Job Title Assistant Settlement Planning Officer
Type Internal/External
Type Of Contract Fixed Term

Vacancy Notice Internal/ External Vacancy Notice no. 016/2020
Position Number 10033673
Number Of Vacancies 1
Location Kampala
Position Grade NO-A
Closing Date 2020-09-24
Organizational Context

The Assistant Settlement Planning Officer works under the overall supervision of a more senior settlement planning colleague, Technical coordinator, Programme Officer or the Head of Office. The incumbent works in coordination with other colleagues in the Field, in particular working in protection, health, community services, water and sanitation, etc... In addition to physical planning, the incumbent may also assist with the functions in the areas of shelter, infrastructure, site selection and construction management support. S/he acts as focal point for maintaining effective coordination with any established settlement / shelter sector working group at her / his particular level. In addition, s/he is responsible for the strategic management and monitoring of the implementation of settlement planning activities, and for collaboration with Administration, Finance and Programme on all programmatic issues within the Area of Responsibility (AoR). S/he shall be working closely with other sections on settlement and general infrastructure related activities and provides functional technical guidance to the team as well as to the technical experts in the Field.

The Assistant Settlement Planning Officer provides support to emergency and protracted operations in designing and developing sustainable settlements to host people of concern (POC) to UNHCR. A settlement should take into consideration the risks associated with settlement locations, spatial allocation of functions while addressing the needs of the population, the availability of resources, the amelioration of living conditions, the provision of services, enhancing transportation networks as well as recreational spaces.

The incumbent will therefore be expected to provide support to the supervisor in analysing the variety of settlement options, urban, rural, formal or informal and ensure that spatial allocation of lands is decided in support of the protection, access to basic services, livelihoods, and socio-cultural life of displaced people and the host community. S/he will also assist in negotiations with national and local government authorities regarding land acquisition and site development works.


The Assistant Settlement Planning Officer liaises and co-ordinates UNHCR settlement and construction related activities within the area of responsibility (AoR), in accordance with UNHCR policies and priorities and maintains contacts with the local officials and implementing partners to discuss and share information on the assessment of infrastructure conditions in refugee-hosting areas. 

The incumbent should maintain regular communication with the shelter and settlement team in HQ for technical advice, information, communication and access to updated global tools and resources.

Functional Statement

Technical Guidance

  • Provide support in conducting assessments, analysis and joint inter-sector needs assessment exercises as appropriate, and selection of potential sites in accordance with the Master Plan approach to settlement planning taking into consideration protection concerns, national legislation, environmental considerations, appropriate density, and access to basic services including water, hydrological concerns, socio/economic issues, and cultural inclusion and HLP matters.
  • Draft settlement layouts, block plans and specific site plans that respond to natural topography and drainage patterns of the site to reduce construction and maintenance costs.
  • Work with the relevant technical, programme and supply colleagues in close coordination with implementing and other concerned parties to develop implementation modalities and work plans for the settlement plans. Provide technical inputs and advice to Programme in the process of Implementation Partner Selection and review of PPAs of all sector related partners and partners with construction related activities in their budget.
  • Provide technical guidance, supervision and monitoring of settlement plan implementation during plot allocation, infrastructure set up, site location of health facilities, schools, distribution centres, woodlots etc.
  • Conduct regular monitoring of settlement and infrastructure works, with the help of adequate project management tools, so these are implemented according to plans and completed within designated timelines and budget and ensure that this information is captured in reports shared with the supervisor.
  • In close consultation with partners, assist in conducting assessments, providing concrete initiatives and drafting specific strategies to make sure that residential areas, key services and infrastructure are not susceptible to the risk of natural hazards such as flash floods and landslides.


  • Provide support in ensuring that UNHCR’s operation within the AOR is technically sound in the field of settlement planning to best meet the needs of POC.
  • Liaise with relevant authorities and government counterparts to ensure strong coordination and partnership.
  • Draft settlement plans that are aligned with regional, national land use plans and planned developments.
  • Participate in the process of site selection and land negotiations with the local government, local community leaders and the landlords for the settlements within the AOR. In doing this, ensure that the risk of conflict linked to land tenure is addressed and mitigated while continuing to pursue actions that increase the security of tenure for displaced populations.
  • Actively support the development and implementation of Settlement plans in a consultative process with Senior Management, relevant technical colleagues, implementing partners, and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Draft Settlement Master Plans in alignment with the UNHCR guiding principles of the Master Plan Approach to Settlement Planning. Provide periodic updates on the Masterplan taking note of the expansion and densification of the settlement and develop plans for any settlement extensions.
  • Work together with implementing and operational partners to ensure the use of common standards and tools for information collection and data management, including in needs assessments and monitoring.


  • Collaborate and coordinate with all functional units in UNHCR and relevant technical actors in the feasibility and technical assessments, planning and development of sites, including protection, environment, health, education, water and sanitation.
  • In coordination with relevant focal persons and technical colleagues, provide support in carrying out appropriate assessments and mapping exercises such as environmental impact assessment, useable land area assessment, mapping of services, mapping of host communities, livelihood assessments, etc.
  • Promote the integration of agreed priority cross-cutting issues (e.g. age, environment, gender, and human rights) in sector/inter-sector needs assessments, analysis, planning and monitoring.
  • Support active participation of communities and promotion of community-based approaches in the planning and implementation of settlement and masterplan activities. 
  • Develop regular reports and share information, both within the settlement planning stakeholders and with other sectors through inter-sector communication channels. Work on the reporting and monitoring through the provision of inputs for the 4W, SIP and site monitoring information.
  • Promote and ensure the accountability to affected populations and the identification of durable solutions that also promote peaceful co/existence with the host communities.
  • Provide equitable access to basic services for both the displaced and host communities while making emphasis on meaningful inclusion of the site community groups (women, youth, elderly and persons with specific needs) in decision-making processes including through governance structures and sectorial focal points.
  • Perform other related duties as required.
Required Competencies

Managerial Competencies

  • Empowering and Building Trust
  • Judgement and Decision Making

Cross-Functional Competencies

  • Analytical Thinking
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Planning and Organizing
Essential Minimum Qualifications and Professional Experience
  • Undergraduate degree in civil engineering; construction; urban planning, architecture; or other relevant field is required.
  • Minimum 1year relevant experience is required.
  • Good knowledge of basic computer softwares, including engineering design tools is required.
  • Excellent knowledge of English language is required.
Desirable qualifications & competencies
  • Experience in all disciplines of Civil Engineering, Rural Settlement Development, Emergency Management and Environmental Planning, and ability to make the linkages to rehabilitation and development programmes is desirable
Operational Context
To sustain its settlement approach to refugee protection and assistance, the Government of Uganda (GOU) began implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in 2017, which is now incorporated into the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) adopted in 2018.  Uganda’s CRRF Steering Group adopted sectorial priorities to implement more comprehensive approaches (called for by the GCR and its CRRF) in the response led by the appropriate line ministry of the GoU.   To leverage on the sectorial approach taken by the line ministries, UNHCR is seeking to fill an Assistant Settlement Planning Officer Position in Kampala. The desired candidate will be expected to drive a coherent and harmonized response, synergizing sectorial expertise for positioning UNHCR protection mandate. This is in addition to providing leadership to Settlement Planning Sector on regular operational issues related to implementation of the RRP under the Refugee Coordination Model (RCM). The candidate should possess skills to understand political awareness, appreciates the divergent views of development and humanitarian stakeholders, articulate clearly the protection Mandate, and creatively cultivate inclusivity with stakeholders to realize a win-win situation. Agility and Innovativeness in structuring inclusion concepts and narratives to bring together multiple stakeholders interests align with UNHCR Protection Positioning is key.
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