NAP Technical Supplementary Material Consultant

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)


Result of Service

The ultimate service of the consultancy is to strengthen the agency’s programmatic approach for nature-based solutions and climate resilience.

Work Location

Home Based

Expected duration

4 Months

Duties and Responsibilities

Background to UN-Habitat

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all. For over forty-five years UN-Habitat has been working in human settlements throughout the world, focusing on building a brighter future for cities and towns of all sizes. One of the four focus area under the new Strategic Plan 2020-2023 is Strengthened Climate Action and Improved Urban Environment. UN-Habitat’s Global Solutions Division is overseeing the Agency’s operational work as well as the institutional and programmatic relationship with climate and biodiversity initiatives, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Global Solutions Division (GSD) is responsible for providing programmatic direction to UN-Habitat and accountable for the programmatic delivery of its Strategic Plan. The division leads tools and methodology production and the integration of substantive competencies towards effective delivery. Within GSD, the Programme Development Branch (PDB) is responsible for the overall coordination of programme development. It brings together normative and operational expertise supporting high-quality integrated programmes that maximize results across the outcomes and the domains of change in UN-Habitat’s Strategic Plan, of which one is Strengthened climate action and improved urban environment. The Domain of Change focuses on three outcomes:

  1. Reduced greenhouse emissions and improved air quality
  2. Improved resource efficiency and protection of ecological assets
  3. Effective adaptation of communities and infrastructure to climate change

Delivery of the three outcomes under the Domain of Change to strengthen climate action and improve the urban environment is supported by UN-Habitat’s flagship programme on Resilient Settlements for the Urban Poor – RISE UP. This flagship programme is aimed at increasing the resilience and socio-economic prosperity of urban poor communities in the Global South by 2030. It will achieve this by reducing climate change risk-related disruption to livelihoods and improving basic service provision for a significant proportion of the estimated 600 million climate-vulnerable urban poor.

Background to Consultancy

As the world tackles the current pandemic and the climate emergency, the sixth mass extinction of wildlife on earth is accelerating. Though often addressed in silos, the climate change and biodiversity crises are intertwined. Biodiversity loss reduces the resilience of both planet and people and narrows response options for defeating climate change. Today, over 50% of the world’s population live in cities, a figure expected to rise to over 65% by 2030. One of the greatest challenges for climate change adaptation is building resilience, particularly for the one billion urban dwellers in informal settlements. Such populations often find themselves in the conflict zones between unplanned, inefficient urban expansion, and vulnerable natural habitat. There is urgency to act now, using cities as catalysts to create more sustainable, resilient, and just societies. While more 75% of the area projected to be urban in 2030 has yet to be built especially in Asia-Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa, it is important that cities plan their growth in a manner that helps conserve the world’s biodiversity.

UN-Habitat believes that the spatial dimension of biodiversity conservation intersects with the location of informal settlements. The current rate of city expansion, lack of planning, land management and housing strategies in the global south (especially in LDCs and SIDS) pushes the most vulnerable urban poor into informal settlements. Informal settlers often reside on sites unattractive for development due to susceptibility to climate hazards and disaster risks while penetrating the periphery of ecological assets that serve as natural carbon sinks. Nature-based solutions (NBS) and Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in partnership with the urban poor can thus lower the pressure points through reduced heat island effects, improved flood retention, stabilized erosion prone land, which stimulates socio-economic security, and in particular food security for the urban poor. This brings the triple dividend of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, protecting ecological assets and biodiversity, and effectively adapting urban poor communities and the built environment to climate change.

UN-Habitat’s project entitled An integrated approach to strengthening climate action, improved urban environment, and resilient settlements for the urban poor, supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, aims at enhancing capacities and tools available to support UN member states in achieving ambitious climate change goals that promote biodiversity and ecosystems protection and build climate resilience for the urban poor. It is composed of five interrelated work packages, including: (1) coordination mechanisms for the implementation of biodiversity solutions for resilient informal settlements; (2) knowledge and partnerships for the biodiversity, NBS, EbA, green infrastructure, and informal settlements nexus; (3) capacity building on nature-based solutions for LDCs; (4) integration of NBS in selected countries; and (5) development of a framework for urban vulnerability atlas.


Under Work Package 2 and during the first stage of the project, the following outcomes were achieved: an NDC paper, a discussion paper on a quantitative methodology to assess NBS for climate resilience approaches in informal areas, and engagement with the UN4NAP and NAP LEG.

This consultancy would explore the opportunity to transform the project findings under Work Package 2 into the development of a NAP supplementary material.

Duties and Responsibilities

The consultancy is located in the Climate Change and Urban Environment Team of the Programme Development Branch. Under the overall guidance of the Subprogramme Coordinator of the Climate Change and Urban Environment Team, and direct supervision by the Programme Management Officer for Climate Change, the consultancy will involve the following typical main duties leading to the ultimate requested outputs:

  1. Develop a NAP supplementary material for member states based on existing publication including the UN-Habitat’s Discussion paper on a quantitative methodology to assess NBS for climate resilience approaches in informal areas.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualification
A degree in urban planning, environmental science, environmental policies, climate change, or related field is required.

Professional Experience
At least five (5) years of relevant work experience in climate resilience, climate adaptation, nature-based solutions, public policy, planning, or related field is required.
Experience in developing climate adaptation technical materials for national or local governments or international organizations is required.
Experience in leading Expert Group Reviews for publications is desirable.
Strong communications skills are highly desirable.
Experience on projects in the developing world is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this
consultancy, fluency in oral and written English is required. Fluency in other UN languages is an advantage.

Additional Information

Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to urban planning and design or sustainable development particularly to the Urban Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Sustainable Urban development, Urban Climate Change Action and Clean Air Action Planning
Communication: Excellent written and oral presentation skills in English. Excellent capacity to produce and manipulate graphic documents and drawings. Good presentation skills. Ability to communicate complex interventions in a clear language and convincing narratives. Sketching capabilities to effectively communicate in workshop settings and teams.
Teamwork: Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues to achieve agreed goals.
Planning and Organizing: Ability to prioritize activities and assignments and to easily switch between different projects. Management: Ability to manage smaller project teams, divide workload and sustain efficiency

No Fee






IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development