WASH Associate

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Gambella, Ethiopia 🇪🇹

Hardship Level E (most hardship)

Family Type Non Family with Residential Location

Family Type Non Family with Residential LocationDanger Pay

Residential location (if applicable) Addis Ababa,Eth Fed Dem Rep

Grade GS6

Staff Member / Affiliate Type General Service

Reason Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted No

Target Start Date 2023-03-01-08:00

Job Posting End Date February 26, 2023

Standard Job Description WASH Associate

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The WASH Associate works under the overall supervision of a more senior WASH colleague, Technical Coordinator, Programme Officer or the Head of Office. S/he provides assistance in the development, guidance and oversight of the implementation of WASH strategies for refugee settlements. The incumbent will support WASH related activities in the refugee settlements working closely with the multi-functional teams including colleagues from protection, health, settlement planning, field and others.
The WASH Associate provides technical guidance, works with partners and other external stakeholders, reviews ongoing activities and generally contributes to improving WASH service delivery to persons of concern (POC) to adequate levels at each site in accordance with the UNHCR WASH Manual and Technical Guidelines, and applicable UNHCR and/or national standards.
S/he will follow a rights-based and community focused approach to programme design and implementation. The incumbent will follow the five principles for protection, accountability and WASH as outlined in UNHCR¿s WASH Manual.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


  • Provide technical guidance and support to partners on all WASH-related issues to ensure quality, cost-effectiveness, sustainability and environmental sound WASH interventions.
  • Liaise with implementing partners, operating partners and relevant governmental and non-governmental counterparts.
  • Review regularly the quantity and quality of water and sanitation services offered in the Area of Responsibility (AoR) and maintain the records of WASH performance indicators for all locations.
  • Support the review of performance, undertake field verifications, monitor development and support the evaluation of activities and approaches adopted by partners in WASH and related sectors, reporting the results to the supervisor for sharing with other technical units.
  • Provide technical assistance (TA) to partners and help to enhance capacity building of partners.
  • Promote community involvement and participation in all the different stages of the WASH project cycle.
  • Build and maintain close relationships with other sectors, particularly site planning, health and community service, to locate, plan, implement and monitor WASH activities.
  • Provide timely inputs to ensure that regular and accurate reports that analyse the challenges encountered in providing WASH services for beneficiaries are prepared and circulated.
  • May participate in the preparation of all reports for management, boards, donors, budget reviews, programme analysis, monthly, annual reports etc. in a timely manner.
  • Contribute to providing technical inputs during strategic and operational planning cycles of UNHCR within the AoR.
  • Assist in the communication of WASH related issues as well as of the needs and issues of other sectors through reliable regular field presence.
  • Provide regular updates and track progress, prepare summaries and follow-up documents in correspondence.
  • Participate in WASH sector, infrastructure coordination, camp coordination and cross-cutting sector meetings e.g. health, environment, as required by the supervisor.
  • Compile documents and reports related to WASH activities and construction under the AoR.
  • Record feedback from UNHCR camp management, field and community services colleagues on issues with water availability, access, quality, sanitation situation, and ensure follow-up.
  • Support the management in provision of WASH facilities required (UNHCR managed and supported areas), including activities such as technical design, cost estimations of technical activities, development of bill of quantities for construction of all associated WASH works, and all operational and maintenance considerations.
  • Provide project management support for UNHCR WASH activities employing typical PM tools for design control, procurement, implementation and monitoring, and contract administration including evaluations to support progress certificates.
  • Promote and participate in the establishment of a complaint mechanism/system to improve the WASH accountability toward refugees; report all issues, communications and resolutions employed.
  • Establish and follow master and detailed chronograms, reporting to the sector any issue resulting in delays or extra costs.
  • Coordinate and supervise UNHCR partners’ construction and maintenance of WASH in UNHCR managed and supported areas.
  • Assist in negotiations with local authority counterparts, partners and populations of concern.
  • Provide inputs for country operations plan and other submissions and reports.
  • Monitor WASH activities in the AoR on behalf of UNHCR and make recommendations to the supervisor and the UNHCR management team.
  • Provide data inputs for the WASH monitoring system.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For G6 – 3 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 2 years relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher

Field(s) of Education
Not applicable

Certificates and/or Licenses
Agriculture Civil Engineering Environment Natural Resources Management
Hydrology Project management Public Health Community Dvpt/Social Work
Social Sciences Urban Planning Architecture Water resource development
Water/Sanitation Mgmt
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
Experience in area of WASH including surveys, programme implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and coordination.

Knowledge and understanding of water and wastewater hydraulics and physical, chemical and biological properties; solid waste management practices, vector control and hygiene promotion/awareness raising strategies.
Knowledge and understanding of relationship between water, wastewater, solid waste and vector control to public health indicators, and value of hygiene promotion/awareness raising and behaviour change methodologies.

Functional Skills
IT-Computer Literacy
IT-Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
PH- Public Health Epidemiology
SP-Vector Control Systems Management
WA-WASH Assessment: Survey planning, implementation and oversight
WA-WASH-related Technologies
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.

As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Desired Candidate Profile Standard job description will be applied.

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):


Desired languages


Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

To view occupational health and safety considerations for this duty station, please visit this link: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

Nature of Position:

The WASH Associate will be working on WASH programme as a member of WASH Unit, reporting to the WASH Officer. The Incumbent will be based in the UNHCR Sub-Office Gambella to support the provision of WASH services to over 370,000 South Sudanese refugees settled in the refugee camps in Gambella region. He or She will contribute to planning, design, implementation, coordination, monitoring, evaluation, and quality assurance of WASH programme activities in line with agreed standards, strategies, and guidelines. The incumbent will undertake routine follow up, supervision and monitoring the implementation of WASH related activities in all field locations, while working closely in a multi-functional team and multi-sectoral approaches with field colleagues from relevant sectors and Partners to ensure an effective and sustainable WASH services delivery to persons of concern (PoC) to UNHCR.

Living and Working Conditions:

Gambella is a non-family duty station. Major services including supermarkets, banking, and health facilities, as well as entertainment and social life are available.  The UN clinic is situated in the UNHCR compound, while the Gambella Hospital in town offers more medical facilities.  The Incumbent can live in the UNHCR Old Compound but is also free to rent accommodation within Gambella town. Groceries and food items are easily available in the supermarket and local markets. There are daily commercial flights between Addis Ababa and Gambella.

The diversity of topography in Ethiopia has resulted in a wide variety of climate in the country. The climate in Gambella is classified as tropical. The hottest season of the region is in March/April and temperatures may rise up to 45 °C, followed by a long rainy season. Road network within the region is often affected by the heavy rainfall during the rainy season. The average annual temperature in Gambella is 27.6 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1148 mm. Remoteness, isolation, and lack of entertainment in social life are the factors to be also considered prior to applying.

Additional Qualifications

SkillsIT-Computer Literacy, IT-Geographic Information Systems (GIS), PH- Public Health Epidemiology, SP-Vector Control Systems Management, WA-WASH Assessment: Survey planning, implementation and oversight, WA-WASH-related Technologies


CertificationsAgriculture – Other, Architecture – Other, Civil Engineering – Other, Community Development/Social Work – Other, Environment – Other, Hydrology – Other, Natural Resources Management – Other, Project Management – Other, Public Health – Other, Social Sciences – Other, Urban Planning – Other, Water/Sanitation – Other, Water Resources Development – Other

Work Experience

CompetenciesAccountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Teamwork & collaboration, Technological awareness

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Functional clearanceThis position doesn’t require a functional clearance





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development