Senior Adviser WASH

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

New York, NY, US

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, clean water.

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the Organization does — in programmes, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give more children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

UNICEF supports water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programming across a range of countries, from stable to fragile contexts, and with emphasis on technical support to strengthening the quality and sustainability of WASH services, from families/ communities to global levels. Generally, UNICEF WASH focuses its efforts on increasing sustainable access to safe drinking water, eliminating open defecation, improving access to adequate sanitation and promoting hand washing and good hygienic practices, including in schools and healthcare facilities and with attention to girls and to children with disabilities in both development and humanitarian contexts. This requires technical expertise and leadership role in critical areas beyond the general WASH programme towards strong climate resilient and sustainable WASH services through WASH sector support to improve sector policy and strategy; institutional arrangements (coordination, service delivery arrangements, accountability and regulation); budgeting and financing; planning, monitoring and review; and capacity development.

How can you make a difference?

As the global technical lead of UNICEF’s Sanitation and Hygiene programme, you will provide strategic guidance in quality sanitation programming, advocacy and leveraging financial and other resources to ensure sanitation and hygiene for all.  You will also be responsible for establishing the sanitation and hygiene workplans and overseeing implementation to achieve concrete and sustainable results towards UNICEF’s Strategic Plan for the most vulnerable children and families in development and humanitarian programming contexts.

Other key areas of responsibilities include facilitating emergency preparedness and response areas, high level advocacy on WASH needs and issues, leveraging financial and other resources, build on evidence, analysis of data to mobilize resources and partnership for advancing WASH and UNICEF’s contribution to achieving sustainable, resilient and inclusive SDG results in diverse contexts to “Leave No One Behind.”

Strategic guidance in Programme development and planning

  • Ensure use of comprehensive and current data to update the situation analysis, to shape Sanitation and Hygiene strategic directions, and to guide policy and programme development, planning, management and implementation strategies, priorities and approaches.
  • Collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders to discuss national Sanitation and Hygiene priorities, resources, strategies and methodologies to ensure the most strategic use of the collective resources of external support agencies.
  • Lead the development of the Sanitation and Hygiene outcome and output results Strategic Plan, along with related background, strategic analysis and delivery strategies, ensuring alignment with the UNICEF’s global WASH strategy, the regional/country programme as well as plans and priorities of government other WASH external support agencies.  Lead the development of output-related indicators, baselines, targets and means of verification.

Managerial and technical leadership

  • Establish the annual work plan, determining priorities and performance measurements. Monitor workplan implementation, to ensure that Sanitation and Hygiene output results are achieved to schedule and performance standards.
  • Establish the annual workplan outputs, activities and developmental priorities of the sanitation and hygiene team as part of the WASH section staff.
  • Nurtures, leads and manages team members and promotes a collaborative working culture based on participatory approaches to eliminate silos.

Efficiency in programme management, monitoring and quality control of results

  • Prepare documentation for programme reviews and analytical statements on progress and constraints of Sanitation & Hygiene outcome and output results.
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes for the achievement of the Sanitation and Hygiene output results.  Ensure effective collaboration with other UNICEF sectors, where needed.
  • With other external support agencies, analyze national government WASH sector programmes and projects, with a focus on Sanitation & Hygiene outcomes using bottleneck analysis tools available in the sector (WASH-BAT, CSOs, SDAs). 
  • Manage monitoring and evaluation of the Sanitation & Hygiene programme and its components, programme reviews and annual sectoral reviews with government and other stakeholders and prepare reports for CO management and WASH sector coordination bodies.
  • Monitor, report and certify 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.
  • Ensure contribution to timely donor reporting, support to negotiate any changes required to agreements with donor in a timely manner. 

Advisory services and technical support

  • Participate in strategic discussions to influence national Sanitation & Hygiene policies and strategies, including the reduction of inequalities, contributing to global sector learning.
  • Advise senior officials in government, NGOs, UN agencies and WASH sector donors on Sanitation & Hygiene policies, strategies and best practices.
  • Lead the preparation of policy papers, reports, briefing notes and other strategic materials for use by management, donors, UNICEF regional offices and headquarters.
  • Coordinate 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

Advocacy, networking and partnership building

  • Collaborates with colleagues and partners and build partnerships and networks of external stakeholders and alliances with government counterparts, civil society, the media and private sector in order to define UNICEF’s strategic role as well as to promote and advance the wok of the organization.
  • Oversee the analysis of national budgets for WASH with focus on Sanitation & Hygiene, cost analysis and value-for-money studies, to advocate for improvements in sector efficiency. 
  • Produce materials for Sanitation & Hygiene programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships and support fund-raising.
  • Represent UNICEF in inter-agency discussions, ensuring that UNICEF’s position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in planning and agenda setting.
  • Interact and network with global and regional initiatives and partnerships for WASH and support / assume UNICEF leadership in key global/regional WASH platforms.

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Organize the systematic assessment of WASH sector capacity gap analysis, in collaboration with government and other stakeholders, and support the design of capacity building plan and initiatives to strengthen capacities systematically leveraging strategic partnerships with regional bodies and institutions.
  • Organize and lead the development, implementation, monitoring and documentation of Sanitation & Hygiene related action research and innovation (technical or systems), ensuring rigorous monitoring and wide sharing of results.
  • Determine priorities for learning/knowledge products, covering innovative approaches and good practices, to support overall WASH sector development.
  • Systematically plan, support and monitor the professional development of UNICEF WASH staff, to ensure our sector capacity remains up to date with latest developments.
  • Ensure regular updates of the UNICEF knowledge sharing platforms (Communication or collaboration SharePoint sites) with WASH learning / knowledge products in support of the organization wide Enterprise Content Management (ECM) initiative, including support in the feedback and use of the knowledge products and learnings.

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s) in Public health, Social sciences, health and hygiene behavior change communication, environmental, water resource management or another relevant technical field is required.
  • Additional relevant post-graduate courses that complement/supplement the main degree is highly desired.
  • A minimum of ten (10) years of professional experience in development, planning, monitoring, management of the Sanitation and Hygiene component of the WASH related programme at the national and international levels is required.
  • Prior experience in leading/supervising a team to deliver results is required.
  • Prior experience in a mix set of country context (including humanitarian, fragile, developing) is desired.
  • Prior experience of working in humanitarian situations and or working in multiple geographic regions is highly desirable.
  • Fluency in English (written and verbal) is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Care, Respective, Integrity, Trust and Accountability.

To view our new competency framework, please click: Here

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

For more information on remuneration and benefits, please visit UNICEF’s Entitlements’ page.  If you would like to find estimates for entitlements, you may use the online Salary Estimate Calculator

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

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.

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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

Opening Date Wed Mar 18 2020 14:00:00 GMT+0100 (Central European Standard Time) Eastern Daylight Time
Closing Date Mon Apr 06 2020 05:55:00 GMT+0200 (Central European Summer Time)