Emergency WASH Technical Advisor

Mercy Corps
Goma, Congo (Kinshasa)
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Junior (3-4 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)
Languages Required: 


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About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of over 300 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to: 

1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas;

2) Improve food security and nutrition;

3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development.

Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo. With funding from humanitarian donors including ECHO, OFDA and UN-donors, the humanitarian portfolio continues to expand in order to provide multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH to displaced and host populations. Mercy Corps plans to scale up and expand its humanitarian response to reach more beneficiaries with additional and varied assistance in a wider geographic area. All Mercy Corps interventions in DRC are implemented in a conflict and gender sensitive manner.

General Position Summary

The WASH Technical Advisor (WASH TA) will have responsibility for providing technical support, and strategic vision to WASH implementation activities across Mercy Corps’ emergency portfolio in DRC.

The WASH TA is in charge of supporting the team in water and sanitation activities and infrastructures’ quality. Under the direct supervision of the Emergency Director, s/he works closely with the Emergency WASH Program Manager to oversees Mercy Corps’ WASH activities in Eastern DRC and provide advices and support for designs and implementation.

The WASH TA takes part of new activities designs, process of capitalization as well as capacity building for the team and field supervision. The WASH TA will play a key role in the development of relevant proposals, and s/he will provide input to the Emergency Mercy Corps country strategy in DRC.

The WASH TA is an effective communicator able to work with internal and external stakeholders to achieve common objective and to represent Mercy Corps in relevant humanitarian sectorial coordination and other key coordination mechanisms. S/he will have strong technical skills.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • In coordination with management, set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to country-wide strategy development.
  • Maintain strategic vision and provide the leadership to emergency WASH programs and program development.
  • Work with WASH PM and program staff to design, implement and evaluate WASH activities.
  • Provide technical advice and quality control of Emergency WASH interventions and advise the WASH PM regarding activity progress and make recommendations for course correction if necessary.
  • Build the capacity of Mercy Corps’ staff and partners in WASH program implementation.
  • Identify new program opportunities through rapid assessments and proposal development inputs and writing as indicated, develop concept notes and liaise with donors on technical aspects in consultation with the Emergency Programs Director and the WASH PM.
  • Assist with assessment of local conditions resulting from emergency situations affecting communities and vulnerable groups, including determination of priorities for interventions, preparation of project proposals for emergency assistance, and other related documentation as necessary


  • Ensure that procurement and logistic planning is done in a routine and effective way, ensuring WASH goods/services meet specifications and are procured/delivered to field sites in a timely way.
  • In collaboration with operations teams, ensure WASH asset and stock management.
  • Monitor quality adherence to grant and sub grants agreements, Mercy Corps’ policies and procedures and relevant external rules and regulations, including those of the government of DRC.


  • Host and ensure logistic support for donor or other stakeholders field visits including donors, partners, and technical support visits.
  • Participate in NGO sector coordination groups and identify areas for coordination and collaboration.
  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
Organizational Learning 
  • As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Accountability to Beneficiaries
  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically
    to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.


Reports Directly To: Emergency Programs Director

Works Directly With: Emergency WASH Program Manager, RRMP and KCRI Manager, WASH Grants Officer, WASH teams, Protection and Gender technical staff, Emergency M&E teams, Emergency Finance Manager, Operational and Procurement teams.  

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S or engineering, international development or other relevant field.
  • 3-5 years of implementing WASH programs in Africa or rural/peri-urban settings, experience in DRC a plus.
  • Experience with Cash for Work, durable WASH infrastructure and emergency WASH required.
  • Experience or familiarity with behavior change communication a plus.
  • Demonstrated flexibility, excellent communication, planning and problem solving skills required.
  • Experience with the development, implementation & compliance of emergency donors such as UNICEF, OFDA, and/or ECHO.
  • Understanding of best practices for gender and protection mainstreaming in WASH programs required.
  • Ability to effectively represent Mercy Corps and its interests to key stakeholders.
  • Experience working with host governments and national NGOs.
  • Excellent oral and written French skills required, English a plus.
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response required.

Success Factors

The successful WASH TA will have the ability to combine exceptional management skills and strong technical management skills. S/he will demonstrate strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills and be committed to the values and mission of Mercy Corps. S/he will take initiative and contribute to team efforts, as well as demonstrate an ability to communicate, and make solid. S/he will be able to creatively problem-solve, juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines, and to calmly and diplomatically deal with unexpected and sudden events impacting program operations. Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines, and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is an unaccompanied position. Shared housing will be provided in Goma according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy. Goma is a provincial capital of over 800,000 inhabitants. Travel may be required up to 40% of the time to program areas within North and South Kivu. Living in Goma is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity.

While security is quite stable in Goma, North and South Kivu continue to be an arena of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other.  Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.