International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Consultant to Establish Private Sector Panel and Facilitate Info Hub. GEF IW:LEARN. Deadline 21APR 2023

Consultant to Establish Private Sector Panel and Facilitate Info Hub (GEF IW:LEARN). Apply Before: 21 / April / 2023 (23:59 CET)


To enable you to prepare a proposal for this assignment, please find attached the Terms of Reference (Attachment A) and the UNESCO’s contract for Individual Consultants, the contracting modality used for these assignments (Attachment B). Your written offer should comprise:

(a) A Technical Proposal consisting of:

  • an up to date curriculum vitae including the contact details of three professional references, and
  • an approach and methodology for the assignment, a workplan and comments on the Terms of Reference if any (max. 2 pages).

(b) The total amount to be charged for the assignment, which should be quoted in US dollars or in euros only and should indicate the consultant’s monthly rate.

Your proposal and any supporting documents must be in either English or French. Documents should be consolidated into a single document and all file names should include the family name of the applicant.

UNESCO places great emphasis on ensuring that the objectives of the work assignment, as described in the Terms of Reference, are met. Accordingly, in evaluating the proposals for the assignment, attention will focus first and foremost on the technical elements. From those proposals deemed suitable in terms of the criteria in the Terms of Reference, UNESCO shall select the proposal that offers the Organisation best value for money.

Your proposal should be submitted by e-mail to no later than end of the day (23:59 CET) 21 April 2023. E-mail proposals should not exceed 5MB.

It is the individual’s responsibility to ensure that his/her proposal is received by the deadline.

Thank you for your interest in this UNESCO assignment; and we look forward to receiving your proposal.

Terms of Reference


Within the overall framework of the IOC Programmme and Budget 2023-2024, in particular the project IW:LEARN5, the Individual Consultant will work under the overall supervision of the Head of MPR/IOC and the direct supervision of GEF IW:LEARN Project Manager.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters: Learning Exchange and Resources Network (GEF IW:LEARN)’s latest phase commenced in 2022, with the endorsement of a fifth phase of the project (IW:LEARN5). IW:LEARN5 will be implemented from July 2022 until mid-2026. The project represents a cooperative effort between the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP), with the involvement of all GEF Agencies and project partners.

The GEF is a global partnership among 183 countries, international institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. It provides grants for projects related to five focal areas: biodiversity loss, chemicals and waste, climate change, land degradation, and international waters. The GEF international waters (IW) focal area targets transboundary water systems, such as river basins with water flowing from one country to another, groundwater resources shared by several countries, or marine ecosystems bounded by more than one nation.

One of the components of the IW:LEARN5 project focuses on leveraging enhanced partnerships and the mobilization of resources for the portfolio. This component builds on the activities undertaken in the context of the previous LME:LEARN project[1], notably the series of LME:LEARN Private Sector Roundtables organized in three world regions: Latin America and Caribbean, Asia and Pacific, and Africa, and the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) Resource Mobilization Strategy. The guidance thus taken will be expanded by covering the full GEF IW portfolio. The main aim is to establish a structured engagement mechanism in the form of the IW Advisory Panel that will identify collaborative opportunities between businesses and GEF IW projects implementing or preparing a Strategic Action Programme (SAP). This component will seek to leverage partner experience and expertise with organisations and intermediaries, such as the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate initiative and the Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and others. It will also provide grounds for collaboration with several entities that are already exposed to the work of the portfolio, such as China Navigation, Thai Union. Wilderness Markets, 1Skip Development and Triciclos.


The objectives of this terms of reference (ToR) are two-fold: i. to support the establishment of a Global IW Partnerships Advisory Panel and the organization of its first meeting; and ii. to identify existing and new training resources required by the portfolio on aspects related to resource mobilization and private sector engagement. The Consultant will lead and manage the implementation of the activities based on the Project Document, with specific activities and deadlines as summarized in the next section.


Key tasks for the Consultant include:

A.Support the establishment of the Global IW Partnerships Advisory Panel

This task will focus on the creation of the Global IW Partnerships Advisory Panel to support increased mobilization of public and private financial partnerships. The Advisory Panel will provide advice and identify opportunities for partnership-building between the business community and GEF IW SAP implementation projects. More specifically, the Consultant will:

  • Conduct a mapping exercise of the GEF IW SAP projects and their engagement with the private sector
  • Develop the Advisory Panel ToR
  • Develop ideas for mutually beneficial opportunities for collaboration and engagement with the Advisory Panel’s respective networks
  • Work with selected partners e.g. GloPartnerships and CEO Water Mandate to learn from their experience and lessons, and disseminate relevant information
  • Organize the first meeting of advisory panel (tentatively in November 2023)

The first meeting of the Panel will focus on finalizing its ToR; the presentation of the analysis of private sector engagement progress of the GEF IW SAP projects and their priority private sector matches; and on brainstorming on mutually beneficial opportunities for collaboration/engagement with the Advisory Panel’s respective networks. The output of this meeting will form the basis for the creation of the Strategy and Action Plan (outside scope of this assignment).

B.Stock-taking of existing training materials and identify new training materials

The overall aim of this task is to support the development of training materials and programmatic guidance on attracting sustainable financing to address SAP investment priorities. The Consultant will:

  • Develop an inventory of useful tools, resources and platforms available on resource mobilization and private sector engagement from the executive and implementing agencies and partners
  • Assess the portfolio needs for updating of existing/development of new training material
  • Present the identified resources on the GEF IW:LEARN website and distribute them among project partners and the wider IW community

The guiding principle will be to identify available existing resources related to GEF IW portfolio, which can contribute to the development of the additional learning modules. This task will contribute to the development of the overall training strategy (outside the scope of assignment) and will benefit from outputs related to the development of the training strategy e.g. results of the IW Portfolio survey.

  1. Duration of the Consultancy

The consultancy will be for 9 months.

  1. Deliverables

The key deliverables include:

  • Mapping of the GEF IW SAP projects and their engagement with the private sector
  • Inventory of tools, resources and platforms
  • Overview of existing and new training material
  • ToR of Global IW Partnerships Advisory Panel
  • Meeting documents, agenda etc. for first meeting of advisory panel

Throughout the duration of this contract, the consultant will provide regular brief progress reports (status of tasks and/or deliverables submitted) to the IW:LEARN Project Manager.

  1. Qualifications and Experience
  • Master’s or equivalent degree in Business Administration, Marketing, Mangement, or related field;
  • At least five years’ experience working with the private sector on business, investment or sustainable development issues;
  • Experience in building and brokering partnerships across companies, institutions and other parties;
  • Demonstrated ability to work across teams and effectively promote information-sharing, collaboration and cooperation;
  • Experience with GEF international waters portfolio will be an asset.
  1. Supervisory arrangements

The Head of IOC/MPR will assume the overall supervision of the PCU and the Project Manager who is responsible for day-to-day supervision and implementation of the project.  At no point should the Consultant make representations or act on behalf of UNESCO-IOC or any of the project partners.

  1. Facilities to be provided by UNESCO

UNESCO will provide the Consultant with all required access to working files, UNESCO network, knowledge-management systems (including institutional email and Microsoft TEAMS accounts), and temporary office space if needed on occasional presence at UNESCO Headquarters.

  1. Taxes

UNESCO will not reimburse any taxes, duties or other contributions for which individuals may be liable in respect of any payments made to them under the terms of their contract. 

  1. Insurance

Individuals issued with a contract for individual consultants or other specialists are covered by UNESCO’s insurance policy for work-related illness, injury, accidents or death whilst performing their official duties or travelling on behalf of the Organization. The insurance premium for the coverage, as determined by Pension and Insurance Section (HRM/SPI), must be included in the financial commitment for the contract. 

  1. Social Benefits

Individual consultants and other specialists shall be responsible for arranging, at their own expense, any medical insurance that they consider necessary during the contract period. Unless they are affiliated by virtue of their status as former staff members, they cannot be enrolled in the UNESCO’s Medical Benefit Fund or United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. Individual consultants and other specialists are not entitled to paid annual or sick leave. 


More information: RFP-IW-LEARN5-Private Sector Consultant- final.pdf