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Project Reference: Strengthening Institutions and Empowering Localities Against Disasters and Climate Change (SHIELD)

LICA Level:                       LICA 8
Type of Contract:            UNOPS /Local Individual Contract Agreement (LICA)
Duty Station:                    Cotabato City, Philippines
Duration:                          14 June 2023 – 13 June 2024, extendable depending on funding availability and performance


A. Introduction to the UN–Habitat

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN–Habitat, is the United Nations agency for human settlements development. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable communities, towns, and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.

In October 2016, at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III – member states signed the New Urban Agenda. This is an action-oriented document that sets global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities. Through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors, including at all levels of government as well as the private sector, UN-Habitat is applying its technical expertise, normative work, and capacity development to implement the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 11 – to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1978 to address the issues of urban growth, UN-Habitat is a knowledge institution on urban development processes and understands the aspirations of cities and their residents. For forty years, UN-Habitat has been working in human settlements throughout the world, focusing on building a brighter future for villages, towns, and cities of all sizes. Because of these four decades of extensive experience, from the highest levels of policy to a range of specific technical issues, UN-Habitat has gained unique and universally acknowledged expertise in all things urban. This has placed UN-Habitat in the best position to develop achievable solutions to the current challenges faced by our cities. UN-Habitat is capitalizing on its experience and position to work with partners to formulate urban visions of tomorrow. It strives to ensure that cities become affordable living spaces of inclusive economic growth and social development for all citizens.

By working at all levels and with all relevant stakeholders and partners, UN–Habitat contributes to linking policy development and capacity–building activities with a view to promoting cohesive and mutually reinforcing social, economic and environmental policies in national policies and programmes in human settlements which conform with international practices and covenants.

In the Philippines Country Office, key programs and projects include national urban policy support, capacity development to manage urban development and settlements, climate change, post-disaster shelter recovery, urban planning, urban poverty reduction and slum upgrading. Support to climate change programs and projects started as early as early as 2008 under the MDGF Project of the UN. Since then, the climate change program has evolved and grown into a strategic and regular technical assistance component of the Philippines Country Office.

B. Project Background  

The Philippines has been identified as one of the countries which is extremely vulnerable to climate change and other types of disasters, thus making resilience a serious development concern in the country.  According to the 2020 World Risk Report, the Philippines has the ninth highest risk of disasters among 140 countries and with a population of over 190 million, remains to be the most densely populated and urbanized of all global disaster hotspots. An archipelagic country located in the Ring of Fire and typhoon belt, the Philippines faces risks from multiple hazards – typhoons1, floods, landslides, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, as well as slow-onset hazards such as droughts. The country is also highly vulnerable to climate risks, with climate change exacerbating the impacts of weather-related events with associated severe wind, storm surge, coastal flooding, and sea level rise. The 2021 German Climate Risk Index places the Philippines as the fourth most affected by long-term climate risks.5 Indeed, since 1990, the Philippines has been affected by 565 disaster events that claimed the lives of nearly 40,000 Filipinos and caused an estimated USD24 billion in damages. At least 60 percent of the country’s total land area is exposed to multiple hazards and about 75 percent of the population is vulnerable to their impacts. Eight of the top ten cities most at risk from natural hazards are in the Philippines, including Metro Manila.

The Strengthening Institutions and Empowering Localities Against Disasters and Climate Change (SHIELD) is a six-year DFAT-funded program that aims to support the government of the Philippines in building institutional and community resilience to climate change and other types of hazards. The program has a funding volume of 13,148,283 US dollars.

The goal of the SHIELD Program is to make all people in target communities safer and more resilient to the impacts of natural hazard events and climate change. This will be realized by achieving three inter­ dependent components:

  • Component 1: Government, private sector, and civil society stakeholders in targeted local government units (LGUs) are collaborating to unlock funding and implement informed and inclusive resilience actions
  • Component 2: Relevant national government agencies (NGAs) are prioritizing action on local climate and disaster resilience
  • Component 3: Philippine scientific agencies are producing tailored and accessible information for local resilience action

In partnership with the government of the Philippines, the SHIELD program is being implemented through a consortium approach led by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Other consortium members are the UN-Habitat, National Resilience Council (NRC), Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS). UN-Habitat role in the SHIELD Program is spelled-out under Components 1 and 2 namely:

  • Component 1: Government, private sector and civil society stakeholders in target areas collaborating to unlock funding and implementing informed and inclusive resilience actions.
    • Output 1.5: Risk and resilience-informed plans, investment programs and budgets prepared.
  • Component 2: Relevant NGAs are prioritizing action on local climate and disaster resilience.
    • Output 2.3: Rationalized/harmonized procedures and requirements for local resilience planning, investment programming, budgeting, and accessing funds at national and local levels adopted.

Among the priority areas of SHIELD is the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Following the field mission agreements with the consortium and government partners in BARMM on SHIELD, the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) and the members of the Regional Development Committee requires technical assistance, under Component 1, on the formulation of regional spatial development framework for the BARMM. The Bangsamoro Spatial Development Framework (BSDF) 2024 – 2050 shall provide the long-term direction of the region. It aims to ensure sustainable and integrated spatial development through the assessment of the spatial distribution of the population and its related economic characteristics, and growth scenarios and by espousing agglomeration, connectivity, and vulnerability reduction. To ensure that climate and disaster risk resilience shall be integrated into the BSDF, UN-Habitat as part of the SHIELD consortium will lead the technical assistance for BARMM in the formulation of the said regional framework. UN-Habitat shall perform this task consistent with the MoA signed between UNDP and BPDA for SHIELD.

C. Purpose and Background

In view of the above, UN-Habitat is looking for a Spatial Planning consultant to deliver the task at hand. This Terms of Reference (ToR) elaborates the roles and responsibilities of the Junior Spatial Planning Officer of UN-Habitat for the BSDF formulation process.

D. Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide technical inputs and guidance to BPDA in the overall formulation process of BSDF
  • In collaboration with BPDA, finalize the BSDF formulation and integrate the UN-Habitat principles and methodologies in risk-based and risk-informed spatial and regional planning;
  • Conduct research and perform desk review on pertinent studies, policies, and spatial/development plans (BARMM Comprehensive Development Plan, BARMM Transition Plan, Mindanao Development Plan, BIMP Strategy Framework Plan, etc.) to support the spatial analysis of BARMM;
  • Participate in, or co-facilitate as requested, all BSDF-related activities and ensure the incorporation of resilience building and ecosystem-oriented planning;
  • Co-design workshops, technical sessions with the BPDA, and presentations for the stakeholders in the formulation of BSDF;
  • Provide guidance for data collection including geospatial datasets from secondary/official sources for seamless integration into the BSDF geodatabases;
  • Lead design and application of spatial tools, models, and methods for analyses, particularly on issues related to climate and disaster resilience, local economic development, development/growth corridors and nodes, and spatial and territorial development strategies;
  • Act as a resource person (in areas of expertise) during BSDF formulation process and activities;
  • Support the BPDA in formulating spatial analysis methods and modeling to aid in long-term spatial vision and strategic policies through evidence-based assessments covering existing geographical, environmental, physical, social, economic, and cultural potentials at regional and provincial levels;
  • Provide technical inputs and comments in drafting and finalizing the BSDF document whilst building the capacity of the BPDA and other relevant agencies on the inputs provided;
  • Develop a final report on the activities conducted, technical considerations adopted, and the capacity development interventions that led to the BSDF draft. This final report shall likewise include lessons learned, recommendations and insights in view of the tasks performed.
  • Maintain close cooperation with all relevant BARMM authorities in performing the assignment;
  • Perform other duties and responsibilities, which are within the expertise and experience as may be required by UN-Habitat in responding to the requests of BARMM with respect to BSDF preparation.

E. Duration of Assignment, Duty Station and Travel

The initial duration of the assignment will be one (1) year with a possibility of contract extension depending on the project budget and duration.

The duty Station is in Cotabato City. Travel outside the duty station may be required. Such travels will be covered and arranged by UN-Habitat Philippines. The staff will be guided by the travel and mission protocols of the UN System given the current COVID-19 pandemic.

F. Reporting Arrangements 

The Junior Spatial Planning Officer will report to the National Project Coordinator and will work collaboratively with the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) and SHIELD project teams.

G. Remuneration

The salary will be determined according to the qualifications, skills and relevant experience of the selected candidate.

H. Core Values and Competencies

Core Values

·       Integrity – Demonstrates the values of the United Nations in daily activities and behaviours. Acts without consideration of personal gain.Resists undue political pressure in decision making. Does not abuse power or authority. Stands by decisions that are in the Organization’s interest, even if they are unpopular. Takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour.

·       Professionalism – Shows pride in work and in achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges. Remains calm in stressful situations.

·       Respect for Diversity – Works effectively with people from all backgrounds. Treats all people with dignity and respect. Treats men and women equally. Shows respect for and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates this understanding in daily work and decision-making. Examines own biases and behaviors to avoid stereotypical responses. Does not discriminate against any individual or group.


Professional Competencies

·       Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently. 

·       Communication:  Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

·       Client Orientation:  Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients ” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

·       Teamwork:  Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

·       Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.

I. Qualifications / Required skills and experience



A Master’s degree in urban or regional planning, geography, geographic information science (or related discipline), or a Bachelor’s degree with eight (8) years of relevant qualifying experience is required.

Experience and skills


If with master’s degree, at least two (2) years of relevant work experience in regional or physical framework planning.

    • Experience in working with government institutions at national, regional and local levels. 
    • With previous work experience working with a multi-cultural team.
    • Experience within the United Nations system will be an advantage.


Good communication skills with excellent proficiency in technical writing and spoken English.



Submission of Applications

Application should include:

1. Cover memo (maximum 1 page) including expectations regarding remunerations;
2. A completed UN Personal History Form (P-11) -A completed UN Personal History Form (P-11) – Please download the form (MS-Word) here.

All applications should be addressed to and sent electronically vie e- mail to UN-Habitat’s Country Programme Manager, Christopher E. Rollo at copying the HR Associate, Loubelle Fajardo at

Please indicate in your e-mail subject:  Junior Spatial Planning Officer


Deadline for Applications is on or before 31 May 2023.

Please note that applications received after the closing date stated above will not be given consideration. Only short-listed candidates whose applications respond to the above criteria will be contacted. The salary will be determined according to the qualifications, skills and relevant experience of the selected candidate. Details and conditions of the contract will be communicated at the interview. 

In line with UN-Habitat policy on gender equity, applications from female candidates are particularly encouraged.

UN-Habitat is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the team.

UN-Habitat does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

By applying to this post, you agree to UN-Habitat’s due diligence in securing highest standards of efficiency, competency and integrity from all its staff members. Candidates will not be considered for employment with United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the candidates have been involved in the commission of these acts.

UN-Habitat has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UN-Habitat also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

Partner with UN-Habitat

UN-Habitat Philippines hopes to create socially and environmentally sustainable cities, provinces, villages and barangays in the Philippines, and welcomes partnerships with government, international agencies, civil society organisations and the private sector.

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