Quantitative and qualitative assessment characterizing plastic solid waste flows in the Vu Gia – Thu Bon basin region from “Source-to-Sea”

Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
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.

The deadline for receipt of tenders is: 19 August 2019

Point of contact:      Josh Weinberg

E-mail address:        josh.weinberg@siwi.org

Stockholm International Water Institute

SIWI is a knowledge organisation using its expertise and convening power to strengthen water governance for a just, prosperous and sustainable future. SIWI arranges the annual World Water Week in Stockholm.

SIWI is duly constituted as a foundation in Sweden.

Name:                                          Stockholm International Water Institute

Organisation number:                  802425-8702

VAT identification number:           SE802425870201

Postal address:                            Box 101 87, 100 55 Stockholm

Visiting address:                          Linnégatan 87A, 115 23 Stockholm

Telephone:                                  +46 8 121 360 00

Website:                                     www.siwi.org

Background and scope

Source-to-sea management considers the entire source-to-sea system – stressing upstream and downstream environmental, social and economic linkages and stimulating coordination across sectors and segments. Source-to-sea management focusses on six key flows. These six source-to-sea flows – water, sediment, pollutants, biota, materials and ecosystem services – connect segments along the source-to-sea continuum at different spatial scales. All flows have natural ranges of variation that biodiversity and human activities have adapted to. Variation outside of these natural ranges can disrupt individual species’ life cycles, impact human health, alter ecosystems and disrupt social and economic systems.

The pilots will implement the first three steps of the source-to-sea approach as described in Implementing the Source-to-Sea Approach: A Guide for Practitioners.

This tender is for a study to support the first step of the source-to-sea approach:

the characterization of a key source-to-sea flow in the Vu Gia – Thu Bon River basin Vietnam with focus on solid waste flows (and specifically plastics). The purpose of the study is to provide insights into the sources, quantities and transport pathways for plastics to enter waterways and be delivered to coastal and marine environments and the governance, behaviours, management and finance that are contributing to plastic leakage. The study will be used to increase stakeholder awareness and to provide a basis for decision makers in considering steps toward preventing plastic pollution in the basin.

Vu Gia – Thu Bon river basin is the most important water source for domestic and economic demand of Quang Nam province and Da Nang city. It is one of the 9 largest river systems in Viet Nam. The rivers are short with steep slopes and consists of two main tributaries: 1) Vu Gia river, which is 204 km long until Da Nang and 2) Thu Bon river, originating from the common border of three provinces of Quang Nam, Kon Tum and Quang Ngai, at an elevation of over 2,000 m and has a length till Giao Thuy of 152km.

The outputs of the study will be used to strengthen understanding of the issue of land-based plastic pollution in the Vu Gia – Thu Bon River Basin amongst local stakeholders and will be the basis for engaging with local authorities in developing a source-to-sea approach to managing solid waste for improved social, economic and environmental outcomes.

Requirements on the services

The study to characterize solid waste flows from ‘source-to-sea’ in the Vu Gia – Thu Bon river basin region should include the following within the assessment:

  • Estimation of quantities, types and behaviour of plastic entering waterways, coastal and marine environments.
  • Geo-locations of sources of plastic and the transport pathways to rivers, coasts and the ocean and their relative contribution to plastic pollution. Analysis and description of main sources of solid waste pollution flows, specifically plastic; and the nature and causes of those pollution flows from different sources.
  • Analysis and description of behaviours, management, operations and finance that lead to plastic leakage; this should include identifying the locations where failure to control plastic waste is occurring.
  • Analysis and description of the environmental, economic and social impacts of plastic pollution. This should include description of sectors or communities impacted by the plastic pollution, analysis of how they are impacted and identification of the locations of impacts.
  • Recommendations on priority actions to improve management from ‘source-to-sea’ and reduce plastic pollution in the region. 

The assessment will rely on international best practice for the methodology used and will require local field work to ground-truth all outputs. Inputs to the assessment will include interviews of local stakeholders to complement the quantitative assessment.

Requirements on the tenderer

The tenderer is expected to have knowledge and experience in international best practice for quantitative and qualitative assessment of solid waste flows with a focus on plastic waste and the ability to apply these methods and approaches to the local context in the Vu Gia – Thu Bon River Basin. This may best be met by a team of consultants with different competencies.

The tenderer should have the following competences:

Functional Competencies:

  • Demonstrated experience in applying international best practice in assessing solid waste management specifically plastic leakage, the sources, quantities, transport pathways and causes of plastic pollution in developing countries. Experience with marine litter issues, leakage of waste into drainage systems and waterways.
  • Experience with applying waste flow diagrams.
  • Knowledge of local (Viet Nam) social, economic, environmental and governance context that enables meaningful assessment of causes of and solutions to plastic leakage in river basins.
  • Capacity for local mission(s) to conduct field work as part of the solid waste (plastic) flows assessment and to present findings to stakeholders.
  • Technical proficiency in field work and ability to garner information locally through interviews.
  • Strong project management, research, report writing and presentation skills, in English. Proficiency in Vietnamese is preferred.
  • Proven experience and understanding of different aspects of waste management that are relevant to plastic leakage / marine litter management.
  • Experience of working with local authorities on solid waste management issues. 
  • Ability to adapt and develop existing concepts for specific purposes.
  • Demonstrated ability as lead author for technical publications.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.

Behavioural Competencies:

  • Ability to be flexible and respond to changes to text/layout as part of the review and feedback process.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, able to communicate and work with diverse people.
  • Participate effectively in team-based, information-sharing environment, collaborating and cooperating with others.
  • Focus on impact and results for the client.


  • Masters’ Degree or higher in relevant field with at least ten (10) years’ relevant experience.

Required deliverables of the tender are as follows:

  1. A written report (25-40 pages, plus annexes) characterizing solid waste plastic flows in the Vu Gia – Thu Bon region from ‘Source-to-sea’
  2. An executive summary of the report (2-4 pages) of key findings and conclusions suitable for decision makers.
  3. Delivery of a power point presentation of findings and recommendations to local stakeholders.
  4. Documentation of interviews of local stakeholders to be used as part of overall project documentation and communications.

The tender must contain the following information:

  • A description of the services offered.
  • Details regarding the methodology that would be applied to perform this study. This is expected to include literature review of available data and studies performed in the area, interviews, and field surveys.
  • Work plan for delivery of the assignment.
  • CVs, qualifications and roles of consultant(s) delivering the assignment.
  • Proposed outline (annotated table of contents) for final report.
  • A description of your organisation.
  • Costs (net of VAT).
  • Name and contact information of point of contact.


The maximum amount for this assignment is 18,000 EUR (inclusive VAT, exclusive of travel costs, travel costs reimbursed based on documentation and with prior approval).

Award criteria

The contract will be awarded based on the following criteria:

  • Quality and feasibility of proposed methodology and deliverables
  • Qualifications and expertise of candidates
  • Timeframe for project delivery
  • Value for cost

Tenderers are encouraged to include within their proposal partners or members that are based in or have experience working in Vietnam for this assignment.


SIWI must have received the tender by 19 August 2019.

The tender must be submitted to the following email address:


The subject of the email should be “Invitation for tenders: Vietnam Source-to-sea Study”

Questions regarding the tender may be submitted to Josh Weinberg at:

Josh.weinberg@siwi.org until 5th August.

Processing of personal data

SIWI will process personal data included in tender documents and communications. For information about SIWI’s processing of personal data, please use the following link:

Processing of personal data