Experts Pool: Senior Dams Optimization Specialist

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Manila, Philippines 🇵🇭


This is a two to three year special fixed-term appointment. A special fixed-term appointment will automatically and without prior notice expire at the end of the original or extended term.The position title on appointment is Senior Water Resources Specialist (Dams Optimization)

Job Purpose

For the Water Sector Group, contribute to the planning, development, and execution of initiatives in water resources, with a particular focus on dam optimization across all Asian Development Bank (ADB) developing member countries (DMCs). Provide technical and operational support to operating teams in relation to sector assessments relating to dam operations and optimization. Special attention will be placed on incorporating best practices for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, including identifying interdependencies and linkages with water and other sectors. Support ADB’s Water Financing Program and Water Financing Partnership Facility (WFPF) and other financial and technical partnerships, and work closely with task forces in the operational departments. Work within general policies, principles and goals, working directly with clients. The main responsibilities of the Senior Dams Optimization Specialist include: (i) contributing to the planning, development, and execution of initiatives in the water resources, with a particular focus on engineering design; hydrological assessment/review; water allocations; and optimization of (large and small) dams’ operations (including multi-purpose, hydropower, irrigation, flood attenuation and domestic water storage dams), (ii) supporting use of high level technologies for modelling flood routing, water allocations for optimized supplies to various users and dam operations optimization will be required, including climate change adaptation impacts, and (iii) providing technical and operational support to operations’ teams in relation to sector assessments relating to dams, including attention to changing demands for water resources, impacts of adjusting allocations for other users and optimizing dams operations for more sustainable use of water resources. To provide substantive technical assistance to ADB operations in designing and/or processing 2-3 projects per year through a combination of ongoing advisory services, document reviews, contribution-oriented knowledge products and mission support. Work within general policies, principles and goals, working directly with clients.

Expected Outcomes

a. Policies, Strategy, and Frameworks• Provide technical and policy advice to sector staff and DMC clients to develop innovative policies consistent with the strategic objectives of ADB and priorities of DMCs, as well as innovative programs that would accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.• Provide effective leadership related to water resources with specific emphasis on dam (large and small) dams’ operations (including multi-purpose, hydropower, irrigation, flood attenuation and domestic water storage dams) and engineering design.• Provide advice on climate change adaptation in the context of hydrological design parameters for dams and optimizing water allocations using modelling tools. Consider opportunities for disaster risk management including both structural and non-structural solutions in the context of dams.• Undertake interregional studies and research on flood and integrated urban water management to promote new business approaches, technologies, policies and sector assessments, including with regard to eco-based solutions, and ensure that work on climate change, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and water sector is aligned. • Conduct analytical work on the integration of climate risk into the development and implementation of dam design and how water allocations across a range of users may be incorporated as part of operations optimization. • Identify emerging issues on dam design and operations optimization in the Asia Pacific region and articulate policies, strategies and approaches to address them.• Ensure integration of water sector activities relating to flood, integrated water management and hydropower generation across other sectors and thematic groups including energy, urban, climate change, disaster risk management and agriculture.

b. Operational Advice and Support • Support sector operations of ADB in upstream portfolio development work, including targeted sector assessments, diagnostics and other studies dam design and operations optimization.• Provide technical and policy advice to sector staff and DMC clients to develop innovative projects consistent with the strategic objectives of ADB and priorities of DMCs, as well as innovative programs that would accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. These will be in the context of dam design, operations optimization, climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.• Contribute to the definition and execution of coaching and training programs targeting ADB staff, with a focus on technical and operational aspects of dam engineering design and operations optimization. • Provide sound advice to sector staff on initiatives to improve operational performance of improved hydrological analysis, multiple users of water, dam design and operations, climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.

c. Project Management• Support regional technical assistance projects in the sector. • Support WFPF activities in the sector.

d. Promotion of Regional Cooperation • Support ADB operations in planning, developing and executing new initiatives, including support of regional cooperation in the sector, focusing mainly on technical and operational matters related to dam design and operations optimization, water allocations and hydrological assessment, climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. • Assist DMCs and cooperate with regional and international organizations in building consensus and articulating common positions and strategies on dam design and operations optimization.• Foster regional integration and harmonization of policies, laws, regulations, codes, standards and practices on hydrology, water allocations, dam design and operations optimization.• Promote climate change adaptation and disaster risk management elements in hydrological analysis, water allocations assessment, dam design and operations optimization.

e. Knowledge Sharing• Support strengthening of knowledge and innovation services for catalyzing investments, reforms, and capacity development on dam design and operations optimization using latest best practices and state of the art designs.• Develop and maintain knowledge of the sector across the region covering (i) the overall range of agencies and initiatives covering state of the art dam design and operations optimization, a list of key financiers in this area, investment needs over the short, medium and long term, investment trends and key enabling conditions to increase investments in such interventions; and (ii) information on best practices including policy, legislative and institutional requirements and the type of technical and operational due diligence needed for project preparation.• Conduct analytical studies and policy analysis in a wide range of issues relevant to dam operations optimization and water allocations in the Asia Pacific region.• Ensure mainstreaming of knowledge generated and research undertaken on dam design and operations optimization focusing on the intersections between flood management, and water requirements for energy, urban users and agriculture. • Organize special events to support and guide ADB interventions, strategies and investments in the sector.• Represent ADB at water-related events and international fora.

f. Staff supervision• Take the role of mission leader and supervise the work of mission members.• Supervise the performance of reporting staff (and consultants), providing clear direction and regular monitoring and feedback on performance.• Ensure the ongoing learning and development of reporting staff.

Core Competencies

Application of Technical Knowledge and Skills

  • Provides supervision to others in completing their technical tasks
  • Called upon for advice and guidance based on expertise gained by working in different countries and organizations
  • Contributes advanced knowledge and expertise to different parts of the Department

Client Orientation

  • Proposes effective services and solutions to staff beyond presenting issues and past challenges
  • Assists colleagues adapt to the cultural and business norms of diverse clients and country situations
  • Gains respect for the breadth and depth of expertise demonstrated in effectively managing diverse clients and country situations
  • Called upon to resolve client situations that may impact their long-term ADB relationship

Achieving Results and Problem Solving

  • Resolves situations where client needs are not being met
  • Shares past experiences from different projects, organizations, and countries to help achieve quality results
  • Ensures that thorough analysis includes current and relevant factors from different countries and contexts
  • Sought out for guidance and experience in overcoming the most challenging situations
  • Draws on long-term relationships with stakeholders to help plan for and achieve results

Working Together

  • Addresses team members not contributing to required standards
  • Commits to delivering timely and high quality work to assist in the team’s success
  • Develops and maintains good internal and external peer and senior level relationships
  • Helps teams understand common features to build rapport and overcome challenges

Communication and Knowledge Sharing

  • Provides stakeholders with the level and quality of information required to achieve outcomes
  • Encourages others to seek long-term solutions to address feedback opposed to focusing on immediate concerns or reactions
  • Uses breath of multi-country and multi-client knowledge to equip clients and staff for more effective outcomes
  • Designs and implements project and program knowledge and services

Innovation and Change

  • Consistently seeks more effective and practical ways for the Departmental delivery of services, products, and processes
  • Proposes new ways to improve the quality and relevance of products and services
  • Includes the core benefits and reasons for change when developing comprehensive change roll out plans
  • Influences and persuades decision makers by presenting business cases supporting the proposed changes


Education Requirements

Master’s Degree or equivalent in integrated water resources management, hydraulic engineering, or related fields. University degree in Civil Engineering or related fields combined with specialized experience in similar organization/s may be considered in lieu of a Master’s degree

Relevant Experience

Work experience• At least 8 to 10 years of relevant experience in developing infrastructure projects covering large and small dams with strong focus on operational and technical matters. Experience in designing and operational optimization of dams including hydrological assessments, and mathematical modelling for flood routing, institutional and policy aspects of dam management, and operational efficiencies in terms of climate change adaptation and socio-environmental aspects. Experience in hydrological review to optimize optimization of hydropower dams and in climate change vulnerability assessment of hydropower projects.• This should also include experience in research/analytical work on the relations between multiple users of water resources and optimizing operations of multi-purpose dams. • Experience in working in the Asia Pacific region/with ADB’s DMCs and with international organizations is an advantage.

Technical knowledge• Proven application of expertise within a specific area of ADB’s operations (sector or thematic), or breadth across multiple areas with in-depth knowledge within one area.• Able to utilize and share relevant knowledge to benefit the broader ADB community.• Excellent presentation and international skills to articulate and represent ADB’s activities and directions in conferences and workshops, dynamically participate in networks, and interact effectively with ADB management, staff, and counterparts in other institutions. • Credible international sector networks across other international organizations and private / public sector entities.

People and leadership skills• When required, able to act as a mission leader / team lead, exercising supervision coordination, and planning responsibilities over the assigned team, with oversight from the Technical Advisor, Director or a more senior team leader. • Act as a mentor to more junior team members, providing guidance on projects and processing of loans/technical assistance.• Act as a coach to develop the capabilities/potential of more junior colleagues. • Strong analytical and strategic thinking skills.• Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

Reporting Relationships

  • Supervisor: Technical Advisor (Water Sector Group)
  • The following staff positions may be supervised by the incumbent:
    • Administrative Staff
    • National Staff

We encourage diversity in our workplace and support an inclusive and respectful work environment. Women are especially encouraged to apply.