United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)
Perugia, Italy
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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The World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) of UNESCO, in synergy and close coordination with the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), aims at increasing acceptance that the management of water resources must be undertaken with an integrated approach, that assessment of resource is of fundamental importance as the basis for rational decision-making, and the national capacities to undertake necessary assessment must be fully supported.

The WWAP seeks to enhance management decisions to alleviate poverty, to allow economic development, and to ensure food security and the health of human populations as well as preserve vital ecosystems, must be based on our best possible understanding of all relevant water systems.

The Programme monitors freshwater issues in order to provide recommendations, enhance assessment capacity at national level and inform the decision-making process. The WWAP designs, develops and publishes the World Water Development Reports (WWDRs) and related policy documents, which are key periodical reviews providing an authoritative picture of the state, use and management of the world’s freshwater resources. The WWAP aims also at equipping water managers and key decision-makers with information to effectively participate in the development of water policies in line with UNESCO medium term strategy and programmes and its two overarching priorities (Africa and gender). The WWAP coordinates the contributions of 32 UN-Water members and partners to the WWDRs.

Long Description

Under the overall authority of the Director-General, in close consultation with and under the guidance of the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, and under the supervision of the Director of the Division of Water Sciences of UNESCO and Executive Secretary of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the incumbent will:

  • Be responsible for the World Water Assessment Programme Secretariat in order to ensure coordination, production, communication and development of the World Water Development Reports (WWDRs) and related water policy documents;
  • Be responsible of the development of the Global assessments of freshwater resources;
  • Contribute, in coordination with IHP, to the communication activities related to the water sciences programmes, the production of water and gender data and information and capacity development activities related to its focus; and
  • Contribute to the preparation and setting of the IHP strategy, and to the preparation of meetings of the Intergovernmental Council of the IHP;
  • In carrying out its responsibilities, the incumbent will provide intellectual, strategic and operational leadership in the planning, coordination and execution of WWAP-related activities as well as provide managerial leadership to the WWAP Secretariat. The incumbent will ensure the development/implementation of organizational and resource mobilization strategies for WWAP activities, as well as ensure the management of its personnel (more than 10 technical and administrative staff), the facilities, financial operations, and security requirements in line with UNESCO’s policies and procedures. For these purposes, the incumbent will develop overall strategies and work plans, implement effective internal controls and manage the funds for WWAP in accordance with UNESCO rules and regulations.

Long Description

As responsible for the production of the periodic WWDRs, the incumbent will:

  • Develop and present the general program for its development to all relevant partners, including UN-Water; and
  • Coordinate the timely implementation of all activities leading to their production.
  • In the same framework, the incumbent will coordinate the contributions of UN partners and members, scientists and professional individuals and organizations in the preparation of the WWDRs through appropriate and effective channels. The incumbent will establish co-publishing arrangements with UN system entities and other entities as needed for WWAP/WWDR products in line with UNESCO procedures. The incumbent will maintain close consultative relations with UNESCO's Water Family, and with UN-Water, on what concerns the overall content of the WWDRs, and will prepare related progress reports to IHP, the donors, UN-Water and other relevant partners. Tasks will also include maintaining relations with the local and international water research community and relevant administrative authorities of host countries.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)

Accountability (C)

Innovation (C)

Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)

Planning and organizing (C)

Results focus (C)

Teamwork (C)

Building partnerships (M)

Driving and managing change (M)

Leading and empowering others (M)

Making quality decisions (M)

Managing performance (M)

Strategic thinking (M)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Advanced university degree (Master or equivalent) in one of the fields of fresh water sciences or environmental sciences with specialization in water.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 15 years of progressive professional experience at the appropriate management level within the United Nations system or within other international institutions, including a wide experience in development issues related to UNESCO’s areas of competence.
  • Sound experience and proven success in resources and partnership mobilization.
  • Experience in advocacy and communication of water/environmental issues and related authoritative documents.
  • Specialization and/or substantive experience in the area of fresh water sciences or environmental sciences with specialization in water, as well as an established scientific reputation in water or environmental research, evidenced by scientific publications and records.
  • Experience in the field of multilateral cooperation and development.
  • Broad knowledge of water and environmental issues.

Long Description


  • Knowledge of, and commitment to, UNESCO’s mandate, vision, strategic direction and priorities.
  • Good knowledge of UNESCO programmes and policies in water sciences and of international development policies and institutions.
  • Demonstrated strategic planning and management abilities, including capacity to administer extensive programmes, human and financial resources.
  • Capacity to provide intellectual leadership to guide staff, as well as ability to build trust, manage, lead and motivate a large and diversified body of staff in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively and to build relationships and consensus with diverse groups of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, individuals, and relevant institutions.
  • High sense of objectivity and professional integrity, diplomacy, tact and political astuteness.
  • Demonstrated skills in science communication and advocacy.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with strong representational abilities in front of a broad range of stakeholders, including the news media.
  • Analytical and organizational skills, including in establishing plans and priorities, and in effective implementation, as well as in devising implementation plans.
  • Sound judgment and decision-making skills.
  • Ability to identify key strategic issues, objectives, opportunities and risks.
  • Proven experience in raising funds.
  • Knowledge of gender issues related to water.


  •   Excellent knowledge of English or French and good knowledge of the other.



  • Ph.D. in natural sciences and other degrees or short- to medium-term training in water sciences, environmental sciences with specialization in water or any other disciplines relevant to the post.

Work Experience

  • Experience in conducting policy dialogue at government and non-government levels or in public and private sectors.
  • Experience in research work and/or teaching at a university or in a research institution.
  • Experience in the field.
  • Good knowledge of the United Nations system.


  • Knowledge of other official United Nations languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish).