UNESCO Call for Consultancy on Groundwater governance and Data closing soon!

UNESCO Call for Consultancy on Groundwater governance and Data closing soon!

10 Jun 2022
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 1.    Background

UNESCO is currently implementing the third phase of the project “Governance of Groundwater Resources in Transboundary Aquifers” (GGRETA-3). The main goal of the GGRETA-3 is to strengthen regional stability, cooperation, and peace through the establishment of cooperative frameworks for transboundary groundwater governance in River Basin Organizations (RBOs), Regional Commissions (RCs) and selected aquifers systems in Africa, Central America and Central Asia. 

 The GGRETA-3 project builds on the results achieved by the previous two phases of the GGRETA project, i.e. Phase 1 (2013-2015) and Phase 2 (2016-2019). The GGRETA-3 approach is addressing the governance challenges related to transboundary groundwater resources that many river basins are facing, including strengthening institutional and human capacity. In Africa, GGRETA-3 implements activities in the Stampriet Transboundary Aquifer System (STAS) in cooperation with the Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM) and with the three STAS riparian countries: South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. 

 In the framework of GGRETA-3, UNESCO seeks to support the ORASECOM Secretariat and Stampriet countries in strengthening their institutional capacities towards an improvement of the following processes: data collection from countries, harmonizing and consolidating datasets, data interpretation, reporting and dissemination of information, participation in all relevant meetings. Baseline information is available from recent progress and technical efforts on these topics (see, for example, Report No. ORASECOM 003/2018 and Report No. ORASECOM 004/2018). The Stampriet Wide Strategic Action Plan provides some guidance for monitoring and further assessing the Stampriet specifically, in line with agreed objectives.

 The Consultant will perform the following tasks in coordination with UNESCO and the ORASECOM Secretariat: 

 (i)    Update the inventory of groundwater data available in the STAS countries, considering variables deemed relevant for monitoring and assessment efforts in the Stampriet (hereon, “relevant data”). Identify what data are available, at which institutions and in what format. Collect available relevant up-to date data, including Geographical Information System (GIS) datasets, and upload those onto ORASECOM Water Information System (WIS).
(ii)    Develop, based on an existing template from 2018 (see Report ORASECOM 004/2018) and considering the STAS Wide Strategic Action Plan, a 2021/22 annual report on the status and trends of groundwater resources in the STAS. 
(iii)    Identify gaps and needs for improvement (quantitative and/or qualitative) of relevant data considering the objectives of the STAS Wide Strategic Action Plan.

For all tasks, the Consultant is expected to engage with all the key stakeholders, including representatives of national Ministries for Water of South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia, as well as the ORASECOM Secretariat. The methodology and results of such engagement should be documented in a summary report for each of the tasks.

Long Description

2.    Deliverables

 The Consultant will deliver the following:
i)    A report including an inventory of the relevant data available in STAS countries and a summary of the engagement process with stakeholders, including for the upload of data into ORASECOM WIS.
ii)    A report on groundwater resource status (2021/22) and trends in the STAS and a summary of the engagement process with stakeholders.
iii)    A report characterizing gaps and needs for improvement (quantitative and/or qualitative) of relevant data and a summary of the engagement process with stakeholders.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)
Communication (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.


3. Education

• Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of natural sciences, hydrology or earth sciences.


5. Work Experience

• Demonstrated experience in undertaking similar tasks i.e., groundwater resources assessments and monitoring, institutional capacity development, scientific writing, and reporting.
• Demonstrated experience in working with river basin organisations, preferably the Orange-Senqu River Basin, and government in groundwater management, preferably in the STAS riparian countries.
• Demonstrated knowledge of water data and information management.

 6. Skills and Competencies

• Strong strategic and analytical skills;
• Excellent communication skills;
• Ability to transfer information/knowledge to a non-technical audience
• Strong interview skills
• Strong skills in research, analysis and synthesis of findings


7. Expression of Interest

Applications to be submitted through Success Factor application portal and attachments/documents i.e cover letter, CV, together with a brief technical proposal and the budget to be submitted to [email protected]

 N.B Please note for all Consultancies, planned travel costs should be factored in the budget.  


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.