Call for proposals: Technical support to the FAO Asia Pacific Water Scarcity Program


Activity Background

The Australian Water Partnership (AWP) is seeking to appoint an Australian Partner to lead a team of Australian and local experts to support the Asia Pacific Water Scarcity Program (WSP), jointly funded by AWP and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). The initial program of activities is in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Activity Background

The Water Scarcity Program (WSP) aims to prepare the region for a productive and climate resilient future. Water managers across the region will need to adapt to an increasingly variable water future due to climate change. The WSP will establish National Multi-disciplinary Teams (NMTs) within government to develop Water Scarcity Action Plans (WSAPs), and roadmaps for the implementation of water accounting and allocation. It will facilitate regional cooperation, work to improve governance, and support innovation in the water sector.

The WSP draws on the successful implementation of the FAO Water Scarcity Initiative in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) where a network of partners, which currently include over thirty regional and international organisations, is working to provide member countries with a wealth of opportunities to learn and share practices in the sustainable use and management of water. It recognises that successful implementation at the national level is dependent upon strong partnerships with government departments and local agencies.

Partnerships, accounting, allocation, and implementation are all fundamental to the inclusive management of water scarcity and adaptation to future changes in climate. The WSP aims to embed these in government to ensure successes last beyond the life of the program.

Activity Description

The WSP will support countries across the region to address the challenges associated with increasing water scarcity. AWP is collaborating with FAO in jointly funding an initial program of activities in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. This program will be split into two phases.

Phase I will focus on understanding national water tenure arrangements (water tenure analysis), fostering multidisciplinary approaches to water scarcity management (establishing national multi-disciplinary teams), identifying key areas for national action (water scarcity action plans), developing practical capacity in conducting routine water accounting (water accounting training), developing a pilot water account through a series of ‘learning by doing’ workshops with NMTs (water accounting roadmaps) and supporting the establishment of a regional cooperative platform (RCP), via regional engagement on water scarcity at the ‘Regional Technical Workshop on Water Scarcity’.

Phase II will then focus on linking new water accounting to potential water allocation frameworks and processes in the individual countries and creating regional momentum for change at the ‘Regional Water Scarcity Symposium’ where countries from across the Asia-Pacific region with leading expertise in water scarcity management will be invited to participate in key discussion on water scarcity. Further, key project findings, outputs, and outcomes from Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam will be presented (pending outcomes and lessons learned from Phase I).

FAO has requested technical support from Australia to develop key aspects of the WSP across both phases. AWP will fund an Australian Partner/s to provide practical expertise in water accounting and allocation for more effective water scarcity management. It will also fund FAO and an Australian Expert (Dr. Hugh Turral, also an Australian partner) under separate contracts to support overall coordination and delivery of the WSP in the three countries. A Project Steering Committee comprising representatives from FAO and AWP will provide overall activity coordination and oversight.

Phase I of the WSP will be implemented across a 14-month period from January 2023 until March 2024. Phase II will be designed in detail throughout 2023 and launched immediately following Phase I (funding permitting). This call for proposals is for Phase I only.

The successful Australian Partner/s will need to engage local experts including National Technical Water Experts in Thailand and Vietnam, Junior National Water Experts in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, and an International GEDSI Expert. The Team will work closely with the NMTs established in collaboration with the FAO, as well as with the FAO Project Manager, FAO-appointed staff and Australian Expert Hugh Turral.

The main tasks of the Australian Partner are to:

  • Co-develop a Workplan with FAO including a Monitoring and Evaluation framework
  • Provide support to FAO in GEDSI mainstreaming the Water Tenure Analysis and conducting a final technical review
  • Work with FAO to prepare a list of potential members for the NMT and prioritise NMT nominees
  • Support FAO in preparing for NMT meetings, and provide technical backstopping and final review of Water Scarcity Action Plans
  • Contribute to the National Water Accounting and Allocation Training content
  • Develop National Water Accounting Roadmaps with the NMTs for Thailand and Vietnam and implement 4 water accounting workshops
  • Support the development of and provide technical review of the Regional Water Accounting Practitioner Guide final draft
  • Attend and provide input to the High-Level Technical Meeting on Water Scarcity

The Australian Partner/s leads on:

  • Developing a Workplan with FAO
  • Supporting the NMTs to develop National Water Accounting Roadmaps in Thailand and Vietnam
  • Implementing 4 water accounting workshops in Thailand and Vietnam

The Australian Partner/s will support FAO and the Australian Expert (Hugh Turral) on:

  • Producing a Water Tenure Analysis for Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam
  • Establishing NMTs in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam
  • Developing Water Scarcity Action Plans for Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam
  • NMT meetings in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam
  • National Water Accounting and Allocation Training
  • Regional Water Accounting Practitioner Guide
  • High-Level Technical Meeting on Water Scarcity

This activity will be funded under the Australia-Mekong Water Facility. The upper budget limit for this contract is AU$543,670. The Australian Partner/s will need to sub-contract a minimum of 2 National Technical Water Experts (1 in Thailand and 1 in Vietnam), Junior National Water Experts (3 – one in each country), and an International GEDSI Expert to complete the milestones outlined in the Terms of Reference.  Expenses for this activity include national workshops and water accounting roadmap consultations, and the Regional High-Level Technical Workshop in Thailand which will be attended by the Australian Partner/s, National Water Experts and Junior Water Experts.

End of Activity Outcomes

  1. Strengthened cooperation on water scarcity management between the target countries, FAO, AWP, DFAT and all key stakeholders.
  2. More equitable, transparent, and evidence-based water allocation policy due to the improved understanding of the relationships with respect to water resources (including GEDSI analysis).
  3. New momentum for national governments in the target countries to establish a permanent, multidisciplinary policy space for improved water scarcity management via the establishment of ‘NMTs’ and to take action in this space with ‘WSAPs’.
  4. Strengthened national and regional capacities in inclusive and progressively accurate water accounting via the ‘National Water Accounting and Allocation Trainings’, the development of ‘National Water Accounting Roadmaps’ and the ‘Regional Water Accounting Practitioner Guide’.
  5. Enhanced regional cooperation on water scarcity coping strategies and via the establishment of a ‘Regional Cooperative Platform’.

Application Procedure

Interested Partner/s should submit a proposal via the following online form by 5.00pm AEDT, Thursday 9 February using the AMWF Proposal Template provided:

Late applications will not be accepted.

The proposal should include a description of the relevant experience of the partner/s, as well as proposed daily remuneration rates based on the AWP Partners Remuneration Framework. Partners may wish to also consider annual rate increases using the DFAT Aid Advisor Remuneration Framework. Proposals should be a maximum of 25 pages, plus annexes for Curriculum Vitae (CV) with a two page limited on each CV. Appendices and CVs should be included within your application document (max 1 file upload allowed).

The formation of consortiums of Partners is encouraged, with demonstration of inclusion and diversity.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be assessed against the following selection criteria:

  • Meeting the expertise and experience requirements outlined in the ToR at Annex A, including demonstrated experience in water scarcity and availability, water accounting, water allocation, stakeholder engagement and knowledge exchange.
  • Including effective approaches for information/knowledge sharing, including engagement of local partners.
  • Using robust methods to achieve the objectives and tasks outlined in the ToR.
  • Incorporating Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion approaches and outcomes throughout the activity. Please refer to the Addressing GEDSI in AWP concepts, proposals, and tenders: Guidance for partners for integration of GEDSI approaches into the activity design and implementation.
  • Demonstrated Value for Money.

View full details and eligibility/selection criteria here.

Note that AWP reserves the right to not proceed with the outlined Activity and is not liable for any costs incurred by Partners in preparing proposals.


Lucy Chilver
AWP Program Officer


Interested partner/s should submit a proposal via the following online form by 5.00pm AEDT, Thursday 9 February 2023 (using the AMWF Proposal Template provided):

Late applications will not be accepted.


View FAQs in PDF

Click to expand answers:

The Call for Proposal indicates three contract elements for this initiative:

  1. FAO engagement to support overall coordination and delivery of the WSP in the three countries
  2. Engagement of Australian expert Dr Hugh Turral to also support coordination and delivery
  3. Engagement of an Australian Partner/s (with in-country sub-contracted support) to provide practical expertise in water accounting and allocation for more effective water scarcity management).

Is the allocated budget of $543,670 for all three of these elements, or just for the third component?

The $543,670 is just for the third component (Australian Partner/s with in-country sub-contract support). Separate and additional funds are provided for the first two components.

In the context of the three contracts above and the involvement of in-country government and experts, what specifically is the expectation from FAO and AWP in terms of the Australian partner’s role.  Would this include overall coordination of the program and delivery in each country, or is it a defined subset of the work?  Further clarity of who would lead what element would be helpful in structuring an appropriate response.

Overall coordination of the WSP will be undertaken by FAO, overseen by a Project Steering Committee comprising representatives from FAO and AWP (including Australian Partners).

The Australian Partner tasks and outputs are a defined subset of work in the overall WSP (as listed in the TOR). The Call for Proposals outlines which components are led by the Australian Partner, and which components require contributions from the Australian Partner. FAO and the Australian Expert tasks will support the Australian Partner outputs.

The template for submission is the existing form for proposals under the Australian Mekong Water Facility, which includes a number of categories which are already covered in some form in the Call for Proposal (source of demand, objectives, milestones, outputs etc).  What is FAO and AWP’s expectation in terms of the level of detail required in responding to these?  Would repetition of material from existing documents sufficive, with some further explanatory elements from the submitting partner, or are you looking for a more comprehensive response that builds on this existing material?

We would like the Partner to respond to the Call for Proposals by providing additional explanation detailing how the Partner will contribute to the components specified. This can include reference to material in the Call for Proposals but should not be limited to AWP material alone.

The first deliverable for the successful partner will be the co-development of a workplan for the phase 1 activities.  In this context, what level of detail is FAO and AWP expecting in response to the methodology section of the proposal?

A moderate level of detail is required. We would still like to see how the Partner is intending to approach the tasks/outputs.

Copy link