Water Engineer, Tuvalu At Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)


The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our unique organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Geoscience Energy and Maritime Division provides advice, technical assistance, research and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). There are three (3) areas of scientific programming and two areas of focus within this division:

  •  Oceans and Maritime Programme (OMP) – assists member countries with services that provide applied ocean science and knowledge for evidence-based policy-making and technical solutions for improved ocean and maritime governance, management and capacity development.
  •  Georesources and Energy Programme (GEP) – assists member countries by applying technical knowledge in the areas of geoscience and sustainable energy use.
  •  Disaster and Community Resilience Programme (DCRP) – assists member countries to demonstrate strengthened resilience through integrated action on disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, natural resource management and increased access to water and sanitation.

The role – the Water Engineer will support the design, construction and implementation of water supply systems from groundwater within remote atoll island settings of Tuvalu and assist with coordination of other project activities of the “Managing Coastal Aquifers Project (referred to as “MCA Project”) and “Managing Water Scarcity through Strengthened Water Resources Management” Project (referred to as “Water Scarcity Project”).

The key responsibilities of the role include the following: Capacity Building

  •  Strengthen the capacity building of government in water supply system infrastructure design, project management, quality assurance and construction.
  •  Support the development of capacity building of outer island communities in the monitoring, operation, and maintenance of water supply systems and related improvements.

Technical and construction guidance

  •  Provide high quality technical advice and support on the design, construction and implementation of a water supply systems and water distribution and management of water resources.
  •  Work alongside water project team and Tuvalu PWD to improve water supply designs and updated material specifications, quality control and cost estimation.
  •  Undertake site visits and have oversight of the construction and quality control of small water supply systems.
  •  Support key people within the member countries in implementation of sustainable management of water resources.

Communicate and advocate

  •  Establish, develop and maintain effective and supportive communication and relationships with relevant stakeholders.
  •  Support advocacy and awareness initiatives for the construction and operation of the water supply systems in Vaitupu and Nanumea within Tuvalu Government, operators and island council members, and external clients.
  •  Promote industry leading practices on sustainability, environmental and health and safety throughout the project lifecycle.

Project management and procurement

  •  Support SPC’s project and procurement teams in the procurement of materials and services, the development of contracts and assessment of quotations or proposals for the implementation of small water supply systems in Vaitupu and Nanumea.
  •  Oversight for the construction of the water supply systems.
  •  Financial and progress reporting on the implementation and monitoring of work.

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.

Key selection criteria


  •  A Master’s degree in a relevant field such as Water Engineering, Civil Engineering, or a related field.

Technical expertise

  •  Minimum of 5 years’ experience in design, construction and implementation of civil works. Experience in water supply systems and water distribution and advantage.
  •  Minimum of 5 years demonstrated project management and organisational skills experience.
  •  Demonstrated experience of construction supervision for civil works including contractual and reporting aspects.
  •  Demonstrated experience in implementing health and safety, risk management and quality assurance procedures within projects.
  •  Knowledge of water and hydraulic engineering, water supply design, operation and maintenance of water supply systems and sustainable water resource management.
  •  Demonstrated experience in project management activities, project planning and procurement of key materials and essential equipment within tight timeframes.
  •  Demonstrated familiarity with GIS, CAD, Microsoft Office suite and other resource and engineering software.
  •  Demonstrated familiarity with groundwater systems and water supply needs in atoll settings.
  •  Demonstrated ability to problem solve, provide sound judgement for decisions and be practically orientated.
  •  Ability to work under minimal supervision in remote locations.
  •  Knowledge of Gender Equity and Social Inclusion, (GESI), and People Centred Approaches (PCA) in delivery of projects.
  •  Current valid driver’s license.

Language skills

  •  Well-developed communication skills in English.

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  •  Proven ability to work in an inter-disciplinary and/or multi-cultural team.
  •  Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage.

Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted until 31 December 2024 and is subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.

Remuneration – the Water Engineer is a band 10 position in SPC’s 2023 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 3,331–4,091 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately AUD 6,428–7,895. An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale is based on annual performance reviews. SPC salaries are not presently subject to income tax in Tuvalu.

Benefits for international staff employees based in Tuvalu – SPC provides a housing allowance of AUD 1,400– 2,000. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8 % of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilinguism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will begiven to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s private policy.

Application procedure

Closing date: 11 June 2023 – 11:00 pm (Noumea time)

Job Reference: CR000004

Applicants must apply online at http://careers.spc.int/

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  •  an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
  •  a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  •  responses to all screening questions

Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference.

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

SPC does not charge a fee to consider your application and will never ask for your banking or financial information during the recruitment process.

Screening questions (maximum of 2.000 characters per question):

  •  Describe three personal characteristics that you feel make you an ideal candidate for this position.
  •  Based on your experience, identify three important challenges for project management in Pacific Island countries and describe how you would go about addressing them.
  •  Briefly describe your understanding of the key water security challenges facing atoll communities in the Pacific, and how you came to gain this understanding.

Position Description

Type: Contract – International

Category: Geoscience – Energy and Maritime

Reference ID: CR000004

Date Posted: 12/05/2023



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