WASH Sector Coordinator

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
8-9 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Bangladesh has been experiencing an influx of Rohingya refugees, one of the world's most persecuted minorities, since before its independence in 1971. The rapid influx of Rohingya refugees from northern parts of Myanmar’s Rakhine State into Bangladesh was one of the world’s largest and fastest refugee crises in recent years, and its impact remains dire both for the refugees and the local community in Cox’s Bazar.

From August 2017 through the end of 2018, over 745,000 Rohingya refugees including 400,000 children arrived in Bangladesh, fleeing grave human rights violations. In 2018, there were an estimated 1.3 million refugees and members of affected local communities in need of humanitarian assistance, including 703,000 children.

Given the speed and scale of the influx in the last few months of 2017, the humanitarian community was required to scale up their operations prioritizing coverage over quality in order to save lives. As the months drew on in 2017, more and more refugees arrived, seeking safety and shelter in the overcrowded and makeshift settlements. The majority of these refugees now live in 34 camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf Sub-Districts, including the 602,400 refugees living in the Kutupalong-Balukhali camp as of December 2018 (the largest such site in the world).

The year 2018 brought an opportunity to increase the quantity of the very basic services that were provided to the refugees with access to health, education, nutrition, protection and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion services improving. Building on this in 2019, the focus will be on improving the quality of services and starting to engage more meaningfully in the humanitarian-development nexus.

For every child,  A safe environment 

As WASH Sector Coordinator, in collaboration with national authorities, the selected staff member will provide leadership and facilitate processes that will ensure a well-coordinated, coherent, strategic, and effective WASH response. This will be done by mobilizing, organizing and adequately-resourcing groups of agencies, organizations, NGOs, local communities, etc.  In support of the government, the selected staff member will act as interface between humanitarian WASH partners and duty bearers to ensure WASH related needs of the affected population are properly covered

How can you make a difference?

1. Coordination mechanisms

  • Ensure the inclusion of key WASH humanitarian partners in a way that respects their mandates and programme priorities, as well as national and local authorities, other governmental actors, civil society and other actors working and related to the WASH sectoral response.
  • Ensure appropriate coordination mechanisms between all WASH humanitarian partners are in place, including effective links, communication and information management, as well as technical working groups and/or sub-national coordination platforms as appropriate.
  • Ensure information on all current and potential WASH partners, their capacities  and areas of work (including Who, What, Where and When) are properly collected, analysed and fed back to partners

2. Needs assessment, analysis and strategy development

  • Ensure effective and coherent WASH assessment, analysis and feedback involving all relevant partners, including the identification of gaps and conceptualize how sectoral needs can be met through collective delivery, involving all relevant partners and ensuring complementarity of their actions.
  • Facilitate WASH cluster/sector and its members/partners:
    • develop/update agreed WASH responses strategies and prioritised action plans and ensuring these are adequately reflected in the overall country strategies and appeals.
    • are aware of relevant policies, guidelines, technical standards and relevant commitments that the Government/concerned authorities have undertaken under international human rights law; and that sectoral response is in line with them.
    • develop an exit/transition strategy for the WASH sector and key sector partners.
  • Facilitate integration of agreed priority cross-cutting issues in WASH assessments, analysis, planning, monitoring and response (e.g. age, diversity, environment, gender, HIV/AIDS and human rights) as well as the utilization of participatory and community based approaches in WASH the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the WASH response.
  • Facilitate WASH humanitarian responses build on local capacities.
  • Promote WASH emergency response actions while ate the same time considering WASH within early recovery planning as well as prevention and risk reduction concerns.

3. Monitoring and reporting

  • Ensure adequate monitoring mechanisms are in place to review outcomes of WASH interventions and progress against strategy and action plans; including an analytical interpretation of best available information in order to benchmark progress over time (monitoring indicators: quantity, quality, coverage, continuity and cost; with target population data disaggregated by sex, age, etc.).
  • Ensure adequate WASH outcome reporting and effective information sharing (with government and other partner support) to demonstrate closing the gaps.

4. Intersectoral coordination and advocacy

  • Ensure effective links with other clusters or sectoral coordination platforms and represent the interests of the WASH sector in discussions with the UNICEF Representative and Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) and other stakeholders on prioritization, resource mobilization and advocacy.
  • Identify core WASH advocacy concerns, include resource requirements, and contribute key messages to broader advocacy initiatives of the RC/HC, UNICEF and other actors.
  • Advocate to donors to fund WASH actors to carry out priority WASH activities in the sector concerned, while mobilize at the same time encouraging WASH actors to mobilize resources for their activities through usual channels.
  • Where critical gaps in addressing WASH priorities are identified:
    • lobby for implementing humanitarian partners (including UNICEF) to address the gaps;
    • with advice/support from the UNICEF Representative, RC/HC and other humanitarian partners advocate, as appropriate, on the adequate provision of resources and safe access.

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in subjects/ areas of WASH e.g. Health Promotion or Education, Civil or Public Health Engineering, Public Health (MPH), Environmental Health. 
  • A minimum of [8]  eight of relevant professional experience with four years direct WASH emergency experience at least two of which would be based in the field at a Team Leader/WASH programme management level.
  • Knowledge of WASH sector as a whole and its priority issues; an ability to strategize how these sectoral needs are met through collective delivery, and ensuring that the roles, responsibilities and functional linkages among Sector support team are clear and  well-coordinated is required.
  • A minimum of 2 years’ emergency experience would be an asset
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience with either the UN and/or NGO would be an asset
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.