WASH Cluster Co-Coordinator

Mercy Corps
Erbil, Iraq
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Junior (3-4 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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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 has worked across Iraq’s 18 governorates since 2003, implementing relief and development programming, more than a third of which has focused on the specific needs of refugees and displaced persons. Mercy Corps Iraq’s goal is to work with civil society, public and private sector partners to meet immediate needs and reduce longer-term vulnerabilities of communities within Iraq. Mercy Corps Iraq focuses on (1) providing humanitarian assistance to conflict affected populations to meet basic needs, maintain human dignity and facilitate self-empowerment; (2) supporting income-generating opportunities that transition individuals and households from financial dependency towards financial independence while facilitating market-system approaches; (3) working with young females and young males to address their diverse needs, promoting leadership and linkages with civil society, as well as access to education, psychosocial support, and economic opportunities; and (4) promoting reconciliation and foster trust across community divisions by strengthening conflict management and prevention mechanisms and enhancing social cohesion.

Mercy Corps runs a portfolio of WASH programming that reach over 800,000 individuals per year, with programs funded by OFDA, ECHO and GIZ. Our WASH programming includes work inside and out of camps with interventions that include: rehabilitation of water treatment plants, development of water networks, eVouchers for hygiene kits and water trucking, hygiene promotion, solid waste management, NFI distributions, water trucking, reverse osmosis units, drainage, rehabilitation of latrines and showers, and maintenance of all WASH infrastructure.

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps seeks a passionate leader for the position of WASH Cluster Co-Coordinator for KRI and Ninewa. There are over 36 active WASH partners working across 18 Governorates in Iraq and KRI with the full-time support of National WASH cluster Coordinator (based in Baghdad), national NGO cluster Co-coordinator- (based in Erbil) and a WASH Cluster IMO based in Erbil but covering whole of Iraq. Additional support is also provided through sub national WASH Cluster Focal points in Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk, Diyala, South/Central and Salah Din governorates. With these increasing WASH activities needs, and given the current capacities of the Cluster Coordination team, continued surge support to consolidate WASH Cluster Co-ordination capacities is therefore critical to ensure a timely, quality and standard WASH response to the conflict affected population in Iraq

The position is primarily required to support the WASH cluster in providing WASH support in areas of returns/newly retaken, camp consolidation- supporting with decommissioning of WASH facilities and ensuring WASH support mainly in areas of returns or newly retaken areas is complementary with recovery programs (transition from emergency to recovery) and knowledge management- documenting lessons learnt and best practices to improve quality and standard of WASH intervention. The incumbent will be supporting the Cluster coordinators to ensure that WASH cluster partners are delivering quality WASH services, facilitating continued engagement with sub-Ninewa national cluster focal point, inter cluster coordination group and government coordination mechanisms; facilitate timely WASH response to displaced population mainly from Ninewa governorate and KRI. This will also include support to vulnerable populations returning to retaken areas in Mosul, – thus supporting partners in re-establishing critical water supply facilities/sources and ensure continued supply of safe drinking water and hence will further strengthen the WASH Cluster coordination team capacity or any sudden onset emergencies. The incumbent would be based in Erbil but would also be expected spend a large proportion of his/her time (up to 70%) traveling in other Governorates in KRI, predominantly in the Duhok, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk as support is required. An important part of the role is taking part in assignments from Erbil for day assessment and monitoring to WASH response in Ninewa and KRI region as part of OCHA multi cluster response or technical support to UNICEF/Cluster missions.  A key part of the role will also be technical support for gender integration and mainstreaming as well as quality implementation of hygiene promotion activities.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Coordination Support

  • Supporting Cluster coordinators to ensure continued, effective engagement with OCHA led inter cluster and government coordination structures and capacity is built to support preparation for and response to the WASH needs of displaced communities returning to their places of origin;
  • Interacting with other clusters (including through inter-cluster coordination fora), humanitarian actors, government counterparts, and relevant authorities for operational planning, engagement and active contribution of operational partners.
  • Respond to the Cluster participants’ needs for information related to the WASH response within the governorate.
  • Help the National WASH cluster coordinator and National Co-coordinator to identify gaps related to the WASH response, related to the information that is provided from the governorate on this regard, and related to the coverage of Cluster activities in Ninewa and KRI.
  • Supporting the WASH cluster coordinators in ensuring that WASH partners are accountable to the affected population through effective and inclusive consultative and feedback mechanisms ( referral systems or call center).
  • Ensure the harmonization of standards and approaches recognizing local policies and guidelines and local context (culture, environment, etc.).
  • Support the development of guidance notes through technical working groups on specific areas of technical weakness.
  • Supporting WASH cluster in leading discussion with CCCM and Shelter on camp consolidation/camp closure and decommissioning of water and sanitation facilities in the closed camps.
  • Collating and documenting best practice evidence and lessons learned, with recommendations.
  • Identify and build cooperative relationships with relevant Clusters, particularly Shelter, CCCM, Health, Education, and early recovery clusters.

Strategy Development

  • Include cross-cutting issues such as gender equality, age, psycho-social and environmental factors in all aspects of the response
  • The support the Cluster coordinators in revising/updating existing WASH cluster national standards and guidelines including SOPs and support in application and adherence of the WASH actors to them.
  • Work with governmental/local authorities and WASH partners to ensure application of consistent technical guidelines and standards.
  • Facilitate preparatory work for the recovery phase and the handover of technical competencies to the early recovery cluster and national authorities.
  • Providing the necessary expertise to ensure that WASH operations are well devised at all stages of a response; assessments, design, developing strategies, indicators, standards, and field response monitoring, in order to have the most quality and immediate impact.

Needs Assessment And Analysis

  • Conduct an analysis and overview of market prices, quantity, and quality of WASH-related non-food items available in the country to initiate exit of in-kind hygiene kit distributions.
  • Estimating the cost-effectiveness, efficiency and impact of emergency WASH interventions as well as sustainability in protracted crises.
  • Support the cluster coordinators in mapping various WASH related needs assessment planned or done including Multi cluster needs assessments and ensure WASH findings are refined.
  • Support in analysis to identify and address (emerging) gaps, obstacles, duplication, and cross-cutting issues.

Capacity Building Support

  • Promote and support training of WASH cluster partners.
  • Support efforts to strengthen the capacity of the national authorities.
  • Provide training and update cluster partners on the benefits and outcomes of incorporating better quality assurance mechanisms into programs and responses as required.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

Organizational Learning 

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.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly to: Head of WASH Program (for administrative purposes)

Works Directly with: National WASH Cluster Coordinator, co-coordinator and sub-national WASH Cluster participants, Inter-cluster coordination bodies, affected populations through agreed mechanisms

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion or Education, Civil or Public Health Engineering, Public Health (MPH), Environmental Health or any related area. Master’s Degree preferred.
  • A minimum of 3-5 years of experience with either the UN and/or NGO.
  • Technical experience in the WASH sector and in the cluster approach;
  • Demonstrate personal and professional integrity in all interactions;
  • Be able to work with diverse stakeholders to develop consensus;
  • Know how to present ideas effectively and clearly while listening and acknowledging others’ perspectives and views;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the international humanitarian response and coordination mechanisms, and humanitarian reform;
  • Have an understanding of humanitarian principles and how to apply these.
  • Able to clarify complex strategies for operational implementation;
  • Communicates, works and networks effectively
  • Demonstrates leadership where required
  • Builds and motivates the cluster coordination team at sub national level
  • Understanding and experience of Municipal Water and Sewage supply systems would be an advantage
  • Experience of responding in recovery phases of emergency
  • Experience of coordinating peers as well as managing a team;
  • Fluency in English (verbal and written) required, and a working knowledge of the local language preferred.

Success Factors

A successful WASH Cluster co coordinator will work closely with all WASH Partners (Locals, National, International, UN agencies) and donors to strengthen and improve coordination. They will work closely with technical working groups to ensure WASH partners are fully equipped with updated guidelines, technical notes and with required information. Successful candidates will have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority. They will have the ability to facilitate dialogue among a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and working styles is essential.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Erbil, Iraq and it requires up to 70% travel to governorates in KRI, Ninewa and as per needs. In Erbil there is shared accommodation in high-rise apartment buildings with relative freedom of movement and good amenities. Elsewhere in the country, there is group accommodation with limited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. This position is unaccompanied and is eligible for hardship and R&R breaks.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision.  Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.