E T Consultant – Urban

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)



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Background & General Description:

The Sustainable Development Practice Group

The Sustainable Development (SD) Practice Group (PG) helps countries tackle their most complex challenges in the areas of Agriculture and Food, Climate Change, Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy, Environmental and Social Framework, Urban, Disaster Risk Management (DRM), Resilience & Land, Social Sustainability and Inclusion, and Water.

The “Urban, Resilience and Land” (URL) Global Practice

Urbanization is occurring at an unprecedented pace. Cities generate 80% of global GDP and are key to job creation and the pursuit of shared prosperity.  Yet one billion city residents live in slums today, and by 2030 one billion new migrants will arrive in cities.  This concentration of people and assets will exacerbate risk exposure to adverse natural events and climate change, which affects the poor disproportionately.  The absence of secure land tenure underpins deprivation and is a major source of conflict in the urban and rural space.  One and a half billion people live in countries affected by repeated cycles of violence.  In the absence of services, participative planning and responsive institutions, these trends will result in increased poverty, social exclusion, vulnerability and violence.  Finally, avoiding a 4-degree warmer world requires drastically reducing the carbon footprint of cities.

The WBG is in a unique position to support national and sub-national clients to: harness urbanization and enable effective land management in support of both growth and poverty reduction; foster social inclusion of marginalized groups; support the responsiveness and fiscal, financial, and management capacities of local governments – cities, municipalities, and rural districts – to deliver local infrastructure and decentralized services; strengthen resilience and risk management related to natural disasters; reduce conflict and violence; scale-up access to finance for sub-national governments; and reduce the carbon footprint of cities.  The WBG brings a combination of lending ($7-8 billion in annual lending to cities), analytical and advisory services (e.g., social inclusion flagship, urbanization reviews, Sendai dialogue), its growing portfolio of reimbursable advisory services, its convening power (e.g., understanding risk and the land conferences), its leveraging capacity (e.g., guarantees and risk mitigation), and its ability to work with the private sector to tackle the challenges at scale and to effect.
The URL GP covers a wide gamut:

(i) developing green, inclusive and resilient cities;

(ii) enhancing urban and rural development through supporting and managing the urban-rural transition, assisting local development through developing land tenure, management and information systems; and

(iii) assisting in disaster risk management through issues of risk assessment, risk reduction (including flood management, urban drainage, coastal management, and retrofitting of infrastructure), disaster preparedness (including hydromet services, early warning systems, and civil defense), risk financing (including CAT-DDO), and resilient reconstruction (including post-disaster damage and loss assessment).


Urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa is occurring at an unprecedented pace. The share of Africans living in urban areas is projected to grow from 38 percent in 2016 to almost 60 percent by 2040, translating to an additional 40,000 new urban citizens every day until 2040. The region’s urbanization rate, one of the highest in the world, can lead to economic growth, transformation and poverty. However, many cities in Africa still have not fully captured the benefits of urbanization and poorly managed urbanization have exacerbated existing infrastructure challenges, resulting in increased inequality, urban poverty, proliferation of informal settlements and vulnerability to hazards. Adverse natural events present a serious obstacle for achieving sustainable social and economic development, particularly in vulnerable regions as Sub-Saharan Africa. Disaster affects the poor most severely; unplanned human settlements, unsafe building practices, high population densities, economic growth, and accumulations of assets in risk prone areas has dramatically increased exposure to hazards and increased disaster loss. Climate changed has the potential to significantly worsen the situation.

To this end, the AFR Urban, Resilience and Land Unit brings together a wide range of important and interrelated development and financing instruments to support national and sub-national clients to: harness urbanization and enable effective land management in support of both growth and poverty reduction; foster social inclusion of marginalized groups; support the responsiveness and fiscal, financial, and management capacities of local governments – cities, municipalities, and rural districts – to deliver local infrastructure and decentralized services; strengthen resilience and disaster risk management related to natural disasters; reduce conflict and violence; scale-up access to finance for sub-national governments; and reduce the carbon footprint of cities. Increasingly, governments and task teams are using nature-based solutions (NBS) such as wetland rehabilitation, urban parks and mangrove restoration to help cities be more resilient and create benefits for communities and the environment.

Position context

The AFR Urban, Resilience, and Land East Africa Unit (SAEU2) is seeking a qualified and motivated professional to support the Africa Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist and help deliver the ongoing and pipeline program of the Africa region. In particular, she/he will support the management of analytical and advisory services, preparation and implementation support for lending investments, and policy dialogue in the areas of urban resilience and disaster risk management in East Africa.

The Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist is expected to work under the supervision of the East Africa Lead Disaster Risk Management Specialist and provide technical and operational expertise to implement and develop the AFR Urban, Resilience, and Land portfolio with a focus on East Africa.

The consultant is expected to carry out specific duties which will include, but are not limited to:

  •  Lead analytical work such as reviewing the relevant policy, institutional, and regulatory frameworks to shed light on roles, responsibilities, and instruments needed for the implementation World Bank urban resilience and DRM solutions.
  • Support analytical and advisory activities, specially related with the development of hazard mapping and risk assessments to inform operational engagements including the quality control and supervision of external consultants and technical specialists work as well as developing targeted Terms of Reference. Due to the large demand from client’s special emphasis on floods is expected.
  • Facilitate the analysis of hydromet and early warning services, informing the strengthening and modernization plans, the preparation of ToRs, or carrying out reviews of some specific advances.
  • Lead and support the assessments of emergency preparedness and response capacity and the provision of technical recommendations to enhance the ability of our clients to respond to DRM challenges through programs and projects.
  • Provide support, as needed, to emergency response including contributions to various forms of post-disaster assessments, and to recovery and reconstruction planning.
  • Lead and contribute to adapt global good practice in DRM, urban resilience, resilient infrastructure, risk assessment and green infrastructure to local contexts within Bank-executed technical assistance and Bank-supported lending projects and activities.

Contribute to the execution of trust funded projects and the preparation of lending operations, including:

(i) participate in missions and developing mission documents;
(ii) develop and review Trust Fund Proposals;
(iii) contribute to Project Concept Notes (PCNs), Project Appraisal Documents (PADs), and other related project preparation documentation;
(iv) prepare and review terms of reference;
(v) prepare implementation status and results reports;
(vi) prepare project briefs;
(vi) and technical and corporate presentations.

  • Participate in field missions in the areas of specialization, provide technical inputs and guidance to client counterparts as required by operational and analytical task team leaders.
  • Draft technical notes, reports, Terms of Reference and policy documents, responses to ad hoc information requests from internal and external parties (e.g. project and sector briefs, background reports, case studies, etc);
  • Participate and support knowledge sharing activities across countries in the region and contribute specific knowledge sharing activities.


Selection Criteria


  • PHD or Master’s degree in technical fields relevant to DRM and urban resilience such as civil engineering, hydraulic engineering, hydrology, urban infrastructure and planning, disaster risk management, environmental planning, public management, or equivalent, and a minimum of 8 years of relevant experience.
  • Experience working on complex urban risk programs involving multi-stakeholder coordination
  • Experience working on flood risk management, risk reduction measures design is desired
  • Demonstrated skills to engage and effectively lead dialogues with both local communities affected by urban risks as well as city leaders and decision makers charged with action.
  • Strong conceptual and research/analytical skills with the ability to rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources into conclusion and recommendations.
  • Demonstrated effective communication skills, speaking and writing, and outstanding interpersonal skills, effective team member.
  • Experience in donor-funded projects and/or project management;
  • Experience in development and delivery of educational tools to client countries;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to lead teams and function effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Proven track record of delivery of high-quality outputs while working under pressure, in a multi-sector environment, and within tight deadlines.
  • Knowledge of World Bank operational policies, practices and procedures is an asset.
  • Excellent and effective command of English in verbal and written forms required.  

Required Competencies:

The position has the following core competencies and requirements:

* Integrative Skills – Working to develop an integrated view across all facets of current sector.

* Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena – Understands policy making process; distills operationally relevant recommendations/lessons for clients.

* Policy Dialogue Skills – Identifies and assesses policy issues and plays an active role in the dialogue with the government and/or other stakeholders.

* Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making – Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.

* DRM policy, strategy and institutions – Understands the institutions and governance issues related to DRM, with specific firsthand experience on engaging institutions as well as assessing their respective capacities. Specific elements include: Institutional Assessment; Reconstruction Policy and Planning; International Cooperation; Legislative Framework; Institutional Capacity Building; Transparency and Accountability.


World Bank Group Core Competencies

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