Water Resilience and Climate Change
Objective and Purpose of the Assignment
This assignment is to develop a knowledge and strategic directions product around Asian Development Bank
(ADB) operational experience with climate change (both adaptation and mitigation) and resilience in the
water sector (all subsectors – water supply, sanitation, wastewater treatment, irrigation and drainage,
flood risk management, integrated water resources management – as well as its nexus with other sector
and thematic areas of ADB). Input will be focused in terms of strategy (internal and external),
technical assistance and development member country (DMC) client support, and investment projects to
provide an overview of the range of ADB interventions. The assignment will also identify trends in
assistance as well as assess ADB corporate and client needs, analyze major challenges and opportunities,
and make recommendations for upscaling and more effective mainstreaming of climate resilience in ADB’s
water sector operations, through proposing a strategy. Since many of the Group A and B countries in ADB
are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as the Pacific and the poorest and thus
least well equipped to pursue climate resilient measures, they will be prioritized under the outputs of
Scope of Work
The Water Resilience and Climate Change Specialist will be responsible for developing a knowledge and
strategic directions product highlighting ADB’s operational experience and interventions with climate
change and resilience in the water sector in terms of technical assistance and DMC client support, and
investment projects. Based on the review, documentation and assessment of ADB and DMC clients’ needs on
the sector, the Specialist will analyze the impediments, opportunities and challenges to upscale and
mainstream climate resilience in water sector operations with a focus on Group A and B countries. The
Specialist will also make recommendations in a discussion paper for the Water Sector Group to upscale
and mainstream water resilience into its program of work over the next three to five years. In alignment
with UCCRTF’s objective, the recommendations will aim to build resilience to the effects of climate
variability and climate change of vulnerable and poor people.
Considering the cross-cutting nature of water, the assignment will take a holistic approach integrating
different sectors and thematic areas of ADB. It will also cover both climate change adaptation and
mitigation actions, and take into account potential synergies and trade-offs between the two.
Detailed Tasks and/or Expected Output
The Water Resilience and Climate Change Specialist will report to the Chief of Water Sector Group or his
designate and carry out the following detailed tasks:
• Work with SDSC-WAT staff, other sector and thematic groups and operational department staff to compile
ADB water sector interventions pertaining to climate resilient water solutions, in terms of strategy
(internal and external), technical assistance and client support, and investment projects over the last
• Summarize ADB policies and procedures relating to water resilience to address climate change
adaptation/resilience and mitigation, including adaptation and mitigation financing. Review lessons
learned and recommendations from relevant Independent Evaluation Department evaluations.
• Review and appraise climate adaptation, mitigation and resilience solution options available to ADB
officers in the water sector.
• Identify water related climate change resilience trends, interventions, and strategies adopted by
other multilateral development bank and development partner assistance.
• Analyze the barriers to, opportunities and challenges for climate resilience integration in water
sector operations and make a synthesis of things working well (and why), not working (and why) and
suggest innovative solutions. Focus areas would include, but not limited to, integrated water resources
management (IWRM), basin-wide approach for city development, nature-based solutions, future climate
models, and quality and climate resilient water infrastructure.
• Highlight nature-based solutions and integrated cross-sectoral approach for improving water resilience
in the knowledge product and propose recommendations for more effective mainstreaming of climate change
resilience in ADB water sector operations.
• Identify ADB DMCs with projected high impacts and demand as well as a conducive enabling environment
for water resilience and climate change adaptation and mitigation services needed.
• Identify water subsectors and the ADB pipeline with projected high impacts and demand for needed water
resilience and climate change adaptation and mitigation services.
• Develop recommendations and a program of work over the next three years with terms of reference (TORs)
on how climate change adaptation/resilience and mitigation components can be more effectively
mainstreamed and scaled up within ADB water investments and built into its program of work. Among
others, the recommendations and program of work would include innovative solutions for IWRM; climate
change plans/policies to influence sector level plans, policies, budgets and institutions; design
standards and technical guidelines; economic analysis of benefits/costs approaches; tools for digital
and spatial analysis informed decision making and planning; public private partnership options on co-
financing and risk insurance; and community-based projects with benefits to poor/vulnerable.
• In consultation with SDSC-WAT and the Water Sector Group, fully develop three-year workplan to upscale
and mainstream climate change resilience (adaptation and mitigation) in the water sector including
definition of TORs and scope, objectives, costing, potential funding sources, outcomes and outputs as
well as definition of financial and human resources necessary under a phased approach.
• Specifically, look at human resource and funding needs for upscaling and mainstreaming climate change
considerations into the water sector operations and develop job descriptions/TORs for ADB staff and/or
long-term consultants to provide support to the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department
and operations departments.
• As a part of the current assignment, specifically review and identify needs for technical guidelines
which can influence design standards and cost considerations related to water and climate change in ADB
DMCs. As a specific case study and proof of concept for possible additional technical guidelines, work
with the TA 9634: Strengthening Integrated Flood Risk Management team to develop guidelines for
preparing ADB adaptation/resilience water projects they are preparing. If needed, provide or develop
TORs for needed expertise to ensure completion of these technical guidelines for integrated flood risk
management with the context of climate change adaptation, mitigation and resilience.
• Work with SDSC-WAT and the Water Sector Group to prepare and participate in delivering either an
internal and/or external high profile knowledge event highlighting the work of the knowledge product and
discussion paper outlining recommendations for upscaling and enhanced mainstreaming of climate change
resilience in ADB operations.
• Capacity building for ADB staff and DMCs.
• Deliver three virtual events or webinars for ADB staff and clients on subjects related to these TORs
and climate change adaption/resilience and mitigation for ADB water operations.
• Provide support to Operations Departments on a limited basis for project preparation and/or
implementation recommendations within the time confines of the TORs other tasks and deliverables.
• Provide climate change and water resilience inputs to “Secure and Resilient Asia-Pacific Water 2030”
for a Water Sector Group Strategic Direction Paper as needed.
• Provide climate change and water resilience inputs to sector concept notes to potential donors in the
context of the Global Commission on Adaptation, Water Action Plan and potential funding of Water
Financing Partnership Facility or equivalent dedicated fund.
• Support ADB staff to explore opportunities for external cooperation and develop a program with Global
Commission on Adaptation, Water Action Track.
Outputs and Deliverables
The Water Resilience and Climate Change Specialist will produce the following deliverables:
• An inception report within 15 days of the contract start, presenting work plan and methodology.
• Discussion Paper including recommendations and proposed internal options for upscaling and
mainstreaming water resilience work (both in climate change adaptation and mitigation) by the December
2020. This will provide a basis for the knowledge and strategic directions product.
• Report highlighting ADB’s operational experience and interventions with climate change resilience in
the water sector.
• Knowledge and strategic directions product with the indictive title “Asia-Pacific Water Resilience and
Climate Change Approach 2030” by December 2020. This document will be one of the three-document set
outlining ADB’s strategic vision for the water sector with the other two being “Asian Water Development
Outlook 2020” and “Secure and Resilient Asia-Pacific Water 2030.”
• A knowledge event(s) highlighting the knowledge and strategic directions product. The engaged
consultant will lead both preparation and participation.
• Series of three webinars for ADB staff and clients presenting the work from this assignment. The
engaged consultant will lead both preparation and participation.
Minimum Qualification Requirements
The consultant should have:
(i) A bachelor’s degree in climate-related subject or equivalent; advanced degree preferable.
(ii) At least 15 years of general experience and 10 years of specific experience in the field of water
resilience and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
(iii) Experience with multilateral development institutions.
(iv) Good understanding of ADB water operations and country experience working in ADB DMCs are