Senior Groundwater Specialist

Vacancy Closing Date: Friday, 27 May, 2022
Type: Contract (1 January 2022 – 30 November 2025)
All suitably qualified SADC Region citizens are welcome to apply.

The SADC Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI) is established as the regional Centre of Excellence on groundwater hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, 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 Centre of Excellence in the areas of groundwater management and management of groundwater dependent ecosystems in the region. The role of the SADC-GMI is to:

  • Promote sustainable groundwater management and provide 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 initiativ

SADC GMI is established as a Section 21 Not-for-Profit Company under South African law. The SADC-GMI is guided and supervised by a Board of Directors with representatives of the SADC Secretariat, SADC Member States, the University of the Free State and 2 Independent Non-Executive Directors.

From August 2016 until 30 June 2021, the SADC-GMI implemented the Sustainable Groundwater Management in SADC Member States Project through the World Bank with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Cooperation in International Waters in Africa trust fund (CIWA), on behalf of the SADC Secretariat. With effect from 16th November 2021, the SADC-GMI in implementing Phase 2 of the Sustainable Groundwater Management in SADC Member States Project also through the World Bank and with funding from CIWA.

The position of Senior Groundwater Specialist has been filled since 1 July 2017 to date through various fixed term contracts. It is necessary to fill the position for the entire duration of the new project until 30 November 2025.

The position is based in the SADC-GMI office at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, South Africa, with extensive travel to the SADC Member States

­­­­­­­­­­­­The incumbent will provide technical support to 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 SADC-GMI. The Incumbent reports to and is accountable to the SADC-GMI Executive Director.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

The successful candidate will undertake the following key duties and responsibilities:

  1. Support to the SADC-GMI Executive Director in the development and operation of the SADC-GMI.
  2. Lead the technical conceptualisation, design and implementation of projects, programmes, courses and other activities to move forward groundwater management in the SADC region, including overseeing the development of TORs and related project proposals and procurement documents.
  3. 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.
  4. Supervise Procurement & Grants Officer in the implementation of the Capacity Building Needs Assessment report activities.
  5. Serve on the senior management team of SADC-GMI to set policy, define objectives, develop marketing and operational plans
  6. Oversee the collection and analysis of groundwater related data as well as the creation and operation of databases and knowledge management platforms.
  7. Develop and maintain credible and professional relationships with SADC Member State representatives and relevant regional and international institutions (RBOs) through various platforms including Conferences, Associations, and ICT platforms.
  8. Knowledge dissemination and capacity building through mentorship and internship programmes as well as delivering lectures and or technical papers
  9. Support the Executive Director in the development of relevant MoUs and agreements for strategic relationships with relevant groundwater institutions.
  10. Assist in the administrative, financial and governance management of SADC-GMI as delegated by the Executive Director from time to time.
  11. Serve as primary focal point for the technical implementation of the sub-Grant projects in the Member States assisted by the Procurements Officer on contractual issues and Infrastructure Specialist on infrastructure issues.
  12. Any other duties as assigned by the Executive Director and the Board of Directors from time to time.

Selection Criteria

The ideal profile of the successful candidate will be based on the following competencies:

  1. Expertise in groundwater and an in depth understanding of the issues facing its management.
  2. Ability to interact effectively with and represent the organization to a wide range of clients and stake holders in multiple organizations and cultures.
  3. 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.
  4. Knowledge of SADC legal frameworks and operating environment pertaining to regional integration is an asset.
  5. Strong management skills, including ability to provide strategic guidance, technical oversight, prepare work plans, and manage budgets and project expenditures.
  6. Excellent inter-personnel and consensus building skills, with the ability to foster a strong team environment and mentor staff.
  7. Excellent written, analytical, presentation and reporting skills.
  8. Use of a range of management tools to ensure effective running of the programmes.
  9. Excellent organizational and decision-making skills.
  10. Team working, flexibility and good inter-personal skills.
  11. Problem solving skills and ability to cope under pressure.
  12. Be able and willing to travel extensively regionally; and,
  13. Be self-motivated, versatile and ability to motivate diverse teams.

Required Qualifications & Experience

Ideal candidates for this position should have the following qualifications and experience:

  1. A Masters level degree in groundwater, natural resource management, water resources or related field;
  2. At least 10 years of working experience in groundwater or natural resources management or related fields with recognized technical expertise.
  3. Experience with work and travel in SADC member states is an asset.
  4. Excellent computer skills, including MS office programs (MS Excel/MS Word/MS Project);
  5. Excellent knowledge of English (writing, reading, and speaking); and,
  6. Working knowledge of SADC Languages (French, or Portuguese) is an advantage.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified SADC region citizens to fill this position.

How to apply

To apply, please e-mail your application on or before 27 May 2022, before 12 midnight to: