Country Manager-UNHABITAT-(Nationals Only)

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  • Contract
  • Accra

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

This position is open to Ghana Nationals Only


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations agency responsible for human settlements, mandated to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities, with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all; within the overall objective of the United Nations to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development. UN-Habitat in Ghana works with partners within the framework of Government-UN Sustainable Development (UNSDP) which responds to Ghana’s development priorities and Sustainable Developments (SDGs) for People, Planet, Peace and Partnerships by 2030.

UN-Habitat contributes to the achievement of Ghana’s Coordinated Programme of Social and Economic Development Policies (CPESDP) 2017-2024, Agenda for Jobs II: Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All (2022-2025) and the Long-Term National Development Plan (2018-2057) 

An agile UN-Habitat in Ghana that is working and co-creating with partners and communities to accelerate sustainable housing and urban development seeks to engage the services of the Country Manager.

Under the strategic guidance and direct supervision of the Head of the West Africa Hub who reports to the Regional Director for Africa, the Country Manager ensures the proper operationalization of the UN-Habitat Country Programme in Ghana, which is derived from the UN Cooperation Framework and is in line with the UN-Habitat West Africa Strategy. He/she provides substantive support to the delivery of high-quality and measurable programme results. The Country Manager promotes a collaborative, client-oriented approach consistent with UN/UNDP rules and regulations.

Position Purpose: 

Under the strategic guidance and direct oversight of the Head of the West Africa Hub,  in harmony with the policy directions provided by the UN Resident Coordinator which ensures the overall leadership of the UN System at the country level, the Country Manager serves as the team lead of the country staff to play a pivotal role in advancing UN-Habitat’s program in Ghana, specifically focusing on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, in alignment with the country’s priorities, the UN-Habitat Strategic plan and the UN-Habitat West Africa Strategy. 

UN-Habitat adopts a portfolio approach to accommodate changing business needs and leverage linkages across

interventions to achieve its strategic goals. Therefore, UN-Habitat personnel are expected to work across units, functions, teams, and projects in multidisciplinary teams and with personnel in the West Africa Hub, the Regional Office for Africa, the headquarters, and in other UN-Agencies at the country level to enhance and enable horizontal collaboration.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

1.)          Provide overall support for the operationalization of the country programme as validated by the Head of the UN-Habitat West Africa Hub in Ghana: 

  • Supports the overall operationalization of the UN-Habitat Country Programme Document (HCPD) for Ghana in collaboration with key national and local institutions, implementing partners, and civil society organizations, which is coherent with the UN Cooperation Framework and is in line with the UN-Habitat West Africa Strategy.
  • Ensures that the programmatic implementation of UN-Habitat activities in Ghana responds to national priorities as defined in the UN Cooperation Framework which is aligned with Government’s plans.
  • Monitors and analyzes programme/project development and implementation, and reviews relevant documents and reports. 
  • Contributes to the determination of programmatic areas of cooperation and o related policy research and ensures advocacy and resource mobilization efforts.
  • Works closely with concerned Government agencies (MLGDRD, MWH, MoF, and other related MMDAs, etc.) and coordinates with UN-Habitat HQs through the West Africa Hub.
  • Identifies problems and issues to be addressed and initiates corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; ensures follow-up actions at the highest levels.
  • Identifies entry points for program development across the national urban agenda, including key issues such as access to housing, land, basic and social services and livelihood in urban or urbanizing areas, urban resilience, local economic development, urban planning, and management, among other aspects.
  • Promotes innovative approaches adapted to the local context to maximize the impact of UN-Habitat’s interventions in Ghana.

2.)          Facilitate research, knowledge building, and management. 

  • Identifies and develops research and analyzes and presents information gathered from diverse sources.
  • identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned directly linked to programme country policy goals, leading to the formulation of substantive policy advice.
  • Coordination of development of policies and institutions that will address the country’s problems and needs in collaboration with the Government and other strategic partners.
  • Facilitates the preparation of written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.
  • Establishment of advocacy networks at the national level and linked to international networks focusing on executing relevant, high-impact advocacy campaigns with key partners;
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.

3.)  Maintain and expand strategic partnerships and support resource mobilization for the Country Programme.

  • Facilitates strategic linkages with various partners and identifies key areas of potential collaboration.
  • Fosters inter-agency collaboration and support activities related to ONE UN through active participation in UN Country Team meetings and ensuring the work of UN-Habitat is reflected to the best extent possible.
  • Plays a proactive role in establishing strong partnerships and supports in the maintenance of close liaison with relevant donors and other actors towards the implementation of the urban agenda in Ghana.
  • Maintains close interaction and dialogue with key partners to identify clear resource mobilization opportunities.
  • Supports the coordination of relevant Joint Results Group(s) under the UN One Strategic Plan and joint UN initiatives in Ghana

4.) Representation, Coordination, Programme Management, and Administration in cooperation with the West Africa Portfolio Manager

  • Active representation of UN-Habitat in the UN Country Team and related UN Working groups
  • Active representation of UN-Habitat in the UN Security Management Team and participates in related meetings.
  • Active representation of the UN-Habitat Office in Ghana in Meetings/Conferences etc with national/regional/global stakeholders
  • Coordinates activities related to budget and funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements, etc.) 
  • Active representation of UN/UN-Habitat and participation in relevant country forums and thematic groups involving Government, civil society and development partners
  • Effectively manages and coordinates the UN-Habitat team in Ghana.
  • Contributes to ensuring alignment of organizational program objectives with national priorities/capacities.
  • Supports in establishing the efficient utilization of resources, and adherence to delivery rates in alignment with the country office goals and visions.
  • The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.

Core Competencies

  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, that have lasting impact.
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, and develop new ideas to solve complex problems. 
  • Learn Continuously LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, and diversify experiences.
  • Adapt with Agility LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, and manage multiple competing demands. 
  • Act with Determination LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate tasks/barriers and take action to achieve greater results.
  • Engage and Partner LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate the complex landscape, champion Inter-agency collaboration.
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion LEVEL 3: Appreciate the benefits of a diverse workforce and champion inclusivity.

Cross-functional & Technical competencies

Business Direction & Strategy-System Thinking

  • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgment to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system

Partnership Management-Strategic Engagement

  • Ability to capture and sustain attention, interest, and agreement of high-level, influential policy and decision makers and secure their buy-in of high-level vision and objectives 

Business Development-Knowledge Facilitation

  • Ability to animate individuals and communities of contributors to participate and share, particularly externally

Business Management -Client Satisfaction/Management

  • Ability to respond timely and appropriately with a sense of urgency, provide consistent solutions, and deliver timely and quality results and/or solutions to fulfil and understand the real customers’ needs. Provide inputs to the development of customer service strategy. Look for ways to add value beyond clients’ immediate requests. Ability to anticipate client’s upcoming needs and concerns.

Business Management -Results-Based Management

  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus on improved performance and demonstrable results

Business Management – Project Management

  • Ability to plan, organize, prioritize, and control resources, procedures, and protocols to achieve specific goals

Business Management -Portfolio Management

Ability to select, prioritize, and control the organization as programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment



  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in development planning, sustainable development, environment sciences, social sciences, management or a related field is required,


  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in combination with an additional two years of qualifying    experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree 


  • Minimum 7 years (with a master’s degree) or – 9 years (with a Bachelor’s degree) of relevant years of professional experience in leading multidisciplinary teams in the formulation and implementation of sustainable development and climate change initiatives/projects.
  • At least five (5) years of relevant progressively responsible experience in-country programme management change and sustainable development is required.
  • Professional experience in building and maintaining partnerships with partners, including working with high-level government officials up to the Ministerial level, High level UN/Development partners and donors
  • Solid experience/understanding of housing and sustainable urban development or related issues at both the global (e.g. New Urban Agenda).
  • Demonstrable hands-on experience in the design, monitoring, and evaluation of development portfolios and projects in the Housing and Sustainable Urban Development area.
  • Experience preparing knowledge products and communications material is required.
  • Experience working with UN/UN-Habitat and/or other multilateral, bilateral, national or civil society actors on Housing and sustainable Urban Development is an asset.
  • Professional knowledge and experience in New Urban Agenda, and or UN-Habitat mandate.
  • Experience in the use of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc), database packages, and web-based management systems such as ERP is strongly desired

Language requirements

  • Fluency in oral and written English language is required
  • Fluency in any national language of the duty station is required. 
  • Knowledge of another UN language is desirable

Applicant information about rosters

UN-HABITAT reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UN-HABITAT at the same grade level and with similar job descriptions, experience, and educational requirements.


  • UNHABITAT has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. 
  • UNHABITAT is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin, or other status.

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