Urban Sanitation Specialist (Policy, Planning & Implementation, Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP))

Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India 🇮🇳

About the TNUSSP

The Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply, Government of Tamil Nadu Municipal (MAWS, GoTN) aims at scaling up access to safe and sustainable sanitation to all its urban areas in the next five years. Tamil Nadu will be poised to becoming a fully sanitised and healthy state, substantially eliminating open defecation, achieving improvements through the entire sanitation value chain, safely disposing an increasing proportion of its human excreta, and re-using/ recovering resources therefrom. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is supporting GoTN to achieve the Sanitation Mission of Tamil Nadu.  This support shall enable the GoTN in investing resources towards innovative solutions to achieve mission goals.

A Technical Support Unit (TSU) has been set up to be the comprehensive technical arm for the MAWS-GoTN, and assists in implementation of state-level and city-level initiatives, based on agreed parameters. In addition, two sub-TSUs have been set up in two select urban locations.

Job Description

The Practice Team 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.

The position of Specialist could be either a regular position or a contractual project-based engagement. The Specialist will be based out of Chennai, with travel as necessary to other locations in the State and India. The Specialist will provide support to the Governance and Enabling Framework Component, and work closely with the GoTN to deliver the specified tasks.

Activities and Tasks

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

  • Fostering and maintaining relationships with Commissionarate of Municipal Administration (CMA), Directorate of Town Panchayat (DTP), Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department (MAWS) and other relevant GoTN departments;
  • Providing necessary technical support to MAWS, CMA and DTP for preparation of state sanitation plans for strengthening of Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), and delivering training programmes as and when needed, in coordination with the capacity building team;
  • Engaging with GoTN to identify and document all key water supply and sanitation data from key announcements, policy/legal documents issued, state programmes, workshops and trainings;
  • Providing support in organising Advisory Committee meetings, State Working Group meetings, GoTN officers’ exposure visits, workshops and other required meetings for consultation and decision-making;
  • Communicating regularly with the CMA and DTP on TNUSSP updates and vice versa, supporting in liaising with GoTN and TSU on follow up of key decisions and action items from GoTN meetings;
  • Participating in the internal GoTN meetings related to sanitation organised for officers of CMA/ DTP, Regional Director of Municipal Administration/ Assistant director of Town Panchayat (RDMA/ADTP), ULBs and other client’s meetings as required and represent the project;
  • Maintaining GoTN officer’s contact details and updating it on a regular basis;
  • Supporting TNUSSP tasks as and when required including planning, budgeting, training, implementing, monitoring and supervising;
  • Participating in all activities and meetings of Institution-building at IIHS; carrying out tasks as assigned by IIHS; and travelling on IIHS work within or outside the country as needed;
  • Carrying out other tasks as assigned.

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 the IIHS can be undertaken only after obtaining formal consent from the IIHS.

Person Specification

The candidate is required to possess a professional degree and training in Public Policy, Public Administration, Management, Urban Planning, Development Studies, Civil/Environmental Engineering, or a related discipline. 5 years of relevant experience is required. The candidate should have a demonstrable track record of having worked in development programme, in close association with the government.  Prior urban will be an added advantage.

S/he should also have experience of working in multi-disciplinary teams, have interfaced with government and donor agencies, possess good communication, advocacy, people management and coordination skills, and proficiency in MS office and project management. Candidates should also have prior experience of working with government. Reading and writing skills in Tamil and English language is essential, and preference will be given for candidates with work experience with the Government in Tamil Nadu.

This offer could be either for a regular position or for a contractual project-based engagement.

The search will remain open until the position is filled.

Structure and Reporting

The Specialist – Policy, Planning & Implementation, TNUSSP will report to the Senior Specialist, TNUSSP at IIHS and will be required to collaborate effectively with a diverse group of internal teams and external individuals/organizations, and students.


The position is based in Chennai, with frequent travel to other locations in Tamil Nadu.

Review and Assessment

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

Diversity Policy

The 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.

Download Job Description Document






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