SDG Indicator 6.3.2 Specialist

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
5-7 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Result of Service

The ultimate result of services provided under this consultancy is the finalization of the SDG Indicator 6.3.2 report as well as the development of an advanced draft Options Paper that will inform future indicator methodological development and implementation within the framework of the UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6.

The objective of this consultancy is to achieve the following:
• To build on Phase 1 data drive progress and summarise the findings of the Phase 2 data drive to better enable countries to report on SDG indicator 6.3.2, which shall also include the evaluation of and suggestions to incorporate (if appropriate) alternative approaches such as the reuse of data under other existing global or regional reporting schemes and to reflect on level II reporting (i.e. additional information provided by countries that is complementary to but different from the official indicator methodology). This may also require collaboration with UNEP to inform indicator reviews by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IAEG-SDGs).
• To raise awareness among policy and decision makers of the role of ambient water quality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Ideally the criteria for upgrade from Tier 2 to Tier 1 by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators will be met in readiness for the next data drive (Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant)

Work Location


Expected duration

9 months
Start date: 1 February 2021
End date: 31 October 2021

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system's designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. 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.
UNEP's Science Division is responsible for analyzing the state of the global environment, providing early warning information and assessing global and regional environmental trends to catalyze and promote international cooperation and action on the environment

1.1 Explain the requirement for a consultant / individual

Through the UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 (IMI-SDG6, the United Nations seeks to support countries in monitoring water- and sanitation-related issues within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in compiling country data to report on global progress towards SDG 6. Phase 1 (2015-2018) of the Initiative brought together eight UN agencies to cover the seven global indicators under SDG 6 targets 6.3 (wastewater and water quality), 6.4 (water use), 6.5 (water resources management), and 6.6 (water-related ecosystems). In addition to WHO, UN-Habitat, and UNEP, the agencies included the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

To establish a baseline and periodic monitoring of targets 6.3 to 6.6, in Phase 1 the Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 (IMI-SDG6) refined relevant indicators and designed a coherent mechanism, working in direct support of agreed global monitoring and reporting systems for all of the SDGs. In this way, the Initiative aimed to provide global comparisons to guide national and donor investments.

Moving forward into the second phase (2019-2022) of the initiative, countries require significant strengthening of institutional and technical capacity to ensure a real measure of progress towards each of the SDG 6 targets can be reached at national level and to enable coverage, benchmarking and comparison of all indicator data at the global level. Phase 1 of the project has provided a strong foundation upon which to continue to support countries to be able to collect, analyse and report quality assured data on all SDG 6 indicators. This will enable policy and decision makers to draw upon the interdependencies between the SDG 6 targets and between goals and targets depending closely on water such as health, food, and biodiversity so that they can maximise the benefits of using water and sanitation monitoring data in a holistic manner.

This consultancy pertains particularly to SDG indicator 6.3.2: “Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality”. This indicator is under the custodianship of the Global Environment Monitoring System for Freshwater (GEMS/Water) Programme at UNEP and asks countries to compare in-situ monitoring data of rivers, lakes/reservoirs and groundwater with certain target values. In 2017, the UN Environment Programme conducted a data drive for the indicator and received responses from 52 countries out of 193 UN Member States. Following the first data drive in Phase 1 the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators reclassified indicator 6.3.2 as Tier 2: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries. The data drive of Phase 2 is nearing completion with the goal now to bring together the findings of this second global data drive, and to identify key lessons to guide and inform the indicator methodology implementation in the future.

Under the general supervision of Hartwig Kremer, the Head of the Global Environment Monitoring Unit, Science Division, and in close collaboration with the staff of the Unit, the GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre and the GEMS/Water Data Centre, the home-based consultant will coordinate the completion of the Indicator 6.3.2 Progress Report and associated reporting requirements including to deliver against UNEP requirements such as the reporting to the High-level Political Forum and other processes to which UNEP contributes under the UN-Water IMI-SDG6 and the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework banner. The consultancy shall also initiate and finalize a next round of the indicator feedback process with stakeholders. Further assignments will include to coordinate and engage in the helpdesk functions of the SDG 6 process with individual member states, capacity development, and advise on data analytics and synthesis including new approaches (e.g. reuse and recalculation of existing data). (

The consultant will be home-based.

Specific Tasks and Responsibilities:

Under the guidance of the Head of the Global Environment Monitoring Unit of the Science Division, and in consultation with the core implementing partners and additional contributors, the consultant shall be:

(i) Reporting on the SDG Indicator 6.3.2 data drive: Lead authorship, editing and organisation of contributors’ content to the progress report.

(ii) Contributing (leading on the 6.3.2 part) to related and associated reports such as the PGA (President of the General Assembly) High Level Report anticipated to be due earliest in February 2021 and additional requests as required

(iii) Collating feedback: Initiation of the post-data drive feedback process that collects feedback from country practitioners and the wider stakeholder community.

(iv) Creating global outreach: Attendance at relevant international water meetings such as Stockholm WWW or workshops as required.

(v) Reporting and giving feedback: Attendance at relevant SDG 6 meetings as required.

(vi) Developing citizen science draft SDG indicator 6.3.2 manual: Development of short methodology guide for citizen science data collection for SDG indicator 6.3.2 reporting. This shall draw on collaboration with members of the World Water Quality Alliance as appropriate

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications:

M.Sc. degree in either water quality, environmental sciences, natural resources management or a similar related field is required.


A minimum of five years of professional experience in water quality monitoring or water resource management is required;
• A working knowledge of the methodology for SDG indicator 6.3.2 on ambient water quality is required;
• Experience in assimilation and analytics of water quality related data from multiple sources is required;
• Experience in building and maintaining relationships with relevant governmental, non-governmental, scientific and other stakeholders is required;
• Experience of managing the delivery of multi-author reports is required;
• Experience of coordinating a stakeholder engagement process is desirable;
• Experience in capacity development in various formats is desirable;
• Project implementation skills are desirable, such as:
o Coordination of thematic and project progress reports.
o Organisation and facilitation of workshops including in developing countries and delivery of capacity building training.
o Convening of expert meetings (online and offline).
• Familiarity with UNEP's work in the area of water and ideally that of other relevant UN-Water members, as well as the Integrated Monitoring Initiative is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another UN Language is desirable.