Cross-Border Project Manager Water

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
South Omo, Ethiopia
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
0-2 Years
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Result of Service

1. Identification of relevant stakeholders at the basin level (both countries) and efficient dialogues and capacity building activities on actual state of the basin and needed interventions including pilot demonstrations.
2. Local/basin level data and information in support of project activities
3. Community approved micro-catchment plan and pilot interventions that improve local livelihoods by improving the water resources and/or the ecosystem

Work Location

Boarder-based (South Omo, Ethiopia)

Expected duration

6 months (End date cannot be later than 28 February 2021)

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations (UN) system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. UN Environment’s Ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and capacity development for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition

The incumbent will support implementation of the water components of the 3-year EU-funded project “Support for Effective Cooperation and Coordination of Cross-border Initiatives (SECCCI)”, co-funded by the European Union’s (EU) Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), UNDP and UNEP. The project is currently in its last year of implementation. UNEP leads the water components of the project, which are implemented in Lake Turkana and its River Basins, covering the Lake and inflowing rivers (River Omo, River Turkwel and River Kerio) in the basin countries of Ethiopia and Kenya.

The water components of the SECCCI project will have a particular focus on the issue of transboundary water management and will support the joint ambition of Ethiopia and Kenya as signed in 2015 on cross-border arrangements for the sustainable ecosystem management of the Lake Turkana and its river basins aiming towards the establishing of a cooperative management mechanism of the Lake Turkana and its river basins.
The project will be delivered and managed by the UNEP Freshwater Unit with support from a UNEP Implementing Partner, the UNEP-DHI Centre (, a collaborative UNEP centre hosted by DHI (, having solid experience within water resource management in transboundary basins in Africa.
The water component of the project aims to:
a) provide information about the status and trends of Lake Turkana and river basins ecosystems and the ecosystem services they provide;
b) provide information on who and where are beneficiaries and how do ecosystem services affect their well-being;
c) promote cross-border cooperation in water resources and ecosystem management;
d) design and implement practical solutions to secure and improve the continued delivery of water resources and ecosystem services in Lake Turkana and its River Basins.

The incumbent will be supervised by the Project Manager, the Head of the Freshwater Unit of the Ecosystems Division. The UNEP Project Coordinator and the UNEP-DHI Project Manager will oversee day-to-day work of the incumbent. The incumbent will be based in South Omo, Ethiopia, with frequent travel in the cross-border area of the Omo-Turkana basin.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities

The incumbent will support the delivery of the project outputs and outcomes that are led by UNEP.

1) Acts as UNEP’s focal point in the basin area (northern/western Kenya and southern Ethiopia), representing UNEP at the community, county and regional level:

o Acts as focal point and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) expert for the water components of the EU-funded project “Support to the Effective Cooperation and Coordination of Cross-border Initiatives in Southwest Ethiopia-Northwest Kenya, Marsabit-Borana & Dawa, and Kenya-Somalia-Ethiopia”;
o Provides liaison with local stakeholders, such as the county and regional governments and with border-based stakeholders, such as SECCCI project partners, EUTF partners, non-governmental organizations, private sector, civil society and community-based organisations, research institutions and other stakeholder groups in the region;
o Liaises with UNEP and UNEP-DHI and works closely with the cross-border project coordinator based in Lodwar, Kenya and support its project activities by linking to local stakeholders including obtaining field data.
o Organises capacity building activities for local practitioners;
o Represents UNEP at basin-level dialogues, fora, workshops and other meetings and promotes the project activities and results at local level, such as studies, assessments, monitoring observatory, capacity building activities, etc.;
o Informs the UNEP on the situation in the basin area;
o Supports by providing input to communication, monitoring, reporting and evaluation;
o Performs other duties as required.

2) Local/basin level data collection to support project activities:

o Stakeholder analysis on both sides of the border will be done to understand the issues and interrelationships created by the existence of multiple users and uses of natural resources, especially water and land resources.
o Coordinating with UNEP-DHI in data and information gap filling efforts when required
o Community level data to support local decision on small-scale pilot interventions. These parameters are hydrology, groundwater, geology, impact of climate change, delineation of micro catchment area, socio-economic characteristics, water use, water quality, land use, dynamics between water use and peace and security, decision-making regulations and practices on water and ecosystem use.
o Liaise with UNEP-DHI for organizing logistically meetings, workshops, training sessions and on-the-ground activities.

3) Facilitating the dialogue among stakeholders leading to the development of a cross-border micro catchment plan:

o Liaises with local authorities, communities and development partners to identify the value added of a cross border micro-catchment plan;
o Executes an ecosystem and water resources assessment of the cross-border catchment area;
o Develops, through a process with local communities and authorities, a cross-border micro-catchment plan (depending on the exact qualifications of the incumbent he/she might be supported in this task by UNEP);
o Monitors and reports on progress and lessons learnt.

4) Coordinates the implementation of pilot demonstrations/interventions improving water resources and/or ecosystem services in the basin area:

o Identifies potential pilot demonstrations/interventions and capacity building needs in a consultative process with local authorities and communities, and in collaboration with the UNEP-DHI;
o Develops an implementation and sustainability plan for the demonstrations/interventions in collaboration with local authorities and communities;
o Oversees and supports the implementation of the pilot demonstrations and capacity building activities and ensures timely delivery;

For all activities, a gender-sensitive approach will be adopted - always including a gender breakdown when applicable – in data collection during meetings/surveys/training; and data collection relative to the benefits and impacts of ecosystems services and proposed rehabilitation interventions. These records are crucial, as the project aims to (a) ensure equal access for men and women to the benefits of the pilot rehabilitation projects, (b) avoid negative effects of pilot rehabilitation projects on the position of women, (c) consider the interactions between gender and ecosystem services (including paid/unpaid labour associated with ecosystem services), (d) strive for gender-balanced participation in meetings and implementation activities.

Qualifications/special skills

A master’s degree in water resources management or closely related area of study. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Additional Information

The region in which the consultancy is based is relatively challenging due to fragile security situation. The COVID-19 pandemic in the region is expected to pose additional restrictions in terms of movement and gathering in the region, as well as a possible aggravated security situation.