The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nation’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build better lives. The UNDP is on the ground in 170 countries and territories, working with governments and people on their own solutions to global and national development challenges to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is a small island developing state (SIDS) in the Pacific. The nation is a large-ocean state, with a total land area of only 182 square km, spread across over 2 million square km of ocean. There 77 communities on 24 inhabited atolls and islands, which are mostly remote and lie merely 2 m above sea level on average. There are no rivers, streams or lakes in RMI and the number of small surface ponds is very limited and are thus highly vulnerable to drought.

This adaptation project “Addressing Climate Vulnerability in the Water Sector (ACWA) in the Marshall Islands” has the objective to address expected impacts of climate change on water security on the people of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI). It was developed by the GoRMI, with the assistance of the UNDP as implementing partner, and is co-financed by GoRMI and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The key project outcomes are to increase water availability on the outer atolls and islands to close the water supply-demand gap, and to enhance the ability of RMI to prepare and respond to climate change induced drought events.


These will be achieved through investing in:


• Water Security - Improving household and community rainwater harvesting and storage structures to increase resilience of water supply in 77 rural communities in the outer islands and atolls accounting for approximately 28% of RMI’s population, including 7,630 (49%) women, currently at risk.


* Water Resilience - Securing groundwater resources from contamination due to inundation caused by wave overtopping of seawater.


• Water Governance - Strengthening the technical capacities of national and subnational institutions and key stakeholders to integrate climate change risks into water governance processes so that management of climate change risks are coordinated, effective,participatory, equitable, and sustained over the long-term when risks are expected to worsen.


The project aligns with GoRMI’s key climate change policies and strategies and has been developed through extensive consultation with government, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and the beneficiary communities. It is being executed by the UNDP, in close partnership with the GoRMI, with responsibility for implementation a Project Management Unit (PMU) based in Majuro, RMI and Suva, Fiji.




The project was initiated in early 2020 but full establishment has been complicated by strict RMI Covid travel restrictions but these have recently been mostly overcome. A Project Steering Committee (PSC) has been established and is operational as the governance structure, the PMU is almost completely staffed with only a few positions vacant and the last international employee is expected in Majuro soon.


Current project activities include Technical Design Surveys (TDS), infrastructure designs, water investment plans and implementation arrangements and the procurement of materials with physical infrastructure construction expected to start in the second half of 2022. Implementation is going to be phased across 4 groups of atolls/islands starting with the group most affected by drought events.


Outreach activities and awareness training for women and youth are being done in tandem with the Technical Design Surveys and community engagement on proposed implementation plans. Community training events have been held and more non-formal trainings are in the pipeline. These activities are resulting in the establishment of community water committees.


Due to the geographical isolation of the outer atoll and island communities rainwater harvesting mainly occurs at the household level. Along with this community facilities, where provided, are scattered and can only be managed on a decentralised community basis. Traditional public sector responsibilities are thus delegated to private households and community groups with government support scarce, irregular and distant. Droughts are regular events and advanced planning and arrangements are necessary to warn, and support local households and water committees.


Current rainwater harvesting infrastructure suffers from poor operation and maintenance with rainwater collection efficiencies well below standard. Some successful initiatives to train communities in operations and maintenance of RWH systems have been trialed in selected atolls and islands, but there is a significant gap in scaling this up to other local government jurisdictions and communities.


Historical disaster response to drought has been characterised by belated emergency interventions and ill-defined roles and responsibilities due to unprepared institutional arrangements and standard operating procedures.


Programmatic and financially sustainable long-term sources of funding to support operations and maintenance of households and community rainwater harvesting systems has not been supported. Improper maintenance of rainwater harvesting systems often leads to contamination of drinking water and illness.


There is no comprehensive program of monitoring RWH systems condition, quality or quantity of stored water or groundwater quality. There are no SOPs in place and knowledge and capacity is often lacking resulting in ad hoc and inconsistent practices. Residents in the rural communities require training in basic plumbing/carpentry to enable them to maintain and repair RWH systems (especially gutters and downpipes) to capture rainwater from the full roof area. Training is also needed in repair of rainwater storage tanks.


As a response to disaster, training on operation and maintenance of systems has been provided to community members in the past, however, due to in and out-migration, training often needs to be repeated. Small-scale desalination systems are often dysfunctional due to poor maintenance practices, no regular follow-ups and refresher training, and lack of funds for spare parts. Moreover, during the implementation of disaster response, community members were supplied with rainwater harvesting systems and storage tanks, but there was limited training on installation, use and major/minor repairs.


A rapid Water Governance assessment carried out at the feasibility stage indicated that there are limited national water governance and coordination mechanisms or accountability frameworks to support water resilience. Therefore, capacity building and the development of robust governance structures at local and national levels is required. Strengthening integrated water security is an urgent climate change adaptation priority for RMI.


Considerable RMI investment during the 7-year implementation as well as 18-year operational lifetime has been programmed. Institutional arrangements necessary to deal with both regular operation and maintenance (O & M) as well as proactive drought response is required. Water safety plans are required to provide support and structure to the framework of water committee activities.


Recognising that there is little value in the provision of infrastructure alone without attention to institutional arrangements to achieve sustainable water supply during drought events has given rise to the project including Output 3: Climate change induced drought preparedness and response measures implemented in outer atolls and islands.

As the development and implementation of national co-ordination and response plans involves numerous institutions and representatives of communities the number of stakeholders is considerable. For efficiency a Working Group has been established to oversee these activities.

The national working group members include or are to include:


National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) - reporting the Office of the Chief Secretary

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

Ministry of Health and Human Services (MOHHS)

Marshall Islands Mayors Association (MIMA)

Majuro Water and Sewer Company (MWSC)

Weather Service Office (WSO)

Majuro Atoll Waste Company (MAWC)

Red Cross

Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI)

Ralik Ratak Radio Club

Other government representatives/donors

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) - ACWA


A task team of NDMO, EPA, and UNDP will oversee the drafting of the proposals and managing the programme of work and the consultant will report into this group for the technical aspects of the project. The EPA is the agency responsible for WASH in RMI.


The peculiarities of RMI include:

As with all SIDS, there are major challenges in communicating and access across the nation due to the distribution of the settled atolls and islands across extensive distances of ocean.

The land on the outer atolls and islands is all privately owned.

Leadership and management on the outer atolls and islands is a complicated mix of traditional and local government.

There are very severe Covid restrictions on travel to RMI which limits the ability of specialists to enter the country. Currently these restrictions encompass cabinet approval to be given a place on a repatriation flight, quarantine in both Honolulu and followed by further quarantine in RMI and regular testing to prove Covid negative.

RMI has a historical relationship with the United States and this currently includes a multi-year compact covering US support to RMI (currently under review for the next contact period), the placement of a US military base on Kwajalein and the freedom of RMI citizens to live and work in the US, which is impacting on migration, particularly of skilled Marshallese seeking improved work opportunities.

As the majority of people in RMI rely on freshwater harvested through their household RWH systems as their primary source of water for drinking and cooking, formalization and/or enhancing the understanding of the subnational water governance mechanisms is important for strengthening water resilience.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

The consultancy shall develop:


  • A national drought contingency plan


  • A national water safety plan


  • Standard operating procedures for drought response


  • A community level water safety plan framework and implementation guide


  • Training workshop/s for the arrangements and procedures


  • Recommendations for future activities including technology investments.


The development of these products shall take into cognisance and align with:


  • National Strategic Plan
  • Vision 2020
  • National Water and Sanitation Policy
  • RMI National Disaster Risk Management Arrangements
  • Rapid Water Governance assessment summary (part of 2016 Feasibility Study)
  • Majuro Water Safety Plan 2009
  • RMI National Drought Plan 2018 - draft
  • ACWA Project Documentation
  • UNDP Water Governance Guidelines
  • WHO Water Safety Plan guidelines, and any other available resources and literature.


Expected Outputs and Deliverables


The consultancy will be for a total of 61 Working days over a 6 month period with the indicative duration and timeline of the deliverables (assuming a 10th March start date) is:


Deliverable and output                              Duration in days                 Due Date (2022)


1. Work plan and methodology                         5                                         15 March


2. National drought contingency plan              20                                         15 May


3. National water safety plan                           7                                          15 April


4. SOP for drought response                         15                                      1 July


5. Community water safety plan framework          5                                15 June   


6. Training workshop/s - national response        3 (2 + 1)                       15 July

- community level                                               3 (2 + 1)                        22 July

7. Report/recommendations for the future                   3                          15 August

Approval of all consultancy products will encompass endorsement by the Working Group while the approving authority will be the UNDP.

The key principles to be applied when developing to above outputs should include:


  • Proactive drought preparedness and response thus limiting reactive/recovery interventions
  • Practical and implementable solutions suitable for the RMI context
  • Standard operating procedures to focus on warning/preparation phase but allowing for emergency response and recovery when necessary.
  • Critical information needs and flows to be integrated into management systems
  • Plans and procedures to be concise and convenient to implement
  • Focus on major executive actions and systems
  • Enhancement women and youth’s leadership


Institutional Arrangements

Under the supervision of the Project Manager, the consultant will work closely with the Chief Technical Advisor, the Water Governance Coordination Specialist and the key members of the Working Group. The Chief Technical Advisor will be the point of contact for day-to-day interaction and progress reporting.

The national Working Group will provide technical guidance for the project whilst the ACWA Project Manager will execute managerial control.

The UNDP will provide communication links and meeting venues/arrangements as necessary to facilitate the consultants engagements with the RMI stakeholders. The consultant shall provide all necessary office facilities to carry out the assignment as defined.


Duration of the Work


  • The assignment duration is for 61 working days over a period of 6 months during which the outputs and deliverables as defined herein need to be completed.


  • The start date is planned to be 10th March 2022 but will be confirmed upon signing of the contract and the consultant’s availability.


  • The expected completion date is 15 August 2022 - a 6-month period.


  • The consultant is required to submit implementation plan with tentative dates as part of  their Technical Proposal.


Duty Station

Ideally it would be specified that the performance of this work be done through a mixture of Majuro-based and home office attendance, as there is no need for full-time presence in the Majuro UNDP office but rather regular engagement with the ACWA team, steering committee and stakeholder group over the contract period.

Due to the difficulty in obtaining permission to travel to RMI in the foreseeable future this contract may also be executed remotely with regular electronic engagement with the Majuro-based management and stakeholders.

Reporting will also be by means of regular meetings with the ACWA PMU members supplemented by a short monthly written report to the UNDP indicating progress and barriers to implementation.


  • Technical skills in water governance, institutional development, water management, drought preparedness planning, water safety planning, collaborative management;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities skills;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback;
  • Ability to plan, organize, implement and report on work;
  • Ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines;
  • Comprehensive knowledge of institutional structuring and development of procedural arrangements;
  • Proficiency in the use of office IT applications and internet in conducting research and communication;
  • Outstanding communication, project management and organizational skills;
  • Excellent presentation, facilitation and training skills.
  • Demonstrates integrity and ethical standards;
  • Positive, constructive attitude to work;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Required Skills and Experience

Educational Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Development, Social Science or Management or any other relevant field.


  • At least 7 years relevant work experience in institutional, governance, organisational, management, disaster preparedness arrangements.
  • Preferably international practice in applying the UNDP Water Governance Frameworks and the World Health Organisation Water Safety Plans.
  • Practical experience of the development and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in a collaborative context.
  • Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) experience is necessary.
  • Local knowledge of the Republic of Marshall Islands institutional arrangements is desirable.

Language requirements

  • Fluency in spoken and written English language is required;
  • Knowledge of Marshallese would be an asset.

Evaluation Method and Criteria

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the Cumulative Analysis methodology:

The award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as a) responsive/compliant/acceptable; and b) having received the highest score out of set of weighted technical criteria (70%). and financial criteria (30%). Financial score shall be computed as a ratio of the proposal being evaluated and the lowest priced proposal received by UNDP for the assignment.

Technical Criteria for Evaluation (Maximum 70 points)

  • Criteria 1 Appropriate Master’s Degree - Max 10 points
  • Criteria 2 Experience in developing and guiding institutional reform - Max 10 Points
  • Criteria 3 Relevance of experience in the development of collaborative water governance arrangements - Max 10 points
  • Criteria 4 Relevance of experience in the development and implementation of standard operating procedures and water safety planning - Max 10 points
  • Criteria 5 Assessment of the proposed approach and methodology - Max 20 Points
  • Criteria 6 Previous experience of working in the Pacific region and knowledge of the RMI context - Max 10 points

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70% of the total technical points) will be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Price Proposal

Consultant must send a financial proposal based on Lump Sum Amount. The total amount quoted shall be all-inclusive and include all costs components required to perform the deliverables identified in the TOR, including professional fee, travel costs, living allowance (if any work is to be done outside the ICs duty station) and any other applicable cost to be incurred by the IC in completing the assignment. The contract price will fixed output-based price regardless of extension of the herein specified duration.

Schedule of Payments

Payments will be done upon completion of the deliverables/outputs and as per below percentages of total contract amount in each case:

  • Deliverable 1: a work plan and methodology for carrying out the project: 10%
  • Deliverable 2: national drought contingency plan and national water safety plan: drafts 15% and final 20%
  • Deliverable 3: standard operating procedures: draft 10% and final 15%
  • Deliverable 4: community level water safety plan framework and implementation guide: draft 10% and final 5%
  • Deliverable 5: training workshop/s on the arrangements and procedures: 10%
  • Deliverable 6: completion report with recommendations: 5%

In the event of unforeseeable travel not anticipated in this TOR, payment of travel costs including economy class tickets, lodging and related expenses should be agreed upon,  prior to travel and will be reimbursed.

Documentation required

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications.

  • Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided in Annex II.
  • Personal CV, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
  • Technical proposal, including a) a brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment; and b) an outline of the approach and methodology, on how they will approach and complete the assignment.
  • Financial proposal, as per template provided in Annex II. Note: Consultants must quote prices in United States Dollars (USD).

Incomplete and joint proposals may not be considered. Consultants with whom there is further interest will be contacted.

Note: Successful individual will be required to provide proof of medical insurance coverage before commencement of contract for the duration of the assignment.

All required templates are available on the UNDP Procurement website:


For any clarification regarding this assignment please write to and copy .Women and disabled applicants are encouraged to apply.