Consultant to support the Legal Entity of Public Law (LEPL) National Environmental Agency (NEA) in the developing of Surface Water Monitoring Programme
Georgia is one of the wealthiest countries in both surface and groundwater resources in Europe. More than 26,000 rivers and 850 lakes, 43 reservoirs, 734 glaciers and wetlands, with a total area of 627 km2 composed of surface water resources in Georgia. Coastal waters of the Black Sea are geographically very isolated from the Oceans, which means it is susceptible to pollution. In order to determine the environmental status of coastal water, the quality and quantity of drained rivers are measured. Overall, the quality of surface water in Georgia is satisfactory, and the current monitoring system has identified a few hot spots. Surface water resources are under significant pressure from household usage due to discharges of untreated urban wastewater in the surface water bodies. Agriculture and industry sectors also pose a strain to water resources.
International environmental treaties and requirements play a substantial role in framing the water policy of a country. The EU-Georgia Association Agreement (AA https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:22014A0830(02)) sets obligations for Georgia on the approximation of its legislation within the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD https://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:5c835afb-2ec6-4577-bdf8-756d3d694eeb.0004.02/DOC_1&format=PDF), and other water quality-related regulations while the AA implementation roadmap sets more than 25 actions to harmonisation our system with EU standards and regulations. One of the main recommendations for fulfilling international obligations is enhancing surface water monitoring capacity. Therefore, the development of modern water management system is one of the top priorities for the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA).
Surface water quality monitoring is carried out by the LEPL National Environmental Agency (NEA) based on the annual plan: surface water samples are taken regularly (once a month or quarterly) and chemical and biological analysis are performed to determine key ions, biogenic elements, heavy metals, organic pollutants, and other ingredients. The Agency has started hydrobiological monitoring in some rivers as well to identify bentos macroinvertebrates, in accordance with WFD.
Even though NEA is performing monitoring of surface water, the Agency still lacks a detailed and approved monitoring programme which is aligned to EU standards and requirements. Accordingly, NEA intends to develop a targeted monitoring programme (plan) – specific guiding document, which should include mandatory information, such as methodologies, the choice of elements to measure, sampling types, data assessment, monitoring areas/locations, etc. to measure the quality and quantity of surface waters throughout the whole territory of Georgia, gather the reliable data, identify gaps and correspondingly plan future measurement activities. The establishment of a modern monitoring system through developing data gathering, reporting, and management system are crucial for planning specific water quality-related activities and applicable evidence-based policies. Moreover, it is essential to have a robust database obtained only through a comprehensive surface water monitoring programme and network. This is particularly important in light of the expected increased demand for water resources, especially for irrigation and energy generation purposes.
Development of the above-mentioned monitoring programme is challenging for NEA since the responsible department lacks the relevant expertise and technical capacity. Accordingly, MEPA has requested UNDP to provide support and technical assistance through an international consultant to elaborate the surface water monitoring programme. This will be a step forward in creating a robust database of national water suppliers, enabling the Agency to observe water quality and prevent any future adverse impacts of potential contamination or waterway issues that can lead to unwanted public health issues.
Duties and Responsibilities
The overall objective of the consultancy is to provide support to NEA to develop a surface water monitoring programme for Georgia which is in line with EU Regulations, and to create a robust observing mechanism on surface water quality and quantity. Moreover, the international consultant should review the existing water monitoring methodologies and provide recommendations to strengthen the Agency’s monitoring capacities and align them with EU standards and modern practices.
The scope of work for the international consultant includes, but not limited to:
- Desk review of present legislation, general situation and current practices of monitoring the surface water resources namely the methodology used for water quality monitoring including the planning, sampling, analyses, assessment and other relevant issues;
- Conduct consultations with key stakeholders (the relevant governmental institutions, independent experts and non-governmental organizations, if applicable) in order to identify the most pressing challenges regarding water monitoring system in Georgia;
- Conduct field visit(s) in cooperation with NEA’s relevant staff to assess the monitoring practices on site;
- Analyse findings and recommendations gathered during a desk review, consultations and prepare report;
- Study international good practices (from countries more or less similar to Georgia, especially experience of Eastern European countries would be interesting) of the appropriate regulatory policy documents, identify major steps to be covered during the preparation of the monitoring programme;
- Develop the most applicable monitoring programme in accordance with WFD, EU standards and modern practices;
- Facilitate at least two workshops to discuss the collected information and elaborated monitoring programme with NEA’s relevant departments, MEPA and key stakeholders.
- Provide recommendations on further development of the monitoring programme for surface waters.
- Compile a final consultancy report, including the accomplishments undertaken during the consultancy period.
Deliverables and payment modality
The payment schedule is given below and will be made upon competition, submission and approval of deliverables by the supervisor:
40% of the consultancy fee
- Situation analysis report including the information gathered during the field visit and recommendations;
- Review of the international good practices of conducting the surface water monitoring based on WFD and EU standards;
- Workshop with key stakeholders to present the main findings of the first mission;
- The first draft of the water monitoring programme.
60% of the consultancy fee
- Final draft of the monitoring programme in accordance with WFD, EU standards and modern EU practices;
- Workshop with key stakeholders to present and explain the elaborated monitoring programme with all
- Final consultancy report covering the activities undertaken, the completed accomplishment and recommendations for future implementation.
The International Consultant will work under the overall supervision of the Governance Reform Fund (GRF) Project Manager and the direct supervision of the GRF Environmental Coordinator. The expert will have close working relations with the representatives of NEA and MEPA to make sure that the overall vision and priorities of the Ministry are taken into consideration. The service provider will be directly responsible for, reporting to, seeking approval from and obtaining a certificate of acceptance of outputs from the above-mentioned person(s). In addition, the respective GRF team will be responsible for sharing relevant documents, contact details and other necessary information with the service provider.
- Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN's values and ethical standards;
- Understanding of the mandate and the role of UNDP would be an asset;
- Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
- Strong communication and analytical skills;
- Demonstrated skills in drafting reports;
- Ability to work under pressure with several tasks and various deadlines;
- Actively generates creative, practical approaches and solutions to overcome challenging situations;
- Excellent writing, presentation/public speaking skills;
- A pro-active approach to problem-solving;
- Computer literacy.
Leadership and Self-Management skills:
- Builds strong relationships with the working group and with the project partners
- Focuses on impact and results for the project partners and responds positively to feedback;
- Cooperates with the working group effectively and demonstrates strong conflict resolution skills;
- Consistently approaches work with energy, positivity and a constructive attitude;
- Demonstrates strong influencing and facilitation skills;
- Remains calm, in control and good-humored under pressure;
- Demonstrates openness to change, new ideas and ability to manage ambiguity;
- Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
- Demonstrates the ability to transfer knowledge and competencies;
- Is able to work independently and hurdle competing priorities.
Required Skills and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in Water resources management, hydrology, chemistry, biology, environmental study or other relevant field (minimum requirement: Bachelor’s degree - 13 points, Master’s degree – additional 1 point; PhD – additional 1 point).
- At least five years of developing monitoring programmes and evaluation systems of surface water in EU countries (minimum requirement: 5 years - 14 points, more than 5 years - additional 1 point)
- At least five years of proven working experience with government agencies and/or international organizations implementing or supporting the integrated management of water resources and implementation of the EU WFD (minimum requirement: 5 years - 8 points, more than 5 years - additional 2 points)
- Strong knowledge of specifications of surface water monitoring and evaluation systems.
- Experience in working with the public-sector organization will be an asset (5 points);
- Experience of working in Georgia and/or knowledge of the region’s context is an asset (5 points).
- Excellent command of written and spoken English.
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis method: Offerors will be evaluated against combination of technical and financial criteria. Maximum obtainable score is 100, out of which the total score for technical criteria equals to 70 and for financial criteria – to 30. Offerors that do not meet Minimum Qualification Criteria will be automatically rejected, while the rest will form up the long list. The offerors who obtain minimum 35 points as a result of the desk review will be invited for the interview. Offerors who pass 70% threshold, i.e. obtain minimum 14 points, as a result of the interview will be requested the financial proposal.
The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in installments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the ToR. In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount. Maximum 30 points will be assigned to the lowest price offer. All other price offers will be scored using the formula (inverse proportion): Financial score X = 30* the lowest price offer/suggested price offer. All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal as well.