Humanitarian WASH Technical Advisor
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 exists to alleviate suffering, poverty, oppression by building secure, productive, and just communities. Mercy Corps has been present in Zimbabwe since 2002 focusing its interventions on a multi sectoral market systems development portfolio mobilizing communities to promote small scale agriculture and revive local economies. Its current operations focus on helping smallholder farmers increase their incomes and harvests through the power of technology and increasing rural and urban household access to quality, reliable water, sanitation and hygiene services. Zimbabwe continues to experience recurrent environmental, economic and social shocks affecting the wellbeing of its communities and undermining development investments. Mercy Corps puts resilience at core of its strategy to contribute to the wellbeing of Zimbabweans by building communities’ capacities and strengthening systems and institutions.
Providing emergency relief in times of crisis, we move quickly to help communities recover and build resilience to future shocks, and promote sustainable change by supporting community-led and market-driven initiatives. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas in response to Cyclone Idai in Manicaland include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas. Corps plans to scale up and expand its humanitarian response to reach more beneficiaries with additional and varied assistance in a wider geographic area.
General Position Summary
The WASH Technical Advisor (WASH TA) is a new position that will have responsibility for providing technical support, and strategic vision to WASH implementation activities across Mercy Corps’ emergency portfolio in Zimbabwe. The WASH TA is in charge of supporting the team in water and sanitation activities and infrastructures’ quality. Under the direct supervision of the Response Team Leader s/he works closely with the WASH Program Manager to oversees Mercy Corps’ WASH activities in Manicaland 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 respective strategies related to the response. 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.
- 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
Financial and Operational Management
- Ensure that procurement and logistic planning is done in a routine and effective way, ensuring WASH goods/services meet specifications and are procured 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 Zimbabwe.
Coordination and Representation
- 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.
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: Humanitarian Response Team Leader
Works Directly With: WASH Program Manager and Operations 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 Southern Africa a plus.
- Experience with 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 key stakeholders including governments and national NGOs.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
- Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response required.
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 is an unaccompanied position. The position is based in Mutare and travel may be required up to 60% of the time to program areas within Manicaland province. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. 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.