Support to IDB Projects in Water Resources and Adaptation to Climate Change, Hydro-BID Research and Applications, Water-Energy-Food Nexus, and Water Funds

Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸


Established in 1959, the Inter-American Development Bank (“IDB” or “Bank”) is the main source of financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. It provides loans, grants, guarantees, policy advice and technical assistance to the public and private sectors of its borrowing countries.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has recognized that its activities in the countries of the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region have a significant potential of being affected by climate change. This is particularly the case of projects in the area of water and sanitation (WSA) that are currently in execution and planning stages in different countries. Most adaptation experiences in the water sector that are in existence today have been developed at a global scale, but not many exist locally (e.g., at the basin scale). This poses a challenge of developing on-the-ground knowledge that deepens the Bank’s expertise on adaptation to climate change in the water sector and aid in its effort to define policies and better practices in adaptation at the regional and country levels. This is specifically applicable to countries in the Central America sub-region.

As a result of this recognition, the IDB is investing in several strategic activities to contribute to build capacity on innovative methods and techniques to build capacity in analyzing water resources systems as impacted by climate change, and arrive at adaptive measures that complement the expertise existing within the Bank and its clients. These include the following core activities.

  • Hydro-BID: a regional database and simulation system for water resources within the region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
  • Water-Energy-Food Nexus: development of analytical tools and case study applications of integrated planning of water allocation, energy generation and food production in the LAC region.
  • Remote sensing: use of remote sensing observations and large data sets (“big data”) products in support of water resources management and water sector projects.
  • Water funds: innovative model of long-term conservation that operates through investments that are focused on a single fund, using the resources generated to preserve the essential lands above watersheds through conservation actions.

In addition, INE/WSA in order to support cross-cutting and multisectorial initiatives for water resources related project design and climate change adaptation plans is leading further development of the Hydro-BID system, to include economic analysis and decision support tools to estimate the costs and benefits of adaptive measures and help decision makers make informed choices among alternative designs for infrastructure projects and alternative policies for water resources management. For instance, INE/WSA has recently approve a Technical Cooperation (TC) project for the System to reduce drought vulnerability and enable to adapt to Climate Change in Pernambuco, which has as main objective to develop and operationalize an integrated set of tools and best practices that will support the state of Pernambuco in Brazil to achieve an improved water management and supply strategy for the state that deals with climate variability and change, particularly droughts and floods.

Other TCs currently being executed by the WSA division are: the implementation of Hydro-BID at the national level in Peru, development of a high-resolution remote sensing database and applications for water security, and the implementation of conservation/climate resilient model for stressed watersheds through water funds.

In addition, TC efforts towards the water-energy-food nexus, funded by IDB’s Economic and Sector Work (ESW) program and funds from the Latin American Investment Facility (LAIF) have been recently approved.

Together, these core activities provide a comprehensive portfolio of innovation in water resources activities to be carried out over the next few years.

Consultancy objective(s)

The main objective of this consultancy is to support the coordination and regulation of the core activities described above by complementing the technical capabilities in water resources that exist in the INE/WSA division. 

Main activities

The selected candidate will:

  • Provide advice and support to IDB staff, governments, practitioners, and key stakeholders on the design of impacts, vulnerability, risks and adaptation assessments in support of national, sector-based and geographically-based assessments. Special support will be provided for projects and TCs under the Water and Sanitation Division in the core activities (Hydro-BID, water-energy-food nexus, remote sensing, and water funds).
  • Support management of the TC (RG-T2343) for the Regional Model of Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation for Latin America and the Caribbean (Hydro-BID) and its applications, including supervising the TC execution, technical support and quality assessment of the TCs products, and working together with INE/WSA’s client countries to identify and design the project applications where Hydro-BID will be applied.
  • Support management of the TC (BR-T1305) for the System to Reduce Drought Vulnerability and Enable Adaptation to Climate Change in Pernambuco by giving technical support along the TC execution, participating in technical project missions, evaluating technical proposals for the selection process, guiding contractual work and evaluating technical products and deliverables.
  • Support management of the TC (PE-T1340) for the implementation of the Hydro-BID system at the national level in Peru.
  • Technical support for the implementation of the INE/WSA’s Water-Energy- Food Nexus Initiative, under the ESW (RG-K1461) and TC (RG-T2660).
  • Technical support for the development and use of the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM) for LAC in partnership with the University of Maryland.
  • Support management of the TC (RG-T2660) for the development of case studies of the Water-Energy- Food Nexus in LAC; including technical support for the development of a Nexus tool such as GCAM for LAC.
  • Technical support for the implementation of TC (RG-T2659) Development of High-resolution Remote Sensing Database and applications for water security under LAIF funding.
  • Technical support for the implementation of TC (PR-T1207) Water Resources and Climate Vulnerability Study in the Patino Aquifer in Paraguay.
  • Support management for the TC (RG-T2828) for the development and implementation of Inter-American Technical Support Center (TSC) for Applied Water Resources Management.
  • Technical support for the hydro-climatologic feasibility studies of the TC (RG-T2751) Water Funds: A Conservation/Climate Resilient Model for Stressed Watersheds in Latin American and the Caribbean.
  • Management support to the TC RG-T2771 (Support to the RALCEA Network).
  • Support for the development and coordination of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) for Hydro-BID.
  • Support the design and development of project proposals for external funds such as the AquaFund and LAIF, among others.
  • Technical review and quality control of climate change adaptation and water resources related projects.
  • Participate in the development of sectoral and country strategies that include considerations of climate change for the water sector.
  • As needed, participate in Bank’s missions in the context of climate change and water resources projects’ preparation and execution.
  • Conduct research and draft publication materials such as technical notes, and working papers related to water resources and climate change.
  • Collaborate in developing new, and adapting existing cutting-edge guidance and tools related to climate resilience and vulnerability reduction.
  • Support the development/evolution and sharing of sound and practical information on vulnerability, risks and adaptation approaches.
  • Prepare technical documents: The contractual will provide not only her/his technical expertise, but also should actively participate in the monitoring process, preparation and approval of related documents.
  • Review pre-contractual documents and the scope, containing the answers to questions about pre-contractual documents of interest in bidding.
  • Organization of training workshops: (i) coordinate the recruitment of contractual personnel who will provide training courses as appropriate, (iii) preparation of agendas and documents to be presented / discussed at these workshops / meetings, (iii) coordination with the department’s recruitment unit on the invitation of participants (preparation of letters of invitation, hotel reservations, tickets, etc.) and follow up with participants.
  • Develop terms of reference for specific contractual personnel to be hired for specific products (e.g., speakers at meetings / workshops, to be the case).
  • Assist in the design and preparation of information to be loaded into the Hydro-BID website.
  • Academic Degree / Level & Years of Professional Work Experience: Master degree in Engineering, Earth Sciences, Hydrology or related technical fields or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Minimum of 5 years of professional experience in the water resources and environmental projects, preferably in countries of the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. Experience within the Bank (highly preferred). Knowledge of Bank systems: IDBDOCS, Concur, OPUS.
  • Languages: Excellent proficiency of Spanish and English, oral, spoken and written.
  • Areas of Expertise: Technical knowledge of the Hydro-BID tool, the Water-Energy-Food Nexus concept, the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM), integrated water resource management (IWRM), climate change adaptation and water resources operations.
  • Skills: Highly developed technical report writing and verbal communication skills. Strong analytical skills, ability to assess, mitigate and assume risks, capacity for innovation, motivation and ability to work in teams, but also alone with minimum supervision and to coordinate teams. Willingness to work independently and in teams, initiative and responsibility.
Characteristics of the Consultancy
  • Consultancy category and modality: Define Term Contractual, monthly
  • Contract duration: 19 months
  • Place(s) of work: Headquarters, Washington D.C., United States of America.
  • Division Leader or Coordinator: Lead Specialist of the Water and Sanitation Division (INE/WSA)

Payment and Conditions: Compensation will be determined in accordance with Bank’s policies and procedures. The Bank, pursuant to applicable policies, may contribute toward travel and moving expenses. In addition, candidates must be citizens of an IDB member country.

Visa and Work Permit: The Bank, pursuant to applicable policies, may submit a visa request to the applicable immigration authorities; however, the granting of the visa is at the discretion of the immigration authorities. Notwithstanding, it is the responsibility of the candidate to obtain the necessary visa or work permits required by the authorities of the country(ies) in which the services will be rendered to the Bank. If a candidate cannot obtain a visa or work permit to render services to the Bank the contractual offer will be rescinded.

Consanguinity: Pursuant to applicable Bank policy, candidates with relatives (including the fourth degree of consanguinity and the second degree of affinity, including spouse) working for the Bank as staff members or Complementary Workforce contractuals, will not be eligible to provide services for the Bank.

Diversity: The Bank is committed to diversity and inclusion and to providing equal opportunities to all candidates. We embrace diversity on the basis of gender, age, education, national origin, ethnic origin, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and HIV/AIDs status. We encourage women, Afro-descendants and persons of indigenous origins to apply.