IC-008-21- Multidisciplinary Water Resources Analysis and Transboundary Negotiations Training Expert

Location : home-based/ in-country visit, IRAQ
Application Deadline :31-Jan-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Climate & Disaster Resilience
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :4 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :4 months

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Classified as a “high water-stressed” country[1] by the World Resources Institute, Iraq faces mounting social, economic and political pressures due to water scarcity and climate change. Conditions in southern Iraq are particularly acute. Drinking water shortages resulting from reduced transboundary water flows, reduced precipitation and scarcity due to climate change, polluting of water sources/rivers and high salinity levels in water have led to devastating socio-economic impacts upon public health, sanitation, water and food security, agricultural production[2] and biodiversity in Iraq. The water scarcity and pollution effects all Iraqis, however some groups are more vulnerable. Most vulnerable groups including rural communities, urban poor and slum dwellers, minorities, farmers, women and children are particularly affected by the growing water crisis. Shortage of potable water was the primary trigger behind civil protests in September 2018.

when weeks long violent protests erupted in Basra[1] which led to clashes between protestors and security forces leading to killing of many protestors and losses to property.

The flows in Tigris, Euphrates and Shat Al-Arab rivers have also reduced due to building of new reservoirs upstream and it has serious consequences for water availability and socio-economic and environmental development in Iraq. As per an estimate by the Geneva Water Hub at the University of Geneva, the flows to Iraq have reduced from about 30.6 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM) in Hit before 1974 to 4 BCM in 2021.

Many sectors have been seriously affected by the reduced water flows, including household water supply, agriculture, health, environment and industry. Against a backdrop of growing population, urbanization and desertification, the reducing water levels in the Iraqi rivers present ominous scenarios for sustainable development in the country.


Duties and Responsibilities

In order to prepare Iraq’s negotiation team to conduct meaningful negotiations with the upper riparian countries, a Multidisciplinary analysis of water needs, supply, gaps and impact would be conducted with futuristic scenarios based upon climate change effects. And an advanced training on international water laws, and mechanisms and on advanced negotiation skills shall be conducted.


2.2.A. Multidisciplinary analysis will assess the overall needs, supply/availability, gaps/scarcity, impact of the scarcity and future scenarios for Iraq with specific focus on the; i) drinking water supply, ii) sanitation/health, iii) agriculture (both rainfed and irrigated), iv) food security, v) environment, ecosystems, and biodiversity, vi) and industrial sectors.


As part of the environmental analysis, the assessment will specifically analyze the scenarios for marshlands in south of Iraq, and biodiversity hotspots in Iraq along the Tigris and Euphrates River basins, as to how these have been affected in the past due to reduced flows and what are the scenarios going forward with the existing flows, further reduction from climate change or with increased transboundary flows. Also, the trends for desertification in response to different water supply scenarios will be studied and their impact upon agriculture, environment, and settlements. 


Furthermore, as part of the agriculture, food security and desertification analysis, the trends of displacement and rural to urban migration will be analyzed among the rural, predominantly agrarian communities both in the northern Iraq and in the south.  


The analysis will assess the status of current water availability including from ground water, rainfall, and transboundary sources, as well as gaps in supply and the impact of water scarcity upon the target sectors.Historical changes in flows in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to Iraq will be studied and assessment will be provided on water inflows essential to meet the overall needs and for the targeted sectors.


Since climate change is a critical driver behind rainfall patterns in the target river basins, which could have severe adverse consequences upon water availability in the river basins and flows to Iraq, therefore, the analysis will use inputs from existing hydrological modelling to provide scenarios of changing rainfall patterns, water availability, scarcity, and impact in Iraq. The scenarios will be produced for the next twenty-years period. The availability of this futuristic picture would put Iraq’s negotiators on even stronger footing to present their case to the upper riparian countries.


The analysis will prepare and include an estimate of the economic costs of water scarcity related losses in different sectors which result from loss of opportunity, damage to natural environment, or in terms of extra costs for basic necessities, good and services, i.e., agriculture, health, food security, environment, biodiversity, industry etc.The assessment shall include current losses and expected future losses.


In addition to studying the water needs, supply and impact, the analysis will take into account current water management practices in Iraq in the given sectors and identify areas of improvement and make recommendations to the Government of Iraq as to how it can increase its water supply by more effective management of water resources. Recommendations will include relevant technologies and approaches that Iraq could adopt, the bottlenecks in so doing and the related costs



While men have a greater participation in certain effected sectors, i.e., agriculture and industry, the women play a critical role in managing drinking water, cooking, feeding, sanitation, and patient care in families. Women in certain areas of Iraq also participate in supporting agricultural activities and environmental resources, e.g., marshlands, green-belts, and ecosystems. Thus, the impact of water scarcity and its consequences need to be studied in a gender-sensitive manner so as to offer a nuanced analysis and recommendations. In order to facilitate a gender-sensitive analysis, the analysis team will include a gender and development specialist to generate evidence on how water scarcity effects men and women differently and what gender specific policies and strategies could be adopted to address these differential effects.


A multidisciplinary team of specialists will conduct the analysis using a variety of research methods and sources, including secondary data from relevant ministries/departments, satellite imagery/ areal-photos, site surveys, interviews with decision-makers, community surveys and focused group discussions. The experts will include meteorologists, agriculturists, public health specialists, hydrologists, environmentalists, urban planners, industrial experts, livelihoods and food security and gender equality specialists among others.


  1. The training on transboundary water resources laws, mechanisms and negotiation skills shall include: water in 2030 sustainable development agenda, hydro-politics in governance of transboundary waters, international water law, international mechanisms for settling of water disputes, conflict management technical, advanced negotiations techniques and tools.



  1. Analysis and Training Objectives


  • Establish a baseline on existing water supply to Iraq both from ground and surface water sources, including from the transboundary river flows;
  • Determine the water needs for priority sectors including household consumption, agriculture, sanitation/health, environment and industry (beverage, oil, manufacturing, construction);
  • Define the gaps in water supply and their impact upon different aspects of life including on drinking water supply, food security, displacement, eco-systems and biodiversity, agriculture, health and economy;
  • Describe scenarios for the next twenty years in terms of Iraq’s water needs, supply and gaps, and the options Iraq has to deal with different scenarios. 
  • To develop a gender-oriented water supply, needs, scarcity and impact profile of Iraq; analyzing the differential water needs of women and men, differences in availability, shortages/deficit faced by both genders, and the impact of water scarcity upon women and men.
  • To strengthen the capability of Iraq’s negotiation team to carryout successful dialogue and negotiations with upper riparian countries on governance of transboundary waters, including sustainable management of transboundary water resources and resolution of conflict/s.


Corporate Competencies

  • Demonstrates commitment to the UN’s values and ethical standards.
  • Promotes the mission, vision and strategic goals of UNDP.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Treats all people fairly and with impartiality.


Functional Competencies

  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
  • Identifies priorities, allocates time and resources, foresees risks and allows for contingencies.
  • Ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrates excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.
  • Self-reliant and able to work as a part of a multi-cultural team in a stressful.
  • Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect.

Required Skills and Experience


Master’s degree in hydrology, agriculture, environmental management, climate change or in other relevant subjects. In addition, the Consultant must possess the relevant competencies listed below.


Work Experience

  • At least 10 years’ experience in water resources management, analysis or advisory to governments or international organizations is required.
  • At least 5 years of experience in research on water resources analysis, including needs, supply, gaps and impacts of water scarcity (using quantitative and qualitative methods) is required.
  • Extensive experience in writing analytical and technical research reports, preferably on water resources management is required (samples of previous research reports and papers shall be submitted as part of the application);
  • Experience of leading multidisciplinary teams in research is required.
  • Experience of working with the United Nations or international development organizations is an asset.
  • Experience of working in crisis countries is an asset
  • Experience in the usage of office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc) is required


  • Fluency in spoken and written English with good report writing skills is required.
  • Fluency in spoken Arabic will be considered as an advantage.



The application should contain below mandatory documents:

  • The technical proposal should also contain personal CV (Mandatory) , indicating education background/professional qualifications, all experience, furthermore, providing duly filled the form of  Letter of Confirming Interest and Availability (Mandatory) whereby includes financial Proposal (Mandatory) that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per deliverables mentioned in this TOR, in addition to  the contact details (email and telephone number) of the candidate and at least three (3) professional references.

The detailed terms of reference and the Letter of Confirming Interest and Availability form are available in the following link with mentioned Job Title above  : https://procurement-notices.undp.org/

Please note you can upload only one document in the online application, therefore combine the CV, and the Letter of Confirmation and Availability as one pdf and upload it accordingly.moreover, please note that failure to submit required mandatory documents by UNDP will lead to rejection of your offer.


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