Consultant: Early Warning Systems Inventory and Mapping for Eswatini Drought Program

The World Bank
eSwatini, Various
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Title: Consultant, Early Warning Systems Inventory and Mapping for Eswatini Drought Program
Division/VPU: Water Global Practice, Sustainable Development Vice Presidency
Duty Location: eSwatini
Appointment Type: Short Term Consultant
Duration: 50 days


  1. Background

The nature of drought as a slow-onset creeping” event that gradually permeates into communities and ecosystems has left it oftentimes neglected as a phenomenon to which officials apply “preparedness” approaches. Recently, however, there has been a convergence around a drought preparedness framework that is operationalized via three priority pillars:

1.   Monitoring and forecasting/early warning;

2.   Vulnerability/resilience and assessment and impact reporting; and

3.   Mitigation and response planning and management (both short-term contingency planning and long-term investment planning).

The World Bank (Bank) is working with several clients within the southern Africa region to develop drought preparedness programs, centered on this “three pillars” framework. The ultimate aims of these programs are to improve resilience to future droughts and build longer-term water security in the region.

In focusing on drought preparedness, the emphasis shifts from ad hoc drought relief and response to proactive risk management. Systematically building drought preparedness policies and approaches across scales of decision-making can ultimately increase resilience and adaptive capacity of communities and populations. Such resilience-building measures are also purported to help reduce economic losses and costs associated with more reactive disaster response and recovery, and help to increase efficiency and effectiveness of response and relief mechanisms.

More specifically, the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini (GoE), with the support of the Bank, is developing a program that will help to institutionalize drought preparedness throughout the country. Eswatini is vulnerable to drought and other extreme natural and human induced hazards, which adversely affect the development prospects of the country. These hazards have wreaked havoc on an increasing scale in recent years, and their increasing frequency and magnitude remain a concern to the socio-economic and sustainable development of the country.

The drought program will be implemented in conjunction with the Bank-financed “Eswatini Water Supply and Sanitation Access Project”. The program will ultimately help to identify mechanisms for improving the provision and use of information for drought mitigation and response planning and management through the development of a drought monitor and early warning system. In addition, the program will improve vulnerability assessment and impacts reporting, pilot drought contingency plans in key sectors and/or locations, explore drought risk financing/insurance mechanisms, and embark on a longer-term investment planning exercise for water security.

Against this backdrop, the Bank, in partnership with the GoE and the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), seek to engage a consultant to perform a capacity and needs assessment including mapping of all early warning and relevant institutions in contributing data and resources to support development and operationalization of a drought monitor. This is required for building a strong foundation for coordination and collaboration across these institutions and creating an effective integrated early warning system for the country. This will include a detailed IT diagnosis to determine data compatibility and integration capabilities and a plan for building technical capacity to develop and implement the monitoring and integrated early warning system in the Kingdom. Early warning systems are particularly attractive for at least two reasons: first, they generally have a favorable cost-benefit ratio; and second, their flexibility, making them particularly important for facilitating adaptation to different future climate changes, including droughts, in particular

  1. Roles, Responsibilities, and Tasks

The tasks of the Consultant will require approximately 50 days between October 15, 2019 and January 31, 2020. Details of the assignment are described below:

  • Perform a capacity and needs assessment to identify critical actions, strengths and gaps amongst institutions to support and influence the development and sustenance of the country drought monitor and the integrated early warning system.
  • Mapping of all relevant institutions and processes in contributing data and resources to support development and operationalization of a drought monitor and country integrated early warning system (this includes mapping the institutions and data/resources for both the monitoring and impacts-reporting aspects of this early warning system).
  • Generate evidence-based policy recommendations to support the development of conducive policy, strategy and institutional frameworks for a systematic coordination and collaboration framework for implementing the drought monitor and country integrated early warning system. (e.g. MOUs to be signed, legislation needing to be passed, etc.).
  • Perform relevant institutions detailed Information Technology (IT) diagnosis relevant to drought monitoring and early warning systems and systems analysis to identify gaps and synergies in data compatibility and integration capabilities between to data and resources efficient use.
  • Formulate capacity development plan and monitoring framework for the drought monitor and integrated early warning system development and operations.
  1. Outputs

The Consultant is expected to meet the following deliverables (with approximate dates in parentheses):

  1. Initial scoping report and plan, detailing Consultant’s proposed approach to meeting the final deliverables (by November 30, 2019)
  2. First draft of the completed assessment (by December 31, 2019)
  3. Final draft of the completed assessment, satisfactorily incorporating Bank and NDMA feedback (by January 31, 2020).
  1. Planning and Budget

This assignment will start immediately after contract signature and should be completed by January 31, 2020 at the latest. The work is expected to begin on or about November 15, 2019, and the Consultant is expected to be based in the Kingdom of Eswatini for the duration of the assignment. There are no incidental expenditures associated with this assignment.

  1. Qualifications
  • At least a Master's Degree or higher in a discipline relevant to the assignment
  • Professional working experience in disaster risk management, early warning systems, drought management and/or climate change adaptation and resilience. Proven ability to collect, verify, and analyze information, and present research with a high degree of accuracy and technical quality.
  • Experience with data analysis, integration, and synthesis a plus.
  • Understanding of relevant institutions in Eswatini, as well as knowledge of policy formation and implementation process in the Kingdom.
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in written English in order to communicate complex, technical information to both technical and general audiences.
  • Experience in working with and facilitating diverse stakeholder groups, including government, and ability to manage and coordinate the work of a small and big team.
  • Knowledge of the work of the NDMA and functions of its stakeholders a must.

To Apply

Please send CV and expression of interest to Nathan Engle ( by November 14, 2019.