Tanzania nationals: WASH Specialist

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Kibondo, Tanzania
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Tanzania is hosting 340,669 refugees and asylum seekers (298,021 in camps) with the majority being from Burundi (213,875) and the Democratic Republic of Congo - DRC - (84,146) as reported in the latest UNHCR population update. Fifty-four per cent of the refugee population are children, and more than 7,000 are unaccompanied and separated children. Refugees in Tanzania are hosted in three camps (Nyarugusu, Mtendeli and Nduta) all of which are overcrowded. The camps have an inadequate number of schools, health and nutrition facilities are overstretched and WASH facilities in schools and in Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) are overwhelmed. Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity, accounting for 30 per cent of all outpatient visits in camp health facilities during this reporting period.

Between July and August 2018, there were no additional refugees' arrivals from DRC or Burundi. In addition, there has been an increase in the number of refugees signing up for voluntary return to Burundi from 8,347 in the first quarter of 2018 to 18,837 by 31 July 2018. This might have been due to public meetings conducted by the local government authorities with refugees, United Nations (UN) agencies, international and non-government organizations and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in Kigoma from 25-27 July 2018 in which government authorities promoted voluntary return of Burundian refugees.

As Tanzania has hosted refugees for over 50 years, more efforts are being made to strengthen national systems to provide basic services for refugees, as well as focusing on development gaps in refugee hosting communities via the UN Kigoma Joint Programme (UN KJP) and the 2016-2021 United Nations Assistance Development Plan (UNDAP) 11. UNICEF participated in the UN KJP Theme Leads Coordination meeting that was conducted in July 2018 to discuss implementation status of agreed action points, monitoring and evaluation plan, and thematic implementation updates. In addition, the meeting proposed to establish a coordination mechanism to link/incorporate the host communities with existing local government structures to ensure sustainability

At the initial stage of the emergency in April 2015, UNICEF deployed internal surge capacity to provide technical support and WASH service delivery. UNICEF has developed partnership agreements (PCAs) with implementation partners (IPs) and also leveraged rapid deployment of Tanzania Government officers from the Ministry of Health to facilitate a swift response to the influx.

The presence of a large number of refugees in Kigoma region and the cholera outbreaks in Kigoma Region continue to exert demands on an already over stretched WASH staff. To cope with the increased workload, the WASH section is submitting a request for the filling of the TA WASH Specialist - EPR (NOC) based in Kibondo to support and complement ongoing efforts towards the refugee response.

Purpose of the Assignment

Owing to the high population in the refugee camp and inadequate water supply, poor environmental sanitation and hygiene conditions, there is a continuing high risk of epidemic outbreak. A cholera outbreak was reported at the start of the emergency at Kagunga, transit points, Nyarugusu camp as well as the host community villages in Kigoma Region are still at risk of epidemics if the current conditions are not improved. There is therefore an urgent need to strengthen WASH EPR capacity in camps as well in host communities.

UNICEF WASH had deployed a dedicated WASH - EPR Specialist in Kibondo who broke service to undertake an offer of a temporary appointment with UNICEF Ethiopia. Due to the need for a continued WASH presence in Kigoma, the program intends to recruit a dedicated WASH Specialist (Emergency) in Kigoma who will ensure a coordinated, timely and sound WASH EPR to the refugee crisis and host community in Kigoma region. The WASH Specialist under the overall coordination of UNHCR will work together with WASH NGOs, government partners and communities to plan, implement and monitor WASH interventions in the camp and host communities. 

Further, UNICEF is the lead agency within the WASH Outcome of the Kigoma Joint Program. Following a successful proposal application, the WASH Outcome is set to receive funding from the Government of Norway in 2019. This further heightens the need for a staff member in Kigoma; the Regional authorities and Norway are both keen to see tangible results in host communities 2019 from the WASH Outcome. The management of the KJP on the ground will require a colleague to be resident in Kibondo.

Main duties/responsibilities:

The WASH Specialist (EPR) will support the WASH EPR, related to the Refugees influx in Kigoma region as well as host community responses.

Overall the incumbent will be expected during the implementation of the assignment to exhibit the following attributes:

  • Establish a cordial working relationship with UNHCR, partner organizations and Government of Tanzania Authorities, articulate professional input and provide technical assistance as required.
  • Ensure that wherever possible an empowering approach to working with communities and partner organisations is employed.
  • Ensure that refugees, women, men and children are involved in aspects of the programme implementation, and that all work is carried out in a way that is sensitive to community needs, protection, and gender issues.

The specific tasks to be undertaken are as detailed below.

Planning and Strategy

  1. On an ongoing basis, collect and analyze WASH data, with focus on WASH related risks and gaps analysis.
  2. Assess the existing WASH strategies for refugees and host communities and ongoing implementation activities and, together with partners, update as necessary, taking into consideration the evolving context and existing guidelines.
  3. Support partners to develop and harmonize hygiene IEC materials appropriate to use in the response.
  4. Coordinate procurement and distribution of hygiene related materials and supplies in accordance with the agreed WASH response strategy.
  5. In consultation with UNHCR conduct emergency public health risk assessments for new refugee influxes and provide reports with proposals and recommendations for the country planning purposes.
  6. Technical inputs, supervision and guidance to the UNICEF implementing partners working in the refugee camps and in host communities.
  7. Oversee the implementation of Kigoma Joint Programme activities in host communities

Emergency preparedness and response

  1. Actively participate in WASH related contingency planning and preparedness for potential significant changes in the nature of the emergency and timely response.

Training /Capacity Building:

  1. Assess sector training needs, promote and carry out training of WASH humanitarian personnel in WASH in emergencies, build the capacity of partner NGOs on best practices, and ensure consistency and quality of the WASH response planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.
  2. Provide technical capacity building through coaching and on-the-job training during site visits.
  3. Support efforts to strengthen the capacity of the national/local authorities and civil society on WASH.
  4. Support UNICEF's implementing partners and WASH partners in proposal /concept preparation, to incorporate key WASH aspects both for the refugee response and interventions in host communities.


  1. Support UNHCR in coordinating WASH actors, both within the camps and host community.
  2. Support UNHCR in coordinating the WASH response strategy, ensuring harmonization of sanitation and hygiene promotion approaches and methodologies.
  3. Coordinate the implementation of the Kigoma Joint Programme interventions in host communities among the Kigoma Regional Secretariat and District Councils
  4. Participate in WASH/health coordination meetings including TWGs with WASH actors, government and other key players, and provide guidance on water, hygiene and sanitation issues.

Sectoral work plan development, implementation and Monitoring

  1. Work with UNHCR and WASH partners to develop an effective WASH Sectoral work plan including monitoring tools and mechanisms, with a focus on operation and maintenance/cleaning of latrines and hand washing facilities, and hygiene behavior (hygienic use of latrines, hand washing, food and kitchen management, etc.), based upon the agreed standard indicators. This needs to include an analytical interpretation of the best available information to benchmark progress of the response over time in relation to:
    • Support the maintenance of the information system for monitoring gender/sex disaggregated data
    • Monitoring indicators (quantity, quality, coverage, continuity and cost; and community participation and ownership,
    • Target population data including desegregation by sex, age of response which is derived from working towards meeting pre-defined standards.
  2. In coordination with UNHCR undertake KAP surveys on hygiene behavior, as required.
  3. Visit project sites and monitor hygiene and sanitation activities and conditions in the camps and host community and provide reports and recommendations for improvement.

Program Management, Delivery, Documentation and Reporting

  1. Ensure programme efficiency and delivery through a rigorous and transparent approach to evaluation.
  2. Regular reporting that will include contributing to UNHCR reports (assessment/monitoring reports, sitreps, etc.), as well as Kigoma Joint Programme reporting as required.
  3. Submit regular reports to UNICEF on the situation and implementation progress, including annual report as detailed below.

Communication, collaboration, networking and partnerships

  1. Collaborate with Communication, government and WASH partners to ensure development of effective IEC materials and strategies to support advocacy, social mobilization and emergency efforts.
  2. Collaborate with the Operations and Supply Sections and Tanzania Red Cross Society (TRCS) to develop and maintain a sound emergency supply management system, including development of procurement and distribution plans.
  3. Manage partnerships with UNICEF's implementing partners.
  4. Interact with Government and other partners, NGOs, UN and bilateral agencies in the various stages of WASH programme/project implementation to follow up on agreements and recommendations. Provide technical support and guidance on appropriate technical, financial and institutional capacity building measures to achieve WASH programme goals.


  1. Weekly situation updates on emergency water, hygiene and sanitation needs, interventions and gaps in refugee camps and host communities
  2. Monthly situation updates on WASH monitoring indicators in the camps and host communities
  3. Updated NGO and HR mapping on WASH in the refugee camps and host communities.
  4. Assessment, issue and other technical reports as required.
  5. Procurement and distribution plans for emergency supplies.
  6. Report on progress in implementation of the WASH activities of the Kigoma Joint Programme as agreed
  7. End of assignment report highlighting issues for further follow up and action.

Background and Experience:

The incumbent is expected to meet the following criteria:

  • Advanced university degree on water and sanitation, Civil Engineering or related technical fields.
  • At least 5 years experience in emergency water supply, sanitation and hygiene in developing countries, with proven field experience in WASH in emergencies.
  • Knowledge of the latest developments in emergency sanitation and hygiene including demonstrated experience of integrating gender & diversity issues in to public health.
  • Analytical, negotiation, communication and advocacy skills.
  • Leadership and teamwork abilities.
  • Ability to operate computer Microsoft office programs (MS Word, Excel, Power Point and Access.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships, both within and outside the organization.
  • Fluency in English. Knowledge of Swahili language is an asset


The WASH Specialist (EPR)'s salary will be paid monthly. Other work-related expenses will be paid based on relevant approvals.

Competency Profile 

Core Values:

  • Commitment      
  • Diversity and Inclusion     
  • Integrity

Core Competencies:

  • Communication
  • Working with people
  • Drive for results

Functional Competencies

  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts   [ II ]
  • Analyzing   [ III ]
  • Relating and Networking    [ II ]
  • Deciding and Initiating Action   [ II ]
  • Applying Technical Expertise [ III ]