WASH Specialist (Emergency & Refugee Programs)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 🇪🇹

Gambella, Ethiopia 🇪🇹

Job no: 547869
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, WASH

How can you make a difference?

In collaboration with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, UNHCR, RRS, Regional Water Bureaus, private sector partners and NGO humanitarian partners, this position will support establishing basic WASH services for refugees in camps and host communities in Ethiopia.

This post will manage programs financed by various institutional donors in multiple refugee hosting regions of the country with a focus on:

  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 peri-urban density and populations, and
  4. Leading the Joint Action Plan and Blueprint with UNHCR from WASH UNICEF side
  5. Support the implementation of UNICEF Ethiopia IDP Response Strategy and Plan, including post Rapid Response Mechanism implementation.

The post will also dedicate a certain number of days per month (number of days to be determined) to the Gambella, refugee/host WASH programme; this will entail frequent travel to the Gambella Region with possible stays of several weeks at a time.

In coordination with UNHCR and working closely with RRS, Ministry of Water and Energy (MoWE), Regional Water and Health Bureaus, private sector partners and designated NGOs, the post holder will:

 Coordinate and lead the feasibility study, design and implementation of works for host community/refugee projects in five project areas involving all relevant stakeholders (UNHCR, RRS, 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
  • Provide proactive program management for refugee WASH grants, including monitoring, program development, evaluation, budget tracking, partnership development, and donor reporting
  • Represent UNICEF in the Ethiopia WASH Refugee Coordination Group
  • Provide 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/RRS/Regional Authorities and NGO partners, support WASH coordination structures / Emergency Task Force in the respective regions, focusing on WASH interventions in camps and in the host communities around the camps.
  • Participate in other relevant emergency coordination meetings relating to refugee programming.
  • Work in close collaboration with the UNICEF team and implementing partners involved in hygiene promotion and behavioral change activities including development of relevant IEC materials
  • Provide 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
  • Provide additional technical support, coordination, and advocacy support to UNHCR; RRS; the Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Electricity; and NGOs.
  • Provide 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
  • Liaise with Supply Sections, the Program Management Unit, and the other program sections regarding program implementation and coordination of refugee activities
  • Work with UNHCR in conducting technical WASH assessments and designing appropriate interventions of potential new sites for refugee camps
  • Support UNHCR in ensuring minimum levels of service quality is enforced in accordance to UNHCR WASH guidelines
  • Overall support on IDP response and post Rapid Response Mechanism implementation as required by the section chief

For the Gambella programme, tasks include:

  • Overall programme management of multi-year, large value grants related to WASH. Specific attention to be given to procurement and contract management, financial management and programme oversight and coordination of government, private sector, academic and NGO partners.
  • Participation in the preparation of all programme reports for donors, budget reviews, programme  analysis, annual reports
  • Provide regular updates to UNICEF Gambella/UNICEF WASH Section in Addis Ababa detailing the current situation, status of refugee activities, and the status of UNICEF supported interventions
  • Provide proactive program management for refugee WASH programme implementation, including monitoring, program development, evaluation, budget tracking, partnership development, and donor reporting
  • Provide effective leadership in contract management (TOR development, budgeting, tendering, award, supervision, and contracts administration) for all works to be undertaken.
  • Ensure convening and play advisory role for the Itang technical working group

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

  • Advanced university degree in one of the disciplines relevant to the following areas: Public Health, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Geology, Hydrology, Sanitation Engineering, or a field relevant to international WASH related development assistance. 10 years of relevant experience can serve in leu of an advanced (Master) degree
  • Five years of progressively responsible professional work experience in the UN or other international development organization, national government, or the private sector.
  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in managing complex WASH-infrastructure contracts and programmes preferably in developing countries is required.
  • Knowledge of infrastructure contract management and litigation
  • Experience with durable refugee-host WASH systems is 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.
  • Fluency in English is required.

Expected Skills

  • Effective communication skills, both oral and writing
  • Knowledge of water, sanitation and hygiene related technical guidelines, standards, and indicators in refugee settings
  • Very good planning and organization skills, with the ability to take initiative to solve problems with limited support/supervision
  • Good computer skills (especially Microsoft Word and Excel). 

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).

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.

Functional Competencies

  • Leading and Supervising 
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts 
  • Analyzing 
  • Relating and Networking 
  • Deciding and Initiating Action 
  • Applying Technical Expertise 

Common Technical Knowledge Required

General knowledge in the following areas:

  • Program/project management
  • Programmatic goals, visions, positions, policies and strategies for sectoral programmes
  • Knowledge of global human rights and gender issues, specifically relating to children and women, and the current UNICEF position and approaches.
  • UNICEF policies and strategy to address WASH issues, including those relating to conflicts, natural disasters, recovery, disaster risk reduction and environment.
  • UNICEF financial, supply and administrative rules and regulations.
  • Rights-based and Results-based approach and programming in UNICEF.
  • UNICEF programme policy, procedures and guidelines in the manual.
  • Gender equality and diversity awareness

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. Female candidates who meet the requirements of the post are highly encouraged to apply. 

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.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

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

Advertised: 21 Jan 2022 E. Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 27 Jan 2022 E. Africa Standard Time