Water Resource Advisor - Climate and Environment Team

Location : Colombo, SRI LANKA
Application Deadline :27-Jun-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :NPSA (Short-Term)
Post Level :NPSA-11
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :Six (06) months (Part-time 50%)

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.


UNDP Sri Lanka has been working as a key development partner of the Government since 1967, to achieve sustainable human development on economic, social, and environmental fronts. Working closely with the Government at national, regional, and local levels, civil society, and the private sector,  UNDP aims to eradicate extreme poverty and reduce inequalities and exclusion to protect both people and the planet.

In recent years, UNDP has been working with the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to collectively meet the SDGs while addressing the long term impacts of  climate change. Being the single greatest challenge humanity has ever faced, climate change is threatening water and food security, health, livelihoods, and the safety of billions of people. Sri Lanka is no exception and the country  is among the most affected countries due to climate change. Water is highly vulnerable while being the lifeline for flora and fauna. Inefficiency in water resources management and inadequacy and ineffectiveness of policy and institutional framework for water management put the country in a critical situation in  meeting the country’s present and future water demands. In order to address these challenges, Sri Lanka needs to put in place a comprehensive strategy for integrated water resources management and bring all relevant partners and stakeholders together to collectively plan and address the challenges to ensure water for social, economic, and environmental needs. 

Sri Lanka’s Water Resource Development and Management (WRD&M) necessitates urgent attention on several critical subject areas, including  improving water use efficiency among significant water users and scientific assessments of future water resource availability and demand. At present, water resources management in Sri Lanka is faced with several challenges imposed by climate change and increasing water demands from different sectors specially in an immerging economy and changing land use patterns. As a result, currently developed water resources and water infrastructure are inadequate and not efficient enough to meet competitive demands such as from drinking, agriculture, power generation, inland fisheries, environment, wild life, and industry. It is natural to create competition among stakeholders to meet the individual sector demands with giving due consideration to the national priorities. This situation has affected health & livelihoods of People, increased poverty, increased rural to urban migration, and on the whole, affected country’s economy. Based on all such information, Sri Lanka must develop a sustainable, long term water resource development and management strategy to meet the future water demand in all sectors equitably. In this context, UNDP has planned to support the GoSL in developing a long-term water resource management and development strategy while setting up a proper baseline. Further, there is a need to carry-out structured dialogue among development partners involved in the water sector to identify policy and knowledge gaps in the water sector. UNDP has already initiated discussion with international development agencies to establish a Water Platform among interested parties, which is expected to be led by the Government eventually.

Further, UNDP has started  few initiatives with the Ministry of Irrigation (MoI) to address these issues. GCF funded Climate Resilient Integrated Water Management Project (CRIWMP), developing a set of baseline information on water resources in Sri Lanka and identifying a roadmap for a long-term strategy are examples for the initiatives taken so far.  The design of the CRIWMP  is aiming for a paradigm shift in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), which is expected to be achieved over the remaining period. Moreover, the annual performance report of the CRIWMP is crucial to ensure that the Project results are systematically captured and reported to the donor, i.e., GCF. 

In this context, in order to provide high quality technical advisory services to the Government of Sri Lanka and UNDP on the above initiatives and support UNDP to develop the annual performance reports of the GCF funded CRIWMP,UNDP is looking to hire a Water Resource Advisor with suitable qualifications and experience in WRD&M and with clear understanding of IWRM principles. The Water Resource Advisor will be part of the UNDP's technical team of the environmental portfolio and is responsible for providing overall technical advisory services to implement the related projects and initiaitives.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work 

The objective will be achieved through the following key activities:

a) Work with Ministry of Irrigation (MoI) and finalize a baseline of water resources in Sri Lanka which can be used for future water resource development and planning processes and projects.

b) Support the MoI to mobilize partnerships and resources to develop and operationalize an investment support framework for the water sector.

c) Liaise with the Technical Working Committee (TWC) of CRIWMP, submit papers for their review and approval, and facilitate incorporation of their advice to the cascade water resource management.

d) Provide technical inputs to the proposed multistakeholder water platform and advise the CO on  the way forward. 

e) Provide technical direction for water management in cascades with upgraded village irrigation systems (VIS).

f) Develop Annual Progress Report of CRIWMP by compiling and incorporating sectoral inputs and information from the technical specialists 

g) Provide any other technical advice to the CRIWMP team when and where necessary. 

Key Indicators:

The Water Resource Advisor will provide high quality technical advisory services, and maintain high level of professionalism  in all the conducts, in line with UNDP principles, policies and procedures . In addition, the Water Resource Advisor will assist to build  partnerships with key actors of the water sector and enable resource mobilization. Specific indicators of success of the assignment are as follows: 

a) Report on the comprehensive water resource database, which can be used for future water resource development and planning processes and projects

b) Report on the multistakeholder water platform with recommendations

c) Report on the status of water management during next cultivation seasons

d) Draft Annual Progress Report 2022 of CRIWMP and the final APR 2022 after incorporating the comments from the Regional Technical Specialist of UNDP and other relevant parties

Institutional Arrangement

The Water Resource Advisor will report to the Policy Specialist and Team Leader – Climate and Environment Team and work closely with the Project Manager of Integrated Water Management Project and Technical Specialist of the CRIWMP and UNDP CO. 


Frequent travel to the project’s sub-office, project districts and CSO offices 


Core Competencies

Achieve Results:

LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact

Think Innovatively:

LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems

Learn Continuously:

LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences

Adapt with Agility:

LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands

Act with Determination:

LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results

Engage and Partner:

LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration

Enable Diversity and Inclusion:

LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Thematic Area



Nature, Climate and Energy


Environmental and social impact assessments, including data collection and analysis



Gender mainstreaming



Required Skills and Experience

Min. Education requirements

Masters Degree (M.Sc.) in development, water management, irrigation, engineering, climate change adaptation or related fields




Bachelor’s Degree in above mentioned/related fields with additional 2 years of relevant work experience


Min. years of relevant work experience

Relevant Master’s Degree with minimum Seven (07) years of progressive work experience or relevant Bachelor’s Degree with minimum Nine (09) years of progressive work experience, in Water Resource Management in Sri Lanka with a background in poverty reduction, emphasizing disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in Sri Lanka.

Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section


  • At least 20 years of technical experience in water resources management in Sri Lanka will be an added advantage.
  • Substantial relevant experience in the design and implementation of integrated development projects, e.g., poverty reduction, food, livelihood, and water security, including working on community-based initiatives will be an added advantage
  • Experience in the formulation and management of similar projects with global funds, including:

- Project design, management, and monitoring & evaluation               

- Working with multidisciplinary teams, including local and expatriate technical experts;

                would be desirable.


  • Previous experience in donor reporting, preparation of technical proposals, and conducting assessments and evaluation in the area of water resource management would be desirable
  • Fellow Member of a Professional Institute would be an added advantage

Required Language(s)

Fluency in Sinhala and/or Tamil with strong English communication skills.

Professional Certificates


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