Consultant #2 (Financing transboundary water cooperation and basin development)
Result of Service
Under the supervision of UNECE, the service of the consultant will result in the delivery of a comprehensive background study on financing transboundary water cooperation and basin development; a draft concept note for the global workshop on financing transboundary water cooperation and basin development to be organized in Geneva on 16-18 December 2020 by UNECE and technical support in the preparation and facilitation of the above-mentioned workshop.
This consultancy service will contribute to :
- Review and disseminate knowledge on the challenges and opportunities related with the financing of transboundary water cooperation and basin development;
- Raise awareness and build capacities of countries, River Basin Organizations and financial institutions representatives on financing issues related with transboundary water cooperation.
The consultant is expected to work closely with a second consultant hired for the project (with complementary competencies and skills, mainly focused on financing) to develop the background study and the concept note for the workshop on financing transboundary water cooperation and basin development.
For this consultancy, UNECE is looking for a consultant with the following qualifications and skills:
- Very good understanding and knowledge of legal, institutional and financial dimensions of transboundary water resources management;
- Excellent research, analytical and drafting skills.
Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree in environment, water, political, natural or social sciences, law or related field.
- Minimum of 5 years of professional experience in environmental/water management, water policy formulation/ analysis or related field;
- Experience in supporting transboundary water cooperation, shared basin development;
- Significant experience in legal, institutional and financial dimensions of transboundary water resources management is desirable.
Language: Fluency in English is required. French is an asset.
The contract will last 10 months, starting on 20 February 2020 and ending on 20 December 2020.
The 10 months consultancy contract is a part-time time contract. The consultant together with the second consultant are expected to work a certain amount of days between February and December 2020 in order to deliver the required outputs (further detailed below) according to the following tentative timeframe:
- Task 1- Extended outline of background study- By 20 March 2020
- Task 2- Concept note for the workshop on financing- By 30 May 2020
- Task 3- First intermediary draft for comments by UNECE and partners – By 10 June 2020
- Task 4- Advanced draft for final comments – By 15 August 2020
- Task 5- Final Draft of the study ready- By 30 September 2020
- Task 6- Technical support during the workshop on financing transboundary water cooperation on 16-18 December 2020
Duties and Responsibilities
Ensuring a sustainable and effective cooperation over shared water resources is imperative to secure peace, stability and sustainable development. The different stages of transboundary cooperation require funding. Funding needs and funding sources depend on the scope, mandate, objectives and ambition of the transboundary cooperation arrangement. The current lack of sustainable funding models often prevents countries from deepening their cooperation. Many basin organizations, even in developed countries, struggle to ensure long-term sustainability of their work. Many countries face difficulties in financing transboundary water cooperation from national sources, among others since the benefits of transboundary cooperation are not always known and many funding sources, both national and international, are primarily targeted to national and local water projects. In addition, knowledge is lacking on available funding sources and application procedures.
Sustainable financing models for joint bodies and cooperation processes are therefore crucial.
The Programme of Work for 2019-2021 under the Water Convention (serviced by UNECE), adopted by the Meeting of the Parties at its eighth session, includes a Programme Area on facilitating the financing of transboundary water cooperation, whose main aim is to raise awareness on the importance of enhancing the financial sustainability of transboundary water management institutions and implementation programmes. The main objectives of this Programme area are to:
- Facilitate knowledge sharing and peer-learning on funding options to enhance the sustainability of transboundary water management
- Support countries/joint bodies in securing financing for transboundary water cooperation from different sources
- Promote the development of joint investment plans and financing strategies in shared basins
Building on previous work, such as:
- The high-level workshop on financing transboundary basin development organized by UNECE in partnership with Switzerland, the Netherlands, the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network (GEF IW:LEARN), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) in October 2018;
- The Stockholm World Water Week special session on mobilizing financial resources for transboundary water resources management and cooperation organized by UNECE, together with Switzerland, the Netherlands, the African Development Bank (AfDB), ADB, EIB, GEF, GEF IW:LEARN, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank in August 2019;
UNECE will organize a global workshop on financing transboundary water cooperation and basin development on 16-18 December 2020, in collaboration with various partners including the AfDB, ADB, GEF and the World Bank.
To prepare this workshop, UNECE is hiring two consultants, assigned to work together to develop a comprehensive background study on financing transboundary water cooperation and basin development as well as a concept note for the global workshop.
Objectives and expectations:
The objective of the background study is to analyse the key opportunities and challenges related with the financing of transboundary water cooperation and basin development, including available financial mechanisms, good practices and challenges in accessing funding and recommendations for the way forward. This includes the shared basins’ financial needs, the various range of financing sources from domestic, regional and international levels as well as from private and public sectors, challenges and good practices with regards to the sustainable financing of operational functioning and program activities of joint bodies such as River Basin Organization (RBOs), and other joint bodies. Concrete examples of how basins/countries have been applying to and benefiting from financial mechanisms should be provided.
The background study’s primary audience will be government officials, basin authorities and water sector practitioners working at different levels (local, national, inter-governmental) of governance of shared rivers, lakes and aquifers, financial investors and donors from public and private sectors both at national, regional and international levels.
The development of the background study should draw closely upon the background document prepared for the high-level workshop on financing transboundary basin development (2018) as well the resulting co-chair summary conclusions. Other relevant background documents should be used in the research work as appropriate (list to be provided to consultants by UNECE ).
Specific tasks and responsibilities:
During the assignment, the consultant, together with the second consultant, is requested to provide:
- an extended outline of the background study;
- a concept note for the global workshop on financing transboundary water cooperation and basin development (to be organized in Geneva,16-18 December 2020)
- a final background study (40-60 pages) - result of several intermediary reports revised and updated.
- an executive summary (5-6 pages)
- technical support to UNECE and its partners in the preparation and during the global workshop on financing transboundary water cooperation and basin development (Geneva,16-18 December 2020)
Scope of the study:
When developing the background study, the consultants should review and analyse the following topics/issues:
- The main financial needs in transboundary water cooperation and basin development (including institutional processes, information/data sharing between riparian countries, green and grey infrastructures investments)
- The main financial sources available and used to finance transboundary water cooperation and basin development needs, including:
o Public- both domestic and international (national budgets, taxes, International Financial Institutions, climate finance, development cooperation)
o Private (finance and corporate sector) - both domestic and international (institutional investors, investment banks, commercial banks, insurance companies, foundations, business companies, water funds etc..)
- Existing RBO models (size, legal status, mandate, fiduciary standards and political context they are working within) and their role in determining RBOs’ capacity to access needed financing. More specifically, the study should look at:
o RBOs’ funding mechanisms used and financial strategies developed to cover their institutional core costs:
o RBOs’ funding mechanisms/financial strategies used to access to financial resources for transboundary water cooperation/basin development projects and activities such as basin planning, data production and sharing, studies and assessments, early warning systems, infrastructures investments – including blended finance mechanisms:
o RBOs’ evolution towards more financial sustainability (e.g currently the Mekong River commission).
In both cases, the study should review the existing challenges, good practices and practices which did not work in order to draw lessons learnt and recommendations.
- Existing opportunities for shared basins’ riparian countries without joint institutions in place to mobilize funding for transboundary water cooperation and basin development activities including the set-up of joint bodies.
- The emerging role, engagement and contribution of the private sector (financial and corporate sectors) in financing transboundary water cooperation and basin development, as well as conditions and limitations. The financial sector refers to private financial institutions such as Investment banks and funds, commercial banks, Insurance companies, foundations) whereas the corporate sector refer to private companies.
- Conclusions, recommendations and ways forward on i) how shared basins could further mobilize financing for transboundary water cooperation institutions and related activities and ii) how transboundary water cooperation could be mainstreamed in financers’ investment strategies and financing policies.
Academic Qualifications: Advanced degree in environment, water, political, natural or social sciences, law, economics, finance or related field.
Experience: Experience in institutional and financial dimensions of transboundary water resources management • Experience in carrying out research, practical or analytical work on water financing, water investments is desirable.
Language: Fluency in English