Phase 1

Step 1.04 , Formal Commitments & Hire WF Director


Prior to initiating the design of the Water Fund, several key actions should be taken to assure that sufficient resources and capacity exist to sustain the momentum behind the Water Fund and the completion of its design. This level of assurance can be achieved by securing formal commitments to advocate for and/or resource the design of the Water Fund, as well as the hiring of a Water Fund Director.

Key Ideas

The following actions should be taken prior to initiating the Design Phase:

(a.) gain a formal commitment from a potential champion (e.g. to advocate for the Water Fund),

(b.) secure sufficient financial resources to design the Water Fund, and

(c.) hire and onboard the Water Fund Director. 

  • Formal commitments may be documented in different ways

    Commitments may be documented in a range of ways, such as Memorandum of Understandings, Charters, or other agreement documents. In all cases, it is important that commitments are documented, particularly where resources are being allocated.
  • Champions may emerge from a range of contexts

    Who is a champion? A champion should a charismatic individual or group that is interested and cultivated over time to offer leadership and increased visibility to the Water Fund. A champion should have a positive reputation publicly and not hold any conflicts of interest with the Water Fund’s goals or eventual operation. For instance, a champion may be someone with an influential voice in the region related to water security (e.g. a water utility leader; a respected business leader; a trusted non-profit leader; etc.), a public personality (e.g. a sports personality; a famous musician; a well-known grassroots advocate; etc.), or another influential area that would elevate the visibility of the Water Fund, while not jeopardizing its reputation or violating any conflicts of interest.
  • Hire a Water Fund Director before initiating the Design Phase

    It is highly recommended that a WF Director be hired prior to initiating the Design Phase. The WF Director is responsible for leading the strategic and operational aspects of the Water Fund’s development. See below for examples of typical roles and responsibilities.

Key roles and responsibilities of a Water Fund Director:

  • Design and ensure proper implementation of work plans and the necessary inputs

    For instance, in Mexico City the Director will:

    • Participate in designing the strategy along with Council members.
    • Design and propose comprehensive work plans, where the different themes of the initiative (e.g. communication, conservation plan, financing, etc.) to connect.
    • Ensure the proper implementation of work plans and the necessary inputs.
    • Identify the list of needs to perform the work plans.
    • Meet the identified needs cost-efficiently.
    • Implement the work plan and assure quality. 

  • Strengthen the organization with partners and strategic partners in different sectors

    For instance, in Mexico City the Director will:

    • Increase the number of members of the AC and its patronage and private, social strategic partners of the project, public, and academic.
    • Supervise the definition of channels of promotion and visibility of the project and be one of the spokesmen of the project to these channels.
    • Facilitate the integration of experts in the field of water, environmental conservation, climate change, economics, public policy and other related topics. 
    • Contribute to positioning and institutional relations of the project as a major player in the technical and social-political scene of water in Mexico City.

  • Position the organization as a leader in the issue of water security through science

    For instance, in Mexico City the Director will:

    • Coordinate the conduct of studies, analysis and consultation to formalize the strategic plan.
    • Ensure a scientifically based position data protected.
    • Ensure the dissemination by appropriate means of the positions of the organization.
    • Act as a spokesman of the organization respecting the key messages approved.

  • Ensure the sustainability of the organization implementing innovative financial schemes

    For instance, in Mexico City the Director will:

    • Develop the value proposition of the organization, identifying the institutional gaps and market objectives of the organization.
    • Identify and develop schemes to the financial sustainability of the organization (trust, water rates, joint ventures, offset water strategies, etc.).

  • Influence decision makers on issues related to water

    For instance, in Mexico City the Director will:

    • Identify and influence decision-makers to support the goals of the organization through solid arguments and scientific support.

  • Facilitate and catalyze multisectoral action

    For instance, in Mexico City the Director will:

    • Catalyze the collective actions of the various sectors in line with the planning and organization in order to achieve the objectives of the Water Fund. 

  • Developing consolidation strategy of the organization

    For instance, in Mexico City the Director will:

    • Facilitate discussion among members of the organization in order to define the strategy of the organization.
    • Monitor the actions necessary to strengthen the organization. 
    • Evaluate the results against the strategy and propose improvement actions


See below for examples of WF Director job descriptions.

Latin America:

Related Resources

While an official Charter or MOU for the WF Board or Steering Committee will typically be formalized in the Design Phase, the following resources might be useful references for formalizing commitments.