Urban Planner/ Designer

Website UNOPS


Urban Planner/ Designer

Assignment country: Nepal
Expected start date: 01/01/2024
Sustainable Development Goal: 11. Sustainable cities and communities
Volunteer category: National UN Youth Volunteer
Host entity: UNOPS NPL
Type: Onsite
Duration: 12 months (with possibility of extension)
Number of assignments: 5
Duty stations: Birendranagar, Chandragiri, Sunwal, Dhangadi, Tansen

Mission and objectives

The functional objective of UNOPS Nepal is to deliver its projects in an efficient and effective manner in alignment with government priorities, following UNOPS rules and regulations, so as to achieve the outcomes sought by the clients and funding partners and contribute to the achievement of SDGs.

  • Mission
    UNOPS’s mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable
  • Vision
    UNOPS vision is a world where people can live full lives supported by appropriate, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure and by the efficient, transparent use of public resources in procurement and project management.


This UNV assignment is a part of UNOPS project – “Cities 4 Women: Inclusive and Climate Resilient Urbanization in Nepal”. The project objective is to integrate inclusive and resilient urban planning and design in municipal infrastructure planning and implementation processes, focusing on public spaces.

Cities in Nepal are growing rapidly, with a significant population moving to urban areas in search of better opportunities. This growth and the increasing climate vulnerability are leading to significant challenges, including the need for inclusive and resilient public infrastructures and urban services. The project assists in addressing these challenges by raising the demand for gender responsive, climate resilient public space, piloting public urban infrastructure, and enhancing the urban planning and design capacity of the selected municipalities. Through 4 main Outcomes, the project will increase the demand for gender-responsive climate-resilient public space, generate proof of concept for participatory public space projects, enhance the urban planning and design capacity of municipalities, review the legal framework to provide recommendations for policy review, and facilitate joint participation of municipalities and national knowledge institutions in the generation and exchange of knowledge related to participatory processes, urban planning, gender, and climate-related initiatives.

Task description

Under the direct supervision of Project Manager and in close coordination with the Architect/ Urban Planner, the National UN Youth Volunteer will:

    • Support in desk review of the existing Municipal planning documents including Periodic Plans, Sectoral Plans, Annual Plans, Integrated Urban Development Plan (IUDP), Landuse Plans, and GESI, DRR and Climate Resilience related plans;
    • Support to conduct consultative meetings and workshops with municipalities, wards, communities in the preparation of Gender Responsive and Climate Resilient Urban Planning Guideline and framework;
    • Support to organize participatory and women-focussed workshops, community mappings and data collection in municipality and participate in Seven Step Planning Process;
    • Support to co-design gender sensitive and climate responsive urban interventions at ward level;
    • Contribute in selection of municipal and ward level gender sensitive and climate resilient infrastructures focussing on public spaces within their municipal annual plans based on participatory assessment;
    • Support the municipal engineering division/ section to develop technical project proposals as proof of concept projects in coordination with other relevant municipal division/ section and focal persons;
    • Contribute the UNOPS technical team to approve the developed proof of concept projects to be financed through the Challenge Fund to be implemented by the municipalities;
    • Contribute in monitoring the approved projects for meeting the expected quality standards;
    • Support the municipal engineering division/ section to prepare project package of medium scale investment-ready projects;
    • Support in other related tasks as may be required or assigned by the supervisor as per the Project Implementation Manual.

Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged to integrate the UN Volunteers programme mandate within their assignment and promote voluntary action through engagement with communities in the course of their work. As such, UN Volunteers should dedicate a part of their working time to some of the following suggested activities:

      • Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day);
      • Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;
      • Provide annual and end of assignment self- reports on UN Volunteer actions, results and opportunities.
      • Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;
      • Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers;
      • Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.

Eligibility criteria
Age: 18 – 26
Nationality: Candidate must be a national or legal resident of the country of assignment.

Required experience

1 years of experience in or interest in working with municipalities;

      • Demonstrated interest and/or experience in designing inclusive, gender sensitive and climate resilient urban planning, focusing on public spaces;
      • Motivated to contribute towards peace and development and to serve others;
      • Good interpersonal, networking and communication skills;
      • Willingness to contribute and work as part of a team;
      • Flexible and open to learning and new experiences;
      • Respect for diversity and adaptability to other cultures, environments and living conditions;
      • Previous experience as a volunteer and/or experience of another culture (i.e. studies, volunteer work, internship) would be highly regarded;
      • Computer skills (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Autocad, 3D design software, GIS, Photoshop, social media, and others).

* Kindly note that the age between 18-30 are eligible to apply for this position.

Area(s) of expertise: Architecture and settlements
Driving license: –


Nepalese, Level: Fluent, Required
English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Bachelor degree or equivalent in Architecture/ Urban planning/ Urban Design from a recognized University is required. Masters in Urban planning/ Urban design is preferred.

Competencies and values

Professionalism: demonstrated understanding of operations relevant to UNOPS; technical capabilities or knowledge relevant or transferrable to UNOPS procedures and rules; discretion, political sensitivity, diplomacy and tact to deal with clients; ability to apply good judgement; ability to liaise and coordinate with a range of different actors, especially in senior positions; where appropriate, high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; resourcefulness and willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented;

Integrity: demonstrate the values and ethical standards of the UN and UNOPS in daily activities and behaviours while acting without consideration of personal gains; resist undue political pressure in decision-making; stand by decisions that are in the organization’s interest even if they are unpopular; take prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour; does not abuse power or authority;

Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; excellent interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, mixed-gender environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; sensitivity and adaptability to culture, gender, religion, nationality and age; commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of UN operations; ability to achieve common goals and provide guidance or training to colleagues;

Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment.

Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities;

Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse backgrounds; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups;

Flexibility: adaptability and ability to live and work in potentially hazardous and remote conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort; to operate independently in austere environments for protracted periods; willingness to travel within the area of operations and to transfer to other duty stations within the area of operations as necessary;

Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; and commitment towards UNOPS’s mission and vision, as well as to the UN Core Values.

Other information
Living conditions and remarks

The municipalities in Nepal provide for an interesting and enriching environment, but also requires a mature level of cultural awareness, as well as more stamina and commitment than elsewhere to make life comfortable and affordable. Therefore, flexibility and the ability and willingness to live and work in harsh and potentially hazardous conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort, are essential.

*Kindly note that the age between 18-30 can apply for this position

Inclusivity statement

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements

Selected candidates for certain occupational groups may be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in line with the applicable host entity policy.

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