Senior Advisor to SWA Secretariat (WASH)

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Job Number: 501118 | Vacancy Link
Location: Programme Division, UNICEF NYHQ
Work Type : Consultancy

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Background & Rationale

SWA is seeking to expand its pool of senior advisors able to work with the Secretariat on a consultancy basis. 

SWA is a global partnership of over 150 country governments, private sector and civil society organizations, external support agencies, research and learning institutions and other development partners working together to catalyse political leadership and action, improve accountability and use scarce resources more effectively. Partners work towards a common vision of sanitation, hygiene and water for all, always and everywhere. 

The Secretariat of the SWA global partnership is hosted by UNICEF at its Headquarters in New York. The SWA Secretariat is responsible for supporting the Steering Committee, Executive Chair and Chair, promoting the country-level engagement of partners, and organizing global High-level Meetings of finance and sector ministers. 

During 2016, 2017 and 2018 the Sanitation and Water for All Secretariat will need to call on the support of experienced consultants to provide high-level strategic advice, complementing the capacity of the Secretariat’s staff. 

Consultants are invited to submit an Expression of Interest to be included in a pool of senior experts available for assignments throughout 2017 and 2018. Suitably qualified consultants would be engaged individually, depending on interest, availability, qualifications, experience and the needs of the SWA Secretariat. Assignments will be of finite duration with specified deliverables. Selection to be included in the pool does not guarantee that an assignment will be awarded. 


The purpose of these consultancies would be to increase the skills, expertise and capacity available to the Secretariat in order to deliver on the ambitious programme of work that is envisaged in order to deliver on the SWA Strategy approved by the SWA Steering Committee in 2015. 

Expected results: (measurable results) 

In particular, SWA is looking for consultants who could support the Secretariat in:

  • Strengthening SWA’s engagement at country level
  • Delivering effective global High-level Meetings
  • Positioning SWA as the global, multi-stakeholder partnership for water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Ensuring that the membership of SWA expands to include all relevant countries and stakeholders
  • Positioning SWA as having a particular role to play in promoting the effective financing of sanitation, water and hygiene
  • Using the voice and influence on the SWA Chair, Executive Chair and Steering Committee members to position WASH and the SWA partnership high on the political agenda
  • Promoting linkages with the work of other partnerships and processes, in water (including with those working on “big water” issues) and in other sectors, notably nutrition, health, education, climate change and gender.
  • Promoting linkages with regional bodies and processes, e.g AMCOW, the regional sanitation conference
  • Ensuring high-quality, strategic communications about the work of the partnership and the issues it addresses 

Skills and expertise sought:

SWA is looking for consultants with any, or a combination of, the following skills and experience: 

Excellent communications skills: Proven ability to develop written products including briefing notes, web content, technical reports, meeting reports, letters to high-profile recipients (Govt Ministers, heads of companies, development agencies and financial institutions). Experience in the development and implementation of communication and advocacy strategies. Track record in the use of a range of communications platforms, including social media and videos. Ability to provide strategic advice on SWA’s branding and messaging. 

Political connections and influence: Experience working with Governments and other key influencers in the sanitation, water and hygiene sector and beyond. Familiarity working with UN and other multi-lateral systems. Track record in advising governments on policy development and implementation. Ability to brief political leaders and to design and implement political dialogues. 

Expertise in finance: Understanding of current trends and priorities in financing for development. Experience working with a range of financial institutions, including the Bretton Woods Institutes, regional development banks and private finance institutions. Ability to prepare briefings for SWA leadership and partners, and to present options for financing SDG plans for sanitation, water and hygiene. 

Ability to deliver high-level meetings: Track record in planning and delivering large, complex global meetings that promote dialogue that leads to action. Ability to draft concept notes, set objectives, outline agendas, identify speakers, prepare background papers, speaking notes and meeting reports. Experience in facilitating meetings and ministerial dialogues. 

Skills in strengthening country processes and systems: Experience working at national level to support the development and implementation of strong, government-led national programmes. Familiarity with country coordination mechanisms and methods of increasing their effectiveness. 

Regional expertise: In-depth knowledge, and the appropriate language skills needed, to work in particular geographic regions, e.g. Latin America and the Caribbean, the Asia-Pacific region, Franco-phone West Africa. Understanding of the main stakeholders in the given region and ability to advise on the best entry points for SWA. 

Specific Terms of Reference will be designed in line with particular requirements and the profile of the consultants available.  Deliverables could include, for example: 

  • A strategic plan for involvement in a particular geographic region, including advice on priority organizations and individuals to approach, and events in which to engage.
  • Recommendations for engagement with financial institutions, including those currently exploring new ways of funding water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • A strategic communications plan, including recommended key messages and restructuring of the SWA website
  • Development of detailed plans for SWA high-level meetings and events, and preparation of supporting documents. 

Duty Station

Remote based. Travel may be required and will be specified on individual ToRs. 


 Will vary based on the specific ToRs.

 Key competences, technical background, and experience required Deadline

Senior advisors are required to have least 15 years of experience at a senior level working in the areas of programme management, strategic planning or policy and strategy development.  Applicants should be able to demonstrate a proven track record in the relevant areas of expertise and familiarity with current thinking and best practice.

  • Advanced University degree in a relevant field, such as Public Health, Social Sciences, Politics, International Development, Communications, Environmental Sciences, or Engineering.
  • Proven excellent writing skills in English are required.
  • Fluency in other relevant languages, such as French, Spanish or Portuguese highly desirable.

To view our competency framework, please click here

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable).  Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Opening Date 4 Nov 2016 Eastern Daylight Time
Closing Date 26 Nov 2016 Eastern Standard Time