WASH Specialist

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 🇪🇹

Job no: 544293
Contract type: Temporary Appointment
Level: P-3
Location: Ethiopia
Categories: WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, health

Ethiopia is one of the largest refugee asylum countries world-wide, reflecting the ongoing fragility and conflict in the region. The country provides protection to refugees from some 26 countries. Among the principal factors leading to this situation are predominantly the conflict in South Sudan, the prevailing political environment in Eritrea, together with conflict and draught in Somalia. Eritreans, South Sudanese, Sudanese, Yemenis and Somalis originating from South and Central Somalia are recognized as prima facie refugees. Nationals from other countries undergo individual refugee status determination. As of August 2021, the nation hosted 792,411 refugees who were forced to flee their homes as a result of insecurity, political instability, military conscription, conflict, conflict-induced famine and other problems in their countries of origin. Additionally, there are now more than 2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ethiopia linked to conflict, climate related and disaster displacement.

In support of the overall IDP response and of the roadmap for the implementation of the Government of Ethiopia’s pledges to meet the needs of refugees and the government’s signature to the Comprehensive Refugee  response Framework (CRRF), UNICEF, in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), is implementing sustainable solutions for water supply, sanitation, and solid waste management service provision that aligns with existing government policies and frameworks for a professionalized utility management of services under government oversight.

How can you make a difference?

In collaboration with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, UNHCR, ARRA, Regional Water Bureaus, private sector partners and NGO humanitarian partners, the WASH Specialist (Emergency and Refugee Response) is responsible for establishing basic WASH services for refugees in camps and host communities in Ethiopia. 

Under the supervision of an Urban WASH Manager, the WASH Specialistt (Emergency and Refugee Response) will manage programs financed by various institutional donors in multiple refugee hosting regions of the country with a focus on the following: 

  1. Advocacy in support of government partners and IDPs, refugee and host resident rights and needs;
  2. Program management;
  3. Technical support for water and sewerage utilities servicing populations of an urban and periurban density and populations;
  4. Leading the Joint Action Plan and Blueprint with UNHCR from WASH UNICEF side;
  5. Supporting the implementation of UNICEF Ethiopia IDP Response Strategy and Plan, including post Rapid Response Mechanism implementation.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Coordinating and leading the feasibility study, design and implementation of works for host community/refugee projects in five project areas involving all relevant stakeholders (UNHCR, ARRA, Regional Water Bureaus, Regional Health Bureaus, Woreda Officials, NGOs, and communities).
  • In charge of monitoring, and managing the Ethiopia Country Refugee Response Plan, Joint plan of Action / Blueprint (UNHCR-UNICEF) and for WASH activities.
  • Providing proactive program management for refugee WASH grants, including monitoring, program development, evaluation, budget tracking, partnership development, and donor reporting.
  • Representing UNICEF in the Ethiopia WASH Refugee Coordination Group.
  • Providing effective leadership in contract management (TOR development, budgeting, tendering, award, supervision, and contracts administration) for all works to be undertaken.
  • Working in collaboration with UNHCR/ARRA/Regional Authorities and NGO partners, supporting WASH coordination structures / Emergency Task Force in the respective regions, focusing on WASH interventions in camps and in the host communities around the camps.
  • Participating in other relevant emergency coordination meetings relating to refugee programming.
  • Working in close collaboration with the UNICEF team and implementing partners involved in hygiene promotion and behavioral change activities including development of relevant IEC materials.
  • Providing regular updates to the respective UNICEF field offices and WASH Section in Addis Ababa detailing the current situation, status of activities, and the status of UNICEF supported interventions.
  • Providing additional technical support, coordination, and advocacy support to UNHCR; ARRA; the Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Electricity; and NGOs.
  • Providing technical inputs to supply related items and following up on procurement through coordination with relevant partners within the UNICEF Regional Offices and Addis in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Liaising with Supply Sections, the Program Management Unit, and the other program sections regarding program implementation and coordination of refugee activities.
  • Working with UNHCR in conducting technical WASH assessments and designing appropriate interventions of potential new sites for refugee camps.
  • Supporting UNHCR in ensuring minimum levels of service quality is enforced in accordance to UNHCR WASH guidelines.
  • Providing overall support on IDP response and post Rapid Response Mechanism implementation as required by the section chief.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in one of the disciplines relevant to the following areas: PublicHealth, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Geology, Hydrology, Sanitation Engineering, or a field relevant to international WASH related development assistance.
  • A minimum of five (5) years of relevant professional experience in managing complex WASH-infrastructure contracts and programmes preferably in developing countries is required.
  • Knowledge of infrastructure contract management and litigation required; FIDIC knowledge and its conditions of contract considered a strong asset.
  • Background/familiarity with emergency operations and staff security.
  • Demonstrated experience in program management including budgeting, monitoring, program design, technical guidance, and donor interfacing.
  • Demonstrated experience in contracts management of private sector partners.
  • Experience with water and sewerage utility systems and operations considered a strong asset.
  • Experience with urban humanitarian and development WASH programming considered a strong asset.
  • Experience with refugee programming and coordination considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…• Builds and maintains Partnerships (level 1)• Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (level 1)• Drive to achieve results for impact (level 1)• Innovates and embraces change (level 1)• Manages ambiguity and complexity (level 1)• Thinks and acts strategically (level 1)• Works collaboratively with others (level 1)

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Advertised: 02 Sep 2021 E. Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 16 Sep 2021 E. Africa Standard Time