India nationals: Project Officer (Springs and DMF)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Bhubaneshwar, India 🇮🇳

The issue of accessibility of safe water for drinking and agriculture becomes more aggravated and complex amongst the tribal communities living mostly in hilly and thickly forested and hard to reach areas. Due to the hilly terrain and complex hydro-geological limitations, the ground water development potential through conventional means is also limited.

According to Census 2011, access to safe and adequate water for tribal communities remains a major challenge. Nearly 46 percent of all Scheduled Tribe (ST) households access ‘unimproved’ or ‘partially improved’ water. Less than 20 percent have water source in their house premises.

The issue of clean water is further aggravated in mining areas. As most of the available mining potential is in tribal areas, the activity significantly contributes to further marginalization of tribal communities which have low level of political and economic status.  There exists a discrepancy between the natural abundance of minerals found and a corresponding development in the mining areas. In addition, while poverty and economic development are key concerns, the issues of health and environmental degradation associated with mining is also a matter of concern in the affected areas.

The Mine and Minerals Development and Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2015, has created provisions for sharing the mineral wealth with communities in the mining areas. The Act (Section 9B) provides for the establishment of a District Mineral Foundation (DMF) for the benefit of communities and areas in districts directly or indirectly affected by mining related operations for improved natural resource management, afforestation, better health outreach facilities, quality education, skill & livelihood opportunities, good infrastructure, irrigation facilities, watershed, drinking water & sanitation etc.

Springs are natural point sources of groundwater discharge and have been  harnessed extensively in the mountainous regions across the world, including in India. However, in the central and eastern Indian belt with more than 75% tribal population, this potential has not been adequately tapped  for improved health, nutrition and livelihoods of the tribal people. 

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) being the nodal Ministry for overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for development of STs, has been pursuing the agenda of inclusive growth with Central and State governments to address the critical gaps in development of STs.  MoTA is adopting various innovative strategies and implementing development solutions to address the multiple deprivations being faced by the tribal communities. One of such innovative approach is to harness the potential of springs to meet the drinking, domestic and agriculture needs.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs in partnership with UNDP has launched ‘1000 Springs Initiative in Tribal Areas’ to address multiple deprivations in hard to reach tribal villages, by identifying, harnessing and rejuvenating springs. The project will be implemented in central and eastern India.

The partnership between the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) focuses on strengthening institutional mechanisms to address the gaps in the development of tribal communities through effective implementation of various schemes and programmes of the Government of India and State Government. The project will work closely with tribal communities and bring on board a consortium of resource organizations to identify and promote context appropriate solutions including harnessing natural springs to address water security, by combining traditional and scientific knowledge for protection, conservation and rejuvenation of water resources for long term sustainability. In addition, the project will also facilitate innovative pilots in the areas of health, education, water supply and renewable energy under the District Mineral Foundation, SCA to TSS and Article 275 (1).

Within the scope of above, the Project Officer (Springs and DMF) will work under the day-to-day guidance of the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs. S/he will have matrix reporting to the Programme Officer, UNDP.  


Duties and Responsibilities
  • Technical support to roll out ‘1000 Springs initiative in tribal areas for water security in Central and Eastern India including implementation planning and coordination;
  • Facilitate convergence & partnerships for leveraging knowledge, resources and technologies to implement spring initiative in states;
  • Support training of tribal youths as para hydro-geologists, mapping of springs and creation/updation of web-based ‘Spring Atlas’;
  • Develop model Detailed Project Reports on ‘spring’ as a community-based water supply system for implementation through state tribal departments;
  • Identify opporuntities to address multi-dimensional poverty in mining affected areas with specific focus on tribal communities through District Mineral Foundation (DMF);
  • Conceputalize and design development solutions for implementation through DMF;
  • Explore and design partnership models of working with the various stakeholders under DMF;
  • Document innovative solutions, success stories, good practices in tribal areas with focus on water security, DMF;
  • Any other tasks assigned by the supervisor.

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • 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 favouritism
  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity  

Functional Competencies:

  • In-depth knowledge on tribal and related interconnected issues
  • Demonstrates competence in area of expertise relevant to development research. Possesses knowledge in the human development domain and keeps abreast of current developments and trends
  • Analytical ability to identify issues, obtain relevant information, relate and compare data from different sources, and to present analysis
  • Ability to monitor and collect research data to access accuracy, validity, and integrity.  Ability to analyze statistics and other data.  Ability to interpret and evaluate results, and create reports and/or presentations
  • Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks
  • Strives to keep job knowledge up-to-date through self-directed study and other means of learning
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments
  • Excellent oral communication and writing skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively regarding substantive issues. Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve
  • organizational and project goals
  • Researches potential solutions to internal and external client needs and reports back in a timely, succinct and appropriate fashion
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines


Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Social Sciences, Development Management, Rural Development, Social Work, public policy, Sociology from national/international institutions of repute 


  • Minimum 3-5 years of relevant experience of working in the field of tribal development and governance
  • Past experience of working on the water issues in the rural areas
  • Good understanding of the development challenges in the mining affected areas
  • Sound understanding of tribal development strategies and their functioning, especially Scheduled Tribe Component (earlier Tribal Sub Plan), SCA to TSP etc.
  • Domain knowledge in areas like governance, convergence, tribal affairs, and social inclusion will be preferred
  • Experience in planning, designing, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and schemes for marginalized communities
  • Knowledge of working on  ICT interface for development such as MIS, Mobile Applications etc. will be an added advantage
  • Relevant experience in documentation and preparation of reports on development issues


  • Maintain effective relationships with project stakeholders
  • Organize and priorities work to meet deadlines
  • Prepare timely inputs
  • High-level of IT/computing skills (minimum: Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Good drafting and writing skills in English and Hindi
  • Ability to work independently to fulfill assigned tasks

Language Requirements:

  • Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English and Hindi is essential

Remuneration package is INR 115,741/-per month (taxable). UNDP also offers additional benefits which include medical insurance coverage and limited pension reimbursement for contract holder and encourages work life balance to its employees.



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