Senior Specialist (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), City Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS))

Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)

Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India 🇮🇳

About the Trichy CWIS Project

Trichy has been selected as one of the cities under the City Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) initiative by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The wider CWIS initiative is globally supported by multiple agencies and organisations including the BMGF and the World Bank. CWIS cities are expected to move towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for sanitation to ensure safe, inclusive, and financially sustainable sanitation services, and serve as global benchmarks. The Trichy CWIS project will be guided by the urban local body, and delivered by a consortium of partners led by IIHS. While the project aims to improve overall sanitation outcomes in Trichy across the full cycle of sanitation, it will also focus on improvement of service delivery to the poor. The project will also attempt to mainstream sanitation into existing initiatives, showcase innovations and systematically document and share learnings (particularly with a view to enabling replication).

The project builds on ongoing work done by IIHS on urban sanitation in Tamil Nadu (see The first phase of the programme, which is nearing completion, adopted a two-pronged approach: working in two model urban locations to demonstrate city level transformations on-ground across the sanitation chain, while in parallel, creating an enabling environment, implementing state-wide actions, and scaling-up of innovations

Job Description

The Practice programme at IIHS is responsible for providing cutting-edge and integrated solutions to India’s urban development challenges by bringing together faculty and experts across diverse domains of knowledge and practice, exposing learners to real-life problems, and integrating the practice into academics and research.

This is a project-based position in the Practice team at IIHS, based out of Trichy. The incumbent will provide support on Governance and Engineering, and work closely with the team to deliver the following outputs:

  • Legal and regulatory review, and recommendations to improve urban sanitation at the city level;
  • Revisions to the City Operative Strategy and Guidelines for Septage Management;
  • Supporting the ULB and anchoring the preparation of City Sanitation Plans and programs, and Detailed Project Reports for sanitation solutions;
  • Identification, assessment and design of urban sanitation solutions and innovations;
  • Adaptation and testing of toolkits for planning, and benchmarking performance of sanitation systems;
  • Carrying out pre-feasibility of pilot demonstration projects and assisting in implementation of demonstration projects.

In addition, s/he will be expected to contribute to other projects in IIHS’s Practice programme, Urban Practitioners’ Programme (UPP), and other programmes.

Activities and Tasks

Responsibilities would include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Leading a part of the multidisciplinary CWIS team;
  • Contributing to activities in the Governance and Enabling Framework Component, including the development and implementation of revised Operative Strategy and Guidelines, and short term and medium-term action plans;
  • Interfacing and engaging with the ULB, relevant departments, clients, partners, communities, institutions, and other stakeholders for implementation of CWIS activities;
  • Ensuring the constitution and functioning of the Working Group, City level Sanitation Task Forces, and other program structures including City Wide Sanitation planning for consultation and decision-making;
  • Contributing to review of legal and regulatory framework and mechanisms and providing recommendations for modifications in relation to urban sanitation in the short and medium term, and drafting recommended changes to rules and regulations;
  • Providing strategic inputs for the achievement of results in the Engineering, Planning and Implementation Support components;
  • Participating in the design, data collection and analysis of baseline studies;
  • Testing and reviewing tools and methods of planning and benchmarking urban sanitation solutions;
  • Providing technical inputs and helping design and implement pilot demonstration projects in selected locations;
  • Supporting project management tasks as and when required including planning, budgeting, training, implementing, monitoring and supervising, evaluating and closing research and consulting projects;
  • Actively contributing to grant raising, proposal writing and growing the project portfolio;
  • Executing other projects independently as and when required;
  • Providing support to other IIHS activities including, academics, research, training, operations and other activities;
  • Participating in all activities of Institution-building at IIHS; carrying out tasks as assigned by IIHS; and travelling on IIHS work within or outside the country as needed.

Structure and Reporting

The Senior Specialist – WASH will report to the Team Leader, CWIS at IIHS and will be required to collaborate effectively with a diverse group of internal teams and external individuals/organisations, and students.

Person Specification

The applicant is required to possess a professional degree in Environmental Science or Engineering / Management / Public Health with 12-15 years relevant experience in implementation of projects under environmental services and in the area of policy, governance, institutional and service delivery reforms.

S/he should also have experience of working in multi-disciplinary teams, have interfaced with government and donor agencies, possess good people management skills and significant competency in project management and IT skills. Applicants should also have prior experience of working with the government. Proficiency in the Tamil language and work experience in Tamil Nadu would be an added advantage.

This offer is on an exclusive basis, which implies that other professional assignments (whether compensated or not) that bear a potential conflict of interest with IIHS cannot be undertaken.

The search will remain open until the position is filled.


This position is based in Trichy with frequent travel to other locations within Tamil Nadu and outside.

Review and Assessment

The role and performance of the incumbent shall be subject to normal review and assessment systems at IIHS.

Diversity Policy

IIHS is an equal opportunity employer that encourages women, people with disabilities and those from economically and socially excluded communities with the requisite skills and qualifications to apply for positions.

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Please write to us at [email protected] if you need any clarifications while filling the online application form.

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