IWRM Plan Development Expert

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Background Information – UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners’ needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.

UNOPS – East Africa Hub

Located in Nairobi, Kenya, UNOPS East Africa Hub manages a growing portfolio of engagements, including associated strategic and operational risks. The East Africa sub-region currently consists of an established operations center in South Sudan, an office in Somalia and a portfolio of multiple transactional, procurement and infrastructure projects in Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and several Atlantic and Indian Ocean island states.

Background Information – Job-specific

Project Title: Implementing Integrated Water Resource and Wastewater Management in Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS

The geographic scope of this regional project covers the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, focusing on six Small Island Developing States (SIDS), with Cabo Verde and São Tomé y Principe in the Atlantic Ocean and Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. The Goal of the project is to contribute to sustainable development in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean SIDS through improvements in natural resource and environmental management. The overall Objective is to accelerate progress on WSSD targets and IWRM and WUE plans and water supply and sanitation MDGs for the protection and utilization of groundwater and surface water in the participating countries. This will be based on best practices and demonstrations of IWRM approaches.

The project is consistent with the GEF IV strategic objective for International Waters: ‘to play a catalytic role in addressing trans-boundary water concerns by assisting countries to utilize the full range of technical assistance, economic, financial, regulatory and institutional reforms that are needed’.  It will do so through supporting and building on existing political commitments and through promoting sustainable water use and improved water management, making it easier to address the challenges of the future as climatic variability and change affects water resources further.  More specifically, the project will deliver outcomes under GEF IV Strategic Program III (SP-3) through working with communities to address their needs for safe drinking water and other socio-economic benefits of sustainable and safe water resources, including balancing environmental requirements with livelihood needs.

UNEP and UNDP jointly function as Implementing Agencies and respectively oversee their own components.  UNDP component focuses on site-based IWRM demonstration activities while UNEP components primarily focus on national and regional interventions. UNDP component is implemented through UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Water and Energy Cluster while UNEP components are executed by UNOPS East Africa Hub. The following are the Project components;

Component C1: Targeted site based IWRM demonstration activities in all six participating countries (UNDP Implemented)

Component C2: Focusing on development of IWRM and WUE Regional Indicator Framework based on improved collection of gender dis aggregated data and indicator feedback and action for improved national and regional sustainable development using water as an entry point b (UNEP Implemented). 

Component C3: Focusing on Policy, Legislative, and Institutional Reform for IWRM and WUE through supporting institutional change and re-alignment to enact National IWRM Plans and WUE strategies, including appropriate financing mechanisms and supporting and building further political will to endorse IWRM policies and plans (UNEP Implemented). 

Component C4: Focusing on Capacity Building and Sustainability Program for IWRM and WUE, including Knowledge Exchange and Learning and Replication (UNEP Implemented).

Background on Project Activities in Maldives

Freshwater resources in Maldives are very scarce, both temporal and spatially. The main natural freshwater resources available in the country are groundwater aquifers that occur in the porous coral sands and rainfall.  Groundwater lenses in the islands lie at an average depth of 1-1.5m below the ground surface. They exist as thin fresh water lenses floating on top of underlying saline water. Traditionally drinking water was abstracted   from these shallow aquifers using hand dug open wells.  However, in many inhabited islands of Maldives, fresh groundwater aquifers have been depleted as a result of salt- water intrusion due to unregulated abstraction of fresh groundwater from thin fresh water lenses.  The shallow depth of the groundwater lenses of the islands makes this freshwater resource vulnerable to over abstraction and contamination from land based human activities. Hence, people are reluctant to use groundwater for drinking or cooking unless quality is ensured. Most of the people in the outer islands rely on roof top harvested rainwater for potable purposes. These rainwater harvesting systems are a combination of household and community collection and storage systems.  However, due to limited storage capacity within house plots, householders can collect and store only a small quantity of water.

Significant improvements have been experienced in the sector as new, more environmentally friendly water supply and sewerage systems are being implemented in the islands with the increased support of external assistance to the government and from the national budget. 66% of the total population has access to improved sewerage facilities and 39% of total population has access to safe water supply with metered house connections.

Improvement of water and sanitation remains as an important priority to the Government and National water and Sewerage policy has been developed embracing aspects of IWRM. An integrated approach to water resource management with appropriate governance framework and institutional roles is seen as the most appropriate pathway. To this end, the Government of Maldives has embraced integrated approach in management of its water resources in some of the habited islands. Building on these, the plans to establish a national IWRM Plan as a framework for water resources management.

Objective of the Consultancy

The main objective of the consultancy is to develop National IWRM Plan and provide inputs on National IWRM Indicator Monitoring Framework for Maldives to ensure IWRM Mainstreaming.

Functional Responsibilities

 Functional Responsibilities:

Under the overall supervision of the UNOPS East Africa Hub (EAH) Head of Implementation for managerial and administrative aspects, the consultant will have direct accountability to the Regional Project Coordinator on delivery of planned outputs.

The consultant will provide technical expert support in facilitating the development of IWRM plan for Maldives and provide inputs to the National IWRM Indicator Framework to ensure IWRM is mainstreamed. 

The IWRM Consultant will liaise directly with the Regional Coordinator for day-to-day matters and reporting.  S/he will, where necessary, liaise with the UNEP Task Manager, Projects National Focal Points and other relevant bodies and stakeholders as may be relevant.

In execution of the assignments, the consultant will undertake official duty travel based on agreed plan of action plan and approved travel plan.  

Consultancy Tasks and Deliverables

In particular the consultant will  undertake the following tasks:

  1. Development of IWRM Plan for Maldives

Working closely with and under guidance from the national focal point, the consultant will provide technical support and guidance on IWRM Planning process to deliver the IWRM and WUE Plan. Foreseen task will include review of relevant documents and reports, and facilitation of national consultation workshops.  Two national workshops are foreseen (to be agreed on at inception stage of the consultancy).

The first national consultations will be held with the governmental stakeholders, to consider a draft text. . The purpose of this first consultation will be to resolve sectoral duplication, conflicts and omissions, and to seek approval for wider non-governmental consultation. The second national consultation will be to a wider IWRM stakeholder group, including the private sector, public, communities, NGOs and so on. This will seek additional inputs on possible actions, as well as clarify roles and responsibilities. 

A final text will be prepared and submitted first to the IWRM Planning Committee, then the Steering Committee for endorsement before final submission at ministerial level for adoption.

Specifically, the consultant will;

  • Review relevant documents and reports including project documents;
  • Review specific IWRM plans that have been developed for some of the Islands
  • Develop an actions programme based on the identified IWRM strategy based on document review and consultation with the Ministry and key stakeholders.
  • Ensure linkages between the national IWRM indicator framework and the actions programme, and establish current situation and  future expectations in terms of improved water resources governance, management and practices;
  • Undertake a wider stakeholder consultation process to ensure inputs from multiple categories of stakeholders involved in water resources management in Comoros, this in consideration of the regional setting of island entities in Maldives.
  • In consultation with stakeholders, develop draft national IWRM and WUE plan for review and inputs by stakeholders;
  • Facilitate two national workshops to solicit inputs and consolidate final IWRM and WUE Plan;
  • Develop an effective implementation strategy for the implementation of the IWRM plan, including coordination mechanism and  capacity building program to strengthen stakeholders’ participation; and resource mobilization for the implementation of the plan

Estimated time input:  41 days from December 2016 to April 2017.

Target timeline for completion: 30 April 2017

 Provide Support on National IWRM Indicator Monitoring Framework

Maldives is developing a national IWRM Indicator monitoring framework with a national consultant retained by the Government to facilitate the process with support from the Regional Coordination Unit. The international consultant under this consultancy is expected to provide limited support to the process by reviewing and providing inputs to the draft framework to ensure that the two documents (Indicator framework and National IWRM plan) are linked and IWRM is mainstreamed.

Specific tasks include;

– Provide inputs to the national teams through consultation or participation in workshop as shall be agreed on;

– Review and provide inputs on the draft National IWRM Indicator Frame work to ensure alignment with the IWRM Plan.

Expected Time input: 4 days (from December 2016 to March 2017)

Target timeline: March 2017 (depending on when draft will be available for review)  


Core Competencies

  • Integrity and Inclusion
  • Leading self and others
  • Results Orientation
  • Agility
  • Solution Focused
  • Effective Communication -Demonstrable excellent verbal and written communications skills, both at a technical level and in the preparation of information for policy makers and wider civil society
  • Partnering- Strong and proven experience in stakeholder management including negotiation and facilitation skills;
Functional Competencies:
  • A proven ability to work as part of a dynamic inter-disciplinary and/or multi-cultural team;
  • The ability to meet project deadlines, often under difficult circumstances;
  • Ability to travel to and work within Island Communities.
  • Demonstrated drive for continuous improvement and incorporation of lessons learned and best practices into business process routines.
  • Demonstration of professional behavior and personal ethics, transparency and openness to encourage respect and similar behavior from colleagues in the workplace
  • Demonstrated flexible cross-cultural team experience as well as diplomatic and negotiation skills in facilitation of national processes in water sector;
  • Demonstrated expertise and experience in IWRM Planning process based on cross-sectoral approaches
  • Demonstrated experience in comprehensive water sector reform, policy and institutional support, lobbying and enhanced involvement of the private sector and civil society in IWRM issues;
  • Familiarity with basic international environmental law related to water management is required
  • Familiarity with the goals and procedures of international organizations, in particular of the GEF and the its implementing agencies (UNDP, UNEP).
  • Environmental Law is desired
  • Natural resource management (7 years)
  • Water resource management (7 years)
  • Global Environment Facility(GEF) and its Partners is desired
  • Stakeholder management (5 years)
  • Facilitation ( 5 years)
  • International Law is desired

A master’s degree in Water Resource Management, IWRM, Environmental Management, International or Environmental law, Natural Resource Planning, Environmental Engineering with IWRM focus or a directly related field is required.

Combination of first-level university degree with additional 2 years work experience may be accepted in lieu of a master’s degree

  • At least seven years of professional experience in Water Resource Management, IWRM,Environmental Management, Natural Resource Planning, Environmental Engineering with IWRM focus
  • Demonstrated experience in IWRM is required
  • In addition, experience working in SIDS is an advantage

Fluency in written and oral English at professional level is required. Knowledge of second UN working language is desirable.

Contract type, level and duration
Contract type:International Individual Contractor Agreement
Contract level: IICA 3
Contract duration: 5 months (Home based, lump sum contract)

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

Additional Considerations
  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.