Senior Urban Specialist

Global Center on Adaptation (GCA)

Rotterdam, Netherlands 🇳🇱


VACANCY TITLE: Senior Urban Specialist

LOCATION: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

TERM:  Initial contract duration 1 year with possibility of extension

INTENSITY: 40 hours per week, 5 days per week

ANTICIPATED START DATE: As soon as possible


SALARY INDICATION: 85,000 – 100,000 EUR (Yearly – all inclusive)


The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization that works as a solutions broker to catalyze action and support for adaptation solutions, from the international to the local, in partnership with the public and private sector, to ensure we learn from each other and work together for a climate resilient future. Adapting to impacts of climate change provides a “win-win” for health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth. The work of the GCA elevates the visibility and political importance of climate adaptation and facilitates solutions, such as smarter investments, new technologies and better planning to become more resilient to climate-related threats. GCA is a rapidly growing organization with offices in Abidjan, Beijing, Dhaka, Groningen, and Rotterdam.



Join us at the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) as Senior Urban Specialist to the Water and Urban team. As part of the Water and Urban team, you will play a vital role in GCA’s mission as a solutions broker in the field of urban climate adaptation. You will actively engage in and provide leadership on policy advocacy and programs for urban climate adaptation as well as provide technical, content-focused support to advance GCA’s overall policy and advocacy work. You will have the opportunity to cultivate and manage relationships with external partners and parties as well as to support the team’s ongoing work around implementation of the Urban program. Your expertise will shape and realize climate adaptation strategies for urban resilience at scale that work for all.


Under the oversight of the GCA Water and Urban Lead you will carry out the following:

Support and operationalize GCA’s City Adaptation Accelerator (CAA) in particular in relation to scaling up and acceleration of adaptation, and locally-led adaptation. This includes:

• Develop and implement a pipeline of technical assistance projects in the urban climate adaptation and urban resilience sectors that shapes and expands GCA’s partnerships with leading Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) such as Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank – to drive, scale up and accelerate on-the-ground urban climate adaptation. This will include established adaptation practice while creating the space and energy for innovation as well.

• Closely collaborate with MDB task teams to support the integration and implementation of climate adaptation in urban development projects that may include urban water management, housing, spatial planning, informal settlements, urban flood management and associated planning tools. This work will be done in collaboration with other GCA Water and Urban team members involved in integrated water resource management (IWRM), irrigation, urban service delivery, and so on.

• Take a proactive role in the conceptualization, design, implementation and supervision of highly innovative and transformative technical assistance to urban climate adaptation and urban resilience building investment projects and programs of MDBs, in particular the ADB. This will include frequent and in-depth interactions and coordination with task team leaders/managers of MDBs.

• Drive a multi-faceted program, in coordination with regional and international partners, to build capacity of national and local government and non-governmental stakeholders.

• Support the operationalization of knowledge development related to urban water resilience and participate in relevant workshops and meetings to keep abreast with ongoing trends in climate adaptation, urban development and their implications on the GCA agenda and strategy.

• Further expand and maintain GCA’s network of international, national and local stakeholders in the water-urban adaptation sector.

• Support and oversee the procurement of external expertise (individual consultants, firms).

• Support the preparation of knowledge products (e.g. policy briefs, news stories, reports) on GCA’s activities.

• Support on-the-job strengthening of capacity of GCA staff and partner organizations.

• Perform other related duties as assigned.

This role requires, at least, 6 to 7 field trips a year for the duration of one week (tentatively).


• Master’s degree in in urban planning, a field related to urban planning or a field related to climate resilience.

• Minimum of ten years’ experience in the implementation of complex and large-scale innovative projects and programs related to the urban development and urban resilience sectors, with a minimum of five years in Africa. Experience in working directly for or with city or urban authorities and/or with a multilateral development bank is considered to be of added advantage.

• Conceptual understanding and/or working experience of key subject areas such as climate adaption and urban resilience.

• Proven ability to translate complex concepts and strategies into technical assistance to national and local governments, and project teams to support implementation of climate adaptation in the urban sector in Africa.

• Experience in procurement and contract management of advisory services.

Desired competencies, mindset and values

• Strong communication: Excellent written and spoken English, backed by an ability to articulate complex ideas into clear outputs to effectively engage key stakeholders at different technical and strategic levels – senior local and national government officials, representatives of MDBs, implementation partners, and so on. Working knowledge of French considered to be of additional advantage.

• Collaborative process facilitation: Skilled in building and maintaining collaboration with diverse stakeholders.

• Able to work in a multicultural team: Enjoy working with people from various cultures and genuinely curious about different ways of life, fostering smooth teamwork

• Able to prioritize tasks, deliver on time, and support team members so that workflows and the team portfolio are collectively executed efficiently.

• Constructive conflict resolution: Positive approach to resolving disagreements.

• Passionate about Climate Adaptation

A sense of humor is always a great asset but is not a requirement.


GCA offers a dynamic, high-profile, and international working environment within a growing organization. Our global headquarters in Rotterdam is located in the award-winning Floating Office Rotterdam, the world’s largest floating office, with regional offices around the globe.

Joining our team means contributing to our global mission on climate adaptation. You will have the opportunity to tap into the extensive expertise available at GCA and its partner organizations worldwide. Furthermore, you will play a role in shaping international policies and global action on climate change, working at the highest governmental levels and collaborating with governments on all continents.

This staff position will be based at GCA’s global headquarters in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. GCA offers a competitive salary, 25 days of paid leave,  and a public transport travel card for free business commuting within the Netherlands.

GCA does not discriminate in any of its programs or activities on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.


If you are interested in this position, please submit your motivation letter and CV by following the link before 02 October 2023.

The recruitment process is composed of 2 rounds of interviews with a possibility of a 3rd one.

All offers of employment will be subject to satisfactory references and appropriate screening checks. The Global Center on Adaptation also participates in the Inter Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. In line with this Scheme, we will request information from job applicants’ previous employers about any findings of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment during employment, or incidents under investigation when the applicant left employment. By submitting an application, the job applicant confirms his/her understanding of these recruitment procedures.


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IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development