Wastewater Programme Development Expert

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)


Result of Service

The objective is primarily supporting the work of the Source-to-Sea Pollution Unit, specifically with the development of a longer-term programme on wastewater by adopting circular and one health approaches applied to wastewater high-impact sectors.

Work Location

Home based

Expected duration

6 months

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. UNEP’s Ecosystems and Economy Divisions work with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and capacity development for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

Land-based pollution has been widely recognized to impact the health of aquatic ecosystems, including coastal and marine ones. Over time, population growth has led to an increasing demand for water, food, and consumable goods. The rising number of anthropogenic activities and the intensification of productive sectors demanding growth in substance production and use has resulted in augmented pollution from point and non-point sources. In many areas of the world, waterways and coastal areas are still being used as dumping ground to avoid costs for treatment and disposal. Also, extreme weather events and climate change pose additional stress on ecosystems and natural resources. Climate-induced natural disasters (e.g., floods) increase the risks of spillage of pollutants with major consequences on human health and ecosystems.

UNEP’s Source-to-Sea Pollution Unit plays a crucial role in identifying and acting on the challenge of land-based pollution. The Unit focuses on issues including but not limited to marine litter, nutrient management, and wastewater and its activities serve to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically SDG 6 and 14. They also contribute to UNEP’s Medium Term Strategy 2022-2025, and as well as to the implementation of UNEP’s Chemicals and Pollutions Action sub-programme. The work of the Unit also contribute to the implementation of numerous United Nations Environment Assembly’s (UNEA) resolutions, including for example “Addressing water pollution to protect and restore water-related ecosystems” (UNEP/EA.3/10), “Marine litter and microplastics” (UNEP/EA.1/6, 2/11, 3/7 and UNEP/EA.4/6), “Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities” (UNEP/EA.4/11), “Sustainable Nitrogen Management” (UNEP/EA.4/14 and UNEP/EA5/Res.14), “End plastic pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument” (UNEP/EA.5/14).
To counter the challenges posed by land-based pollution, the Unit is implementing the project titled “Protecting the Marine Environment from Land-Based Pollution through Strengthened Coordination of Global Action.” The project, with a duration of five years, aims to strengthen responses to land-based pollution, enhance co-operation and foster action to tackle the issues related to wastewater pollution, nutrient management, and marine litter also through the key role of global partnerships, including the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML), the Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM), and the Global Wastewater (GW²I) for which the GPA acts as a Secretariat.

The international consultant will support the work of the Source-to-Sea Pollution Unit, specifically with the development of a longer-term programme on wastewater by adopting circular and one health approaches applied to wastewater high-impact sectors. This assignment is within UNEP’s Ecosystems Divisions, under the direct supervision of the Programme Management Officer responsible for wastewater management and will work home-based.

Duties and Responsibilities

The international consultant will:

• Undertake research and analysis of the gaps and opportunities for UNEP in the field of wastewater management.
• Analyse the current role and effectiveness of the Global Wastewater Initiative and develop a strategic guidance to enhance the role and visibility of the Initiative.
• Develop a development of a longer-term programme on wastewater by adopting circular and one health approaches applied to wastewater high-impact sectors.
• Conduct consultations with internal and external stakeholders for the development of the “longer-term programme on wastewater”.
• Plan, organize and delivery donors round tables to obtain expressions of support by donors for the “longer-term programme on wastewater”.
• Develop 6 concept notes of fundable/bankable projects under the “longer-term programme on wastewater”.
• Develop a road map for approval of the “longer-term programme on wastewater” by UNEP decision makers and its integration into UNEP’s programmatic structure.
• Develop a detailed work plan for the 1st year of implementation of the “longer-term programme on wastewater”.
• Keep, as far as possible, close collaboration and communication with the “Waste Programme Development Expert” to be hired by the Chemicals and Health Branch / International Environmental Technology Centre.
alysis on marine litter, plastic pollution, microplastic, waste management, life cycle approach, sustainable production, and consumption, freshwater and wastewater.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: A minimum of a postgraduate university degree in development studies, sustainability, environmental science, environmental management, political science, or another related field is required.
Ten (10) years’ experience working in sustainable wastewater management field at international level, preferably with experience on development, implementation and/or evaluation of programmes for Multilateral Organizations
Desirable Experience: Knowledge demonstrating experience working on wastewater management and an understanding of global systems, governance, and frameworks. Work experience in a position of leadership. A strong familiarity with the aims and ambitions of the United Nations Environment Programme, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Circular Economy Approach, One Health Approach, UN Common Approach for Biodiversity, Wastewater and Food Systems nexus, Wastewater and Climate Change nexus, and main social-economic challenges of developing countries.
The international consultant must demonstrate ambition as a systems-thinker and clearly demonstrate the following competencies:

  1. Excellent research abilities and analytical skills.
  2. Excellent communication skills.
  3. Computer literacy (especially in use of MS Office programs).
  4. Strong teamwork, and ability to build relationships.
  5. Passion for knowledge sharing and continuous improvement.

No Fee






IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development