Consultant Opportunities for Experts in Climate Change Adaptation, Groundwater Management, Agricultural Water-Use Efficiency, and Hydropower in the Southern Africa Region

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The U.S. State Department and the U.S. Water Partnership (USWP) are seeking multiple consultants with expertise in climate change adaptation, groundwater management, agricultural water-use efficiency, and hydropower. The purpose of this request for qualifications is to increase technical exchanges among scientists, academics, and policymakers to address sustainable management of water across Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

According to SADC, approximately 40 million people are dealing with the impacts of one of the worst regional droughts in 35 years. U.S. embassies in the Southern Africa region are responding by engaging U.S. water experts to engage with local stakeholders and participate in regional embassy workshops. The goal is to help build capacity of local stakeholders to manage water resources more effectively and to increase the understanding of U.S. embassy staff around water challenges and potential solutions.

Areas of Expertise The selected candidates would demonstrate expertise across the following areas:
  • Climate Change Adaptation: Identify the effects of climate change on water resources in the Southern Africa region and outline potential adaptation measures;
  • Agricultural Water-Use Efficiency: Identify agricultural water-efficient technologies and how to affordably bring those technologies to the Southern Africa region; and,
  • Groundwater Management: Identify current groundwater management practices and governance issues including knowledge on aquifer recharge and technologies for groundwater monitoring.
  • Hydropower: Identify the current and future potential capacity of hydropower in the Southern Africa region along with the related effects on ecosystems, water availability, conflict, and the policy and financial options for international and regional support.

The candidates must be available to conduct the entirety of the trip for five working days from October 24 – 28, 2016. The trip format will include two days of meetings and presentations with local stakeholders in Johannesburg, South Africa, followed by participation in a two-day workshop for approximately 20 U.S. Foreign Service Officers and locally engaged staff from U.S. embassies in the Southern Africa region. At the conclusion of the trip, the consultant, working with the USWP and the U.S. State Department, will identify follow-up activities for continued dialogue or potential future projects.

The USWP Secretariat will make all candidate selections and travel arrangements in concert with the U.S. State Department, which funds this program. Preference will be given to candidates affiliated with USWP partner organizations. This program will cover the consultant’s travel expenses and an honorarium for each working day during the trip.


  • Significant Field Expertise – The candidate ideally has experience with climate change adaptation/agricultural water-use efficiency/groundwater management, ideally with experience in the Southern Africa region and/or other developing countries.
  • Subject Matter Expert – The candidate’s experience should reflect both a solid comprehension of the sector and advanced understanding of technical and policy aspects of the relevant area of expertise (listed above).
  • Professionally Recognized – The candidate has been recognized as an expert in the fields of climate change adaptation, groundwater management, agricultural water-use and hydropower by peers. This may be demonstrated in a variety of ways including as a lecturer, speaker, panelist, trainer, or through job and education experience.
  • Strong Communication Skills – The candidate has strong communication skills, both oral and written, and can communicate with a variety of audiences from other experts to a general audience with minimal understanding of water issues.
  • Regional Competency – Experience and/or knowledge of climate change adaptation/groundwater management/agricultural water use challenges and development in the Southern Africa region is highly desired in a candidate, experience in other developing countries should also be noted.
  • Follow up – The candidate must describe how she/he intends to follow up on the initial visit to continue building relations with Southern Africa counterparts and to serve as a resource, i.e. periodic teleconferences, remote supplemental training, brokering partner agreements, or follow-up visits.

Next Steps: the Application

  • An application should include a single attachment of a statement of motivation (limit 200 words), general writing sample (limit 250 words, please see directions below), and resume (limit four pages) and should be received no later than by close of business Tuesday, September 27, 2016, to Marc Dettmann at the USWP Secretariat ([email protected]) with a copy to [email protected].
  • Please indicate the relevant expertise areas (listed above) in the statement of motivation and email for which the applicant would be evaluated.
  • The statement of motivation and the resume should address both this specific opportunity details and the qualifications listed here.
  • Each application will be reviewed by an independent group of peer professional experts. The USWP Secretariat will contact applicants who are selected for interviews soon after. Preference will be given to candidates affiliated with USWP partner organizations.

The USWP Secretariat welcomes contact from organizations interested in co-funding future consultancies under this program initiative. If you have any questions or would like more information, please send an email to Marc Dettmann with the USWP Secretariat at [email protected] with a copy to Tim Lattimer at [email protected].