Job Title Project Physical Site Planner
Type Internal/External
Type Of Contract Temporary

Vacancy Notice Internal/ External Vacancy Notice Number Ro/001/19
Position Number Ro/001/01/19
Number Of Vacancies Other
Location South-West, West Nile, Mid-West Duty Stations
Position Grade NO-A
Closing Date 2019-06-13
Organizational Context

Nearly 162,000refugees fled to Uganda in 2018, bringing the refugee population to more than 1.15 million people. Wars, violence and persecution in the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes Region were the main drivers of forced displacement into Uganda, in particular insecurity and ethnic violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Sudan’s conflict, and political instability and human rights violations in Burundi.

South Sudanese make up the largest refugee population in Uganda (785,104) as of October 2018, followed by refugees from the DRC (284,265) and Burundi (33,657). Another 51,326 refugees from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan have lived in protracted exile in Uganda for the past three decades.

More than 63 percent of Uganda’s refugees are under the age of 18, one of the most visible consequences of conflicts in neighboring countries - and with clear implications for the provision of protection services. Women represent 52 percent of the entire refugee population.

Twelve of Uganda’s 121 districts host the overwhelming majority of refugees. About 95 percent live in a total of 30 settlements alongside the local communities, mainly in northern Uganda or West Nile (Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Moyo, Lamwo and Yumbe) with smaller numbers in central Uganda or Mid-West (Kiryandongo and Kikuube) and southern Uganda or South West (Kyegegwa, Kamwenge and Isingiro). Urban centres are home to less than five percent of the refugee population, mainly Kampala, although there is a trend from settlements to these centres that requires more attention than has been the case to date.

Refugee settlement planning is the process by which the spatial allocation of land is decided in support of the protection, access to basic services, livelihoods, and socio-cultural life of displaced people and the host community. UNHCR provides technical support to the Government of Uganda to ensure that all refugee settlement spatial planning standards developed, as well as settlement plans implemented, allow for the adequate protection and self-resilience of refugees.

The proper planning of settlements is crucial as it provides a basis for the sustainable development of communities; facilitating the integration of displaced populations, contributing to the peaceful coexistence of communities and defining land use to meet the needs of those displaced within the wider national governance and development framework. In addition, the construction/infrastructure projects that UNHCR implements in different locations in Uganda require fit for purpose site layouts, materials and, where applicable, building designs.

Therefore, UNHCR is seeking a qualified and experienced architect or urban planner to apply for a Project Physical Site Planner Roster in the locations mentioned above. Depending on the outcome of written test and verbal interviews, the selected applicants will be placed on the Roster, per geographical location(s), in priority order. Number-1 on the roster means the most highly qualified and experienced. The enrolment of selected applicants on the roster doesn't in any way constitute right for employment with UNHCR. Selected applicants on the roster will only be called to work with UNHCR on specific project(s) in the location(s) qualified for and for the duration of the project(s) assigned to.

The Project Physical Site Planner will oversee the settlement development plans of the location(s) assigned to, working closely with relevant government stakeholders (e.g. OPM, MLHUD, MoWE, DLGs).

The Project Physical Site Planner will oversee the planning and design development of the construction/infrastructure project(s) assigned to, working closely with the assigned Project Engineer, to ensure that the Works are implemented and completed to the quality desired (as per specifications and designs), within time and project(s) budget.

Functional Statement

Accountability (key results that will be achieved)

  • UNHCR’s country operation is technically sound in the field of physical site planning and is thus better able to meet the needs of persons of concern in Uganda.

Responsibility (process and functions undertaken to achieve results)

The incumbent will carry out the following responsibilities to the project(s) assigned to:

  • Provide technical guidance and support to the assigned project in all matters concerning Physical Planning to ensure quality, cost-effectiveness, sustainability and environmental soundness in their implementation, and taking into account policy priorities of UNHCR.
  • Upon requests, conducts technical assessments and provide recommendations, plan of action and verify compliance in the implementation of those projects.
  • Ensure that selection of sites are based on approved technical guidelines, giving full consideration to relevant factors like land availability, accessibility, security, water resources and absorption capacity.
  • Ensure that material selection and design layouts for constructions are based on approved technical guidelines, giving full consideration to relevant factors like orientation, drainage, preserving natural vegetation, physical access, cultural preferences, local built typologies, energy and water demands etc.
  • Conduct technical feasibility studies (site assessments) for identification of adequate sites in close coordination with Local Authorities at Sub County, District and Regional levels, as well as with the concerned line Ministries and implementing partners.
  • Ensure that basic technical criteria of land availability/property, accessibility, security, topography, water resources, absorption capacity, and adequate terrain for proper sanitation facilities are taken into consideration while selecting potential sites. Other factors such as national reserves, migration corridor, and flooding, possible conflict with local population (grazing land) have also to be taken into consideration when identifying potential settlement solutions.
  • Complies with all relevant stakeholders safety, quality, health and environmental procedures to ensure healthy and safe work environment;
  • Performs other related duties as may be assigned.

Authority (decisions made in executing responsibilities and to achieve results)

  • Responsible for maintaining up-to-date settlement plans and contributing to integrated physical development plans, in accordance with Uganda's settlement planning and shelter guidelines, respecting UNHCR's global master plan approach.
  • Responsible for the spatial planning, design development and materiality of construction/infrastructure projects executed by contractors, consultants, partners stakeholders, in accordance with UNHCR quality standards.
  • Represent UNHCR in the meetings and fora related to the functions

Required Competencies
  • Judgement and Decision Making
  • Strategic Planning and Vision
  • Leadership
  • Managing Resources
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Technological Awareness
  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Political Awareness
  • Stakeholder Management
Essential Minimum Qualifications and Professional Experience
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Architecture or Urban Planning;
  • At least 5 years' experience in architectural and/or urban planning projects in Uganda;
  • Knowledge of Project management tools and processes;
  • Excellent command of English Language (Written and Spoken);
  • Strong report writing skills;
  • Good knowledge of basic computer software;
  • Good knowledge of AutoCAD 2D and other basic GIS software (e.g. open street map);
  • Familiarity with Ugandan national physical planning standards.
Desirable qualifications & competencies
  • Experience in all disciplines of architecture, urban planning, rural settlement development, emergency management and environmental planning, and ability making the linkages to rehabilitation and development programmes will be an added advantage.
  • Good knowledge of ArcGIS or ArcMap.
  • Previous professional experience in the areas of rural development, natural resources and environmental management.
  • Proficiency in additional UN languages would be an asset
Operational Context
In order to ensure that all UNHCR contributions to refugee settlement planning, construction and infrastructure projects in Uganda are designed to satisfactory and harmonized spatial quality standards, with respect to the natural and built environment at all relevant scales, it is imperative to ensure that such projects have the necessary supervision capacities as may be needed. UNHCR, Uganda has therefore decided to establish a roster of Project Physical Site Planners for different locations.