Senior WASH Officer
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Senior WASH Officer will be responsible for coordination, technical strategy and standard setting of the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) sector responses in the Area of Responsibility (AoR), including the responses of UNHCR and partners. The incumbent is normally supervised by a Senior Operations/Technical Coordinator. In addition, the incumbent will be expected to work within multi-functional and interdisciplinary teams.
The Senior WASH Officer will support the UNHCR Operation, in coordination with the Government, to assess needs and coordinate the provision of WASH services to Persons of Concern (PoC) to UNHCR. This will include WASH contingency and preparedness planning, assessment and development of long-term WASH strategies and operational plans. The incumbent will be responsible for the coordination of WASH partners in conjunction with government authorities, and for monitoring progress and quality of WASH programme implementation to ensure that an adequate level of WASH services are provided at each site in accordance with the UNHCR WASH manual, technical guidelines, and applicable UNHCR and/or national standards and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets.
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.
Leadership and Coordination
– Coordinate activities of WASH implementing partners, together with other UN agencies, governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other partners to ensure delivery of WASH services to beneficiaries (PoC and host community) meets UNHCR and /or nationally recognised and most up-to-date standards and policies.
– Where there are PoC living outside of camps/settlements, work with partners to ensure the enjoyment of the human right to water and sanitation by all PoC.
– Work with government and partners, following the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), to unlock resources (humanitarian and development) for the design and construction of community-centred infrastructure, improved hygiene conditions, safe management of water and sanitation services and service provision upgrades in refugee hosting areas.
– Ensure that all decision making regarding WASH services takes in to account the needs and capacities of PoC, and the solutions proposed by PoC.
– (Co-) chair and facilitate WASH coordination among partners, ensuring that inclusive and good practice coordination structures for all technical sectors covered are in place, and that sector coordination functions at national and field levels are in line with operational and partner requirements.
– Ensure gaps and overlaps in UNHCR funded WASH programmes and unmet needs are addressed, and the activities are oriented to address priority WASH issues.
– Manage and provide support to a multi-sector ¿technical unit¿ in the AoR, including sector functions covering site planning, shelter, health, nutrition, and environment.
– Provide support to national government(s) for inclusion of PoC within national SDG 6 development plans (Urban and Rural) and financing mechanisms and service delivery systems.
– Build key WASH strategic partnerships with development and humanitarian agencies to support inclusion of refugee WASH services within national systems and development financing mechanisms.
– Engage with Urban WASH actors (GAUC, UCLG, UNHABITAT, Municipal Authorities, Utilities, and relevant government line ministries) for preparedness planning, inclusion in pro-poor tariffs, and provision of WASH services to PoC hosted in urban areas.
WASH Strategy, Planning and Programme Support
– Oversee the UNHCR coordination and technical response strategy setting within the WASH sector response at all operational locations in the AoR, and function as the UNHCR WASH sector (co-)lead.
– Maintain a WASH strategy which identifies the targets and approaches for water supply, excreta management, personal and environmental hygiene (including menstrual health), solid waste management, vector control, and institutional WASH facilities. The strategy should include a contingency plan for potential epidemics, refugee and returnee movement.
– Ensure the strategy is in alignment with UNHCR¿s programming approach to WASH and the five WASH Protection Principles (see WASH Manual) as well as the principles of the GCR.
– Maintain and update WASH contingency plan for potential epidemics, refugee and returnee movement.
– Support operations under AoR to define the level and scope of UNHCR involvement, expressed in terms of overall and operational objectives during emergency situations as well as in the transition and long-term phases.
– Decide priorities in the designing of implementation plan, in consultation with senior management and technical colleagues.
– Work closely with UNHCR programme, field and protection staff to identify priority WASH and key data requirements for programme planning and monitoring to ensure that minimum UNHCR and international standards are being met.
– Participate in the elaboration of the tender documents for the selection of construction companies.
– Provide support to sound project management by helping during design, BOQ, tender and contract awarding process as well as conducting joint technical field visits with partners and contractors.
– Participate in evaluating technical proposals against financial offers. Provide timely technical support in the management and implementation of UNHCR WASH program.
– Jointly with WASH partners and other stakeholders, update detailed needs and resource assessments and revise designs and technical plans, taking into account practical aspects of implementation, long-term sustainable solutions, and relevant technical specifications and guidelines.
– Lead, together with colleagues in human resources and programme, the recruitment efforts for WASH positions with an emphasis on promoting diversity within WASH staff- gender, geographic, thematic expertise, etc.
– Ensure the WASH Strategy includes all UNHCR PoC, and considers at a minimum WASH access data collection, and advocacy for inclusion of all PoC (both in camp and out of camp) within national systems of WASH service provision.
Technical Assistance and Capacity Building
– Ensure that the needs of women, children, the elderly and people living with disabilities are adequately addressed in planning and implementing WASH activities.
– Support operations to define the scope of UNHCR involvement, expressed in terms of overall and operational objectives during emergency, transition, and protracted phases.
– Support in the review and analysis of partner project proposals and budgetary submissions.
– Use community-based approaches, including clear involvement of women, girls, boys, and men, elderly, persons with disabilities in the design of WASH related infrastructure, products, and services.
– Provide technical assistance to UNHCR offices and programmes in the development, integration and mainstreaming of appropriate client-focused and cost effective WASH programmes.
– Develop or ensure development of information, education and communication materials through community consultations, collaborating with women, girls, boys, men, elderly, persons with disability, and other potentially marginalised groups.
– Facilitate capacity strengthening activities of UNHCR and its implementing/operational partners to address key areas of WASH importance to PoC.
– Build the capacity and competence of UNHCR¿s staff on both hardware and software components of WASH
Ensure community capacity building is carried out through multi-discipline teams working with women, girls, men, and boys of the community to train and empower them on WASH related aspects including: menstrual health, hygiene promotion, operation and maintenance, monitoring and reporting, and other topics.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Quality Assurance
– Monitor and evaluate WASH programmes against standard UNHCR and SDG indicators to ensure that programmes are evidence-based and implemented in a comprehensive, client-focused, and cost effective manner.
– Ensure monitoring and evaluation is carried out following UNHCR¿s WASH monitoring system using standard resources for data collection, analysis and interpretation. This includes completing the WASH Monthly Report Card and carrying out annual household surveys using the standard Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) suite of tools available on the wash.unhcr.org website.
– Ensure that all data regarding the boreholes and WASH infrastructure is updated on UNHCR¿s GIS portal on the wash.unhcr.org website.
– Ensure SDG 6 WASH access data is collected and recorded in the WASH Monitoring System for all UNHCR PoC to enable comparative reporting against national averages, to ensure that refugees/IDPs are not being ¿left behind¿.
– Collate WASH services access data (for both in-camp and out-of-camp PoC) to identify and promote inclusion of PoC within national SDG 6 development plans and financing mechanisms and service delivery systems.
– Ensure PoC have access to feedback and accountability mechanisms for the WASH services.
– Collate and analyse data on the satisfaction of PoC with regards to WASH services.
– Prepare regular sectorial reports and submit material for preparation of periodic project monitoring reports as required by the Office at country level.
– Report regularly on WASH activity implementation by all WASH partners, while maintaining accurate records of all relevant performance indicators.
– Maintain regular contact with the WASH Unit, Public Health Section in Geneva regarding all technical matters.
– Provide regular updates to UNHCR support staff within the AoR.
– Ensure adequate reporting, timely updates and briefings to donor and management.
– Perform other related duties as required.
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P4/NOD – 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Environmt & Infrastr. Planning
Natural Resources Management Project management/Construction
Sociology/Socialwork & Social Developmnt
Urban policy & planning
Urban planning (Intl Develpmt)/ Architecture
Water resource /development
or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
Advanced knowledge and proven experience in applied civil engineering in water supply and waste water in urban and peri-urban contexts. Ability to multi-task in a fast changing environment.
SP-Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities
SP-Experience in developing countries dealing with large scale WASH activities
EX-Experience in complex field emergencies
SP-Experience in Irrigation or Site Planning or Shelter;
SP-Natural Resources Management;
SP-Water Modelling Software;
SP-WASH Assessment including survey, implementation, monitoring and coordination;
IT-MS Office Applications
PG-Programme Management (project formulation, programme cycles and reporting standards)
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
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.
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.