Local recruitment: Project Preparation Specialist (Water Partnerships Office)

Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)

Midrand, South Africa 🇿🇦

Closing Date2023/10/04
Reference NumberDBS230919-3
Job TitleProject Preparation Specialist (Water Partnerships Office)
Job Grade17
Job Type ClassificationContract
Location – Town / CityMidrand
Location – ProvinceGauteng
Location – CountrySouth Africa
Job Profile (Downloadable)WPO Project Preparation Specialist.pdf (337.42 kb) – 19/09/2023 15:38:30
Job DescriptionThe Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is mandated by the National Water Act, 1998 and Water Services Act
1997 to be responsible for national water resource infrastructure and supporting municipalities with the provision of water
services. To support the implementation of the National Water & Sanitation Masterplan, DWS has designed and
implemented the National Water Partnerships Programme (NWPP) comprising of several sub-programmes within the
water sector that will address specific challenges facing the sector.

The DWS has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the South African Local Government (SALGA) and the
Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to jointly implement the programme. To give effect to the NWPP, the
parties have established the Water Partnerships Office (WPO)which includes the following:

The development of a standardised programme for the preparation, funding and implementation of projects
within the water sector
Providing support to municipalities and water boards to prepare, fund and implement projects according to a
standardised approach
The development of innovative and blended finance funding solutions, that will unlock and enable private sector
investment in the water sector
Facilitating partnerships with the private sector and other key stakeholders

The Project Preparation Specialist will be responsible for the preparation of projects accepted into the project preparation
pipeline. This entails one or more of the following roles: scope or define a project that is in an early preparation phase,
for projects scoped/defined facilitate public bidding for participating in the project and conduct feasibility studies.
Key Responsibilities1. Technical Outputs.
• Prepare projects in partnership with the Head: WPO, Programme Leads and other relevant stakeholders,
government, project owners/sponsors by:
o Conducting feasibility studies (economic, technical, financial, social, environmental, legal etc.)
o Manage and guide service providers procured to do the preparation of projects to ensure bankable projects
are developed
o Economic cost-benefit analysis if required
o Confirm the development impact of the project and structure accordingly
o Provide innovative and flexible financial structures for (complex) transactions
o Appropriate structuring of the project (project finance or corporate finance) to own, operate and maintain
the project
• Provide support in the selection of WPO project preparation pipeline of priority infrastructure projects by:
o Advising on legal, regulatory and policy compliance requirements
o Providing information on the “products” and programmes the WPO is offering and communicate to
prospective WPO clients in the public and private sectors
o Working with the relevant Programme Leads and consult with municipalities, water boards, SA Government
departments, regional institutions and SOEs (where relevant) and other WPO clients to review master
plans/development plans and present potential bankable projects
o Perform project gap analyses of projects selected to determine level of project preparation required as per
DBSA Project Assessment Tool (PAT).
• Identify sectoral and product experts and specialists required in line with determined project preparation work
• Prepare project appraisal reports for preparation facility and present to the DBSA/WPO decision making
structure for approval.
• Provide terms of reference on outstanding preparation work required to prepare the project for bankability, and
the implementation agreement and monitoring plan.
• Negotiate with sponsors the preparation facility agreement and oversee the implementation of the facility in
accordance with the implementation plan of the preparation facility.
• Oversee disbursements to approved facility agreements.
• Present regular monitor and progress reports as per implementation plan.
• Provide technical support in the procurement of service providers to execute the preparation activities on
• Provide support to Programme Leads to establish and maintain panels of service providers.
• Build and maintain strong relationships with clients at global, regional, local levels including businesses, financial
institutions, multilateral partners, and government officials to further develop specific project preparation
• Manage relationships at various levels with the relevant project stakeholders, service providers, partners and
lead promoters, in accordance with the project’s preparation objectives and products.
• Provide feedback on the status of clients’ application timeously and advise them on the WPO’s processes and
• Communicate continuously with clients/ projects that the WPO has funded with a view to adequately support
the office’s monitoring function
Key measurement of outputs
1. Number and quality of Project Preparation Appraisal Reports (PAR) submitted, approved and committed
2. Number of projects successfully prepared and committed for implementation
3. Disbursements on project preparation facilities
4. Management of relationships with new/existing clients and service providers.
5. Team behavioural KPI’s.
Expertise & Technical CompetenciesMinimum Requirements
1. A bachelor’s degree in Business, Economics, Engineering, or Finance.
2. A minimum of 5 years’ experience in appraising, negotiating and committing project preparation in support of
corporate finance or structured finance transactions in a financial institution.
3. Experience in doing business in South Africa with Municipalities is a requirement.
4. Demonstrated experience and understanding of the water sector as well as the project preparation cycle and
requirements to prepare bankable projects
5. Knowledge and understanding of all legislation relevant to the business of DBSA/WPO as well as the water sector
(i.e., PFMA, MFMA, PPPFA, NWA, WSA, etc.)
6. Strong knowledge and experience in working with local government planning cycle and processes
7. Knowledge and experience in Public Private Partnerships (PPP)
8. Knowledge and experience in Climate Change
9. Demonstrable track record of working with high level government stakeholders
10. Comprehensive knowledge of the complex regulatory environments of municipalities / metros, state-owned
enterprises and other government entities in South Africa
11. Demonstrated sound understanding of limited recourse and balance sheet funding, the process required to prepare
projects, and financing documentation required to present projects for investment decision
12. Experience in leading an internal team of sector specialists and analysts to appraise and present transaction to
internal committees
13. Experience in appointing and managing a team of external consultants/advisors (technical, environmental, financial
and legal) to prepare and present the Project Information Memorandum (PIM) to prospective financiers
14. Experience in analysing sponsors’ financial statements, understands and reviews financial models
15. Demonstrated understanding of the water sector to identify potential fatal flaws generally associated in this sector
in projects presented and key risks to be mitigated
Desirable Requirements
1. A post-graduate qualification in Business, Economics, Engineering or Finance
2. CA, CFA or MBA qualification
3. Development finance expertise would be an advantage
4. Experience in using financial models and project finance / investment banking experience would be advantageous
a) Business Acumen
• Reviews own actions against the organisation’s strategic plan; includes the big picture when considering possible
opportunities or projects or thinks about long-term applications of current activities.
• Understands the projected direction of the industry and how changes might impact the organisation.
• Deep understanding of commercial drivers and can take decisions based on an assessment of alternatives
concerning complex business situations.
• Deep understanding of DBSA/WPO economic priorities and how they can be implemented to meet DBSA’s/WPO’s
strategic objectives.
• Deep understanding of DBSA’s/WPO’s core sector role in achieving DBSA’s/WPO’s strategic objectives.
• Deep understanding of the need to coordinate efforts with many government entities, private sector, community
groups and individuals to ensure effective implementation of new policies and regulations.
b) Project Management
• Ability to plan, initiate, execute, control and close projects related to a relevant function as well as to track and
manage resources, timelines, costs, deliverables and performance, and implement contingency plans, if
necessary, to ensure projects are successfully.
• Defines, plans and manages large and/or strategic projects, including those with a high degree of technical
complexity, with impacts across the organisation and/or with national implications.
• Assembles and leads diverse and multi-disciplinary teams, ensuring maximum effective resource utilisation.
• Successfully manages substantial project budgets and reports directly to senior managers on the progress and
results of projects.
• Identifies complex issues that need escalation and proposes appropriate corrective action by maintaining a
respected profile with relevant external organisations and the research community in general.
c) Solutions Focused
• Identifies complex problems based on a broad range of factors, many of which are ambiguous or difficult to define.
• While remaining guided by organisational values, identifies optimal solutions, thinking first in terms of possible
approaches and flexibilities in the system vs. blind adherence to rules or procedures.
• Evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of solutions after they have been implemented and identifies needed
d) Planning and Organising
• Coaches’ others on advanced planning and organising skills.
• Plays a role in transferring advanced planning and organising skills and knowledge to others.
• Identifies and acts on opportunities to partner with other units in the department to achieve desired results.
• Develops partnership agreements that ensure win-win outcomes for all parties. Develops integrated plans for the
work unit and others that interfaces with the function’s budget.
• Uses effectively advance time management processes to deal with high workload and tight deadlines.
• Organises, prioritises and schedules tasks so they can be performed within budget and with the efficient use of
time and resources.
• Achieves goals in a timely manner, despite obstacles encountered, by organising, reprioritising and re-planning
e) Detailed Oriented
• Quickly identifies relevant and irrelevant information to support accurate decision making.
• Maps out all the logistics and details of a situation to ensure smooth and flawless implementation.
• Consistently identifies all relevant details that are not obvious in complex situations.
• Requires the highest standards for accuracy and quality for their work.
• Establishes processes to ensure accuracy and quality of services delivered by the team.
f) Reporting & Communication
• Designs, reviews and improves reporting processes and provides guidance.
• Leads production of complex environment reports, takes an editorial role, determines content and level of detail,
and ensures consistent messaging and branding.
• Is relied on by others to help them write complex technical and non-technical documents and briefs.
• Can determine which aspects of this knowledge area need to be transferred to others in order to achieve
organisational goals.
• Coaches’ others and transfers communication skills and knowledge to others.
• Able to communicate complex problems or concepts, by making them simple and understandable for others.
• Adapts language to the level of the audience in order to ensure that the message has a positive impact and is
interesting to the audience.
• Is articulate, demonstrates a wide range of vocabulary, and is confident when talking to large/high level audiences.
g) Presentation Skills
• Knows how to deliver arguments persuasively by employing a range of advanced presentation techniques (e.g.,
the appropriate use of body language, how to close a presentation so that the audience continues to think about
the subject matter etc.).
• Has knowledge of various feedback mechanisms to check levels of audience understanding
Required Personal AttributesBEHAVIOURAL COMPETENCIES
a) Customer Service Orientation
• Tries to understand the underlying needs of customers and matches these needs to available or customized
products and services.
• Adapts processes and procedures to meet on-going customer needs.
• Utilises the feedback received by customers, in order to develop new and/or improve existing services/ products
that relate to their on-going needs.
• Thinks of new ways to align offerings with future customer needs.
b) Self-Awareness and Self Control
• Withholds effects of strong emotions in difficult situations.
• Keeps functioning or responds constructively despite stress.
• May apply special techniques or plan of time to manage emotions or stress.
c) Strategic and Innovative Thinking
• Experiments with new approaches, tests scenarios, questions assumptions and challenges conventional thinking.
• Creates new concepts that are not obvious to others, leveraging internal and external sources of information, to
build incremental revenue and growth opportunities.
d) Driving Delivery of Results
• Sets challenging goals that will have a significant impact on the business or support the organisational strategy.
• Commits significant resources and/or time to ensure that challenging goals are achieved, while also taking action
to mitigate risk.
e) Teamwork and Cooperation
• Acts to promote a friendly climate and good morale and resolves conflicts.
• Creates opportunities for cross-functional working.
• Encourages others to network outside of their own team/department and learn from their experience.





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