Aug 19, 2010

PhD Position available: Knowledge and Capacity Development in the Water Sector

UNESCO-IHE has a permanent staff of 160, of which 90 are scientific staff, while about 250 guest-lecturers from academia and industry contribute to the educational programme. Each year 750 participants (incl. about 200 new MSc students per year) from all over the world attend the various regular and short courses at UNESCO-IHE.

The Department of Hydroinformatics and Knowledge Management (HIKM) has a Core that is engaged in the study and application of Knowledge and Capacity Development (KCD). Current research concerns the modes of knowledge sharing in water resources, the capacity in government and the civil service system, and the access to the global knowledge pool through formal and informal learning processes and networks.
The vacancy is part of a new initiative to study how the effectiveness of KCD can be increased, and to help mainstream research outcomes in policy on international development. This effort is financed by the Netherlands government. For the Department we are looking for a Junior Researcher, Knowledge and Capacity Development in the Water Sector (m/f).


As part of the KCD team, the (full time) researcher will conduct an academically rigorous study over about 4 years on the relationship between the capacity of the water sector and the sector’s performance in service delivery and water resource management, in about 6 countries, in a transversal analysis. The methodology will be based on the experiences and tools developed by the team and by other research groups. The approach in the study will include the selection of representative case studies, of which the development and performance will be the KCD activities and programs, the collection of quantitative data and information as well as narratives, and the comparative analysis of the KCD development dynamics in relation to KCD initiatives and programs. The study will establish a method to analyze the modes in which KCD affects the capacity and performance of the main organizations of the sub-sector, and how it helps to achieve benchmarks that are to be determined by the study.

The outputs of the study include (i) a set of peer-reviewed publications that are to be of adequate quality to allow the researcher to obtain his/her Doctor degree under Dutch law, and (ii) elaborate guidelines, and building blocks for KCD action plans and policy inputs that are relevant for international development. The researcher will, beside his/her research, prepare policy documents and reports to disseminate the results and recommendations, and will participate in relevant workshops and forums. In addition, he/she will prepare and give classes at post-graduate level for international course participants, and over time take leadership in the development of new educational programs. He/she will be staff member of the Core on KCD and work under the supervision of the Professor/Chair of KCD.

Requirements and Competencies
The candidate will:

Have an education at MSc level or equivalent in water or water resources sciences or engineering, or in relevant social or economic sciences. Combination of degrees would create a special advantage. He/she should qualify for acceptance into a PhD programme under Dutch academic regulations.

Have professional experience of at least three years in a related field in a utility, in a consultancy, government agency, or similar organization, and/or in a research environment. Experience with developing countries will be considered especially valuable.

Be proficient in English, also for writing scientific papers, and, preferable, policy reports.

Be able to work in a team and contribute to the teamwork.

Bring a constructive attitude, and enthusiasm for the goal of knowledge management and international development.

Preference exists for candidates from developing countries.

Conditions of employment

This position is for four years, however, after about half a year a satisfactory detailed work proposal needs to be submitted, after which the appointment will be confirmed. The position is based in Delft, The Netherlands. The PhD research fellowship includes a monthly allowance of about €1190, air travel, health insurance, ancillary expenses and tuition. Candidates must be prepared to carry out long- and short-term missions abroad.

Information and application

Additional information can be obtained from Mr. Jan Luijendijk, Head of Department (T: +31(0)15- 21 51 810 / E:

Applications with curriculum vitae can be sent until August 31, 2010 to UNESCO-IHE, attn. Mr. Jan Luijendijk, Head of Department stating the vacancy description.

Acquisition to this vacancy is not appreciated!

Date published: 22 July 2010

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