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Urban Policy Consultant (support to the formulation of a National Urban Policy in Jordan)

UNDP Country Office - JORDAN | Published March 16, 2017  -  Deadline March 26, 2017

To apply, kindly read the procurement notice and the terms of reference, attach the following documents and submit through the following email: 1. CV with at least three references.2. Technical proposal (proposed methodology describing the actions to be taken for successfully completing the assignment), and3. Financial proposal. Documents must be received no later no later than 26 March 2017. Please refer to the title of the position in the e-mail subject. Any request for clarification must be sent in writing, or by standard electronic communication to the address or e-mail indicated above.a. Concept of National Urban PolicyCurrent trends of rapid urban growth in developing countries imply a holistic approach to synergize urban planning and policy development efforts at the regional, national and local levels and generate sustainable urban environment. In this regard, National Urban Policy has been recognized as a substantive mechanism for governments to achieve a higher level of vertical and horizontal coordination and encourage transformative change, with the participation of all relevant stakeholders. By definition, a National Urban Policy (NUP) is a coherent set of decisions derived through a deliberate government-led process of coordinating and rallying various actors for a common vision and goals that will promote more transformative, productive, inclusive and resilient urban development on the long run. It promotes more compact, socially inclusive, better connected and integrated cities and territories that foster sustainable urban development and are resilient to climate change. Moreover, it contributes to the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda.The Arab region faces unprecedented urban sprawl and the proliferation of unplanned or spontaneous growth generating significant pressure on delivery of services. It requires nation-wide coordinated urban development and policy to better respond to complex and rapidly emerging urban challenges. Nevertheless, developing a long-term urban development vision has become a challenging task for many Arab countries undergoing protracted conflicts and insecurity as well as generating massive influx of migrants and refugees to urban areas. In fact, most of the Arab countries have formulated and implemented the equivalent or elements of a NUP, tacitly expressed through a combination of legislation, sectorial strategies or frameworks that guide urban development programs and projects.b. Regional Programme on National Urban Policy The emergence of a new generation of NUPs offers an opportunity and answers the requirement for a coordinated response to rapid urbanization in the Arab region. This new generation, supported by UN-Habitat, aims at reasserting urban space and territoriality and promoting the positive role of urbanization in national socio-economic development. In this respect, the regional programme of “Sustainable, Inclusive and Evidence-based National Urban Policies in selected Arab States” was initiated to strengthen policy-making capacities in four selected Arab States (Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, and Sudan) and promote a participatory and inclusive approach to urbanization with a focus on the evidence-base and accountability aspects. Moreover, the programme’s outreach has a much broader scope that goes beyond building capacities of government authorities (primary beneficiaries). It aims to increase awareness of countries in the region about tools and best practices in NUP making and provides a platform for engagement and interactions among a cross section of stakeholders as well as various levels of government. An innovative aspect of the project is that unlike other agencies assisting governments in selected aspects of NUP, UN-Habitat supports countries throughout the public policy cycle (feasibility, diagnosis, formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation) while promoting capacity development, participation and demonstration projects throughout the policy cycle.Despite the diverse urban and demographic contexts of the four selected Arab countries, all face a similar problem of territorial balance with over concentrated populations in capital cities and large metropolitan areas. Operationalizing an effective system of cities is an ever more urgent priority for them to spur development. It demands convergence and coherence of public interventions across sectors and scales. Developing mechanisms and instruments for such coordination represents the principal problem that the NUP regional programme seeks to address. UN-Habitat will provide NUP support through a flexible approach that can be customized to countries, irrespective the stage of the policy process. The three pillars of the UN-Habitat strategy enable capacity development, participation and demonstration projects across the policy phases of diagnostic, formulation, implementation and monitoring and evaluation. The programme also accommodates demands of development partners in the region by providing opportunities for mainstreaming cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth, human rights and climate change. For instance, with the increasing female participation in Arab economies, the programme will work towards encouraging and strengthening women’s voices in urban policy-making.c. National Urban Policy in JordanJordan has been experiencing a steady increase in its urban population exacerbated by the successive waves of forced migrants from surrounding countries, living mostly outside camp situations. In addition to the estimated annual average requirement of 32,000 housing units by Jordanians, the influx of refugees adds an immediate demand of around 90,000 units. With the country’s limited resources, Jordan is encountering a wide range of urban challenges, such as informal urban expansions and increasing rental prices, water deficiencies, shortage of housing and other basic services, environmental degradation and pollution. Moreover, economic growth has not been able to generate sufficient and decent job opportunities for all, and the national budget deficit and foreign debts due to energy import dependency have decreased. Although the urban - rural gap appears limited in Jordan, inequalities are larger within and between urban governorates.In this challenging environment, the current urban planning and management practices are inadequate to curb Jordan’s urban growth. Although Jordan was one of the first Arabic countries to develop a National Housing Strategy in 1989 through its Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDC), it failed to create sufficient affordable housing opportunities to meet its low-income residents demand. A number of public-private partnerships were initiated in the housing sector to engage private contractors and banks to deliver affordable and subsidized housing at scale. However, these initiatives were not successful for lack of government support for credit facilitation, marketing and monitoring of implementation. For instance, a public project entitled “Decent Housing for Decent Living” was launched by the government in 2008 to offer housing units built on state land for low-income households at subsidized interest rates. Nevertheless, it was unable to target public subsidies toward the needy segments of the population as well as its high cost to the government as a subsidy-driven program.The local governance system in Jordan is highly centralized, despite the fact that by law municipal councils and mayors are elected. Most of the municipalities lack planning capacities and qualified staff, as well as sufficient resources to respond effectively and timely to unforeseen urban problems. In addition to that, the coordination with central government is weak, hence the institutional arrangements to synchronize requirements at local level with governorate priorities are quite limited. Except the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM), the financial situation of all municipalities is critical, hampering their ability to carry out basic duties and tasks. As the country is reshaping its decentralizations structures, following the 2015 approval of the Municipalities Law and the Decentralization Law, it is vital to harmonize governorate plans with municipal council plans and ensure their synergy with national plans and strategies. In line with Jordan’s local priorities in managing the country’s urban growth and its Vision 2025, the UN-Habitat Regional Office for Arab States, in collaboration with the Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit at the Urban Planning and Design Branch of UN-Habitat, aims to support the Government of Jordan to initiate the development of a sustainable, inclusive and evidence-based NUP for the country. This will be facilitated by a number of practices including stakeholder consultation, institutional capacity development measures, evaluation of country policy processes and exchange of experiences and knowledge. The NUP development process is composed of five overlapping and interrelated phases including the feasibility, diagnostic, formulation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Throughout the five stages of the NUP process, three key pillars must be considered: inclusive participation, capacity development at all levels, and grounding policy through acupuncture projects, to enable the NUP to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by urbanization. Technical and financial proposals along with CV & 3 references should be submitted, and without such will not be considered). (Only Short Listed Candidates will be contacted)UN is an employer committed to gender equity and to providing equal opportunities to both males and females.
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