WASH Cluster Coordinator

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Damascus, Syria 🇸🇾

Job no: 560543
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Duty Station: Damascus
Level: P-4
Location: Syrian Arab Republic
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, Opportunity

Find out how UNICEF programmes drives change for children and young people every day, in Syria by visiting this: www.unicef.org/syria

How can you make a difference?

On behalf of UNICEF, and in support of the Government, the purpose of this post is to provide leadership and facilitate the processes that will ensure a well-coordinated, strategic, adequate, coherent, and effective response by participants at country level.

Key function, accountabilities and related duties/tasks

Some of the key duties and responsibilities include, but not limited to:

The post holder has joint responsibility with the Cluster Lead Agency, resourcing partners and all cluster participants at the national and sub-national level for the efficient management and functioning of the WASH Cluster encompassing the following core fucntions:

Core cluster functions:

1. Establishment and maintenace of effective coordination mechanism

  • Ensure appropriate coordination with national authorities to the extent the political situation allows. This will involve liaising and working with relevant government counterparts to support or complement existing coordination mechanisms, where they exist. The Cluster Coordinator will either represent the cluster at sectoral meetings led by national authorities or co-chair cluster meeting with national authorities to give ownership and continuum/smoothen coordination platforms;
  • Convene and facilitate meetings of the cluster (and/or joint meeting with other cluster), increasing or reducing their frequency as needed but being careful to avoid meeting overload.  Ensure that cluster meetings are well managed and action and result- oriented, with decisions clearly communicated to relevant cluster partners and stakeholders. Ensure that meetings are managed in line with the principle of partnership.
  • Establish and smoothen coordination with Whole of Syria (WoS)- WASH structure, Coordinator and and cross boarder hubs(WASH Coordinators in Gazintab/Turkey and North East Syyria- NE) to carry out collective assessments/studies to inform evidance based HNOs/HRPs and undertake joint response, both humanitarian and resiliance, from inside and cross boadrer hubs with complemtary afforts and understanding as to meet critical needs and address the gaps without  duplication of scarce sector resoures.
  • Facilitate agreement on an efficient division of labour and the assignment of responsibilities amongst cluster partners which takes account of their comparative advantages and complementarities. Designate focal points or working groups for specific issues where necessary and relevant;

2. Preparedness and capacity development (including where possible, in the pre-emergency and post emergency phases/scanarios)

  • If the situation allows, lead early warning, contingency planning, and emergency preparedness efforts for the cluster; ensure adequate cluster participation in intrer-cluster early warning contingency planning and emergency preparedness actvities led by OCHA and other relevent stakeholders as appropriate and relevent;
  •  Together with cluster partners, undertake capacity mapping and gap identification exercies to develop a capacity- development strategy for the sector/cluster;
  • Identify the training needed of cluster partners and communicate them to the country  cluster lead agency/representaive or designated officials;

 3. Needs assessment, analysis , priotrisation and planning

  • Ensure that the cluster covers all the identified and evolving sector needs of the affected population, and not those that relate to the specific mandate of individual cluster members, including that of the cluster lead agency;s.
  • Organize joint field missions, need assessments and analysis among cluster partners and participate in joint inter-cluster needs assessment exercises as appropriate to ensure that identified needs, gaps and priorities are as evidence-based as possible in any given emergency context;
  • Facilitate the development of an overall strategy and response plan for the cluster with linkages between disaster risk reduction, relief,  recovery and development. To the exten possible, ensure the strategy complements governmenrt policies and plans;
  • Ensure that cluster strategies are adequately reflected in overall country strategies such as the Common Humanitarain Action Plan (CHAP) as well as in flash and Consolidated appeals/or Humanitarian Respone Plan (HRP) as relevant and approriate to country specific situations and needs;
  • In terms of inter-cluster coordination, identify issues of mutual interest and identify information that  (i) should be proactively shared with other clusters, and (ii) should be acquired from other clusters to ensure a more effective overall response. Identify potential areas of duplication between clusters so that they can be avoided, and identify potential gaps which may fall between clusters so that they can be addressed through the clear assignment of responsibilities;
  • Advocate for the use of participatory and  community-based approaches in the planning and implementation of projects. Promote measures which increases accountability to affected populations and promote the identification of durable solutions;

4. Application of standards, guideline and good practices

  • Facilitate discussion and agreement on the use of common standards and tools among the cluster partners. Promote awareness of and adherence to relevant policy guidelines, codes of conduct and examples of good practices by all cluster partners, taking into consideration the possible need for local adaptation both in terms of language and content.
  • Ensure to the extent possible that cluster partners use common standards and tools for information collection/sharing and data management, including in needs assessment and monitoring (while responding principles of confidentiality and protection concerns).

 5. Information management, monitoring and reporting

  • Facilitate adequate reporting and information sharing both within the cluster and with other clusters through inter-cluster coordination mechanisms. This will involve contact list management and collecting  3 or 4W information (Who/What/When/Where) from partners and ensuring it is shared with the inter-agency coordination body so that it can be processed and redistributed at the cluster level and to other stakeholders.
  • Facilitate cluster agreement on what monitoring activities will be undertaken to review the impact of the sector’s humanitarian response and ensure they are implemented. Make adjustments to the overall strategy and programme as appropriate. Regularly review the functioning of the cluster and encourage an atmosphere conducive to raising and addressing concerns

6. Advocacy and Resource Mobilisation

  • Together with partners, identify core advocacy concerns for the sector and contribute key messages to the border advocacy initiatives of the cluster lead agency and Humanitarian Coordinator. Where appropriate,  develop a joint cluster/inter-cluster advocacy initiative to raise the profile and needs of the cluster among in-country/external  humanitarian  donors
  • Following thorough and transparent consultation within the cluster, provide leadership and strategic direction in the assessment and prioritization of project proposals and common funding criteria for inclusion in consolidated appeals, Flash Appeals, CERF and ERF requests and other inter-agency funding appeals, ensure that agreed cluster strategies and priorities are adequately reflected in appeal documents.  Ensure the implementation of the gender marker in appeals.

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

  • Advanced university degree in one of the disciplines relevant to the following areas: Preferably Civil Engineering or Sanitation Engineering with secondary knowledge of Mechanical Engineering, Hydrology, public health or a field relevant to international WASH related development assistance. Formal training in cluster coordination an advantage
  • At least 8 years of progressively responsible professional work experience in the UN or other international development organization, national government or the private sector including programme management and/or coordination in the first phase of a major emergency response relevant to the cluster
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Arabic language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: https://uni.cf/UNICEFValue

To view our competency framework, please visit 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.


The VA is open to all (internal and external candidates)

UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable female candidates from industrial countries are encouraged to apply.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

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.

UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http://www.whed.net/

Please note that this post requires immediate incumbency. Therefore the selected candidate is expected to join the Syria CO as soon as the selection process is completed, subject to the issuance of the required visa.

Please note that Damascus is a non-family duty station.

Fixed Term Appointment for two years.

Advertised: 30 Mar 2023 Syria Standard Time
Deadline: 09 Apr 2023 Syria Daylight Time





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