Program Officer, Integrated Water Resource Management, Africa

Job description

VACANCY TITLE Program Officer, Integrated Water Resource Management, Africa

LOCATION Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire or Rotterdam, The Netherlands

INTENSITY Full time 

ANTICIPATED START DATE As soon as possible



The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization that works as a solutions broker to catalyze action and support for adaptation solutions, from the international to the local, in partnership with the public and private sector, to ensure we learn from each other and work together for a climate resilient future. Adapting to impacts of climate change provides a “win-win” for health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth. The work of the GCA elevates the visibility and political importance of climate adaptation and facilitates solutions, such as smarter investments, new technologies and better planning to become more resilient to climate-related threats. GCA is a rapidly growing organization with offices in Abidjan, Beijing, Dhaka, Groningen, and Rotterdam.

The GCA has an ambitious 2020-2025 business plan with three pillars:

Programs: GCA’s Programs include: Food Security; Using Nature for more resilient infrastructure; Water for Urban Growth and Resilience; Climate Finance; Youth Leadership

Knowledge: Building adaptation knowledge globally and in countries through cutting edge knowledge products such as the State and Trends in Adaptation Report; Data and Knowledge Platform

Advocacy and Awareness: Formulating policy messages to move adaptation agenda forward globally and in countries.

GCA’s work program in Africa is of paramount importance. All the components of GCA’s Business Plan must succeed to support changing the momentum and pace of adaptation in Africa. Guiding GCA’s program in Africa is the Africa-owned and Africa-led Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), co-created with the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) to implement the vision of the Africa Adaptation Initiative to support African countries on key adaptation initiatives. This is supported by the State and Trends in Adaptation 2021 Africa Report prepared with regional and global knowledge partners to advance the knowledge base and provide evidence-based knowledge for African countries to take stock of progress and develop improved adaptation measures.

The AAAP is contributing to closing Africa’s adaptation gap and supporting African countries to make a transformational shift in their development pathways by putting climate adaptation and resilience at the centre of their critical growth-oriented and inclusive policies, programs, and institutions. It is scaling up successful initiatives fundamental to African nations’ economic development, and prosperity for women and men. The four pillars of the AAAP are: Climate Smart Digital Technologies for Agriculture and Food Security, the Africa Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator, Empowering Youth through Jobs and Entrepreneurship, and Innovative Financial Initiatives for Africa.

The Africa Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator Pillar seeks to scale up investment at national and city level for climate-resilient infrastructure in key sectors such as water, transport, energy, and waste management, to at least $7 billion and integrate resilience in up to 50% (by value) of new infrastructure projects.



GCA seeks a dynamic individual to join the Water and Urban team and specifically on IWRM to drive forward the Global Center on Adaptation’s role as a solutions broker in the field of adaptation. The individual will actively engage in and provide leadership on policy advocacy for adaptation in IWRM and provide technical, content-focused support to advance GCA’s overall policy and advocacy work. This person is responsible for cultivating and managing relationships with external partners and parties including the AfDB and other partners on the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), and supporting the team’s ongoing work around implementation of a water and urban development programs for adaptation.

Areas of responsibility

Under the oversight of the Regional Director for Africa and, directly reporting to the Program Lead, the incumbent will carry out the following:

  • Support the development and implementation of a pipeline of technical assistance projects in relevant sectors – such as integrated water resource management, irrigation, urban water management – that shapes and expands GCA’s partnerships with leading Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) to drive on-the-ground adaptation acceleration and scaling up of climate adaptation and creates space and energy for innovation.
  • Participate in the preliminary evaluation of project proposals to assess their feasibility for financial support and/or technical assistance by GCA. This involves the initial screening of project, carrying out desk reviews, preparing preliminary evaluation notes for presentation to the Workstream Lead and the Regional Director.
  • Participate in project implementation.
  • Support the conceptual development and the operationalization of the integration of Disaster Risk Reduction and Integrated Water Resource Management, and the mainstreaming of water adaptation.
  • Closely collaborate with MDB task teams to support the integration and implementation of climate adaptation in key water sub-sectors such as integrated water resource management, irrigation, urban water management, and related fields.
  • Provide technical assistance to GCA partners and GCA teams on issues such as hazard and risk mapping, basin modelling, and related tools.
  • Provide support and technical assistance to national and local governments to mainstream water adaptation at national and basins levels.
  • Further expand and maintain GCA’s network of international, national and local stakeholders in the water-urban adaptation sector.
  • Support the preparation of knowledge products – e.g. policy briefs, news stories, reports – on GCA’s activities.
  • Support the on-the-job strengthening of capacity of GCA staff and partner organizations.
  • Overall support to the implementation of the AAAP.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned

Job requirements


  • Master’s degree in environmental studies, civil engineering, development studies, public administration, or other relevant fields.
  • Minimum of seven years’ experience in the implementation of complex and large-scale innovative projects and programs in the water resource sector in Africa. Experience with an MDB or similar large organization and performing such roles as project preparing, appraising, supervising or implementing donor funded projects is considered to be of added advantage.
  • Good conceptual understanding of key subject areas such as climate adaption, integrated and urban water resource management.
  • Proven ability to translate concepts and strategies into technical assistance to national and local governments, and projects teams to support implementation of climate adaptation in the water sector in Africa.
  • Proven planning and operational skills–including procurement and contract management–and a demonstrable sense of urgency and ability to work under tight deadlines in a team setting while maintaining an empowering and solution-oriented approach.
  • Proven ability to effectively collaborate with diverse stakeholders at different technical and strategic levels– senior government officials and other authorities, representatives of MDBs, implementation partners, and so on.
  • Strong client and communications skills, backed by an ability to communicate orally and in writing effectively in English. Excellent report writing, presentation and communication skills, backed by an ability to articulate complex ideas into clear outputs with a coherent narrative to a diverse audience of stakeholders at technical and strategic levels. Working knowledge of French considered to be of additional advantage.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with proven ability to function effectively and collaboratively as an empowering and supportive team member of multi-disciplinary and multicultural teams, working in multiple locations, and to resolve conflicts constructively.
  • Values: commitment to excellence, bold and honest, impact for people, teamwork, and ability to perform under pressure.


With our global headquarters in Rotterdam on the world’s largest floating office, and regional offices around the globe, the GCA offers a dynamic, high-profile and international working environment in a growing organisation. You will be contributing to our global mission on climate adaptation. You will have the opportunity to draw upon the substantial expertise available at the GCA and its partner organizations across the world and you will be given an opportunity to support the shaping of international policies and global action on climate change, working at the highest governmental levels and collaborating with governments on all continents.

Subject to Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions, this staff post will be located either at GCA’s Africa Regional Office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast or in the Head Office in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


Please apply at by submitting your CV and cover letter in English before 31 January 2022, 5 pm CET. Kindly mention the date as of which you would be available to start.


The GCA celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. GCA does not discriminate in any of its programs or activities on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.


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