Site Planner / Settlement Planning Officer at Center for International Peace Operations

About the Center for International Peace Operations

The Berlin Center for International Peace Operations was established in 2002 by the Federal Government of Germany and the German Parliament to strengthen international civilian capacities for crisis prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding. It is a non-profit limited liability company, whose sole shareholder is the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the German Federal Foreign Office. ZIF provides services and expertise for peace operations, election observation missions as well as humanitarian surge deployments.

ZIF’s Expert Pool

For peace operations, humanitarian surge deployments and election observation missions, we recruit and second German personnel. We manage the ZIF Expert Pool to facilitate the deployment of pre-qualified and pre-selected personnel to operations at short notice. As the employer, we are fully committed to our duty of care obligations before, during and after deployment. ZIF supports humanitarian UN partner agencies by deploying humanitarian experts.

Site Planner/Settlement Planning Officer

In displacement situations, Site Planners are deployed to design and develop settlement sites to offer dignified living conditions to displaced persons. The Site Planner advises the host organization (in most cases UNHCR or IOM) on the most suitable settlement option given the local context. These options can be the use of an existing or new camp in a rural area, rental accommodation or a collective centre in an urban space. The Site Planner subsequently supports the host organization in the implementation of the suitable settlement option.

In close collaboration with local and national authorities, as well as the host community and humanitarian partners, the Site Planner ensures that suitable sites, services and livelihoods are assessed as well as mapped and meet criteria that protect the dignity, security and health of its future residents. The Site Planner’s technical criteria will take the topography, land availability, accessibility, as well as water resources and terrain for water and sanitation facilities into account.

Furthermore, the Site Planner’s assessment ensures that sites, including areas designated for habitat and basic services, are not at risk of natural hazards like landslides or flooding.

The Site Planner may represent the host organization in negotiations with local and national authorities to obtain authorization for land acquisition and site development. These efforts intend to minimize potential conflict concerning land rights.

Together with partners, the Site Planner furthermore develops site/settlement plans that are in line with the host country’s land use plans. Additionally, the function ensures that spatial allocation of lands is agreed upon with relevant authorities and partners fostering the protection of residents (and the host population) as well as ensuring access to basic services like water points and sanitation facilities. In close collaboration with the Field Officer and/or Shelter Officer, the planning for access and roads, lighting of the settlement, living quarters as well as space for livelihood and recreation falls under the responsibility of the Site Planner.

Involving the host population in the planning and development process is key for Site Planners, thereby minimizing conflict and offering access to basic services to members of the local community. Apart from governmental authorities and local residents, Site Planners need to involve members of the displaced community in their planning and site development processes – these may be elderly persons, youth, women and people with special needs.

The Site Planner is tasked to monitor the development of the site so that it evolves in line with the site/settlement plan.

Specific profile requirements

  • University degree or technical college degree in urban planning, architecture, civil engineering or related field of study;
  • Affiliation to a professional body (relevant for architects only);
  • Several years of demonstrated professional experience in site planning/developing;
  • Knowledge of settlement options in rural and urban areas;
  • Knowledge of computer graphics and mapping software (e.g. MapInfo), GPS;
  • Technical knowledge of CAD/CAM is highly desirable;
  • Experience in using data collection tools to collect on-site data (e.g. KoBo toolbox);
  • Sound knowledge of humanitarian standards;
  • Work experience in the context of displacement is desirable;
  • Prior experience in working with UNHCR and IOM is an asset.

General profile requirements

  • German citizenship;
  • University degree or relevant occupational training (preferably in the professional profile for which you are applying);
  • Several years of relevant professional experience, at least partly in the desired professional profile in a humanitarian setting (or comparable);
  • Experience in crisis or conflict areas desirable;
  • Excellent oral and written English language skills (C1 level and above);
  • Further language skills at level B2 and above desirable (especially French, Spanish and Arabic – in some cases level B1 may be acceptable for Arabic language skills);
  • Physical and mental fitness for travel to tropical areas;
  • Availability for a deployment for up to six months or longer.

How to apply

Women are especially encouraged to apply.

Deadline: Open until filled

To apply for ZIF’s Expert Pool, please visit the following website (redirecting to German application page):

Kindly note that you apply for a humanitarian roster. ZIF currently finalizes relevant standby agreements. A deployment opportunity may arise in the near future.

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