Lead Researcher/Team Leader: Knowledge and Innovation Support for ADB's Water Financing Program

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Objective and Purpose of the Assignment

The Asian Water Development Outlook (AWDO) was initiated in 2007 by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF) to highlight the status of water security in the Asia-Pacific region. Three editions of the outlook report have been published in 2007, 2013 and 2016 respectively. AWDO 2007 underlined the need to address Water Security (WS) with a broader perspective than traditional sector-focused approaches. AWDO 2013 provided the first quantitative and comprehensive view of water security in the countries of Asia and the Pacific. AWDO 2016 extended the methodology, updated the scores and showed the progress made between 2013 and 2016.

The fourth edition of AWDO is planned for publication in 2020. To refine the methodology resulting in greater confidence in water security assessments, the Water Sector Group (WSG) at ADB has initiated the preparatory work of the fourth edition of the AWDO (AWDO 2020).

AWDO distinguishes five Key Dimensions (KDs) that together determine the Water Security score. The five KDs are: Rural Household WS (KD1), Economic WS (KD2), Urban WS (KD3), Environmental WS (KD4) and Resilience to Water-related Disasters (KD5).

For each of the five KDs a KD-team will be established that will support ADB in further developing the methodology for AWDO 2020. In addition a team will be established to develop a data repository for AWDO. This data repository team might be combined with one of the KD-teams.

In addition to the KD-teams input to AWDO 2020 will be provided by (i) OECD on Water Governance and Financing in relation to water security, and (ii) Case studies in which local institutes will apply the AWDO concept at intra-country level, reflecting unique features of respective countries and considering more spatial and sectoral details. The countries to be studied will be selected in consultation with the Regional Departments (RD) of ADB with an aim to have one case study country for each RD.

The Consultant is proposed to lead the KD-team on KD2 of AWDO 2020. Their scope is to focus on strengthening the methodology and sourcing relevant and up-to-date data sets in order to quantify (in a relative sense) economic water security (KD2) for Asian and Pacific countries. The Consultant will undertake reviews of research reports, and will lead the preparation of: (i) Progress reports and presentations on KD2; and (ii) contribute to reports and presentations of AWDO 2020.

The AWDO 2020 preparation project will be carried out in four phases:

  • Phase I – Proposal / Inception phase
  • Phase II – Development of methodology, data collection and initial results
  • Phase III – Finalization of methodology and assessment
  • Phase IV – Finalization of KD2 report, and contribution to AWDO2020 report.

At the end of Phases I, II and III a meeting will be organized with all teams in Manila to discuss progress, identify issues and make decisions on the activities for subsequent phases.

Phase 1 (Inception phase). The Consultant to carry out an extensive review (related to their KD) of:

  • Literature on water security assessment
  • Literature on SDG synthesis and assessment
  • Methods, databases and results of global water security assessment programs, such as COMPASS (Water Future Initiative), AQUEDUCT (WRI) and WFaS (IIASA)
  • The methodology applied for AWDO 2016, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of that methodology
  • Documentation of available water security assessment methodologies at country, state/province or river basin level (Mongolia, Bhutan, China, India)
  • All literature and documents to be archived at ADB’s SharePoint Drive.

Based on the above review a proposal for a revised methodology to estimate KD2 shall be developed. The revised methodology should take the following into account.

  • Continuity of the scores of KD2 in AWDO 2013 and AWDO 2016
  • The methodology should be understandable and easily be adoptable to other institutes that want to apply the methodology in their country, state/province or river basin.
  • Identify sub-indicators within KD2 that are actionable (i.e. that provide information on what kind of measures may be taken to improve the performance of that sub-indicator)
  • Make strong links with the SDGs, in particular targets 6.4 (increase water use efficiency) but also target 2.3 (double agricultural productivity) and target 7.2 (increase the share of renewable energy).
  • Give specific attention to the Water-Food-Energy nexus.
  • Spatial distribution of WS within larger countries in Asia & Pacific (into basins and/or states/provinces)
  • Address inequalities (rich-poor; gender; rural-urban; etc.)
  • Make use of authorized and publicly available global databases
  • Include a narrative on how water security might change in the near future (2025 and 2030), using the results of the IIASA / ADB study on ‘Integrated Scenario Development & Modeling of the Water-Food-Energy Nexus in Asia and the Pacific.

In addition to above points of attention, the following questions should be addressed in developing the KD2-methodology:

  • How to assign weights for different sub-indicators of KD2? Should they be different for different administrative of river basins or ecology? Does water security mean the same for a small farmer and a commercial farm?
  • How do you merge subjective qualitative assessment with quantitative information?
  • Can KD2 be linked to other equivalent indices developed by International Frameworks. E.g. CWMI of India?
  • Should we consider water reuse in determining water security? How about water from international rivers? How about groundwater for economic activities/productivity? Should there be separate targets for water productivity in canal commands, and water productivity in groundwater irrigated regions? How to interpret and compare water productivity from different economic activities? Can water productivity of various sectors be compared? E.g. Water Productivity in the Industrial sector compared with Water Productivity in the Agricultural sector?
  • How to incorporate structural labor and market constraints, and food preferences into the estimation of agricultural water productivity?
  • How do we include marginal value of water into estimation of water productivity?
  • How about water security for tourism? Should this be a part of KD2?

Prepare Inception Report which should outline the review and proposed revised methodology and address how:

  • specific attention will be given to the sub-components Agriculture (as the main water user and in relation to National Food Security) and Energy (in relation to National Energy Security);
  • to link the KD with Governance and Finance (with possibly some elements already included in the sub- indicators);
  • to deal with transboundary surface and groundwater resource (making use of other studies such as the IWC Transboundary Waters Assessment Program;
  • and to deal with the small-island states.

The Inception Phase will be concluded with a joint Inception meeting with the other KD-teams in February 2019 (most probably in Manila). Likely dates for this Inception Meeting will be 27-28 February 2019. Proposed revised methodologies will be discussed and agreed.

Based on the proposals made by the five KD-teams on (i) how to include spatial differentiation in the countries and (ii) how to include a narrative on future projections of WS, ADB/APWF will decide at the end of Phase I whether these extensions will be included in AWDO 2020 and if so, how that will be done.

Phase II: development tools, collection of data and first results, The Consultant will apply the agreed methodology, collect the data and produce preliminary scores for their KD for the present (2020) situation at the appropriate spatial level. In carrying out Phase II The Consultant will interact with the Data Repository team on the data sources used for KD2.

Phase II will conclude with an interim report on KD2 that discusses the methodology, data used and the results obtained. The interim report should also discuss issues encountered and solutions applied or proposed. That report will be discussed in the 2nd general AWDO KD team meeting.

Phase III: finalization of methodology and assessment: The Consultant will finalize the determination of KD2 scores for all DMCs, using agreed methodology, taking into account the results of country case studies and feedback from the DMCs. The scores of 2020 will be compared with the scores of 2013 and 2016. Phase III will conclude by making a draft final report on KD2 that discusses the final results for the present situation, the development over time (2013-2020), and the narratives on the projections 2030 and 2050. Boxes can be used to provide illustrative detail, good practices, etc. The draft final report will be discussed in the 3rd general AWDO team meeting in Manila.

Phase IV: Finalization of the Report the draft final reports will be adjusted based on the comments made by ADB. The final report will include all data set and spreadsheet etc. which are utilized to calculate the scores of KD2.

Scope of Work

The lead researcher will, in consultation with ADB, and other KD teams coordinate TA activities ensuring the research outputs are in-line with the overall AWDO 2020 priorities. The lead researcher will, in consultation with ADB, and other KD teams coordinate TA activities ensuring the research outputs are in- line with the overall AWDO 2020 priorities. The specialist will provide leadership for the research on KD2, including identification of strengths and weaknesses in existing indicators; and leading to research publications and preparation of AWDO 2020.

Detailed Tasks and/or Expected Output

The lead researcher will: (i) coordinate with management and staff, team leaders of parallel KD research programs; and ADB staff to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the assignment; (ii) provide leadership in research on the KD2 analysis in consultation with the consultant researchers and supervise the KD2 research team; (iii) participate in AWDO 2020 workshops and development meetings to ensure effective coordination of indicator definitions; (iv) lead preparation of publications on improved KD2 indicators, data sets and analytical methods; (v) contribute to the preparation of AWDO 2020 sections on KD2 assessments; (vi) and participate in AWDO sessions during international events.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

The specialist will have at least 12 years’ experience in water resources research in Asia and post-graduate qualifications in water resources management and/or governance. The assignment will be undertaken mainly in the home-office, with short-missions to Manila.