Background and Objectives.

Over the past few years, water has become a major political and economic issue for many countries. Freshwater is abundant on Earth but unevenly distributed among the different regions of the globe. As a result, 2.2 billion people, or 29% of the world's population, do not have access to safe domestic water supply services. Since the second half of the 20th century, demographic pressure, the development of irrigation and intensive agriculture have put this resource at risk.

In this context of increasing scarcity of freshwater resources, groundwater is receiving increased attention from the international community, which emphasises the importance of financing groundwater resources and the strategic and emblematic nature of sustainable management of these resources. Indeed, Groundwater is the main source of drinking water for about half the world's population (OECD, 2017). The protection of our groundwater resources is therefore becoming more important.

UNCDF’ work.

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 46 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

UNCDF’s financing models work through three channels: inclusive digital economies, connecting individuals, households, and small businesses with financial eco-systems that catalyze participation in the local economy, and provide tools to climb out of poverty and manage financial lives; local transformative finance, that capacitates localities through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance to drive local economic expansion and sustainable development; and investment finance, that provides catalytic financial structuring, de-risking, and capital deployment to drive SDG impact and domestic resource mobilization. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile and address exclusion and inequalities of access, UNCDF contributes to a broad diversity of SDGs.

UNCDF’s Local Transformation Finance Practice (LD) – channel (2) - is a centre of excellence and innovative fund for local government finance and local economic development finance in the LDCs. LD promotes and supports transformative investments through local governments and domestic financial institutions (banks, pension funds) in LDCs by piloting and scaling up innovative financing mechanisms and policies in the public and private sectors. UNCDF’s LD team focusses on local economies and sub-national finance and aims at ensuring that people in all regions and locations benefit from economic growth. This means dealing with the specific local challenges of, for example, peri-urban areas and remote rural locations. It means investing domestic resources into local economies and services through, inter-alia, fiscal decentralization, climate finance and project finance. UNCDF focuses its efforts towards strengthening public financial management and local revenue, improving the quality of public and private investments at the local level.

As part of the Local Transformative Finance Practice, The Blue Peace Financing Initiative is about promoting access to capital for non-sovereign entities by using water as an entry point for multi-stakeholder cooperation frameworks, leading to more sustainable economies and peaceful societies (peace dividend). Currently being tested in West Africa in collaboration with regional local governments and regional non-sovereign entities, UNCDF has received multiple requests from other regions to replicate this and other mechanisms and models when it comes to financing for water, both surface water and groundwater. Meanwhile, UNCDF in cooperation with the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), and the Academia (Makerere University (Uganda), University of Namibia and University of Dakar) has also developed a Groundwater Finance Framework in support of AMCOW’s GW program. In the next phased, these and other initiatives and projects on financing for water will be integrated in one Global Blue Peace Financing Program in order for UNCDF and its partners to better use synergies and replicate success models.


Duties and Responsibilities

Objectives of the Assignment. 

The new Global Blue Peace Financing Program will target three main workstreams:

  1. Financing for water on regional level (Transboundary Water Cooperation)
  2. Financing for water on local level (local governments, municipalities, and water utilities)
  3. Blue Peace Financing frameworks and measurement tools

Groundwater is a cross-cutting topic in this new global program. Therefore, one of the objectives in preparation for and under new Global Blue Peace Financing Program will be to use the exiting Groundwater Finance Framework as basis to develop a comprehensive Handbook on Groundwater finance, which can be used by water professionals globally and at several levels (regional, national and local) as an action-oriented toolbox, that can support them  to:

  1. Better understand financing for groundwater building blocks, policies, frameworks  and associated concepts;
  2. Be initiated to existing tools, mechanisms, and instruments related to the topic;
  3. Context based analyse and evaluate groundwater finance bottlenecks and opportunities ;
  4. Build robust action plans to address challenges ;
  5. Define the tool’s application plan and implement it.

Scope of work

The main scope of this work is to support UNCDF in developing and disseminating a comprehensive, action-oriented and user-friendly Handbook for GW financing, that will help water professional on all levels to better understand Financing in general and Financing for GW in particular and that will provide an overview of tools and mechanisms as well as key recommendations on how GW financing can be improved in different contexts. To reach a broad audience after the launch of the Handbook, the consultant will also support UNCDF in disseminating and mainstreaming the Handbook and UNCDF’s work in the area of Financing for Water in general and financing for GW in particular, while expanding UNCDF’s network in these field and establishing and managing partnerships for financing GW and, including with stakeholder under the advisory group for the GW handbook. Furthermore, the scope of this work also includes providing general advisory services and support on GW Financing to UNCDF’s Global Blue Peace Financing Program on an ad-hoc basis, e.g. through research and analysis an specific topics. 


Deliverables/ Outputs

Content of the Deliverables

Target Due Dates (Time after start of contract)

Percentage of Contract Price to be Paid (in %)


Diagnostic Report

  • Diagnostic Report shall include methodology, approach and implementation plan for the development and dissemination of a GW financing Handbook.
  • Analysis and evaluation of the existing UNCDF GW Finance framework and identifying the gaps and challenges;
  • The diagnostic report should also include an indicative outline of the Handbook.

(Candidate must demonstrate a strong understanding of the assignment and present a clear approach and methodology on how successfully deliver on the assignment). 

August 2023

10 %


Stakeholder Analysis Report, including a stakeholder engagement and communication plan.

  • Conduct stakeholder mapping to identify stakeholders  involved in GW finance
  • Provide detailed analysis on the roles, interests, motivations, priorities and other key information relevant for the assignment.
  • Provide recommendations on stakeholders to be included in the advisory group;
  • Prepare and present communication and engagement plan with identified stakeholders for the advisory group

October 2023

20 %


Creation and management of an advisory group

  • Advisory group shall include relevant stakeholders identified in the stakeholder analysis report as well as water professionals (on local, national and regional levels) who will be the users of the Handbook.
  • Organize kick-off meeting with Advisory Group
  • Organize regular, but at least 3 consultations with advisory group.

December 2023


First Draft report: Understanding GW Finance

  • Conduct detailed analysis, desk research and interviews with experts from the Finance and Water (GW) sector
  • Provide analysis on guiding principles, drivers and enablers of the groundwater finance ecosystem;
  • Provide a core set of indicators to measure different aspects of this ecosystem at the policy, regulatory and implementation levels;

April 2024






30 %


Second Draft Report: How to improve GW Finance



  • develop a set of recommendations that will suggest practical and actionable recommendations for improving groundwater finance ecosystems and activities on local, national and regional levels;
  • provide an overview of existing tools, mechanisms, instruments and policies (by different stakeholders), that can support the users of the Handbook to implement the recommendations and address challenges on financing GW in their specific contexts/regions; These tools and mechanisms should be presented with information on the stakeholder who can provide support in using these tools and mechanisms

July 2024


Zero Draft of the GW Finance Handbook

  • Submit zero draft of the comprehensive, action-oriented and user-friendly Handbook for GW financing, based on the first and second draft reports
  • Consult zero draft with Advisory Group and UNCDF

September 2024



Finalize & Launch of Handbook

  • Finalize Zero Draft based on Inputs from Advisory Group and UNCDF and acceptance of Zero Draft by UNCDF
  • Coordinate UNCDF Launch Event for GW Finance Handbook to introduce it to a broader audience

November 2024


Dissemination, Monitoring and Evaluation

  • The consultant will work on dissemination activities and monitor and evaluate the usage of the Handbook after its launch.
  • Furthermore, the consultant will support UNCDF in expanding its network and partnerships in this field and also strengthen UNCDF’s visibility in the area of financing water in general, and financing for GW in particular.

December 2024

20 %


General Advisory Services

  • On and ad-hoc basis, the consultant will provide advisory services to UNCDF, including conducting research and analysis in the area of GW Financing.
  • The consultant will also support the integration of GW into existing and planned activities and workstreams under the UNCDF Global Blue Peace Financing Program.

December 2024

Institutional arrangements

The Consultant will work under the overall guidance of the Blue Peace Global Program Manager based in New York (USA) with secondary/delegated guidance from the Blue Peace Program Specialist, also based in New York.

Duration of contract

The consultants will be engaged under an IC Agreement for a period of 18 Months, for 120 or up to maximum of 140 working days in total.

Duty Station or Location of assignment

The consultant can work remotely from any location of her/his choice.


The assignment is home-based with travel to programme regions as necessary.

UNCDF will pay separately travel expenses (economy airfare, terminal expenses and per diems which include hotel and food expenses) according to on standard UN rates based on evidence of approved and actual travel.

Performance indicators

  • Relevance and utility of materials developed for each output;
  • Timely submission of the outputs, as indicated above;
  • Receptiveness to feed-back from staff members on all outputs.
  • Flexibility and availability on ad-hoc requested tasks;


Competencies are reflected under Qualifications. 

Required Skills and Experience

Minimum Academic Education

Advanced university degree in hydrogeology, natural resources management, environmental engineering, finance, or a related field.


Minimum years of relevant Work experience


  • Minimum 7 years of relevant experience in planning and implementing natural resources management and sustainable integrated water resources management programs/projects, groundwater projects/programs is a strong asset.
  • Minimum 5 years of relevant experience in development finance, capital markets, sustainable finance, investment planning or related fields
  • Experience in designing and implementing capacity building/training activities


Core, corporate and technical competencies

  • Ability to plan, prioritize and execute tasks in a timely manner.
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Strong interpersonal and leadership skills
  • Strong understanding of trans sectorial water-related issues
  • Demonstrates ability to coordinate multi stakeholders’ projects and related activities.
  • Capacity to work in multicultural environments.
  • Ability to work under pressure, under time constraints and with minimal supervision.


Desired additional skills and competencies

  • Experience working with international organizations, experience with the UN, particularly with UNCDF, is an asset
  • Proven ability and capacity to deliver and meet tight deadlines.


Required Language(s) (at working level)

  • Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English. Any other language will viewed as an asset.



Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments

  1. The financial proposal must make use of the standard template for Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability.
  2. Clearly state that the lump sum amount to be quoted must be “all-inclusive”.
  3. Clearly state the target due dates for payments are fixed, and any need for change or extension must be initiated by the consultant, justified, and be subjected to mutual agreement by the parties.
  4. Clearly state that the contract price is fixed regardless of changes in the cost components.
  5. If duty travels are expected, and the destinations are identified, determine if the project would like to: (i) request the consultant to provide a total budget amount that will be consumable for travels; or (ii) the project will cover the cost of the travel and allowances.
  6. Clarify that all travels shall be at the economy class, and if a higher class is preferred, the consultant shall cover the price difference from his/her own account. 

Criteria for the Selection of Best Offer

The offers will be evaluated based on financial and technical criteria: a weighted combined notification method will be adopted:

Global score = 70% technical score + 30% financial score

Technical score = 60% for the CV (or P11) + 40 % for the approach/ methodology

Step I: Longlisting

Applications will be screened, and only applicants meeting the following minimum criteria will be shortlisted:

  • Advanced university degree in hydrogeology, natural resources management, environmental engineering, finance, or a related field.
  • Minimum 7 years of relevant experience in planning and implementing natural resources management and sustainable integrated water resources management programs/projects.
  • Minimum 5 years of relevant experience in development finance, capital markets, sustainable finance, investment planning or related fields

Step II Part A: Technical Review of CVs by Desk Review - 60% out of the technical evaluation

UNCDF will conduct a desk review to produce a shortlist of candidates by evaluating the following criteria with the corresponding points (100 points):

Criteria Maximum obtainable points

  1. University Degree: 15 points.
  2. Experience in planning and implementing natural resources management and sustainable integrated water resources management programs/projects, groundwater projects/programs is a strong asset:  25 points.
  3. Experience in development finance, capital markets, sustainable finance, investment planning or related fields: 25 points.
  4. Experience in designing and implementing capacity building/training activities: 20 points.
  5. Fluency in English: 15 points?

Step II Part B: approach/ methodology - 40% out of technical evaluation. In a document of a maximum of four (4) pages, the candidate shall submit a work plan that presents his understanding of the assignment with a proposal and description of activities, approach, and methodology and, timelines, he shall also present and explain the tools he is aiming to use, and a risk analysis and mitigation plan regarding the proper achievement of the mission-related tasks.

Step III: Financial Proposal Evaluation The following formula will be used to evaluate the financial proposal: lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%.

Step IV: Contract Award The contract shall be awarded to the applicant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as: · Responsive/compliant/acceptable vis-à-vis the requirements of the TORs. · Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (70%) and financial (30%) criteria. Individual consultants and individuals employed by a company or institution are welcome to apply. Any individual employed by a company or institution who would like to submit an offer in response to a Procurement Notice for IC must do so in their individual capacity (providing a CV so that their qualifications may be judged accordingly). UNCDF 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. UN 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.

Recommended Presentation of Offer 

Please submit the following: 

  1. CV or P11 for ICs, indicating all experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
  2. Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template, which also contains the financial proposal of the consultant.
  3. Brief description of why the consultant considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, if applicable, on how he/she will approach and complete the assignment; and a document describing approach and methodology (as noted in Step II Part B above)
  4. Financial proposal: The financial proposal shall specify a lump sum amount that is inclusive of professional fees and other incidentals that the consultant expects to incur during the performance of the work. For this purpose, please complete and submit the Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability (Please click here for document), also referenced in item 2 above, which should be sent separately to the this email  address: Please use the following subject line: VA 112625 - Individual Consultant, Advisory Services on Groundwater Financing