Senior Adviser WASH (Water and Climate Resilient)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

New York, NY, USA 🇺🇸

Job no: 550820
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Duty Station: New York
Level: P-5
Location: United States
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.

UNICEF Program Group is currently undergoing organizational changes; therefore, the exact location of the post has yet to be determined. Selected candidates may be required to commence duties remotely until the location is confirmed. If reassigned or relocated to New York, candidates may be expected to relocate to a new location again during the initial contract or assignment period. When working remotely, the candidate will be required to agree on working hours with the Hiring Office, which may require inclusion of all or some of the NYHQ core working hours (10AM-4PM).

UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Programme under Goal Area 4 in the Strategic Plan 2022-25: “Every child, including adolescents, has access to safe and equitable water, sanitation and hygiene services, and supplies and lives in a safe and sustainable climate and environment” aims to achieve two specific WASH result areas:

  • Result Area 1: Sustained access to and use of safe water, sanitation and hygiene practices for all children and adolescents, particularly the most disadvantaged and those living in humanitarian and fragile contexts;
  • Result Area 2: Strengthened and resourced WASH systems for gender equal, inclusive, affordable and sustainable services to meet the rights of all children and adolescents, particularly the most disadvantaged and those living in humanitarian and fragile contexts.

Achieving results in these areas will allow UNICEF to contribute to ambition of the SDG targets on WASH (SDG 6.1 and 6.2) as well as to other SDGs, in particular nutrition (SDG2), health (SDG3), education (SDG4), gender equality (SDG5) and climate action (SDG13).

For every child, a hope….

The Senior Adviser, WASH – Water and Climate Resilient (CR) WASH works under the direct supervision of the Director, WASH & Climate, Energy, Environment and DRR (CEED) Programme Team and is accountable for the management of the Water and CR WASH component of the WASH programme. The incumbent will focus on all aspects of Water, including access to sustainable drinking water services, water quality, water availability and management of water resources, and links with freshwater eco-systems and biodiversity, under an overall approach of “Water Security for All”.  Additionally, the role will lead UNICEF’s work embedding Climate Resilience into all WASH components of the global programming as part of the “shift” to make all UNICEF’s WASH programmes “climate-resilient”, including making WASH services at home, school and in health care facilities resilient to climate shocks, using low carbon energy solutions, being supportive of community-level climate adaptation, as well as supporting UNICEF WASH programmes to link with UN Climate Conventions, climate policy, adaptation plans, and increasing UNICEF access to climate funding and financing instruments and related partnerships.

The incumbent will also be responsible for overseeing the Water and CR WASH programme implementation, monitoring and reporting globally to achieve concrete and sustainable results towards the current UNICEF’s Strategic Plan and the UNICEF WASH Strategy 2016-2030 for the most vulnerable children and families in development and humanitarian programming contexts.

How can you make a difference?

Strategic guidance in programme development and planning

  • Ensure use of comprehensive and current data to update the situation analysis, to shape Water and CR WASH strategic directions, and to guide policy and programme development, planning, management and implementation strategies, priorities and approaches. Keep abreast of global, regional and national Water and CR WASH sub-sector developments, for maximum efficiency and effectiveness in WASH programme design, management and implementation.
  • Collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders to discuss national Water and CR WASH priorities, resources, strategies and methodologies to ensure the most strategic use of the collective resources of external support agencies. Guide relevant network of external stakeholders and alliances with government counterparts, civil society, the media and the private sector in order to define UNICEF’s strategic role as well as to advocate for and promote results for children.
  • Lead the development of the Water and CR WASH outcome and output results of the Strategic Plan, along with related background, strategic analysis and delivery strategies, ensuring alignment with the UNICEF’s Global Strategy for WASH 2016-2030, UNICEF Water Game Plan, Strategic Framework for WASH Climate Resilience Development, Guidance Note on the Shift to CR WASH Programming, Regional and Country Office programmes as well as plans and priorities of governments other WASH external support agencies and partners.  Lead the development of output-related indicators, baselines, milestones, targets and means of verification. As needed, provide strategic guidance in the development of the Water and CR WASH content of the OMP, ROMPs and CPDs. 
  • Provide leadership and guidance on UNICEF WASH programme’s implementation of environmental and social safeguards, and climate financing strategy and promote the integration of important cross-cutting priorities on sustainability, the human rights to water and sanitation, “leaving no one behind” and inclusion (gender, disabilities, indigenous persons, etc.) in all settings (home, institutions, fragile, urban contexts). 

Managerial and global technical leadership

  • Establish the annual work plan, determining priorities and performance measurements. Monitor workplan implementation, to ensure that Water and CR WASH output results are achieved to schedule and performance standards.  Report critical issues to the Director for timely action.
  • Establish the annual workplan outputs, activities and developmental priorities of the water and environment team as part of the WASH section staff.  Provide timely guidance to enable the WASH section staff and team to perform their duties responsibly and efficiently.

Efficiency in programme management, monitoring and quality control of results

  • Prepare documentation for programme reviews and analytical statements on progress and constraints of Water and CR WASH results.
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes for the achievement of the Water and CR WASH results.  Ensure effective collaboration with other UNICEF sectors, where needed with other external support agencies, analyze national government WASH sector programmes and projects, with a focus on Water and CR WASH outcomes using bottleneck analysis and other diagnostic tools available in the sector (e.g.WASH-BAT) 
  • Manage monitoring and evaluation of the Water and CR WASH programme and its components, programme reviews and annual sectoral reviews with government and other stakeholders and prepare reports for CO management and WASH sector coordination bodies.

Advisory services and technical support

  • Participate in strategic discussions to influence national Water and CR WASH policies and strategies, including the reduction of inequalities, contributing to global sector learning.
  • Advise senior officials in government, NGOs, UN agencies and WASH sector donors on Water and CR WASH policies, strategies and best practices.
  • Lead the preparation of policy papers, reports, briefing notes and other strategic materials for use by management, donors, UNICEF regional offices and headquarters.
  • Coordinate the use of technical experts from the Regional Office and HQ, as and where appropriate in the WASH programme, through remote support and on-site visits. 
  • Oversee support on climate financing and ESS (Environment and Social Safeguarding) as well as support to cross-cutting issues on Human right to WASH/LNOB.

Advocacy, networking, representation and partnership building

  • Collaborates with colleagues and partners and build partnerships and networks of external stakeholders and alliances with government counterparts, UN agencies, Financing Institutions, civil society, academia, private sector and utilities, media, technical partners and other partnership platforms in order to define UNICEF’s strategic leadership role in the WASH Sector as well as to promote and advance the results of the organization.
  • Oversee the analysis of national budgets for WASH with focus on Water and CR WASH, cost analysis and value-for-money studies, to advocate for improvements in sector efficiency. 
  • Produce materials for Water and CR WASH programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships and support fund-raising.
  • Interact and network with global and regional initiatives and partnerships for WASH and support / assume UNICEF leadership in key global/regional WASH platforms

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Organize the systematic assessment of WASH sector capacity gap analysis, in collaboration with government and other stakeholders, and support the design of capacity building plan and initiatives to strengthen capacities systematically leveraging strategic partnerships with regional bodies and institutions and establishing specialized technical partnerships to bring in external expertise to support development of new and emerging areas.
  • Organize and lead the development, implementation, monitoring and documentation of Water and CR WASH related action research and innovation (technical or systems), ensuring rigorous monitoring and wide sharing of results.
  • Determine priorities for learning/knowledge products, covering innovative approaches and good practices, to support overall WASH sector development. Develop and implement the Water and CR WASH component of the UNICEF WASH Programme Knowledge Management Plan.

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

  • Advanced university degree (Masters or higher) in civil or environmental engineering, natural or social sciences, environmental or public health, water resource management, and/or public policy is required.
  • A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible professional experience at national and international levels in WASH-related programmes in a mixed set of country contexts (including humanitarian, fragile, and developing) is required.
  • Proven ability to effectively lead a team to deliver results is required. 
  • Experience working with climate financing instruments and implementation of environmental and social safeguards is an asset.
  • Experience of working in humanitarian situations and or working in multiple geographic regions is strongly desirable. is required.
  • Experience in both headquarters and the field, working with multiple priorities in high-pressure environments is desirable.
  • Fluency in English (written and verbal) is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) 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.

To view our competency framework, please visit here and 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.

“UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at”

For more information on remuneration and benefits, please visit UNICEF’s Entitlements page.  If you would like to find estimates for entitlements, you may use the online Salary Estimate Calculator

  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
  • Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Advertised: 06 May 2022 Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: 22 May 2022 Eastern Daylight Time