Local recruitment: Consultant - Situation Analysis of Water Security in Yemen
OVERVIEW OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE POST
The Situation Analysis of Water Security in Yemen, proposed by UNESCO, is a research activity planned under the framework of UNESCO’s Major Programme C/5 expected result 7 (C/5 ER7) “ Member States have strengthened their response to water security challenges towards the achievement of water-related SDGs and targets, and other targets from relevant international water agendas” . The objective of the C/5 ER7 is to assist Member States in the Gulf region and Yemen to address water security challenges through cooperation, research and institutional capacities strengthening.
Therefore, the objective of the research is to provide an overview of the status quo of the water sector in Yemen, including governance structure and regulatory framework, key implementing actors and stakeholders, overview of key interventions in response to humanitarian needs and rehabilitation projects as well as opportunities and key entry points in line with UNESCO’s mandate, such as the need to develop a Water Information System using remote sensing tools and populated with relevant documentation related to the water sector. Further details are included in the ‘Description of Deliverables’ section below.
According to the latest UN’s Yemen Humanitarian Response plan (June-December 2020), 23.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance among which 20.5 million people lack adequate access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene. In addition to years of conflict, health crisis and natural disasters, the population of Yemen is currently threatened by the outbreak of the COVID-19 aggravated by the lack of access to water, hygiene and sanitation and putting the health system under tremendous pressure.
Furthermore, due to its subtropical climate, water scarcity in Yemen is a longstanding crisis caused by little surface water availability, unsustainable use of groundwater aquifers, rapid population growth with a demographic shift from rural to urban centers and the impact of climate change with a pattern of extreme weather conditions (rising temperature, precipitation variability, increasing evapotranspiration, etc.). Recent flooding in early 2020 has caused people displacement, collapse of households, and the spread of diseases requiring urgent humanitarian interventions for food, non-food items and WASH assistance.
The country’s water resources heavily depend on rainfall, which is feeding surface and subsurface storages, e.g. periodically flowing creeks and groundwater aquifers. In the course of Global Warming, climate change will undoubtedly modify both, temperature and rainfall in Yemen, and ultimately it will affect Yemen’s scarce water resources with respect to the recharge and availability of surface water and inter-connected groundwater bodies, both being vital for agricultural production (using 90% of water resources), food security and drinking water supply.
Hydrological surveys and studies are scattered among water resources/supply and sanitation/irrigation agencies and institutions. Consequently, it appears being imperative for a consolidated and integrated mapping and analysis of the water sector in Yemen. Therefore enabling the water administration and WASH partners to strategically respond to water security challenge within the actual context and for post-recovery purposes.
Many initiatives have been supported by international donors aiming at rehabilitating and restoring basic services and infrastructure in some affected areas in Yemen (UNOPS, World Bank, UNDP, UNESCO, etc.). As of June 2020 , 98 organizations are implementing Humanitarian Response Plan activities across all of Yemen’s 333 districts, out of which 34 are operating under WASH sector.
However, these initiatives remains as ad hoc and fragmented interventions with an immediate response to an acute and urgent need. In addition, humanitarian access in many parts of Yemen is still a critical issue due to the deterioration and volatility of the security situation, specifically in areas along the frontlines as well as due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
DESCRIPTION OF DELIVERABLES
The situation analysis (Deliverable 1) will be made up of three components: (1) mapping (both policies and actors), (2) analysis, and (3) opportunities and entry points for UNESCO. In order to define the key domains for the research, the framework for the situation analysis presented below is adapted from the UN’s Post-Disaster Needs Assessment Guidelines Volume B for Water & Sanitation (hereafter PDNA), and aligned to the six thematic areas of the eight year of implementation of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP). Therefore, the situation analysis will focus on:
i. Water supply and sanitation services;
ii. Water resources policy and administrative management, including institutional capacities;
iii. Water-related disasters and hydrological changes
iv. Water-Energy-Food Nexus
The consultant will also produce a short PowerPoint presentation (Deliverable 2) of no more than 20 slides summarizing the results of the research.
Situation Analysis Components
The document should comprise the following three sections:
A. Mapping: The purpose of the mapping is to (1) map different policies and national strategies related to water resources management, including a historical review of legal/regulatory frameworks, (2) define the governance structure and map institutions and actors in the water sector to establish a database of contacts and better understanding of governance and decision-making processes. This information will be used as a reference and baseline to plan future projects, define approach for engagement as well as understand the status quo of the water sector in Yemen.
B. Analysis: The purpose of the analysis section is to assess and analyse past and ongoing key WASH related interventions and projects to draw on main lessons learned and gaps and challenges to be addressed. This section should also take into consideration cross-cutting issues of gender, youth and vulnerable communities such as Internally Displaced Population (IDPs).
C. Opportunities and entry points for UNESCO: The purpose of this section is to identify priority intervention areas relevant to UNESCO’s and IHP’s mandate and fields of expertise. It should also align with national laws, existing sector development policies as well different UN working strategies, and response plans. This section should outline (i) proposed interventions to address the gap and challenges related to water sector, (ii) proposed actions for stakeholders engagement to further enhance collaboration and avoid duplication of efforts (iii) relevance and feasibility of developing a Water Information System using remote sensing tools and technologies that will support decision making in reconstruction planning and management of water infrastructure and water resources. The objective of this Water Information System is to provide profound knowledge and detailed information about the location and spatial distribution of damaged and destroyed water infrastructure, its geographical interdependency, and role within the regional socioeconomic functioning.
DESCRIPTION OF DELIVERABLES
The Four Key Domains
The research should survey and reflect the four key domains throughout the situation analysis of the water sector as follows:
1. Water supply and sanitation services: This refers to the status of infrastructure and physical assets for the provision of water supply and sanitation services including (as specified in the PDNA-WASH): Water sources (conventional and non-conventional), water distribution (e.g reservoirs, trucks for water transportation) and water treatment systems (water purification, wastewater treatment).
2. Water resources policy and administrative management: This component concerns the regulatory framework, laws and policy formulation, including (i) Integrated Water Resources Management, (ii) Institutional capacity and governance, and (iii) coordination mechanisms amongst stakeholders including research, private sector, the civil society and international organizations.
3. Water-related disasters and hydrological changes: This key component corresponds to risk management strategies as well as adaptation and response plans to water related disasters either caused by human activity and/or the impact of climate change. The description and analysis of the impact of recent major water related disasters should include the following key dimensions: (i) destruction of infrastructure and assests, (ii) disruption of service delivery, (iii) disruption of governance, and (v) emerging risks/vulnerabilities of the affected population (PDNA-WASH).
4. Water-Energy-Food Nexus: According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), access to water, energy and food security (WEF) are linked throughout the world and play an important role in sustainable development, poverty reduction and human well-being. In Yemen, 37% of irrigation water is used for the production Qat , facilitated by low energy prices and the lack of regulation in well drilling to pump groundwater for irrigation leading to substantial depletion of groundwater resources . Therefore, the analysis should draw upon the level of awareness and integration of the WEF nexus in water management related strategies.
The situation analysis will require a mixed-methods approach using both qualitative and quantitative assessment tools. These data may be based on existing scientific and research papers, project documents developed by actors in the field, national census data, local institutions datasets including Ministry of Water and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation as well as Ministry of Planning & International Cooperation, UNDP, UNOPS and World Bank datasets among others.
The data collection and desk review should be validated through follow-up interviews/meetings.
The research should also aim to capture feedback and recommendation by relevant stakeholders to better understand the needs of local institutions and identify best approaches to address the water security in Yemen in line with UNESCO’s mandate and field of expertise.
A full list of references and mapping of actors (including contact details whenever possible) should be in included, using APA style. Annexes should not be included in page counts mentioned above.
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.
• Advanced university degree (Masters) in the field of Water Engineering, Statistics, Hydrology & Water Management, Economics or similar discipline.
• Five to ten years of relevant professional experience in the water sector.
• Excellent written and spoken Arabic and English.
• Strong understanding of water related policies and planning, water resources management, and hydrology;
• Strong understanding of and ability to efficiently use and interpret datasets (e.g. FAOSTATS).
• Strong understanding of the water security issues in urban and rural setting with particular attention to cross-cutting issues such gender, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, climate change, etc.;
• In-depth knowledge of the Yemeni socio-economic context;
• Demonstrated knowledge of the sustainable development goals, particularly SDG 6;
• Only candidates who are based in Yemen are encouraged to apply.