Ombudsperson & Mediation Services

Global Water Partnership (GWP)
  • Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Jun 30

Position description

The Global Water Partnership (GWP) is a multi-stakeholder action network and intergovernmental organisation dedicated to working with countries towards the equitable, sustainable, and efficient management of water resources. We comprise 3,000+ partner organisations in over 180 countries. Our network of 65+ Country Water Partnerships and 13 Regional Water Partnerships convenes, and brokers coordinated action by government and non-government actors. A long-time advocate for integrated water resources management, we draw on implementation experience at the local level and link it across our Network and to global development.

The GWP global secretariat is located in Stockholm, Sweden. More information: Comprised of about 35 individuals - about three quarter of whom work out of Sweden and the rest out of remote-working locations around the world - the team includes a majority of non-Swedish staff and is diverse in terms of nationalities, professional backgrounds, gender and age. The organisation is led by a Management Team of five, including the Executive Secretary and CEO, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Deputy ES, the Chief Finance Officer, the Head of Communications and the Head of Cap-Net ( The Executive Secretary is responsible for all HR related decisions (Article 11, 3 (3)/GWPO Statutes).

The relationships between GWPO staff and the organisation as an employer, and between staff amongst themselves are regulated, in addition to the individual letter of appointment, through a number of policies, including:

  • Anti-fraud/Corruption Policy, adopted by the Steering Committee
  • Performance and Development Dialogue guidelines, adopted by the Management Team
  • The Staff Rules and Regulations adopted by the Steering Committee
  • The Dispute Resolution Procedure (DRP) adopted by the Steering Committee
  • The Human Resources Management Policy adopted by the Steering Committee
  • Salary Policy adopted by the Steering Committee
  • Administrative Instructions adopted by the Executive Secretary


GWPO is looking to appoint an Ombudsperson/Mediation Specialist to offer informal services for resolving potential disputes/conflicts arising between GWPO as an employer and GWPO’s staff, as well as between GWPO staff, before such disputes or conflicts may need to resort to the formal Dispute Resolution Procedure. The Ombudsperson will help staff and management to resolve workplace conflicts in an informal, confidential manner with the aim of maintaining a harmonious workplace environment. The Ombudsperson shall serve all staff members of the organisation as well as management. All staff members, as well as management, may bring work-related issues/matters of concern to the Ombudsperson at any stage in an informal, confidential, and conciliatory manner, without requesting prior approval by GWPO.

The objective of an Ombudsperson intervention in a dispute is one of conciliation by seeking mutually acceptable solutions through informal means. The process is confidential and is performed in an independent and neutral manner. The Ombudsperson acts in the joint interest of the individual and the employing organization on matters arising from employment. The Ombudsperson is an advocate for due process and fair treatment of all contract holders.


Impartiality and neutrality

The Ombudsperson is not an advocate to any party in a dispute. The Ombudsperson does not implement a decision and is not a policy maker but strives to find a fair resolution in a dispute brought to his/her attention.


The Ombudsperson is independent in structure and function from other organisational entities and officials. While hired by a decision and signature of the Executive Secretary, the Ombudsperson is free in their action and decisions from instructions by the Executive Secretary or anyone else, within the framework of these Terms of Reference. The Ombudsperson gives an account of their work through an annual report. For contractual purposes only, the Ombudsperson reports to the GWPO Management Team and may hold informal meetings with the GWPO Management Team as well as informal meetings with individual staff.


The Ombudsperson is an informal third party who assists in seeing that all staff members are treated equitably, and that justice is done. The Ombudsperson does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure of the organisation relating to workplace disputes or concerns.


The Ombudsperson will perform the following tasks in the context of providing confidential and impartial services to address work-related issues arising between staff and between staff and management:

  • Provide information and recommendations to staff and management on how to pursue an informal resolution of conflict, individually or jointly;
  • Receive concerns and issues regarding actual and potential conflicts from any, and all staff and from management;
  • Review cases brought to their attention and make recommendations to all parties involved;
  • Offer mediation support for conversations between staff members and management, and among staff members, as appropriate, where there may be issues between these groups;
  • Facilitate open communication among staff and between staff and management, helping create mechanisms for staff and management to resolve conflict informally.



  • Minimum ten years work experience in mediation and conflict resolution for international organisations, either in a UN or civil society context.
  • Fully conversant with the rules, principles and environment that define the scope and standards of international organisations, e.g. administrative rules and regulations, ethical values and code of conduct for international civil servants.
  • Experience dealing with workplace conflict, including but not limited to discrimination and harassment.
  • Experience with multicultural and multilingual environments
  • Strong background in conflict resolution and/or an established standing as an ombudsperson/mediator through prior organisational experience.


  • University degree in Behavioural Sciences, Law, Communications, Public Administration, Social Sciences, other related fields or an equivalent combination of education and professional experience.
  • Training or equivalent experience in alternative dispute resolution or mediation or/and industrial conflict.
  • Mediation, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or Ombudsperson certification and/or membership an advantage but not a requirement with organisations such as the International Ombudsperson Association (IOA)/UN & Related International Organisations (UNARIO)


  • Communication: Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Impartiality: Demonstrated ability to interact fairly, responsibly and effectively with staff members and management at all levels.
  • Languages: Fluency in English (written and spoken) required.
  • Interpersonal skills: able to interact effectively and harmoniously at all levels, demonstrated experience and mature professional judgement in assessing and balancing the respective importance of administrative, personal, technical and communication aspects of a given conflict situation, Ability to interact in a multi-cultural and international environment based on mutual respect and tolerance.


  • Integrity: Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity.
  • Confidentiality: Ability to exercise good judgement, discretion and tact in handling sensitive issues.
  • Personal: A good sense of humour. Love for nature, its beauty and its resources

Please note:

  • Geographical proximity to Stockholm may facilitate engagement with staff.
  • The services will be requested on a need basis.
  • Consulting firms are invited to submit a proposal as well as individuals; if a consulting firm is chosen, the expectation is that the same individual would be assigned to provide the relevant services throughout a longer period.

Application instructions

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