Consultant (City Liaison & Urban Water Research)

World Resources Institute (WRI)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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Consultant Summary
WRI intends to award a fixed price type contract to a locally based consultant/partner in Kigali, Rwanda for developing a urban water resilience action plan with the city of Kigali in close partnership with WRI's Africa team. In this consultancy, you will be the primary liaison between the city/regional stakeholders and WRI's Cities/Water Programs. You should have a good understanding of the urban water resilience needs of the city, as well as the local political and policy contexts to lead the development and implementation of the City Water Resilience Approach (CWRA) in close coordination with the WRI's project lead and partners.

As the Research Consultant, you will work closely with WRI's project lead and project partners to structure & conduct desk research as well as coordinate integration of spatial/data analysis with WRIs data team. In addition to desk research, the analysis will be informed by key informant and expert interviews with stakeholders managing the city’s water system and experts with knowledge of the city’s key water challenges. Upon completion of the analysis report (i.e. the City Characterization report), you will lead the design and implementation of a structured multi-stakeholder planning process using the CWRA framework and problem framing tools to ideate and identify water resilience action the city wants to prioritize. You will be responsible for synthesizing the research and inputs from both the desk research and the stakeholder workshops to develop the urban water resilience action plan for the city of Kigali. In addition, you will support WRI's project lead and TRC director in developing agreements & securing political commitments; organizing activities such as conferences and workshops; scoping technical assistance and researching best practices to share across the Africa water resilience network. You will develop relationships and work closely with senior city and other relevant officials and stakeholders as well as regional experts in order to accomplish the scope identified below.

Program Overview

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is undertaking a three-year program (2020-2022) to help advance urban water resilience in Africa. The overall objective of this work is to help cities address their water risks and vulnerabilities through research, technical assistance, knowledge sharing, and partnerships for collective action. To this end, WRI and partners will work with city stakeholders to map key water, climate and development risks facing the city; develop research to identify pathways for change (i.e. policy, planning, governance interventions); set targets and owners for action; and catalyze implementation of priority actions through various capacity building initiatives including providing technical assistance, supporting knowledge exchange; and soliciting commitments from regional and national stakeholders to create an enabling environment. To achieve the goals of this project WRI has proposed a 3-part action plan. These three phases of work are:

  1. Research on Challenges and Pathways
  2. Partnerships for Urban Water Resilience Actions
  3. Create an enabling environment for urban water resilience through collective action

The scope described in this RFP relates to the second phase of the initiative which involves working closely with the city of Kigali and in the future in a second city in Rwanda to develop urban water resilience action plans.  

Scope of Work and Deliverables/Outputs

The urban water resilience action plan for Kigali will be developed using the CWRA methodology and incorporate other spatial analysis frameworks developed by WRIs data team, to allow city-regions to identify, quantify and assess local water risks. The approach will support taking a comprehensive systems perspective to urban water management to inform an integrated One Water approach that supports the health and wellbeing of the community and protects the natural water cycle. The City Liaison and Urban Water Research Consultant/Partner will be trained in the CWRA approach in order to lead its application in Kigali, with support of WRI and partners.

The core outputs of this work will include completing the following four deliverables:

  1. Prepare the city characterization report
  2. Develop and implement a multi-stakeholder assessment and visioning workshop
  3. Prepare a city water resilience profile and action plan
  4. Develop and implement technical assistance plans for 2-priority actions

Detailed responsibilities to achieve the above outputs are described below:

Relationship management, diplomacy and strategic planning

  • The consultant will serve as the main point of contact for WRIs work in Kigali and build relationships with city officials, utilities and board range of stakeholders to advance the development of the urban water resilience action plan with the city
  • The consultant will liaise with and convene a diverse group of city stakeholders to build consensus and identify opportunities for water resilience and promote political buy-in
  • The consultant will represent the city’s needs and advocate for enabling city led action and be a ambassador bridging local context and culture to inform this pan-Africa initiative
  • The consultant will coordinate with WRIs Project lead & TRC Director to strategically promote and elevate city champions in collaboration with WRIs communications and engagement lead
  • The consultant will identify key funding and financing strategies that will enable action on the ground and coordinate with WRIs finance associate to inform a pan-Africa strategy to finance and fund water resilience

Project Management

  • The consultant will coordinate with WRIs Project lead in developing and implementing the stakeholder engagement and partnership inception plan for the city
  • The consultant will coordinate with WRIs Project lead in developing a detailed project work plan for the city, including key milestones and deliverables at each stage of the project
  • The consultant will coordinate with WRIs Project lead in planning and implementing the four and half day in-city water resilience assessment, OurWater and the visioning workshop in each city, working closely with city stakeholders, WRI team members and CWRA partners
  • The consultant with guidance from WRIs Project lead manage and implement the discrete technical assistance partnerships with cities
  • The consultant will coordinate with WRIs Project lead to design and implement network exchange programs between cities that support peer to peer learning
  • The consultant will coordinate with WRIs Project lead and the engagements lead to help manage and implement the project communications plan

Research Responsibilities

  • Develop a stakeholder map and engagement plan, with the goal of planning and convening stakeholders for the inception phase to promote political buy-in, build consensus and secure commitment for developing and implementing the urban water resilience action plan in each city
  • Conduct background research on the water context of the city including assessing key water & urban policy, programs, plans underway and in development; identifying and documenting climate and development shocks and stresses; and mapping key manmade and natural assets and governance processes to develop an analysis of existing urban water resilience challenges facing the city
  • Working closely with WRIs data team and city stakeholders develop the baseline spatial analysis for the city to help identify key water & climate risks, insecurity and related vulnerabilities specific to the city region. Produce and curate appropriate charts, maps and visuals for the written report to begin to identify important systems interdependencies.
  • Work closely with the WRI Project lead and partners to develop a governance analysis of the urban water system in the city using the OurWater tool. The OurWater tool helps map relationships between stakeholders throughout the entire water systems and the assessment allows cities to understand their local water system including different types of shocks and stresses confronted, the various hazards and the interaction between stakeholders required for effective urban water management.
  • Conduct key informant interviews, synthesize desk research and spatial analysis to develop the city characterization report. The report will define the water basin of the city including natural basin(s), the urban water systems and its governance structure, and the interdependencies with other systems. It will identify the factors contributing to the resilience of the city water system and those increasing its vulnerability. The consultant will follow the city characterization report format and have a complete set of references and citations
  • As a lead up to developing the stakeholder workshops the consultant will populate information on the city’s current practices & service levels into the city water resilience framework (CWRF). The CWRF framework helps cities assess resilience by measuring its progress through 62 qualitative and 40 quantitative indicators. These inputs into the CWRF will be developed in close cooperation with the resilience office/city champion and local stakeholders.
  • The consultant will work closely with the WRI project lead and partners to design and implement 3 workshops to review and seek inputs on the city characterization report, the ourwater assessment and the CWRF assessment from city stakeholders to build the assessment. The first 2 sessions include the OurWater focus session and the CWRF assessment.
  • The OurWater governance session will help stakeholders review the analysis produced by the OurWater tool to refine, confirm and agree to the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders. The CWRF session will be held in 4 focus groups to review each dimension of the CWRF framework, to score each qualitative indicator to form the baseline assessment.
  • The third workshop will build on the quantitative and qualitative assessment. The consultant along with WRI+ partners will guide city stakeholders through a problem framing and the visioning workshop to create a shared vision of urban water resilience. The goal of the workshop is to identify and develop initiatives and interventions that have multi-stakeholder buy-in. The consultant will be responsible for synthesizing and analyzing workshop outputs and develop problem statements and action plans for water resilience profile report
  • The consultant will work closely with the WRI Project lead to support securing commitments for the action plan from city stakeholders and leadership and identify priority water resilience actions
  • The consultant will lead in developing final written material including city profile report, policy recommendations as well as brochures, newsletters, handouts, power points, talking points and background documents that are part of the collaterals identified for the launch of the final city profile report
  • Under the leadership of the WRI Project lead the consultant/partner will help identify, scope technical assistance plans to support city of Kigali in advancing action on 1-2 priority water resilience initiatives for the city
  • In addition, the consultant will lead in developing blogs and framing documents for the project in coordination with the WRI Project lead and the communications team

Consultant Qualifications

The selected consultant should be able to demonstrate:

  • Experience working with city stakeholders on water related issues in a holistic way
  • Experience leading multi-stakeholder planning processes to develop strategic action plans in cities
  • Strong knowledge of and or working relationships with relevant stakeholders
  • Capacity to perform the work within the stated time frame

Evaluation and Selection

The following elements will be the primary considerations in evaluating all proposals submitted in response to this RFP:

  • Experience with similar projects
  • The extent to which the proposal fulfills WRIs stated requirements as set out in the RFP
  • Completion on all requirements

The consultant offering the best overall value will be selected. For this position, price and non-price aspects are considered to be of approximately equal importance.

Compliance Requirements: WRI receives funding from a variety of sources, including governments and other non-governmental organizations. In addition to WRI’s standard contract terms, certain funder conditions may apply.

How to Apply

Prospective consultants should submit:

  • A statement of interest describing how you meet the above requirements
  • A CV or CVs of core team
  • Examples of and references for similar work
  • An initial outline of proposed individual/team involved

Expression of interest, deadline for questions and proposals:

All questions about this RFP must be received via email to the contact below by 5:00 PM EDT (Washington, DC) August 6th, 2020. Answers to the questions will be shared will all parties who have asked questions or otherwise expressed interest.

Meredith Hess
Grants and Finance Specialist

All proposals must be sent by 5:00 PM EDT (Washington, DC) August 13th, 2020  in electronic format to the same contact listed above.