DHInfrastructure LLC, an economic consulting firm has been shortlisted for an Asian Development Bank Assignment (TA-8750 TIM: Urban Services Improvement Sector Project – Contingent Valuation (Willingness to Pay) for Water Supply and Solid Waste Management Services). We are seeking an individual (freelance or associated with a firm) who can fill this position below:

(i)     Study Coordinator (1 person-month, national). The consultant will hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as social science from a recognized university. The consultant should have at least 5 years of experience in the design and implementation of household surveys in Timor-Leste, including demonstrated experience working on externally-financed projects. The consultant should have experience planning surveys including organizing all necessary logistics, recruiting and training enumerators, overseeing survey implementation, checking the quality of completed questionnaires, and inputting data into a spreadsheet. The consultant should have good spoken and written English skills.

 

Interested candidates should have Timorese nationality, and attach a CV in an email addressed to Deborah Ong at deborah@dhinfrastructure.com 

 

Terms of Reference for the Assignment:

  1. Background

 

(i)               The existing water supply and solid waste situation

 

  1. While 70% of Timor-Leste’s population lives in rural areas, the country’s urban centers are growing rapidly. Dili, the country’s capital city and main commercial center, has a population of around 227,000. In recent years, the city has grown at an annual average rate of 4.2%, well above the national population growth rate of 2.4% over the same period.[1]This has contributed to emergence of growing informal settlements around Dili.

 

  1. Around 18,000 people in five target areas of Dili are now receiving 24-hour water supply as a result of investments undertaken under the ADB-supported Dili Urban Water Supply Sector Project (DUWSSP), scheduled for completion at the end of 2014. However, there is a need to expand access to safe and reliable piped water supplies. Only 36% of households in Dili have a legal piped water supply connection. Service is intermittent, with water supplied for an average of 6 hours daily. A growing urban population, dilapidated infrastructure, leakage and pilferage have hampered efforts to expand access to improved water supply services to address high rates of water-borne disease.

 

  1. Illegal dumping and burning of waste is common, with around a third of waste in Dili being disposed on in this manner. Discarding of solid waste in drains provides breeding grounds for mosquitoes and contributes to flooding. Unsegregated solid waste is disposed of at the Tibar dumpsite, which is uncovered, and lacks engineered environmental protections systems, such as basal lining systems or leachate and landfill gas collection systems. Formal recycling systems are not well-developed, with only a few private operators involved in the recycling of cardboard, scrap metal and aluminum cans.

 

  1. The government is currently implementing a $550 million sanitation and drainage investment program over the period 2013-2025. However, to fully realize the benefits of these investments, in terms of improvements to public health and environmental quality, and flood risk reduction, upgrading of water supply and solid waste management services is critical.

 

  1. The National Directorate for Water Services (DNSA) within the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) is responsible for water sector regulation and service delivery. Responsibility for solid waste management in Dili is split between: (i) the National Directorate of Basic Sanitation (DNSB) under MOP, which is responsible for solid waste regulation and disposal, and (ii) the Dili District Administration (DDA) under the Ministry of State Administration (Estatal), which is responsible for solid waste collection and street cleaning. The private sector provides solid waste collection services around Dili under contract with DDA; however there is significant scope for improving contract design and monitoring to strengthen efficiency and collection coverage. Water tariffs are only levied on those households that receive a 24-hour supply. Solid waste collection and disposal services are provided free of charge.

 

  1. Expanding access to safe and reliable 24-hour water supply is a key objective of the government’s Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2011-2030. The 2012 National Sanitation Policy outlines the overall vision for a clean and hygienic environment, and calls for strategies to support the reduction, reuse and recycling of solid waste. The Timor Leste Country Partnership Strategy 2011-2015 identifies improved water supply services in urban centers as a priority area for ADB support.[2]

 

(ii)             Addressing the current water supply and solid waste situation

 

  1. ADB has provided the Government of Timor-Leste with a $980,000 grant to prepare the Dili Urban Services Improvement Sector Project which will support: (i) improved water supply services in target areas to provide a clean, 24-hour supply, (ii) improved solid waste storage and collections services in target neighborhoods in Dili, (iii) improved solid waste disposal through the upgrading of Tibar dumpsite, and (iv) strengthened public participation to promote water supply and solid waste behavior change to reduce water theft and illegal connections, and dumping and burning of solid waste, and to support community monitoring of service delivery. The project will also promote the use of performance-based contracting with private sector operators to ensure sustainable services delivery.

 

  1. Objective

 

  1. The objective of the contingent valuation study is to inform the design of the proposed investment project, particularly to: (i) determine levels of service to be provided under the project based on household and business ability and willingness to pay, and (ii) confirm that financially sustainable tariff levels are in line with willingness to pay for service improvements, and (iii) estimate the expected project benefits in order to calculate the economic return on investment. The study will be carried out in 3 stages, as follows:

 

Phase 1: Scoping

 

  1. The consultants will travel to Dili for an initial scoping visit to meet with key stakeholders to develop a good understanding of the study area. The consultants should undertake this phase with three goals in mind: (i) to better understand the current water supply services (WSS) and solid waste management (SWM) situation; (ii) to find out how the population is distributed in the study area and where the poor groups are located, while keeping in mind their current water supply and solid waste conditions; and (iii) to assess available secondary data on population, housing, poverty incidence, and other associated WSS and SWM development initiatives. This will require the consultants to collect information on:

 

(i)               Current water supply and solid waste conditions. This may include demographic profile of the study area, service connections and coverage, existing tariff schemes and subsidies, supply and consumption levels, service quality, and alternative water sources and services.

(ii)              Geographic distribution of the poor households. Information on distribution of poor households in relation to the water distribution network will be very useful in designing pro-poor service options. Availability of such maps would also support the design of the sampling framework to assess potential impacts of current and future WSS  policy decisions on the poor.

(iii)            Census data and other statistics from secondary sources. To understand the overall socio-demographic composition of the study area, data can be collected from the 2010 Census; the 2009 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), 2012 Household Income and Expenditure Survey; and other special purpose surveys commissioned by government or development partners.

 

  1. By the end of the scoping visit, the consultants should have an understanding of: water supply sources used by households for different purposes (both quality and quantity), methods of solid waste storage and disposal, the socio-economic profile of target communities, how water supply and solid waste are viewed by people in their daily lives, and what improvements to the current situation are feasible, as well as policies and programs in operation in the study area that may impact willingness to pay for service improvements.Findings from the scoping phase will be included in an inception report to be submitted within 4 weeks of consultant mobilization

 

Phase 2: Development of Methodology and Survey Design

 

  1. Based on the findings from the scoping phase, the consultants will prepare a detailed methodology/approach for undertaking the economic assessment work, and associated work plan to be submitted as a progress report.

 

  1. The consultant will develop an appropriate sampling strategy including:  (i) defining the population, (ii) specifying the sampling frame to ensure that the sample is representative of the population, (iii) selecting the sampling method, (iv) determining the sample size, and (v) specifying the replacement strategy for non-responding  households.

 

  1. A contingent valuation scenario will be carefully developed that clearly describes water supply and solid waste services and improvements to be offered including attributes such as metering, hours of service, reliability, quality, institutional arrangements for delivery, customer service quality, and billing and payment mechanisms. A closed ended CV question is proposed to obtain more accurate results. Background information and focus groups, as well as information on current tariff levels, income levels and proposed future tariff increases will assist in accurately selecting the bid range.

 

  1. An initial draft survey questionnaire will be developed to collect required information. Input from the national consultant will be important to confirm that the initial draft questions are appropriate to the Dili context, making adjustments as necessary. With the assistance of the national consultant, key concepts and the CV market scenario will be translated into Tetun. The consultants should ensure that the survey instrument includes a set of variables needed to estimate a willingness to pay function and carry out necessary validity tests. Basic information will also needed to assess what factors influence WTP for improved WSS and SWM services to inform project design.

 

Phase 3: Survey implementation and data analysis

 

  1. The consultants make preparations for carrying out focus group discussions, recruiting and training enumerators, pre-testing the questionnaire, and carrying out the survey.

 

  1. The goal of the training of enumerators is to ensure that they are very familiar with the survey instrument, understand basic concepts, why questions are being asked, and consequences of collecting incorrect information. The enumerators can also provide feedback to improve the questionnaire design, e.g. if questions and concepts are clear when translated into Tetun. Training will consist of a mix of lectures, role-playing and field trials.

 

  1. Focus groups and pre-testing of the draft questionnaire on a small sub-sample of the target population will be carried out. Adjustments to the draft questionnaire will be made as needed to ensure that information collected from the survey is as accurate as possible.

 

  1. The consultants will oversee the implementation of the survey including supervision of enumerators, and provide all necessary logistical support.

 

  1. After the data is inputted into a spreadsheet or other software, the consultants will be responsible for cleaning the data in order to obtain an accurate data set. The consultants will then undertake all of the necessary econometric analysis, including validity tests, in order to estimate the average willingness to pay. The consultants will also undertake multivariate regression analysis to assess to what extent key socio-economic variables influence willingness to pay for improved WSS and SWM services among businesses and households in Dili.

 

  1. The study will be presented in a clear and concise report, including a discussion of survey results and their implications for project design such as service options, tariff-setting, and provision of subsidies to support the delivery of improved WSS and SWM services. The consultants will also submit electronic copies of all datasets.

 

  1. Experts Required and Minimum Qualifications

 

  1. The assignment will require estimated time inputs from the following experts:

 

(i)     Team Leader/Economist (1.5 person-months, international). The expert will hold a graduate degree in economics, and preferably a PhD, from an internationally-recognized university. The consultant will have at least 8 years of experience undertaking economic analyses and household surveys, including leading the design and implementation of contingent valuation studies. The consultant should also previous experience working on water supply and/or solid waste projects, as well as significant international experience, including previous experience working in developing countries. Working knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia or Tetun, and previous experience working in Timor-Leste would be an advantage.

 

(ii)   Study Coordinator (1 person-month, national). The consultant will hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as social science from a recognized university. The consultant should have at least 5 years of experience in the design and implementation of household surveys in Timor-Leste, including demonstrated experience working on externally-financed projects. The consultant should have experience planning surveys including organizing all necessary logistics, recruiting and training enumerators, overseeing survey implementation, checking the quality of completed questionnaires, and inputting data into a spreadsheet. The consultant should have good spoken and written English skills.

 

(iii)  Research Analyst (1 person-month, international). The consultant should hold at least a bachelor’s degree in economics, and preferably hold or be a candidate for advanced degree in economics, from an internationally-recognized university. The consultant should have proven academic or professional experience in undertaking statistical modelling and econometric analysis, including working with large raw datasets from household surveys. Previous experience undertaking contingent valuation studies would be an advantage. The consultant will also have a demonstrated ability to use statistical data analysis software including SPSS and STATA.

 

  1. Payment Milestones

 

  1. The consultants will be engaged using a lump-sum output-based contract, where payment will be linked to the satisfactory delivery of key outputs as specified below. The consultants will be responsible for engaging and training enumerators, and covering other survey costs, using the survey budget provided under the contract. Consultants are also expected to have copies of the required statistical software to undertake the data analysis. The study will be carried out over a period of 3 months.

 

Deliverable Output Payment (as % of total remuneration) Tentative Submission Date
Phase 1- Inception Report 15% 27 February 2015
Phase 2- Survey design and implementation 35% 31 March 2015
Phase 3 – Draft final report (data analysis) 30% 30 April 2015
Final report 20% 15 May 2015