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Job Description

Rural Drinking Water Programme Specialist

International Development Agency

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

1. POSITION VACANT: Rural Drinking Water Programme Specialist (RDWPS), Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), GoMP, International Development Agency, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.


Our client is a respected, International Development Agency (IDA), that works across the globe to promote children's survival, protection and development.



In rural India, Accelerated Water Supply Programme was being implemented till 2009 across the country. Later, in 2010, National Rural Drinking Water Program (NRDWP) was launched by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) which stresses upon sustainability of source. To improve clarity and need based modifications on certain points, this was amended and released in 2013. The changes made mainly include shift from hand pump to piped water supply, @ 55 lpcd over 40, coverage of water quality affected habitations, system sustainability, and improved capacity, community managed water supply and decentralized water governance.


The fourth edition of WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality (2011) recommends implementation of Water Safety Plan (WSP). It is the most effective tool to ensure safe drinking-water. It envisages comprehensive risk assessment followed by its preventive management. It includes both water quality testing and parallel sanitary inspection to determine appropriate preventive and corrective measures. WSP is a quality assurance tool that ensures protection of the water quality from the catchment to the consumer and from the tap to the toilet.  MDWS also came up with Uniform Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Protocol in 2013, wherein also, it gives emphasis on preparation and implementation of WSP. The MDWS and IDA have jointly adopted Drinking Water Advocacy and Communication Strategy (DWACS) Framework (2013-2017) which emphasizes on promoting individual and collective behavior leading to improved WASH outcomes for better health. 


Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), in its goal six, emphasizes on achieving equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. Water safety plan links the identification of a water quality problem with a water safety solution.  Initiating Water Safety plan at State level has been discussed and agreed by States in National Level workshop on NRDWP held on Sept. 9 and 10, 2016.  


In Madhya Pradesh, Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) is implementing rural drinking water supply. Although efforts and achievements of MPPHED are commendable in terms of providing access to sustainable water supply in its all 52 districts, including to scheduled caste and tribal populations, components of water safety and security are yet a challenge and therefore need due weightage. To minimize high microbial contamination leading to water borne diseases of water sources is the very need of the hour. Two factors namely open defecation and insanitary conditions around water sources are the prime culprits in contaminating bacteriological water quality. In rural Madhya Pradesh, still majority of population rely on drinking water from hand pumps, tube wells or bore wells; the piped water support coverage is still below 18% in villages.  


In the year 2016, IDA jointly with PHED, initiated the Water Safety and Security Planning (WSSP) approach in the State with capacity development of PHED functionaries on WSSP approach and modelling WSSP in select villages and districts. These efforts continued in the year 2017, over 75 States, Zonal and Divisional level PHED officials were oriented on community led village WSSP approach followed by training of over 70 district level functionaries on WSSP approach. WSSP plans for five selected villages of Indore district developed and is being implemented and documented to inform state wide scale-up strategy. In 2018, MDWS launched “Swajal- A community Led Water Supply schemes” for small habitation. To support Swajal roll-out in the State, IDA supported PHED in building capacity of 81 PHED functionaries including Executive Engineers, Assistant Engineers, District and Block Level Co-coordinators, Hydro-geologists and Chemists from eight Aspirational districts of Madhya Pradesh.  Since it is a community demand driven scheme focus on small and most neglected habitations, the community mobilization is on. So far, in 227 habitations identified for this programme, participatory rural appraisal has been conducted in 110 villages and resolution has been obtained from gram panchayats for sharing capital and O and M costs as per Swajal norms. This was followed by handholding support to Barwani and Chhatarapur districts, which included meeting with the Collector, CEOZP, MPPHED staff, PRI members and villagers. On VWSSP front 64 PHED functionaries on Gwalior and Bhopal zones skilled as master trainer on village water safety and security planning. IDA also support the assessment of two district water quality laboratory during 2018 and the improvement plan also developed and shared with districts.  


The strategic technical support to Department of Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) has been helpful in creating capacities of functionaries on Water Safety and Security planning approach and Swajal. Now PHED has buy-in for VWSSP and has initiated roll-out of Swajal in Aspirational districts. It is very important to scale-up VWSSP approach in all the districts with technical support on development of roll-out plans, development of institutions to support the activities at community level and development of state-wide scale-up guidelines and SOPs. Swajal is recent initiative and needs strong focus and support to Aspirational districts in development of district Swajal Roll-out plans, handholding support in implementations and development of effective monitoring system. Water Quality monitoring and surveillance is still a neglected area and needs strong and constant support of technical consultant to further strengthen WQMS including feedback and corrective measures in a bid to improve overall drinking water quality.  


It is evident that with the enhanced focus on water supply coverage, the water safety and security concerns are often compromised. IDA since 2017, is supporting the VWSSP in MP, and due to the critical support of Consultant, Public Health Engineering Department has created buy-in for VWSSP, having a strong pilot in two districts and Swajal also initiated in 8 aspiration districts. However, VWSSP and Swajal both are at a very nascent stage and require scaling up across the state. The Consultant’s support has been very crucial, and in absence of this technical support the VWSSP and effective implementation of Swajal agenda will be significantly jeopardized. This support is required for 2019 and from 2020 it will be strategically converted to CIC, and it is expected that VWSSP capacities would be institutionalized in next three years. From 2020-Mid 2021 focus will be on scale-up and Capacity development (SRGs and DRGs) and mid-2021 to 2022 on mainstreaming VWSSP and strengthening WQMS, handing over to govt functionaries. The support can be stepped down starting 2022, once PHED has in built capacity for scaling up water safety and security planning and Swajal across the State. 



Rural Drinking Water Programme Specialist shall be responsible for supporting PHED in rolling out Water Safety and Security Planning approach and strengthening capacity of PHED institutions on Water Safety and Security Planning approach. The consultant will also support PHED in establishing systems for recent NRDWP (National Rural Drinking Water Programme) reforms on the aspect of sustainability and strengthening Water Quality Monitoring systems

Key Deliverables:

(A) Strengthening Water Safety and Security Planning approach
(1) Technical support to PHED for evidence-based policy, SOP, Guidelines for accelerating implementation of strategies to accelerate access to safely managed drinking water through community led water safety and security planning approach;
(2) Capacity building of PHED Functionaries on village water safety and security planning approach. Including coordination and support to training institutes for VWSSP capacities;
(3) Technical support for establishing State level resource group of master trainers on VWSSP and capacity building;
(4) Support coordination and convergence among PHED, PRD and other related department for initiating Water Safety Planning approach; Agreement in role of PRD- especially PRIs for implementation in improvement as per WSP;
(5) Handholding support to at least two districts for development and finalization of district Water Safety and Security planning and monitoring framework for in place;
(6) Foster coordination and convergence at State, Divisional and District level for integrating WSP in ODF+ agenda and rolling-out VWSSP in district with convergent efforts from PHED, PRD and other relevant departments. 

(B) Strengthening capacities and institutional systems for Swajal roll-out in State 
(1) Technical support to PHED for development of contextualized guidelines, operational guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures and guidance note on Swajal;
(2) Technical support for capacity building of district level resource group, PHED and PRI functionaries on Swajal processes;
(3) Support in development of district Swajal Roll-out plan for at least two districts with key components on capacity building, prioritization on habitations, community mobilization, contracting, implementation and monitoring plans;
(4) Handholding support to two Swajal districts for implementation, technical guidance, coordination with district administration and monitoring on Swajal roll-out plan;
(5) Support PHED on concurrent reporting and sharing the progress and feedback with districts for Swajal Roll-out. 

(C) Strengthening Water Quality monitoring and surveillance 
(1)Technical support to PHED in development and rolling-out the Water Quality Monitoring protocols, SoPs for district PHED functionaries;
(2) Technical support to PHED in building capacities on Water Quality testing lab functionaries on SoPs and process, including water quality sampling, sharing results back to the villages for mid-course corrections;
(3) Handholding support to at least two districts laboratory in gap assessment, improvement planning and implementation on improvements for effective water quality testing based on the latest guidelines and protocols;
(4) Coordinate and support capacity building of Chemist and other district lab functionaries for NQAS certification;
(5) Capacity building of PHED frontline functionaries on mapping of the high risk villages, sample collection, feedback to community, sanitary surveillance and facilitate corrective action to ensure drinking water safety.




University degree in Engineering/Post graduate degree in Business Administration/ Social Sciences/Chemistry or relevant field with specialized knowledge and experience of community water supply, water quality monitoring and sanitation programmes.

(1) Minimum 10 years relevant field experience, focusing on social mobilization and capacity building of field workers, Panchayat representatives and government staff on Drinking Water Quality and Water Safety Planning;

(2) Proven ability to advocate effectively with state and district level officers of counterpart and other departments;
(3) In-depth knowledge of sector policy and practice, in particular, relating to NRDWP, SBM(G) programs and its status in the State of placement;

(4) Previous experience working with UN or bilateral agency will be an advantage.


Skills and Competencies:

(1) Good verbal and written communication skills (English and Hindi), including presentational skills; 

(2) Demonstrated excellent motivational skills to achieve behaviour change in communities; 

(3) Ability to use computer software i.e. MS Office, MS Excel, PowerPoint and Internet programmes.


5. Estimated Travel: Approximately eight days in a month for achievement of the listed deliverables in across the state.




The Rural Drinking Water Programme Specialist shall be hired on a consultancy contract through Strategic Alliance Management Services P Ltd. (SAMS), a respected HR Agency.



Remuneration payable to the selected candidate in the form of professional fees shall be attractive and in alignment with market norms.


Applicants are required to provide details of salary history, as well as expected remuneration for the position, in the online application form, comprising:


(a) Monthly Professional Fees and

(b) Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for field travel outside the duty station.



(1) The above elements shall be a key input into the selection and negotiation process

(2) Candidates are expected to have their own laptops and be internet connected and these items shall not be provided.


8. LOCATION: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh


9. DURATION: The successful candidate shall be issued a consultancy contract from the date of joining till December 31, 2019.






Strategic Alliance Management Services P Ltd.
1/1B, Choudhary Hetram House, Bharat Nagar 
New Friends Colony, New Delhi 110 025
Phone Nos.: 011- 2684 2162; 4165 3612 



Eligible candidates interested in the position are requested to apply using the link by or before March 10, 2019.