Intern – Urban Law and Governance is needed in Nairobi, Kenya

jobsnearmeafric United Nations Human Settlements Programme

Intern – Urban Law and Governance, Nairobi, Kenya
Closing date: Tuesday, 12 March 2024
Work Location

Remote/hybrid/In-Person, Nairobi, Kenya

Expected duration


Duties and Responsibilities

Organizational Setting and Reporting The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. The Policy, Legislation and Governance Section (PLGS) is one of the five sections/units of the Urban Practices Branch of UN-Habitat. This Section works on Policies, Legislation and Governance for sustainable urban development. The Section plays a critical role in implementing the relevant UN-Habitat Assembly resolutions, the relevant Sustainable Development Goals, and the New Urban Agenda. Legislation and governance are two of the four drivers of change identified in the UN-Habitat Strategic Plan (2020-2025). The drivers are required to deliver services and products that will lead to change or drive results and ultimately achieve the objectives of the Strategic Plan. On legislation, the Plan calls for clear and transparent legal frameworks for urban development to further establish appropriate rules and regulation systems that respond to real needs, actual capacity, and available resources. These can provide solid, forward-looking frameworks to guide urban development based on accountability, the rule of law, and clear implementation mechanisms, which can be continuously enforced as part of efforts to harness the transformative force of urbanization. UN-Habitat will promote relevant legislation that is based on equity considerations that leave no one and no area behind, as well as foster gender equality, which in turn reduces poverty and enhances shared prosperity; and appropriate building and urban regulations designed to strengthen climate action and improved urban environment, and to address effective urban crisis prevention and response. The Strategic Plan also recognizes the importance of effective urban governance in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. It draws attention to the need for multi-level governance, decentralization, accountability and transparency, and inclusivity, participation, and human rights promotion in cities and settlements. It also highlights the role of capacity building in effective governance systems by tasking UN-Habitat with assisting local governments in effectively capturing domestic revenue, improving fiscal decentralization, managing urban displacement, and utilizing frontier technologies. Responsibilities Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual’s background, the intern’s assigned office, and the internship period. Under the direct supervision of the Human Settlement Officer (PLGS), the intern will: – Assist in conducting research and studies on various urban law and governance topics such as urban planning law, housing law, public participation, and climate-smart urban planning legislation. – Provide proactive and responsive backstopping support to ongoing and upcoming projects, ensuring smooth implementation and overcoming any challenges that may arise. – Conduct in-depth analysis and presentation of data collected from diverse sources, offering valuable insights for informed decision-making. – Contribute to written outputs, draft background papers, reports, and studies, and actively participate in developing publications on such topics as housing, land, and property rights, urban law assessment, and the land law assessment report. – Assist in the population and maintenance of the UrbanLex database, ensuring its accuracy and relevance as a comprehensive resource in the field of urban law. – Applying the Section’s toolkits, ensuring their seamless integration and maximizing their impact in urban law and governance practices; Actively contributing to the enhancement of the Section’s toolkits, incorporating any feedback and innovative approaches to maintain their relevance and effectiveness. – Contribute to the creation of communication materials and updates for the Section’s websites, fostering effective communication and dissemination of information. – Organize expert group meetings, consultative sessions, conferences, and other events, support outreach activities, and promote knowledge-sharing within the urban law community. – Produce a personal project that aligns with the goals and objectives of the Section, contributing to the overall mission of advancing knowledge and understanding in urban law and governance. – Undertake any other duties as may be required to ensure the Section’s effective functioning and the successful implementation of its initiatives. Due to volume of applications only short-listed applicants will be contacted by the Hiring Manager.

Qualifications/special skills

Applicants must at the time of application, meet one of the following requirements: a. Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher), b. Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree program (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent), c. Have graduated with Bachelor’s degree, Masters, PhD or equivalent. Be computer literate in standard software applications (Microsoft Office Suite). Have demonstrated a keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter. Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which includes a willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views. Preferred areas of study: Studies in: Law, governance, international relations, or diplomacy. Applicants to the UN Internship Programme are not required to have professional work experience. However, a field of study that is closely related to the type of internship that you are applying for is required. Applicants must be a student in the final year of the first university degree (bachelor or equivalent), Master’s or Ph.D. Programme or equivalent, or have completed a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PH.D. Programme. Do you meet any of the above criteria? If yes, please indicate which one and attach proof to the application. Please note that you will have to provide an official certificate at a later stage. Do you have experience in carrying out research on urban law and/or governance related to the thematic areas of urban planning, land, climate change, and housing, among others?


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this internship position, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of other UN Language is desirable.

Additional Information

Not available.

Intern Specific text

Interns are not financially remunerated by the United Nations. Costs and arrangements for travel, visas, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of interns or their sponsoring institutions. Interns who are not citizens or permanent residents of the country where the internship is undertaken, may be required to obtain the appropriate visa and work/employment authorization. Successful candidates should discuss their specific visa requirements before accepting the internship offer.

No Fee


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