In this capacity, he is responsible for the implementation of the Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI), which is currently supporting cities in 18 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America in developing and implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation action plans. Other current areas of activity include the review of urban planning frameworks in selected developing countries, the promotion of biodiversity at the city level, and the development of strategies for the greening of the urban economy. Most of this work includes aspects of local government capacity development in environmental planning and management.

Raf has earlier served as Chief of the Training and Capacity Building Branch (2005-2008) and as Acting Chief and Human Settlements Officer at the Urban Governance Section (2000-2004). He was also the first Coordinator of UN-HABITAT’s Localising Agenda 21 Programme (1995-2000). Prior to joining the United Nations, Raf worked as Research Fellow at both the University of Nairobi and the University of Leuven (1987-1994) and has an academic background in architecture and engineering. He contributed articles to several journals and co-edited Urban Trialogues, a collection of essays reflecting on visioning, action planning and co-production of urban space as a resource for sustainable development in secondary cities in Kenya, Morocco, Vietnam and Cuba. He also co-edited International Migrants and the City, focusing on policy and practice of local governments in the face of international migration.