidly evolving situations.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment with sound understanding and capability to empower and develop the capacity of national counterparts.

Required Skills and Experience


Bachelor or Master’s degree or higher qualification in civil engineering, architecture, urban and regional planning, landuse architecture, civil construction, or other related fields, with proven training and/or experience in housing recovery and reconstruction


  • A minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible and relevant experience in sustainable construction and/or housing programme development in post-disaster environments
  • Experience in design and implementation of owner-driven housing programming is desirable.
  • Understanding of international best construction practices will be an asset
  • Experience of working with UNDP or another UN agency would be an asset
  • Strong inter-personal and written and oral communication skills
  • Strong ability to work effectively in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams

Language Requirements:

Excellent command of written and spoken English

Evaluation Method and Criteria

The consultant would be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Technical: 70 points
    • Educational Qualification - 10 Marks
    • Relevant Experience - 35 Marks
    • Suitability for the assignment - 25 Marks
  • Financial: 30 points

(Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70% of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation).

Documents to Submit:
Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/ information to demonstrate their qualifications. Please merge those into one (1) single PDF document as the application only allows to upload only one document:

  • Offerors Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability for the Individual Contractor (IC) Assignment.
  • Personal CV, indicating experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
  • Financial proposal, stating Daily Fee in Indian Rupees. Travel and other unforeseen cost should NOT be included in the financial proposal, at this stage.


  • As system allows uploading only one file, please merge above-mentioned documents to be submitted as part of application into one (1) single PDF document and upload.
  • Application may not be accepted, if all the above listed documents are not submitted.

The following documents can be accessed, clicking the link: 

  • General Conditions for Individual Contract

  • Offerors Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability for the Individual Contractor (IC) Assignment, including Financial Proposal template

For any clarification, please write to

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

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