Urban Water Utility Expert

Asian Development Bank (ADB)


Expertise: Urban Water Utility Expert
Expertise Group: Engineering

Consultant Source: International
TOR Keywords: water utility

Objective and Purpose of the Assignment

Utilities in Pacific DMCs struggle to deliver basic water supply and sanitation services with the rapid
growth of urban populations, limited skilled personnel and continuing skilled human resource depletion
through outmigration, lack of resources and lack of training opportunities. Efforts to improve public
urban water and sanitation service delivery over the past 40 years has had limited success and capacity
development for most Pacific urban water and sanitation utilities has not been sustained. The
increasing climate change impacts and risks such as prolonged droughts, intense tropical cyclones and
flooding, coastal erosion, and sea level rise further exacerbate the capacity challenges of utilities
further. Adapting and building resilience to climate change, social development and economic
sustainability need to be integrated in utility operations.

ADB has a well-established Water Operator’s Partnership (WOP) initiative running for more than a decade
that supported a utility twinning program to promote knowledge sharing and capacity building of water
utilities. The WOP facilitates the matching of experienced and efficient utilities to act as ‘mentors’
to help improve operational performance of relatively weaker ‘recipient’ utilities. The twinning program
supports ADB investments in water and sanitation projects by providing cost-effective capacity building
to enable utilities to sustainably operate, maintain, and manage their assets, and deliver continuous
improvements in their service. ADB will expand its’ twining support to Pacific water utilities through
staff exchanges to facilitate targeted knowledge and skills transfer.

The objective of the assignment is to strengthen the service delivery of Pacific water utilities through
targeted on-the-job training facilitated by personnel exchanges between Pacific water utilities
personnel. Mentor and recipient utilities will be matched following an analysis of strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of participating utilities to identify their relative
strengths and weaknesses.

Scope of Work

An urban water utility expert will be engaged to:

  1. undertake SWOT analysis of participating utilities;
  2. design and implement a tailored staff exchanges between mentor and recipient water utilities to
    provide on-the-job training led by the mentor utility; and
  3. support PWWA annual conference and ministerial meetings.

Detailed Tasks and/or Expected Output

Detailed Scope of Work

The urban utility expert is expected to undertake the following:

  1. SWOT Analysis. Assess and report on the relative strengths and weaknesses of at least 10 Pacific
    water utilities in delivery of their mandated services with the first 2 draft SWOT analysis reports to
    be submitted to ADB by 30 April 2023. Specific tasks to be undertaken for the SWOT analysis shall
    include but be limited to:
    a) Review, analyze and summarize past and present trends of PWWA partner utilities from recent
    benchmarking report and available data, including national sector priorities and plans in relation to
    the planned diagnostic exercise.
    b) Plan, organize and facilitate group and individual consultations with CEOs and technical staff
    members of PWWA partner utilities.
    c) Conduct field visit to potential mentor and recipient utilities participating in the personnel
    d) Prepare draft SWOT analysis reports for each participating water utility based on desktop reviews and
    field visit observations and consultations. The draft SWOT analysis reports will include recommended
    utility staff exchange action plan indicting clear timelines and resource requirements. Share the draft
    SWOT analysis report with the respective water utility and ADB for comment. Address the water utility
    and ADB comments and issue the SWOT analysis report to the respective water utility and ADB.
  2. Matching of Pacific water utilities for personnel exchanges. Based on the SWOT analyses, facilitate
    mentor-recipient at least 6 Pacific water utility staff exchanges programs over the duration of the
    assignment (at least 2 exchange programs shall commence in 2023). At least 20% of staff exchange
    participants shall be women. Specific tasks will include but not be limited to:
    a) Recommend mentor-recipient matches of participating utilities based on the SWOT reports.
    b) Prepare mentor-recipient staff exchange proposals and seek comments from the mentor and recipient
    utilities and ADB. Refine the proposals to address the comments from the mentor and recipient utilities
    and ADB.
    c) Obtain ADB approval to proceed with the implementation of the staff exchanges.
    d) Facilitate and monitor staff exchanges following the agreed timelines and resource requirements.
    Relevant adjustments in the design and conduct of the individual partnerships and trainings will be
    undertaken as necessary.
  3. PWWA Annual Conference and Ministerial Meetings. Prepare and deliver presentations on the pacific
    water utility staff exchange program at the 2023 and 2024 Pacific Water and Wastewater Association
    conferences. Specific tasks will include but not be limited to:
    a) With ADB, support the PWWA Secretariat in the design, planning and execution of the annual conference
    and ministerial meetings in 2023 and 2024.
    b) Assist in the organizing and facilitation of relevant sessions to highlight experiences and lessons
    learned from the implementation of the staff exchanges by participating utilities.
    c) Support efforts to further broaden ADB’s engagement with government and non-government stakeholders,
    including private sector and civil society representatives to establish and sustain sector capacity
    building initiatives in the Pacific.

Overall, the consultant is expected to work closely with the ADB project team and other experts in the
delivery of the above scope.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables

The following outputs are expected during implementation and completion of the consultancy period:

  1. Draft and final SWOT analysis reports, including presentation to ADB and utilities
  2. Staff exchange proposals
  3. Materials and references to support personnel deployed for the staff exchanges.
  4. Quarterly progress report and monthly updates
  5. Staff exchange monitoring reports (template adopted for utility reporting)
  6. Consultation reports and documentation.
  7. Draft session outline and guide for PWWA conference (staff exchange pilot case studies)

Minimum Qualification Requirements

• Relevant technical training and practical experience working in the Pacific region or SIDS-context
• At least 10 years of professional experience working in the field of water and wastewater utility
operations, planning and design
• Relevant experience in capacity building and technical professional trainings
• Bachelors degree in a relevant field
• Experience working with MDBs/IFIs is preferred
• Experience in delivering training programs and mentoring utility- and government staff is highly

Minimum General Experience: 10 Years
Minimum Specific Experience (relevant to assignment): 10 Years




IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development