WASH Specialist (Sanitation and Hygiene)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Nairobi, Kenya 🇰🇪

Job no: 553436
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Duty Station: Nairobi
Level: P-3
Location: Kenya
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.

For every child, a Champion!

UNICEF Kenya works closely with the Government, donors and civil society to help increase children and families’ access to safe water and basic sanitation, especially in the arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) counties, where this is lowest. We innovate to find new ways to provide water in the face of increasing droughts caused by climate change.


How can you make a difference?

Under the guidance of the Chief of WASH, the Specialist supports the development, planning, management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the WASH programme within the country programme.

1. Programme development and planning

  • Provide technical and operational support in the areas of climate-resilient sanitation and hygiene programming and financing in both rural and urban contexts to deliver sanitation and hygiene services to most vulnerable populations, including urban dwellers living in informal settlements
  • Draft the WASH inputs for the situation analysis. Provide timely, comprehensive, and current data to inform WASH policy and programme development, planning, management, and implementation. Keep abreast of WASH sector development trends for maximum efficiency and effectiveness in programme design, management, and implementation
  • Participate in strategic WASH programme planning discussions. Prepare WASH donor proposals, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plan, UNICEF’s global WASH strategy and the Country programme, as well as government plans and priorities, and the role of other external support agencies
  • Assist in formulating the WASH outcome and output results, related indicators, baselines, targets, and means of verification. Prepare required documentation for programme reviews
  • Work with colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies to achieve WASH output results in the country programme
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes and ensure integration, coherence, and harmonization of WASH with other UNICEF sectors for the achievement of the WASH output results
  • Draft assigned sections of the annual work plan in close cooperation with government and other counterparts
  • Drive the sanitation and hygiene financing agenda and the uptake of the WASH financing strategy under development for a market-driven approach
  • Lead engagement in strategic public-private partnerships with the public and private sectors, including international and national financing institutions, to deliver services and infrastructure in a cost-effective manner
  • Facilitate sector-wide monitoring for sanitation and hygiene program development and planning through operationalizing a real-time monitoring and information management system in close partnership with government and non-government partners

2. Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results

  • With other external support agencies, strengthen national government WASH sector monitoring systems, with a focus on WASH outcomes (behaviors), using bottleneck analysis tools available in the sector (WASH-BAT, CSOs, SDAs)
  • Provide technical and operational support to government and other counterparts to develop and utilize a nation-wide real-time monitoring and information system for sanitation and hygiene to achieve the WASH output results
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual sectoral reviews with government and other counterparts and prepare reports on results for required action/interventions at the higher level of programme management
  • Prepare/assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths/weaknesses in programmes and management, identify and document lessons learned
  • Monitor and report on the use of sectoral programme resources (financial, administrative, and other assets), verify compliance with approved allocations, organizational rules, regulations/procedures, and donor commitments, standards of accountability, and integrity. Report on issues identified to enable timely resolution by management/stakeholders
  • Engage with private sector partners on innovative sanitation and hygiene solutions to support communities to climb the sanitation and hygiene service ladders towards safely managed services in both rural and urban contexts
  • Prepare sectoral progress reports for management, donors, and partners

3. Technical and operational support for programme implementation

  • Actively monitor UNICEF-supported activities through field visits, surveys, and exchange of information with partners to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely interventions
  • Provide technical and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners, and other country office partners/donors on the application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes, and best practices in climate-resilient WASH and market-based approaches, including gender mainstreaming, to support programme implementation in both rural and urban contexts
  • Support the implementation of Community-led Total Sanitation and market-based approaches through capacity building of local governments and other counterparts in design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation
  • Plan for 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
  • Participate in WASH programme meetings to review progress with government, other sector agencies, and implementation partners involved at various stages of WASH programme implementation to provide expert advice and guidance
  • Draft policy papers, briefs, and other strategic materials for use by management, donors, UNICEF regional offices and headquarters

4. Humanitarian WASH preparedness and response

  • Lead the implementation of climate-resilient satiation and hygiene preparedness and response programming, including contracts management, field activities monitoring, dialogue with counterparts and relevant stakeholders
  • Prepare requisitions for supplies, services, long-term agreements, and partnership agreements to ensure UNICEF is prepared to deliver on its commitments for WASH in case of an emergency
  • Contribute to the coordination arrangement for humanitarian WASH, for instant robust coordination in case of an emergency
  • Ensure that all UNICEF WASH staff are familiar with UNICEF’s procedures for responding in an emergency
  • Take up support roles in emergency response and early recovery as and when needed
  • Provide technical support to government and other counterparts to utilize a nation-wide real-time monitoring and information system for humanitarian sanitation and hygiene responses for sector coordination

5. Networking and partnership building

  • Build and sustain close working partnerships with government counterparts and national stakeholders through active sharing of information and knowledge to facilitate programme implementation and build the capacity of stakeholders to achieve WASH output results
  • Prepare materials for WASH programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships, and support fund-raising
  • Participate in inter-agency discussions, ensuring that UNICEF’s position, interests, and priorities are fully considered and integrated into the UNDAF development planning and agenda-setting
  • Assist in formulating strategic public-private partnerships for mobilizing resources to deliver sustainable sanitation and hygiene services

6. Innovation, knowledge management, and capacity building

  • Lead the development, implementation, monitoring, and documentation of WASH action research and innovation (technical or systems)
  • Prepare learning/knowledge products, covering innovative approaches and good practices to support overall WASH sector development
  • Create and deliver learning opportunities for UNICEF WASH staff to ensure our sector capacity remains up-to-date with the latest developments
  • Contribute to the systematic assessment of WASH sector capacity gap analysis, in collaboration with government and other stakeholders, and support the design of initiative to strengthen capacities systematically
  • Participate as a resource person in capacity-building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients/stakeholders in emerging areas such as climate-resilient WASH, urban sanitation, market-driven approach, and gender-mainstreaming

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

  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: public health, social sciences, behavior change communication, sanitary engineering or another relevant technical field
  • Additional relevant post-graduate courses that complement/supplement the main degree are a strong asset
  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in WASH-related programmes for developing countries is required
  • One year of deployment in a developing country is required
  • At least one three-month deployment mission in a humanitarian situation (with UN-Govt-INGO) is required
  • 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 Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability (CRITA) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: https://uni.cf/UNICEFValues

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others (8) Nurtures, leads and manages people.

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

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.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

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. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


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.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

Advertised: 03 Aug 2022 E. Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 17 Aug 2022 E. Africa Standard Time