Senior Groundwater Specialist

The Southern African Development Community Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI) is a newly established regional center of excellence on groundwater hosted by the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa on behalf of and under the strategic guidance of the SADC Secretariat, Directorate of Infrastructure and Services – Water Division, in Gaborone, Botswana.
The  vision  of  the  SADC-GMI  is  to  ensure  the  equitable  and  sustainable  use  and  protection  of groundwater, as well as being a center of excellence in the areas of groundwater management and management of groundwater dependent ecosystems in the region. The role of the GMI will be to:
Promote sustainable groundwater management and solutions to groundwater challenges in the SADC region through building capacity, providing training, advancing research, supporting infrastructure development, and enabling dialogue and exchange of groundwater information.
Conduct  and  support  SADC  Member  States  in  groundwater  research,  and  serve  as  a  focal interlocutor with national, regional and international groundwater initiatives.
SADC GMI is established as a not-for-profit company under South African law. For the coming 5 years the SADC-GMI will act as the implementing agency  of the Sustainable Groundwater Management in SADC Member States Project funded by the World Bank (through the support of the Global Environment Facility and the Cooperation in International Waters in Africa trust fund).  During this period the SADC-GMI is expected to secure long term funding to become a sustainable center of excellence and groundwater expertise in the region providing research, training and advice to public and private sector clients.
The SADC-GMI is guided and supervised by a Board of Directors with representatives of the SADC Secretariat, SADC Member States and the University of the Free State.
The SADC-GMI hereby invites applications from suitably qualified candidates to fill this new position of:
Senior Groundwater Specialist of the SADC-GMI
Duty Station:
The position is based in the SADC-GMI office within the Institute of Groundwater Studies at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa, with extensive travel to SADC Member States
The Position:
The incumbent is to provide technical support to the Director of the SADC-GMI and SADC Member States to coordinate and facilitate the design and implementation of (research, development, capacity building etc) programmes in line with the strategic mandate of the GMI.
This post requires high level technical understanding of groundwater management. The Incumbent reports to and is accountable to the SADC-GMI Director.
Key Duties and Responsibilities:
The successful candidate will undertake the following key duties and responsibilities: 
  • Support to the SADC-GMI Director in the development and operation of the SADC-GMI;
  • Develop and oversee projects, programmes, courses and other activities to move forward groundwater management in the SADC region;
  • Provide strategic support with regard to policy direction, including alignment of operations to strategic outputs and assist with the interpretation of the mandate of the SADC-GMI into strategic objectives;
  • Drive capacity building and groundwater management programmes of the SADC-GMI in line with the strategic business plan;
  • Serve on the senior management team of SADC-GMI to set policy, define objectives, develop marketing and operational plans
  • Assist in the collection and analysis of groundwater related data as well as the creation and operation of databases and knowledge management platforms;
  • Initiate, manage and supervise the SADC-GMI’s technical groundwater projects and programmes;
  • Draft terms of reference and funding proposals for research projects and programmes;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with SADC member representatives and relevant institutions, and establish the reputation of the SADC-GMI;
  • Liaise with international, SADC based organizations and governments on capacity building and support initiatives;
  • Provide support to the Director of SADC-GMI with regard to the development of relevant MoUs and contracts to facilitate effective management of strategic relationships with other groundwater institutions;
  • Jointly identify with member states and the SADC Water Division, opportunities and priorities for research and development related to groundwater management, monitoring and capacity building; and,
  • Supervise day-to-day activities associated with the implementation of programmes and projects for the SADC-GMI.
  • Assist the Procurement and Financial Management officer in implementing and reporting on the running of the Sub-Grant Scheme to support national level focal groups and pilot activities. The Sub- Grant Scheme will include the planning, priority setting, calls for proposals, review, selection and award, as well as monitoring of results, financial management and compliance with the Sub-Grant Agreements. A Sub-Grants Manual, acceptable to the World Bank will be in place. 
Selection Criteria:
The ideal profile of the successful candidate will be based on the following competencies: 
  • Expertise in groundwater and an in depth understanding of the issues facing its management;
  • Ability to interact effectively with and represent the organization to a wide range of clients and stake holders in multiple organizations and cultures;
  • Excellent negotiation, multi-cultural, and inter-personnel skills, with experience and demonstrated skills in networking with Ministry level-partners, donors, private sector, national and international NGOs and local community-based organizations;
  • Knowledge of SADC legal frameworks and operating environment pertaining to regional integration is an asset;
  • Strong management skills, including ability to provide strategic guidance, technical oversight, prepare work plans, and manage budgets and project expenditures;
  • Excellent inter-personnel and consensus building skills, with the ability to foster a strong team environment and mentor staff;
  • Excellent written, analytical, presentation and reporting skills;
  • Use of a range of management tools to ensure effective running of the programmes;
  • Excellent organizational, record-keeping and decision making skills;
  • Team working, flexibility and good inter-personal skills;
  • Problem solving skills and ability to cope under pressure;
  • Be able and willing to travel extensively regionally; and,
  • Be self-motivated, versatile and ability to motivate diverse teams. 
Required Qualifications and Experience:
Ideal candidates for this position should have the following qualifications and experience: 
  • A Masters or PhD. level degree in groundwater, natural resource management, water resources or related field;
  • At least 10 years of working experience in groundwater or natural resources management or related fields with recognized technical expertise;
  • Experience with work and travel in SADC member states is an asset;
  • Excellent computer skills, including MS office programs (MS Excel/MS Word/MS Project);
  • Excellent knowledge of English (writing, reading and speaking); and,
  • Fluency in SADC Languages (French, or Portuguese) is desirable. 
Additional Considerations: 
  •  Applicants must be nationals of one of the SADC Member States.
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified. If you do not hear from us one month after the closing date then you may consider your application as not having been successful on this occasion.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • SADC-GMI reserves the right to appoint a candidate with the nearest fit to the ideal profile advertised or not to appoint anyone to the post.
  • A competitive package commensurate with the level of qualification and experience, similar to comparable positions in regional institutions
  • The successful candidate will be hired on an initial 2 year contract of employment from the date of engagement, with an initial three months’ probation period. The contract may be extended for up to another 1 year or more subject to good performance and availability of funding 
Submission of Applications:
View the full job descriptions and application instructions on    the Vacancies page at and  email your application by Friday 17th February 2017 to  
Senior Groundwater Specialist Senior Groundwater Specialist Reviewed by Kazi Bongo on 2:27:00 PM Rating: 5


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