Consultant: Water and Climate Strategy Development

 (via ReliefWeb)
Mercy Corps
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
5-7 Years
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In conflict, in disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within; now, and for the future.
Mercy Corps Ethiopia has a history of water and climate adaptation programming which support water access and management, landscape planning, climate-smart livelihoods, climate information services. However, recent changes in the country context are opening new opportunities, and despite the existence of this portfolio, Mercy Corps Ethiopia has lacked a unified approach to water and climate.

Purpose / Project Description:
Mercy Corps recognizes that in the fragile places we work, water insecurity is a significant and often growing challenge to the achievement of humanitarian and development goals. Reliable access to safe water also represents a core resilience capacity and long term, sustainable solutions to water management are required for household, community and productive uses if communities are to cope with and adapt to environmental and social shocks and stresses. The relationship between fragility and water are complex, but recent work by the World Bank and others has helped clarify that a failure to adequately address water issues can aggravate conflict, fragility makes it harder to address water issues, and the compounding nature of water and conflict can give rise to a vicious cycle. This all makes water security a significant factor in almost all places Mercy Corps operates.
Relatedly, climate shocks and stresses represent a broader set of barriers. The people and communities we work with are on the frontlines of climate change. These poorest and most vulnerable people are the most exposed to extreme weather events, disproportionately reliant on natural resources for their livelihoods, and least able to cope with and adapt to shifts in weather patterns or reduction in ecosystem services. Therefore, our work to enhance human wellbeing must explicitly consider climate change directly.
The goal of this consultancy is to provide strategic direction for how Mercy Corps Ethiopia approaches water security and climate resilient development as part of our existing program and fundraising priorities in the coming years. This will include clarifying our existing strengths, identifying funding streams, and partnerships that can help us capitalize on these strengths and build this portfolio. The focus will be on longer-term funding streams for non-emergency contexts, for water resource management and climate change adaptation.

Consultant Objectives:
Optional – narrative or bulleted

  • Help Mercy Corps develop a strategic positioning around water and climate change in Ethiopia by providing a better understanding of
  • the country teams current capacity and program history;
  • the key water and climate challenges from ecological, social, political, technological and legal perspectives;
  • the major donors and funding streams available now, and in the near future, to support this work; and
  • given this information, what our strategic positioning should be as an institution.

Consultant Activities:
The Consultant will:

  • Develop a Water & Climate Contextual Analysis
  • Desk review and interviews to understand the key climate and water challenges in Ethiopia.
  • Conduct an institutional capacity review:
  • Desk review of internal documents and program database.
  • KIIs within key internal stakeholders in Mercy Corps Ethiopia and HQ.
  • Conduct an external donor and partner landscape assessment:
  • Desk review of existing funding streams from US and Europe for Ethiopia
  • Interviews with leading external stakeholders, including USAID, and European donor leads where possible.
  • Desk review of partner organizations and interviews where possible.

Consultant Deliverables:
The Consultant will produce:

  • A rapid analysis of our existing portfolio of water and related programming.
  • Overview of major funding streams focused on Water and Climate in Ethiopia and an analysis of best opportunities for Mercy Corps.
  • A water and climate strategic positioning assessment that identifies the major water and climate challenges in country, how Mercy Corps should strategically position itself to address these, the strategies we should seek to employ in country, and key partners.

Timeframe / Schedule:

This contract runs for up to 20 days during the period of March 1 – April 5.

The Consultant will report to:
Director- Environment, Energy and Climate
Country Director – Ethiopia

The Consultant will work closely with:
The Ethiopia country and program teams

Required Experience & Skills:

  • Bachelor's degree required. M.A, M.S., M.Sc., or equivalent in a relevant water or natural resources management field.
  • 5-10 years of relevant experience working at the intersection of water security and development.
  • Demonstrated experience in designing and leading assessment processes
  • Experience with strategy developing at the agency or country level
  • Experience in resource development, including donor engagement and funding landscape analyses.
  • Familiarity with major water donors such as USAID, DFID, the EC and relevant foundations and corporations.
  • Fluency in English is required. Please note: Acronyms must be spelled out at first mention. E.g. Training of Trainers (ToT) or Multi-Year Assistance Program (MYAP).