Protracted conflict and associated economic decline in South Sudan continue to take toll on consistent access to basic services by the people. Services like water supply and hygiene services have been severely affected across states within the country. Access to improved water sources remain a challenging across Unity State. Concern began working in Unity State in January 2014 in response to the 2013 political crisis thanks to support from donors such as USAID, UNICEF, and DFATD/GAC. As people fled to Bentiu PoC, Concern’s team established WASH, shelter/NFI and nutrition activities in the PoC, and also expanded these more to locations in wider Unity as part of the Beyond Bentiu Response.
In Rubkona County, Concern operates a water supply network serving the communities of Rubkona surface water treatment (SWAT) and Bentiu conventional water treatment plant (WTP) towns through communal water points, water kiosks, individual tap stands and commercial business. People are using donkey carts as well as water tankers to access water from the water treatment plant and the Rubkona emergency SWAT system. In the recent past, the two towns have seen an influx in the number of people settling in these locations in the aftermath of the signed peace agreement in South Sudan. This has put further pressure on the existing water supply systems.
A willingness to pay survey was conducted to investigate 1) the various sources of water available to the households in the two towns which are benefiting from the Rubkona and Bentiu water supply systems, and 2) their willingness to pay for improved water services. The results of the assessment revealed the willingness of the community to pay for water. Even though the amount people are willing to pay differed from individual to another for the water service delivery, results indicated that there is an overwhelming agreement among the population that there is a need to improve water governance.
Results from an assessment showed that there is no guiding policy for how this is to be done. A policy framework is key in guiding the implementation processes, in addition to defining the various services required and outline of the operational aspects involved in the decision to charge for water.
Concern has secured funding from UNICEF for the identification and formation of a utility system, which includes a utility management team that will manage the treatment and supply systems in Unity State. This will include training utility management teams to take over service delivery.
Concern therefore seeks a competent consultant / team of consultants to lead in the formation and training of a utility management team to run the system.
2. Purpose of the Consultancy
The overall purpose of the consultancy is to develop a policy framework to guide the management of the Bentiu conventional water treatment system and the Rubkona emergency water supply system, support Concern staff in the identification, formulation and training utility management teams for the running of each. The consultant will also provide recommendations on how to set appropriate tariffs setting as well as simple guidelines for drafting by–laws to support the operations and provide training for stakeholders on the implementation of the guidance.
3. Essential and Desirable Experience/Qualifications
- Team Leader: Minimum BSc. Sociology / Community development or any other relevant field on WASH systems strengthening, including Life Cycle Costing Analysis (LCCA),
- Team Member: Minimum BSc Sociology / Community development or any other relevant field, with a strong background on Water Management services.
- At least 5 years’ experience working with governments or private sector in WASH project costing and recovery with at least a 2 years’ practical experience in formation and training of community social groups and Water Management services or welfare associations in similar contexts.Proven team leading and managerial experience.
- Knowledge of working with conflict-affected populations.
- Previous experience in South Sudan will be an added advantage.
- Excellent communication and analytical skills
- Excellent reporting and presentation skills.
- Excellent knowledge of and experience with humanitarian guidelines, principles and standards.
- Fluency in English and local languages spoken in the working area is an advantage.
- Computer literacy in MS Word, MS Excel, PowerPoint, Willingness to work under pressure & meeting deadlines.
- Ability to work in a multicultural and inter-sectoral environment.
- Ability to work collaboratively as a team with the other staff members.
- Ability to coordinate, direct and supervise others to achieve a common goal.
- Ability to live and work in an isolated area in conditions of limited comfort
- Fluency in English is essential. Knowledge of local language is an added advantage.
4. Objectives and Specific Tasks to be undertaken by the Consultant(s)
- Development of an Assets Registry
This will include a review of the current status of both water supply systems, their efficiency and future needs. This will include a review of the structures in place to support asset management, taking into consideration the conditions of the physical infrastructure. The consultant will provide recommendations for prioritizing investments for any future new systems, expansions or improvements, and the replacing components of the existing systems. This will include comprehensive data on the age and condition of the existing infrastructure.
- Support the State Ministry in formulating operations by-laws.
The consultant will define the roles and responsibilities of the Ministry, Town Councils and / or the private sector in sustaining, operating and maintaining the water systems and associated by-laws. This will include guidelines on obtaining legal status, if applicable, and facilitating moderation in case of conflicts, helping solve disputes as they may arise.
- Development of a business plan for the two water systems
· The business plan is to be designed as a roadmap, primarily aimed at the Ministry and the Town Council, towards transferring service delivery to government agencies. The plan will include a snap shot of the existing enabling environment for conducting business, technical feasibility and commercial viability of the water supply system. This will include suitable a contingency plans.
· The business plan will include recommendations to the State Ministry for appropriate tariff structures for the two water supply systems. This should be based on guidance from the Willingness to Pay survey, and should consider the different costs necessary to provide a sustainable service and to what degree these categories can be covered by the tariffs;
· The Business Plan will include set guidelines for the formulation of necessary documents - including water connection application forms, metering etc.
- Development of Institutional Support Packages
a. In close collaboration with the Ministry, the WTP operators, and the water users, develop multiple training/support packages on topics identified as critical to ensure sustainability of the water supply systems, as well as the governance framework.
- Utility Management System
· Identify any need for replacement of existing systems of management (managing resources).
· Lead in identifying and putting in place a utility management team which will be able to manage and technically support the day to day operation of water treatment units and can be able to implement new systems with a capacity of planning, assessment, design and supervision of projects.
· Formulation of tools for monitoring of the provision of services (quality, quantity, continuity and coverage of water, administrative operation).
· Formulate local accountability mechanisms to support in ensuring effective service delivery to the population.
To be developed by the consultant and approved by Concern at the beginning of the assignment.
Methodology must include:
o Meetings with the Ministry of Gender and its key staff
o Meeting with Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and the Ministry of Health
o Meeting with UNICEF and other key stakeholders such as WASH agencies, the WASH Cluster State focal point at Bentiu and if possible with National WASH cluster coordinator.
o After completion of the field, visits and meetings in Bentiu the Consultant should present the findings to Concern and UNICEF jointly and incorporate the feedback.
o Concern will provide basic accommodation in the Humanitarian Hub when in Bentiu.
o Return travel from consultants’ home country to South Sudan and local travel within South Sudan will be paid by Concern.
o Consultants are required to follow the Covid-19 restrictions at all times as laid out by the Ministry of Health, South Sudan.
· Final Report
The outputs will be submitted in 3 No. copies for the draft and 3 No. copies for the final. The Consultant shall submit 3 No. electronic Pendrives of the data, training manuals and reports in PDF and original format to the Client.
The report, no longer than 40 pages excluding annexes, will be presented in English and will include at minimum: Preamble covering background information, current running and management of the water supply systems for the two locations, a summary of tariff setting structure, a summary of formulated by-laws and the proposed structure for utility management.
All reports, graphs, training manuals, drawings shall be submitted to Concern in English. The reports shall be in word format, Calibri 12, double spacing, and justify electronic copies. The pages should not exceed 40 pages excluding annexes, drawings, appendices
The following full reports will be presented as annexes:
- The recommended by-laws, which are to be forwarded to the State Ministry for adoption
- Complete business plan, including guidelines on tariffs as agreed
- The utility management model including organograms
- Different sets of institutional training manuals as packages for all stakeholder groups - the utility management teams, the Ministry and Town Council staff.
The final payment is dependent on the submission of a good quality, well-written final report or completion of agreed outputs (as detailed in the TOR). In addition to methodology, findings and discussion, the report should include a comprehensive executive summary and a section outlining clear and concise conclusions and recommendations. Concern WASH team at Bentiu level, Programme Director and Concern WASH advisor will review the report and provide feedback which must be addressed before payment is made.
A digital copy of all reports will be required by Concern at the end of the piece of work.**
6. Lines of Communication
The consultant will report to WASH Programme Manager of Concern Worldwide South Sudan, but will work closely with the WASH Engineer, Bentiu Area Coordinator and the Base manager.
The Country Director as the person responsible for security will make the final decision on travel plans of the Consultant based on security assessments. The Consultant must accept the Country Director’s decision and must adhere to all Concern South Sudan security protocols while in-country.
Due to the nature of the proposed work, the identification of the utility management unit and trainings is expected to take 45 days including Covid restrictions based on the current government policy for quarantining on arrival in country, travel days, field data collection, report writing and submission to Concern. Please note, timeframe may be adjusted at time of contracting to account for any changes in Covid restrictions as set by the government of South Sudan.
How to apply
Qualified and interested candidates can submit their technical and financial proposals, including CVs to by 20th November 2020.
· The consultant should submit a technical and financial proposal separately, and are to include the number of days in country.
· The consultant should submit a sample of similar work done in South Sudan context or any other country preferably in Africa.
· When submitting financial proposal, please note that Payment will be subject to 10% withholding tax, as per South Sudan law unless the Consultant provides confirmation that s/he is exempt.