Research Analyst, Integrated Urban Strategy, Washington

Job Summary

This is a twelve-month, limited term, benefits-eligible role for a Research Analyst as part of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities Urban Development team. In this role, you will work with the Director, Integrated Urban Strategy and other senior staff members to advance the theory, practice, and evidence base for integrated planning through two areas of work:

  • Contributing to case studies and technical notes for the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities (GPSC). The platform brings together a wide range of entities that are working on urban sustainability issues to create a shared platform for global knowledge and an evidence-based, integrated approach to realize it in cities participating in the GEF-financed program. The Resource Team, a consortium conformed by WRI, ICLEI and C40, provides high-level technical assistance to projects funded under the GPSC platform; and supports GPSC implementation. The RT supports cities in their efforts to undertake a strategic approach to sustainability and integrated planning, and with specific sectoral technical issues related to city project implementation.
  • Project and research management for the inception phase of an IKI-funded project on 'Transformative Governance for Urban Sustainability.' The project seeks to identify, test, document, and disseminate findings on governance models for accelerating the transition to low-carbon urban development. It focuses in particular on the role that digital innovation can play in opening up new possibilities for rapid, transformative, collective action. The inception phase will involve scoping and early drafting of research and action frameworks for pilots to be sited in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina.

Job Responsibilities

Research (70%)

  • Conduct background research on a variety of topics and case studies surrounding the concept of integrated planning, building a body of knowledge, and helping to position WRI as an expert in this space.
  • Supports WRI research staff to help authors WRI knowledge products and other reports
  • Assist in developing written material for website, brochures, newsletters, handouts, PowerPoints, talking points, and background documents.
  • Contribute to blogs and framing documents for the project

Project management (30%)

  • Support inception phase of the IKI project on Transformative Governance including organizing meetings, and tracking progress on various fronts.
  • Liaise and coordinate with various internal departments and teams to facilitate grant execution and reporting.

Job Qualifications


  • Bachelor's degree in urban studies, geography, political science, urban/regional planning, environmental science, or related; master's' degree preferred
  • One+ years of relevant, full-time work experience is required; internships may be counted towards this requirement
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and interest in key issues in urban development, planning, and urban sustainability
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently as well as part of a team, including actively contributing to team discussions
  • Extremely well-organized and efficient
  • Excellent computer skills in Microsoft Office and internet research
  • Ability to think creatively
  • Flexible, responsible, self-motivated
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with teams of individuals and colleagues
  • Experience of using qualitative and quantitative research methods.

How to Apply

Please provide a cover letter and resume. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

Program Overview

The decisions that national leaders, local officials, developers, and planners make today will determine how billions of people in urban centers will thrive over the next century. Already, half the global population resides in cities. That figure is set to increase to 70 percent by 2050.

Traditional models of city development can lock us into congestion, sprawl, and inefficient resource use. However, compact, connected, and efficient growth can help ensure more competitive cities, and provide a better quality of life for citizens. The WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities (WRI Cities) works to ensure cities drive economic opportunity while sustaining natural resources. We use technical expertise, cutting-edge research, and on-the-ground partnerships to design solutions that enable sustainable city growth.

WRI Cities builds on WRI's global and local experience in urban planning and mobility and uses proven solutions and action-oriented tools to increase building and energy efficiency, improve accessibility and livability, encourage effective governance and make the fast-growing urban environment more resilient to new challenges. Working across our network, we develop and support the implementation of research-based solutions in sustainable mobility, urban development, as well as urban efficiency & climate that reduce pollution, improve health, and create safe, accessible public spaces for all people to thrive. The program focuses on a deep cross-sector approach in selected megacities on two continents, and targeted assistance to additional 50 urban areas, bringing economic, environmental and social benefits to people in cities around the globe.

Urban Development

In the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, the Urban Development team provides technical and policy support to help cities develop integrated planning approaches for land use, infrastructure systems, and economic geography that helps cities advance their social and economic objectives in the most resource-efficient way. We work with local and national governments, the private sector, and communities to help them jointly contribute to compact urban forms, resource-efficient infrastructure constellations, and equitable access to services – the spatial underpinnings for livable cities.

WRI Overview

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address six critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water and sustainable cities.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world's greatest environment and international development challenges, and improve people's lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $120 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of nearly 700 people with work spanning 50 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States.

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.

The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people's lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI's policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI's global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.

Source: UN Jobs

This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

Deadline/closing date: 
Friday, February 15, 2019