Principal Water Security Specialist

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Manila, Philippines 🇵🇭


Close relatives1 of ADB staff, except spouses of international staff, are not eligible for recruitment and appointment to staff positions. Applicants are expected to disclose if they have any relative/s by consanguinity/blood, by adoption and/or by affinity/marriage presently employed in ADB.  

1Close relatives refer to spouse, children, mother, father, brother and sister, niece, nephew, aunt and uncle

 Staff on probation are not eligible to apply. Applicants for promotion must have served at their position for at least one year and must have normally served at their personal level for at least two years immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date. Applicants for lateral transfer must have served at their position and personal level for at least one year immediately preceding the date of the vacancy closing date (reference A.O. 2.03, paragraphs 5.8 and 5.9).

In the event that the staff appointed to a new category (i.e. from AS to NS, or from NS to IS) is rated at 2 or lower in the first two performance reviews after appointment at the new level, they will return to the level occupied immediately prior to their appointment in the new category.


Asian Development Bank (ADB) is an international development finance institution headquartered in Manila, Philippines and is composed of 68 members, 49 of which are from the Asia and Pacific region. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.  ADB combines finance, knowledge, and partnerships to fulfill its expanded vision under its Strategy 2030.

ADB only hires nationals of its 68 members.

The position is assigned in the Water Sector Group (WSG) within the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department (SDCC). SDCC provides leadership, innovation, and knowledge sharing for ADB’s sector and thematic work. WSG provides ADB-wide (i) technical support to operational departments and ADB’s developing member countries (DMCs), (ii) policy guidance for ADB’s water sector engagement, and (iii) knowledge development, management and dissemination activities for water security and resilience in Asia and the Pacific. 

To view ADB Organizational Chart, please click here.

Job Purpose

The Principal Water Security Specialist will provide technical and operational support to Operations Departments relating to water security, which will include all subsectors of water and all key dimensions of water security, and assist in strategic planning for the water sector including infrastructure, institutions, capacity building, policy, water financing, and other related matters. She/he will also ensure the quality and relevance of water sector knowledge products and activities along with their dissemination through internal and external networks, training, and other knowledge management activities for ADB staff and clients. 

The Principal Water Security Specialist will report to the Chief of Water Sector Group and will supervise national and administrative staff. She/he will also be expected to mentor and guide junior staff as required.


•    Provide guidance and support to ADB Operations Departments as a resource person and/or project team member including technical and project development advice (includes peer review, review of project/sector outputs, and mission participation) on processing and/or implementation of transactions, sector assessments, and country programming to develop innovative projects/portfolio, the application of technology, and maintain quality and consistency in the application of sector policies/strategies/frameworks on an ADB-wide basis.
•    Provide technical and policy advice (as a resource person and/or project team member) to WSG and Developing Member Country (DMC) clients including best practice, emerging issues, innovation and technology consistent to develop innovative strategies, policies and projects with the strategic objectives of ADB and priorities of DMCs, as well as innovative programs that would accelerate achievement of the Strategy 2030, water sector financing particularly from the private sector, implementation of its forthcoming Water Sector Framework: 2021 to 2030, Water Resilience and other  guidance notes, and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.
•    Lead and provide input to review and development of new ADB policies from relevant ADB department providing guidance to SDCC and ADB Operations Departments (e.g. Strategic, Planning and Policy Department; Office of the General Counsel; and Procurement, Portfolio, and Financial Management Department etc.) consistent with the strategic objectives of ADB and priorities of DMCs.
•    Ensure integration of water sector activities across other sector and thematic groups as well as with these concerns in Operational Departments including Rural Development and Food Security (Agriculture), Energy, Urban, Finance, and Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management among others.
•    Lead the implementation of ADB regional technical assistance projects on water security, including water sector financing, governance and capacity building, and water resources management and/or water service delivery, as needed to support the program of water sector.
•    Promote ADB’s role in regional cooperation for water resources, support regional and global partnerships to enhance knowledge, and support initiatives for regional cooperation on water resources for enhanced regional and national benefits of ADB DMCs.
•    Lead and participate in ADB and development partner studies and research to promote new approaches, technologies, and policies for water sector assessment and evaluation, water security, and other relevant issues to the WSG’s knowledge work.
•    Lead development and ensure the mainstreaming of knowledge on the water sector to ADB operations and to promote and disseminate related information on ADB activities to both external and internal clients including water-related events and international fora.
•    Participate in, contribute to, and help organize relevant internal and external special events, training and conferences and to support and guide ADB knowledge work, strategies and investments in the sector.
•    Contribute to the definition and execution of coaching and training programs targeting ADB staff, with a focus on technical and operational aspects of the staff own expertise in water management and/or water service delivery under existing and new initiatives of the WSG.


Relevant Experience & Requirements

•    Knowledge of the overall water sector with significant experience in designing and implementing water sector projects, preferably in Asia and the Pacific. Demonstrated experience and skills in managing and advising water sector operations including but not limited to multiple subsectors of water, including water sector financing, water resources management, urban or rural water supply and sanitation , water resilience through adaptation to climate change, wastewater management, agricultural water management or other relevant topics is required.
•    Master’s degree, or equivalent, in Water Economics, Water Resources Management, Water Supply or Sanitation, Environmental Management, Civil Engineering, Rural and/or Urban Development/Planning, Economics or related fields. University degree in Water Resources Management, Water Supply or Sanitation, Environmental Management, Civil Engineering, Rural or Urban Development/Planning, Economics, or related field combined with specialized experience in similar organization/s and at least 5 years specialized experience relevant to the position, may be considered in lieu of a Master’s degree.
•    At least 12 years relevant experience in development projects management or services delivery in any of the water related subsectors at senior levels (e.g. leading projects and policies).
•    ADB or very similar operational project experience in the water related sectors is highly desirable.
•    International experience working in several countries on development-related issues in the water sector.
•    Strong analytical and interpersonal skills, with ability to deal effectively with all types of internal and external clients/stakeholders.
•    Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English are required.
•    Please refer to the link for ADB Competency Framework for International Staff Level 6.

General Considerations

The selected candidate, if new to ADB, is appointed for an initial term of 3 years.

ADB offers competitive remuneration and a comprehensive benefits package. Actual appointment salary will be based on ADB’s standards and computation, taking into account the selected individual’s qualifications and experience.

 ADB seeks to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities to work in an inclusive environment. ADB encourages all qualified candidates to apply regardless of their racial, ethnic, religious and cultural background, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. Women are highly encouraged to apply.

Please note that the actual level and salary will be based on qualifications of the selected candidate.  

Primary Location: Asian Development Bank Headquarters-Philippines-Manila
Department: Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department
Division: Office of the Cluster Head, SDSC
Unit: Water SG, SDSC
Staff Category: International Staff (HQ)
Position Level: IS 6
Job Posting: 29-Sep-2021, 3:36:55 AM
Closing Date (Period for Applying) – External: 13-Oct-2021, 6:59:00 PM





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development