WASH Officer

Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Junior (3-4 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.



Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the Recruitment and Assignments Policy (RAP, UNHCR/HCP/2017/2 and the Recruitment and Assignments Administrative Instruction (RAAI), UNHCR/AI/2017/7 OF 15 August 2017.


Duties and Qualifications


WASH Officer

The WASH Officer will be responsible for provision of professional technical support and guidance on activities within the areas of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) in the locations in the Areas of Responsibility (AOR). Furthermore, the incumbent is required to play a lead role in formulating appropriate project proposals and assistance activities that should be incorporated into the relevant operation programmes of UNHCR. The WASH Officer is normally supervised by Snr Programme Officer and will receive the technical backup and support from the Regional WASH Officer and/or the Senior WASH Officer in HQ.

In order to ensure wider reach out to the refugees and other persons of concern and ensure their close involvement in the delivery and management of the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) services, the incumbent will need to establish an appropriate consultative and monitoring framework which would draw the experience and expertise of a wide range of actors both internally and externally.

- WASH services provided to refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR are based on UNHCR and /or internationally recognised and most up-to-date standards and policies.
- Sound technical support and advice are provided to the operations under AOR in the field of WASH.
- There is viable monitoring and evaluation system in place for data collection, analysis and interpretation to serve as evidence base for planning and interventions.

- Provide technical assistance to UNHCR offices and programmes under AOR in the development, integration and mainstreaming of appropriate and cost effective WASH programmes.
- Undertake needs and resource assessments with Governments and partners in order to prioritize needs and activities in provision of services to refugees and others persons of concern to UNHCR.
- Support operations under AOR to define the level and scope of UNHCR involvement, expressed in terms of overall and operational objectives during emergency situations as well as in care and maintenance and repatriation/reintegration programmes.
- Support operation under AOR to participate in review and analysis of relevant project proposal and budgetary submissions presented by UNHCR partners.
- Ensure that project plan and proposal submitted to UNHCR for funding adhere to internationally accepted standard.
- Maintain and update WASH contingency plan for potential epidemics, refugee and returnee movement.
- Work in a multi-sectorial and coordinated approach in co-operation with Governments, UN agencies, non-Governmental organizations (NGO¿s) and other humanitarian partners.
- Work closely with UNHCR programme, field and protection staff to identify priority WASH and key data requirements for programme planning and monitoring to ensure that minimum UNHCR and international standards are being met.
- Use community-based approaches, including clear involvement of refugees and other persons of concern in the hygiene promotion and others sector that are related to WASH.
- Ensure regular update and share information within UNHCR as well as with relevant Government, UN and NGO counterparts and donor communities.
- Monitor and evaluate country-level WASH programmes against standard UNHCR and international indicator to ensure that programmes are evidence-based and implemented in a comprehensive and cost effective manner.
- Make provisions for the installation of WASH services in any new camp or camp extension identified for the settlement of refugees and other persons of concern.
- Facilitate capacity strengthening activities of UNHCR and its implementing/operational partners to address key areas of WASH importance to refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR.
- Build the capacity and competence of UNHCR¿s Public Health and WASH staff. 
- Ensure WASH is adequately addressed in in-house capacity building activities of the agency such as emergency and operations training.
- Provide other related duties as required. 

- Provide guidance and recommendations on WASH programmes in the country.
- Represent UNHCR in WASH meetings as well as in technical monitoring of activities.

- Undergraduate degree (equivalent of a BA/BS) in water and sanitation engineering / water resources development / civil engineering disciplines (water supply and/or hydrology) or sanitation/hygiene engineering plus minimum 6 years of previous work experience relevant to the function. Graduate degree (equivalent of a Master¿s) plus 5 years or Doctorate degree (equivalent of a PhD) plus 4 years of previous relevant work experience may also be accepted.
- At least 3 years of this experience should be in a capacity directly relevant to the current position in an international humanitarian organisation dealing with large scale emergencies or displaced/refugee situations. 
- Ability to coordinate a range of diverse actors and activities to achieve a common objective in the area of WASH. 
- Demonstrated experience in organising and conducting training activities and information campaigns in the areas of environmental sanitation, natural resources management, water quality, bore-hole drilling, vector control and appropriate technologies.
- Proven technical expertise in area of WASH assessment including surveys, programme implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and coordination. 
- Exposure to UNHCR mandate, its priorities and principles.
- Knowledge and experience of working with local partner agencies with a capacity to provide formal and informal training.
- Proficiency in basic computer software such as MS Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Word, water modelling software, GIS.
- Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.

- Experience and professional training in one of irrigation, site planning, or shelter with a good understanding of the main issues in the other two sectors. To this end, an advanced degree and additional training in one or more of the above sectors would be useful. 
- Applied knowledge in UNHCR programme management, project formulation, programme cycles and reporting standards.
- Previous exposure to cluster approach, preferably both at the global policy level and at field level.
- Expertise in planning, formulation, implementation, monitoring and reporting on humanitarian operations.
- Knowledge of additional UN languages.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR WASH Officer positions. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.


Position Competencies


C001L3 - Accountability Level 3
C002L3 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 3
C003L3 - Communication Level 3
C004L3 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 3
C005L3 - Client & Result Orientation Level 3
C006L3 - Organizational Awareness Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
X002L3 - Innovation and Creativity Level 3
X003L3 - Technological Awareness Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing Level 3


Additional  Information


<p>The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.</p> 
See below for this postion's Operational Context 


Additional  Information


For those people applying for High Risk Duty Stations, we strongly encourage them – before deciding to apply- to read the country specific security and welfare country profiles which can be found on the Intranet under Support Services - Duty of Care (https://intranet.unhcr.org/en/support-services/duty-of-care.html). Ensuring staff are better informed is part of the increased attention UNHCR is paying to Duty of Care.


Staff after having applied to High Risk Duty Stations will have access to country specific information webinars with Field Safety Section (FSS) and Staff Welfare Section (SWS) colleagues and provided with a tool to test their psychological preparedness for serving in High Risk Duty Stations. Applicants who applied for a position in a High Risk country will receive, after the deadline for applications has expired, a joint invitation from the Staff Welfare Section (SWS) and the Field Safety Section (FSS) to participate in these webinars. During the Webinars, latest updates on security and well-being will be provided, and FSS and SWS will address questions raised by participants. Applicants are highly encouraged to benefit, when applicable, from all measures as they provide most up-to-date security and well-being information helpful to assess staff’s readiness to serve in a High Risk Duty Station. A Staff Welfare Officer will also be available, if and when required, to discuss with interested applicants the results of the psychological preparedness tool as well as readiness for assignment in High Risk Duty Stations.



Desirable Attributes


The position falls under the direct supervision of the Cox¿s Bazar based, Snr. WASH Officer and will be expected to undertake tasks as instructed.

The position is as ¿Water Advisor¿ as part of the WASH technical team. The role of the technical team is to provide support to the unit in developing projects in the water sector. This staff member will represent UNHCR at the Water Technical Working Group and ensure HCR¿s standards and positions are fairly represented, accepted and adopted.

The incumbent will provide support to the WASH field teams through the Head of WASH Field Operations in the development, implementation and monitoring of water projects.


Desirable Attributes


The candidate will require proven skills and experience in working in the following areas;

1. Urban water 
2. Gender programming
3. Network design and implementation
4. Borehole drilling and operation
5. Large scale hand-pump operation and maintenance programmes
6. Reservoir development
7. Design of transmission and distribution systems.
8. Water quality
9. Ground water monitoring
10. Information management, data analysis and GIS.


Desirable Attributes


It would be preferable if the candidate has experience working in the private sector on major water projects in development or emergency situations.

The candidate will be expected to report regularly to the Head of WASH on work progress and to prepare weekly and monthly work plans. The position will be based in Cox¿s Bazar but with travel to the refugee camps in Kutapalong and Teknaf as required. The incumbent will be expected to work under the instruction of the Head of WASH Field Operations if requested to do so in case of emergency such as monsoon, flood, cyclone or disease outbreak.


Desirable Attributes


The candidates needs to have the proven ability to engage and work cooperatively with multiple stakeholders and government departments including the DPHE, Dept. of Public Health and Engineering) and RRRC / CIC (Camp in Charge). 

Ability to develop complex reports and to create technical documents to include in donor proposals, and ability in reporting progress of same essential.

Candidates must be prepared to facilitate donor visits in the field with factual info updates.

Working experience within UNHCR or other UN WASH programmes and collaboration with relevant divisions like DER/DRRM and PSP, combined with experience working in an inter-agency environment, especially in a complex emergency setting, would also be an advantage. 
Candidate should be prepared to operate in less than ideal weather conditions but not jeopardize their own safety.


Current Situation


Following militant attacks against security posts on 25 August 2017, Myanmar launched a brutal crackdown on Rohingya residents of Rakhine State, triggering the largest, swiftest refugee exodus in the region in decades, with over 720,000 fleeing across the border within several weeks. UNHCR declared a Level 3 emergency, which is expected to be reclassified as Level 2 during the first quarter of 2019. 

Prior to the current emergency, an estimated 300,000 Rohingya refugees were living in Cox¿s Bazar. Today, over 907,000 have sought safety in official and makeshift camps. Of those, 620,000 live in the congested Kutupalong ¿mega camp.¿ The Rohingya are settled in a fragile area at high risk of flooding and landslides. UNHCR and partner agencies are is implementing large-scale disaster risk reduction projects and the relocation of at-risk persons, while transitioning to mid-term site planning and development. Concurrently, UNHCR is addressing strains on host communities through investments in livelihoods and infrastructure.


Current Situation


The Rohingya are a resilient people but have acute protection needs, following decades of severe discrimination and human rights abuses in Myanmar. Restrictions on movement and scarcity of available land in Bangladesh results in overcrowded sites with a range of risks. Protection and gender mainstreaming are key, with focus on community-based empowerment and resilience. Targeted interventions are needed to address widespread trauma, legal and physical needs, GBV, and child protection. A major operation is underway to register, biometrically enrol and issue documentation to all Rohingya refugees as a key priority in 2019.

Bangladesh is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol. The Government does not recognise the Rohingya as refugees, referring them as ¿Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals.¿ The country has generously received the Rohingya refugees on the national territory and, to date, has respected the principle of non-refoulement. The presence of huge numbers of refugees ¿ who now represent two-thirds of the local population ¿ has had important impacts on local communities, service delivery, the economy and the environment. 
The Government sees the presence of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh as a threat to regional stability and considers return to Myanmar, as soon as possible, as the only available solution. This policy approach impacts on the humanitarian operation, with the Government discouraging medium or longer-term approaches, including the development of permanent infrastructure, providing formal education or livelihoods opportunities for the refugees and the use of cash to deliver assistance.


Current Situation


Interagency coordination in Bangladesh is unique, complex and differs from the Refugee Coordination Model. The Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) provides overall coordination for the humanitarian operation, under the leadership of a Senior Coordinator from UNHCR. The Senior Coordinator leads a Heads of Sub-Office (HOSO) Group, with the participation of UNHCR¿s Head of Operations and other agency heads in Cox¿s Bazar. In Dhaka, the Strategic Executive Group (SEG) brings together the UNHCR Representative, UN Resident Coordinator and IOM Chief of Mission as Co-Chairs, which provides overall direction and coordination for the operation and the principal interface with the Government¿s National Task Force, which is chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In Cox¿s Bazar, UNHCR works closely the Refugee Repatriation and Relief Commissioner (RRRC), who leads the humanitarian operation for the Government of Bangladesh through the Camp-in-Charge officers working in the settlements, as well as with District Deputy Commissioner and local officials. Additionally, UNHCR works with nearly 100 international and national NGOs, the Bangladesh military, border guards and policy. 
UNHCR¿s Bangladesh operation receives a steady stream of visits from senior UN and government official, private sector donors, experts and researchers and the media. External relations and public information is an important part of UNHCR¿s work, both in Dhaka and Cox¿s Bazar.


Working and Living Conditions


Cox¿s Bazar is a category D family duty station with a 2-year Standard Assignment Length (SAL).  Educational facilities are limited, and international schools from primary to secondary school are currently only available in Dhaka. Health services are also limited, but are somewhat acceptable in Dhaka. Excellent medical care is accessible in Bangkok. Malaria and dengue risks exist throughout the year.  Vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis and diphtheria are required. 
Cox¿s Bazar is a principle tourist destination for Bangladeshis, with the longest beach in the world stretching over 120km to the tip of the peninsula, with dramatic scenery and a number of high quality hotels and restaurants. Leisure and recreational facilities generally focus on beach activities (surfing, jet ski, etc.) and hotel-based activities (swimming pools, gyms, restaurant, and bars). Infrastructure and shopping options in Cox's Bazar ¿ a small city of just 250,000 persons ¿ are relatively limited, however.


Working and Living Conditions


Cox¿s Bazar is a relatively comfortable duty station, but the workload in the emergency operation is very heavy, with staff regularly working long hours and often under stressful conditions.  The R&R cycle is 8 weeks. There are several domestic flights from/to Dhaka daily during daylight hours. Banks/ATM machines are available in Cox's Bazar and credit/debit cards are accepted. Foreign currency can be exchanged easily in banks and exchange houses.
UNHCR staff members who, upon assignment to Bangladesh, opt not to install their family (i.e., recognized dependents) in Cox¿s Bazar may be compensated for maintaining two households through a living allowance.  For more details, please refer to the Administrative Instruction on Exceptional Administrative Measures for the Bangladesh Emergency operation UNHCR/AI/2017/10.


Security Considerations


The security level system in Bangladesh is level 3 moderate.  Although security is generally acceptable, given the current situation in the area, no movement on highways at night is allowed.  Walking and jogging in the streets as earmarked is permitted.  Staff members may avail rickshaws and taxis within Cox¿s Bazar city only.  Crowded local markets should be avoided.


Closing Date


Please note that the closing date for vacancies in the March 2019 Compendium is Tuesday 16 April 2019 (midnight Geneva time)