Institutionalization Review Expert

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Cap-Net UNDP ( is an international capacity development network for sustainable water management. The purpose of Cap-Net is to enhance human resources and institutional development for the improved management of water resources. The global network is composed of regional and national networks of institutions and individuals, many of which have arisen independently to address the capacity building problems in the water sector of an of capacity building. The joint global reach includes 120 countries.

The Cap-Net UNDP project, established to address the demand for capacity development in sustainable water management, maintains a global secretariat and support function for the development of knowledge and delivery of training and capacity development support through its regional and national networks. Cap-Net UNDP is the main capacity development delivery mechanisms of UNDP’s Water and Ocean Governance Programme (WOGP; within the Sustainable Development Cluster of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS).

Established in 2002, Cap-Net is currently composed of 23 affiliated regional and country level capacity development networks with over 1000-member organizations in 120 countries, it delivers training and education to water professionals in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Cap-Net partners with more than 40 international organizations and global thematic networks to ensure that the best available knowledge and state of the art capacity development delivery is joined in comprehensive packages consisting of training programmes and accessible training manuals.

The current institutional and organizational arrangements consists of a management board which provides policy and strategic input, approves changes to the project mission, goals, and strategies and its supporting documentation taking cognizance of agreements with financing partners, monitors and reviews the project progress including risks, quality and timeliness, monitors the allocation of resources of the project, ensures accountability, provides assistance to the project when required including strategic guidance to the Cap-Net secretariat.

The project is executed and implemented through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Global Portfolio Services Office, Water and Energy Cluster (GPSO WEC) in Copenhagen and core personnel is recruited by UNOPS on short-term contracts subject to annual renewal.

The project personnel is accountable to UNDP in terms of technical outputs and UNOPS for day to day financial and administrative management.

The structure for substantive and progress reporting is through the management board to UNDP and then from UNDP to the financing partner(s). UNOPS reports financially to UNDP who in turn reports to the financing partner (s).

Starting in 2018, Cap-Net has a fully-fledged global secretariat with home-based personnel. The brunt of the training activities is delivered through its Virtual Campus, whose courses are implemented by networks and international partners.

During its implementation, Cap-Net has had four independent evaluations and has established a strong framework for scaling out capacity development actions in key water management areas, the latest being concluded in December 2016 as part of the UNDP Water and Ocean Governance Programme. In 2010 a study to look at a broad range of institutional options was conducted.[1] That study considered all possible institutional futures that best support the continued delivery of the services Cap-Net is providing. The present review is to consider the various modalities of UNDP project delivery.

[1] Cap-Net: Institutional arrangements improvement: A range of suitable institutional options, 2010

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

The purpose of the Cap-Net institutionalization review is to assess, analyse and recommend alternatives for the most appropriate institutional options for the Cap-Net UNDP project, with a view towards:

– enabling Cap-Net to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the Cap-Net programme knowledge management, delivery of training and workshops, and long-term network support.

– increasing collaboration with the operations of other UN agencies, assisting e.g. with the capacity development of national partners, as appropriate.

– further developing the synergies with existing networks and projects that share the purpose of improving sustainable water resources management.

The review will carry out a scoping of the existing and alternative i) administrative, ii) operational and iii) legal and financial management arrangements, including relevant execution/implementation arrangements. 


The review should result in an informative report for the Cap-Net management board that outlines the various institutionalization options for Cap-Net in the future and identify the various factors that should be considered in deciding on the way forward. In more detail, the review report should describe

1)    The existing institutionalization (project management, execution, and implementation arrangements) and

  1. outline its relative strengths, weaknesses along with its financial costs and contractual situation, along with
  2. constructive ways to improve administrative effectiveness for delivering on Cap-Net’s mission and collaborative arrangements and synergies in the field.

2)    At least one alternative institutionalization (management, execution and implementation arrangements) with

  1. potential relative strengths, weaknesses along with related financial costs and contractual implications, along with
  2. potential ways that an alternative institutionalization stands to enhance the effectiveness for delivering on Cap-Net’s mission and collaborative arrangements and synergies in the field

3)    Specifically, the review is to outline efficient administrative modalities for the project to

  1. receive funds and/or commissioned assignments from different sources, including other UN agencies, and to
  2. channel funds and/or commissioned assignments to the constituent networks. 

The expected output of the review is a report that addresses the most suitable institutionalization options to enable Cap-Net to become increasingly efficient and effective and continue to deliver on its present mission and adapt its business model to the demands of the future.

The report shall provide sufficient supporting information and explanations to enable the management board and others to appreciate the potentials, limitations, and contractual implications of the most relevant institutionalization options. (This includes a full elaboration of the present institutionalization arrangements as a basis for an informed decision about keeping the same, and ways for improving them, or whether to change institutionalization arrangements for alternative execution/implementation modalities.)

The reports shall be prepared in English

Specific tasks

The institutionalization review is to be carried out as a desk study and principally through virtual communication. In order to determine the current operating environment of Cap-Net and alternative options that may be relevant administratively, operationally, legal and financial management, the Expert will:

  • Review the existing project documentation and relevant UNDP financial regulations and rules. (Relevant documents shall be requested and will be provided by Cap-Net secretariat, UNOPS and UNDP, as appropriate.)
  • Interview (by email/skype as relevant) UNDP, UNOPS, Cap-Net’s Secretariat as well as key network managers, key international partners, and relevant partners (representing UN-Water, UN Environment, the Global Water Partnership, IHE Delft, and others) contacts. (A suggested list of key persons or organizations to be consulted will be provided.)

In order to assure that the needs and concerns of UNDP, UNOPS and the Cap-Net Secretariat are fully taken on board, there will be an iterative process with progress and report updates and commentaries as outlined below.

Monitoring and Project Controls

Administratively, the position reports to the UNOPS ECR WEC Senior Portfolio Manager. On a technical and day to day basis, the incumbent will be expected to work under the overall guidance of the Cap-Net Management Board through its chair, the UNDP Senior Water Advisor, while maintaining a liaison with the CAPNET Director.

Progress, findings and drafts shall be submitted and discussed with UNDP, UNOPS and the Cap-Net Secretariat as detailed below. The Institutionalization Expert will:

  1. Present a full appreciation of the task and a preliminary outline of the report via skype supported by notes, e.g. brief PowerPoint, approximately two weeks after commencing the assignment.
  2. Present an update on progress with a draft report outline and tentative conclusions, by mid-July, with feedback in writing or through virtual meeting within a week.
  3. Present a draft report with preliminary conclusions (implications for Cap-Net’s future institutionalizations), by end of July, with feedback in writing or through virtual meeting within a week.
  4. Present the final report with key conclusions and recommended alternatives for Cap-Net’s future institutionalization, no later than 13 August 2018 (two weeks before Cap-Net’s next management board meeting to be held 27 August 2018)
  5. The Expert is expected to (virtually or physically) participate and present institutionalization options to the management board meeting (held in Stockholm, Sweden, on 27 August 2018) and advise on additional steps necessary to reach a conclusion on the future institutionalization of Cap-Net.
Education/Experience/Language requirements

a. Education

University degree in fields relevant to management, public or business administration, legal studies, organizational, political, social sciences, or in other relevant areas is required. 

b. Work Experience

Seven years (or more based on academic credentials) of relevant experience required on institutional issues (administration, operations, legal and financial management, etc.) in development agencies and/or international organizations. This can be a role such as operations and/or project manager. Ten or more years of relevant experience in these areas is highly desired.

c. Language requirements

Fluency in spoken and written English.

Contract type: Lump sum
Contract level:  June 2018 through August 2018
Contract duration: as per deliverables

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

For home-based assignments, kindly note that the contract may be offered as an International ICA or Local ICA depending on the location of the selected candidate and as per UNOPS rules and regulations.

Background Information – WEC

Water and Energy Cluster

Based in Copenhagen, the UNOPS Water and Energy Cluster provides specialized project management services to partners such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank. Together with partners, the cluster executes projects that support sustainable development by:

  • promoting international cooperation to prevent and reverse environmental degradation of international water systems
  • enhancing the resilience of communities and eco-systems to climate change
  • lowering emissions by bridging renewable energy solutions
  • developing Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions to strengthen climate-resilient development
Background Information – UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners’ needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.