Center Director (Establishment of National Center for Water Research and Studies)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Riyadh, , SA

During the last years, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) initiated an ambitious program for the investigations of its major surface and groundwater resources, for the monitoring of these resources, for the study of hydrological resources (research side), and for the management of the resources (management side). While most of these tasks have been completed or are about to come to an end, the implementation of most of the necessary measures is in its very early stages and hampered by the increasing workload in the ministry. The still rapidly increasing population mainly counteracts the successes the Saudi government and MEWA have achieved in sustainable resources water management through its reforms.

To make a transition from the current patterns of water administration to sound water management mode, two things must happen.

First, there is strong need to strengthen the technical and organizational capacities of the MEWA to deal with the triple challenge of water exploitation and distribution (operational side), research for additional resources and cutting-edge technologies to satisfy the increasing demand (research side), and rigid control and administration of all water-related aspects (control side).

Second, a sound information base covering data on groundwater availability, quality, withdrawal, and usage is about to be put in place. 

MEWA has recently established the National Center for Water Research and Studies (NCWRS), which will take care of initiating and planning of water-related projects and their implementation under supervision of MEWA. Ultimately, it shall be the national governing institution for all water-related applied and purely scientific research and studies.  It will also host the National Water Database. Together with the World Bank, a short-term action plan and a long-term implementation plan for the Center have been developed, together with a proposal for the governance structure.

Hence, the MEWA has asked UNDP for assistance in selection of a qualified and competent international expert as Center Director for the Development until the regulatory statutes have been approved.




Objective within the Framework of the UNDP Project

The annual budget of MEWA is assigned from various sources: The regular budget of MEWA, budget of the initiatives of the National Transformation Plan, a research budget etc. Application procedures, dead -lines for application and so on are presently not clear and not coherent within the Deputy Ministry of Water. In addition, there is no budget to support the establishment of the two new centers. Hence, additional financial resources have to be mobilized from various sources. For this purpose, MEWA has asked UNDP to help in the selection of an Expert for these tasks, preferably a Saudi National with ample experience in governmental and financial affairs. The position is assigned to the management of the project; nevertheless, the Chief Technical Advisor of the UNDP project may assign additional UNDP tasks to the Expert.

Scope of Work of the UNDP Expert within the Framework of this Project

The tasks and responsibilities of the UNDP Expert are to:

  • Establish good working relations with the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Department of MEWA.
  • Establish good working relations with the office for the initiatives for the National Transformation Plan.
  • Map and document the general financial flow for budget items of MEWA.
  • Monitor the financial status of the Deputy Ministries’ projects and programs and submit periodic reports to the Deputy Ministry.
  • Map and document the ways of funding for research projects of the NCWRS from within MEWA and from outside.
  • Document the procedures necessary to apply for and spend budget from the initiatives.
  • Participate in the tendering, offering, and awarding procedures of all projects of the Deputy Ministry.
  • As the project language is English, excellent communication and writing skills in English; as the position implies frequent contact with local authorities, also excellent communication and writing skills in Arabic are required.


  • Report on funding sources, application modalities, and approval procedures.

Expected Output 1st year

  • Data Collection and mapping of financial flows completed.

Reporting requirements, frequency, format and deadlines

  • The Consultant will report directly to the CTA. Together, they will develop a mutually agreed upon quarterly work plan with key milestones and KPIs. The Consultant will submit a quarterly progress report against these milestones.




Core Competencies:

  • Strategic planning
  • Innovation
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Developing and Empowering People / Coaching and Mentoring
  • Works effectively in Teams
  • Clear and concise communication
  • Ethics and Values
  • People Management


Functional Competencies:

Technical/ Functional:

  • Strong knowledge and expertise in civilian policing aspects
  • Builds support and good judgment
  • Strong analytical capacities and ability to synthesize complex inputs into coherent documents
  • Change agent including the ability to convince, convey and advocate.



  • Focuses on impact and result for the client
  • Coordinates/collaborates with all key stakeholders and build strong networks/ partnerships
  • Effective team leadership with strong conflict resolution skills
  • Establishes priorities for self and other members of the team; schedules activities to ensure optimum use of time and resources
  • Demonstrates excellent oral and written communication skills



  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats people fairly without favoritism
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude


Education:  Master’s Degree or higher in Public Finance and Budgeting or equivalent from an accredited university.


  • Sound knowledge of the Saudi governmental institutions and financial procedures
  • 5 or more years’ experience in financial institutions (governmental, private sector) in Saudi Arabia
  • As the project language is English, excellent communication and writing skills in English; Arabic

       language skills will be an advantage.

  • Ability of dealing and managing communication channels (mass-communication, social media).
  • Strong teamwork skills and ability to work effectively independently as a consultant and gap analyzer
  • Strong quantitative and statistical skills
  • Demonstrated ability to proficiently and effectively guide and manage interdisciplinary teams comprised of staff with diverse backgrounds and varied skill sets


  • Excellent communication and writing skills in Arabic. As the project language is English, also excellent communication and writing skills in English.






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