Wastewater and Water Quality Data Technical Specialist SDG indicator 6.3.1

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

Geneva, Switzerland 🇨🇭

Result of Service

Updated monitoring framework for SDG6.3.1
I. Ensuring the harmonization between the existing international methodologies for reporting on wastewater statistics with the monitoring of the SDG indicator 6.3.1 on wastewater treatment by providing briefs and materials to inform coordination and communication between the three co-custodian agencies of the SDG indicator 6.3.1 (UN Habitat, WHO and UNSD) and other international partners (OECD, Eurostat, FAO).
II. An in-depth analysis of the flows of wastewater in pilot countries, including for some of the countries already reporting to UNSD, and OECD/Eurostat via National Statistic Offices, in order to evaluate the reported data quality. This will entail contacting the line ministries and identifying additional technical focal points.
Wastewater data collection from at least 30 countries.
I. Technical support (e.g., power point presentations and inviting presenters) to prepare webinars on wastewater and SDG indicator 6.3.1 monitoring and a tailored wastewater questionnaire with partners.
II. Collection and aggregation of local/national statistics on wastewater treatment, and establishment of a consolidated network with the associated country focal points.
Enhanced data for industrial wastewater component of SDG6.3.1 and reporting.
I. Acquisition and exploitation (figures and power points) of industrial wastewater data from at least one country from LAC/Africa/Asia/Arab States/Europe
II. Preparation of concept notes, meeting reports, and presentations for international events on industrial wastewater flow monitoring (e.g., World Water Week and World Urban Forum).
Data analysis and dissemination.
I. Updated indicator report on SDG6.3.1 jointly prepared WHO and UNSD
II. Data storylines and inputs to SDG reporting, incl. inputs to UN Water story line, glossy report, participation and presentation in the 2022 Global Workshop on Integrated Monitoring of SDG 6.

Work Location


Expected duration

8 months

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), is the UN agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.
UN-Habitat is tasked to improve the access to sustainable wastewater management services by improving policies and guidelines in partnership with local, regional and national authorities, enhancing the enabling environment for investments in sustainable wastewater management services with a focus on urban areas of all sizes. The Urban Basic Services Section is responsible for the implementation of a Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) project on monitoring SDG 6, as part of the Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 (GEMI) convened by UN-Water. GEMI is an inter-agency partnership comprising The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), The World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
As the agency in the UN system responsible for urban development, UN-Habitat has for many years been leading operational initiatives on urban water, sanitation and waste management. In addition to producing flagship publications such as the State of Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities and the Global Biosolid Atlas, it has developed monitoring tools such as the UN-Habitat Urban Inequities Surveys (UIS), which were used to monitor and report on the slum target under the MDGs. UN-Habitat continues to contribute experience on integration of national and local level data to strengthen progress estimates on SDG indicator 6.3.1 and in other relevant areas.
In addition to leading the component on industrial wastewater and coordinating with WHO, which is leading the component on domestic wastewater, UN-Habitat has in-house expertise on WRM and water use efficiency in urban areas. Their contribution to include administrative data is supported by the UN-Habitat Global Water Operators’ Partnership Alliance (GWOPA). Finally, UN-Habitat’s extensive experience in urban monitoring, gained through the use of its UIS and other tools, will be drawn upon to support the proposed work.
Duties and Responsibilities
The consultant will report to the Programme Officer responsible for the GEMI project within the Urban Basic Services Section.
The Consultant will be responsible for the following tasks:
i. Update and consolidate the methodology (UN-Water guidance document for countries and metadata of indicator 6.3.1) for monitoring the flow of total wastewater generated and safely treated. This will be done in close collaboration with UN-Water GEMI partners WHO and UNSD as co-custodian agencies for SDG 6.3.1 and in partnership with OECD, Eurostat and FAO. The consultant will be expected to consult with these and other relevant partners on (1) data collection process, (2) country data, and (3) comparison of metadata and terminology used in their questionnaires to contribute to harmonizing international wastewater data collection.
ii. Work closely with SDG 6.3.1 co-custodian agencies WHO and UNSD in support of a coherent repository of monitoring information on the SDG6.3.1 indicator. In this context, the consultant will review and exploit the wastewater data from relevant databases and check for data accuracy and consistency. Depending on available data, the consultant will be responsible to produce graphics, aggregate wastewater data by regions, build time series and ensure that the data is included in a global database used to determine SDG6.3.1 progress
iii. Conduct in-depth analysis of the flows of wastewater in pilot countries, including for some of the countries already reporting to UNSD, and OECD/Eurostat via National Statistic Offices, in order to evaluate the reported data quality. This will entail contacting the line ministries and identifying additional technical focal points.

iv. Collect disaggregated wastewater data from 30 countries that are not currently reporting such data, by working through official national SDG reporting mechanisms and other means. The consultant will support countries to progressively align with international definitions and standards, by encouraging and assisting them in reporting to indicator 6.3.1 and to the existing international databases.

v. Establishment of a consolidated network with the associated country focal points for SDG 6.3.1.
vi. Contribute technical inputs in support of the third progress report on SDG6.3.1 including updated statistical information, drafting of report sections and related documentation. This will require close collaboration with WHO and UNSD as co-custodian agencies for SDG indicator 6.3.1.
vii. Coordinate regional collaborative processes in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Arab States and Asia-Pacific on monitoring indicator 6.3.1 methodology by sharing good practices in terms of both monitoring and safe wastewater management, in consultation with relevant institutions including urban (waste)water utilities.
viii. Communication and outreach: Preparation and design of outreach materials for selected projects and activities of UN-Habitat and UN-Water on the topic of wastewater monitoring, as well as in the design and preparation of project proposals, publications, position papers and other internal and external communication and fundraising products.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: • Experience in preparing scientific analysis on issues related to wastewater and water quality
• Experience in the use of office software packages (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) and in monitoring, data and data management, and capacity development
• Strong understanding of technical issues in the area of wastewater management
Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Management, Public health, or in a closely related field is required. A first degree with two years of qualifying experience will be accepted in lieu of an Advanced degree.
Experience: • A minimum of five (5) years’ experience in environmental sciences, water resources management, or water and development, of which at least five years of experience in similar projects in the area of monitoring of basic services such as water, sanitation and hygiene or a closely related field is required.
• Experience in the United Nations is regarded as an asset.
Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in written and oral English is required. Working knowledge of other UN official languages is desirable

No Fee