Vacancy Announcement – Specialist – P3

Credits: Unosat

Credits: Unosat

Unit/Department:  UNOSAT / Research Department

Type of contract:  Fixed-term

Date of issuance:  28 November 2014

Deadline for applications:  27 December 2014

Duty Station:  Nairobi, Kenya

Duration of contract:  12 months (renewable based upon performance)


In accordance with the UN rules and regulations.


UNOSAT is the operational satellite applications programme of The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR); it is a technology-intensive programme active since 2000 in applied research and innovative applications relating to geospatial information technology and satellite analysis. UNOSAT also delivers tailor made training courses on the use of geo-information technologies for disaster risk management, humanitarian aid, human security, territorial planning and environmental monitoring.

The position is based in Nairobi, Kenya. The incumbent will be tasked to support training and capacity development activities for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and perform UNOSAT liaison functions for the east Africa region.

Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships

The position is located in Nairobi at the United Nations Office in Nairobi compound, Gigiri. The Specialist works under the supervision of the Manager of UNOSAT and works in close collaboration with the Training Specialist under her/his technical supervision on matters related to training and capacity development, as well as in close coordination with other staff and individual contractors in the Programme.


Under the direct supervision of the Training Specialist and within delegated authority, the Specialist will be responsible for the following:

  • Act as the regional liaison and focal point for UNOSAT in the East African region by
    • representing the Programme in all relevant fora and actively promote its expertise to national, regional and international organizations operating in East Africa;
    • contributing to fund-raising for the Programme by identifying potential projects and activities and develop proposal for funding;
    • carrying out missions to the region and externally to promote the Programme, and learn from other initiatives;
    • writing monthly activity reports to the UNOSAT Manager and Training Specialist identifying priority actions for ongoing activities and new project potential;
    • engaging with media when relevant following acceptance by UNOSAT Manager;
  • Ensure implementation and reporting of capacity development activities for IGAD and IGAD member states by
    • organizing, implementing and contributing to, under the technical supervision of the UNOSAT Training Specialist, all relevant work including training sessions, workshops, daily running of project activities, project reporting, training preparation, outreach, publication of news stories, printing of material, carrying out missions as needed for optimal results of activities;
  • Contribute to UNOSAT mapping and rapid mapping, in-field assessment in crises by
    • developing institutional settings and partner networks for mapping activities in the East Africa region, in close collaboration with the UNOSAT focal point for mapping;
    • being able to deploy to field missions in the region in support to mapping activities;
    • ensuring targeted and wide distribution of UNOSAT mapping products to all relevant actors in the region;
    • demonstrating in-field crowd sourcing and data collection tools for wide adaptation in the region;
    • promoting UNOSAT rapid mapping and inform of procedures for activation;
    • supporting potential establishment of joint mapping activities with partners in the region;
    • undertaking user-surveys of UNOSAT mapping beneficiaries in the region;
  • Contribute to generating additional research studies and other activities, including environmental, humanitarian and human security oriented initiatives with national and international partners by
    • actively participating in existing networks and pro-actively targeting potential partners and donors interested to support UNOSAT activities, including traditional services;
    • exploring potential for new services and activities;
    • identifying users and donors for remote project monitoring service and follow up with these regionally;
  • Performing other duties as required

Results Expected

The result of the work of the incumbent is of strategic importance to the Programme given the increase in demand of UNOSAT products, services in the areas of capacity development, technical assistance, training and mapping & analysis – in particularly as relates to regional initiatives. The work of the incumbent has direct impact on the Programme in following areas, in order of importance: (a) UNOSAT training and related regional and in-country capacity development activities; (b) partnerships and collaborations with key institutions relevant to training, capacity development, mapping & analysis; (c) outreach activities to inform of full range of UNOSAT expertise to related actors, including beneficiaries, donors and media in the region; (d) promote in-field data collection and crowdsourcing tools.

(a) The work of the incumbent is expected to result in successful delivery of training and capacity development initiatives based on the experience of the Programme and user requirements. Close collaboration and follow-up with relevant actors is essential for such success, which will be documented through monthly and project specific reporting.

(b) The second result is the oversight and development of the network of strategic contacts and partnerships with concerned entities within and outside the UN system including Non-Governmental Organizations, Government entities, regional and international organizations, universities and research centres.

(c) The third set of results is the substantive contribution to UNOSAT outreach activities and information on available expertise at UNOSAT for successful acceptance of new projects based in the region and elsewhere.  Included in this result is the support to the Programme fund raising efforts with draft project proposals and other written contributions such as background papers, analyses, sections of reports and studies, and inputs to publications. The provision of information to media on UNOSAT expertise and output also contributes to this set of results.

(d) The fourth expected result is to substantially support applications and undertake demonstrations of new technologies for in-field data collection, including crowd-sourcing tools and specialist tools for Disaster Risk Reduction, damage assessment and project monitoring.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to the use of space technologies for disaster risk management. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including  familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; is able to coordinate effectively teams composed of various colleagues working on a specific task; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; very good inter-personal skills and a demonstrated capacity to deal with colleagues and counterparts from different backgrounds, and proven ability to function in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnical environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Planning & Organizing: Based on the guidance received from the Manager and the Training Specialist in charge of training and capacity development, develops clear objectives that are consistent with agreed strategic goals; identifies priority activities and assignments with minimal supervision; adjusts priorities and formulates plans 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 and resources efficiently.
  • Accountability: Acts in full consultation and in compliance with instructions from the Manager and the Training Specialist in charge of training and capacity development, takes responsibility for delegated assignments; is accountable and trustworthy on administrative and financial matters requiring professional discretion and restraint; honors commitments by delivering outputs within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports colleagues and takes personal responsibility for her/his own shortcomings and shares successes with the team where applicable.
  • Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of technology development and training methodology and delivery techniques; understands applicability and limitations of satellite technology; possesses sound knowledge of remote sensing and satellite data; shows willingness to learn new technology applications.


Education: Advanced university degree (Master or equivalent) in one or more of the following: geography, environment or other equivalent related technical field; sound knowledge of political science, urban and development planning; specialized training in development planning and project monitoring is considered an important asset.

Experience: A minimum of five to seven years of progressively responsible experience at the international level in the fields of environment, geographic information, disaster risk reduction and any other relevant fields; demonstrated experience in project and programme design and implementation including at country level; good understanding of the fields of disaster risk reduction, humanitarian affairs, crisis response and recovery, and development cooperation; demonstrated proficiency in coordinating the organization and implementation of training courses and in-country projects in GIS related topics in East Africa; experience in interacting with training and academic partners and regional entities.

Languages: Fluency in English is required; knowledge of another UN official language and local East African languages are an advantage

UNITAR shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs (Charter of the United Nations – Chapter 3, article 8).

English and French are the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat.  Priority will be given to the applicants from the under represented regions at UNITAR. There will be a probation period of 3 months.

How to apply

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement. Only complete applications will be considered.  A letter of motivation as well as the P11 form/ Curriculum Vitae are to be sent to:

UN staff members must submit copies of their latest Performance Appraisal System (PAS) report at the time of application.


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