Chief WASH

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 🇧🇫

Job no: 566023
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Duty Station: Ouagadougou
Level: P-4
Location: Burkina Faso
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 fulfil 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, a Champion

The Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programme is one of the key programmatic areas of UNICEF Burkina Faso cycle 2020-2023. UNICEF strongly intends to contribute to this by enabling, communities and families in priority regions, especially the most disadvantaged women and children, to have increased goods and services for sustainable access to clean water and basic sanitation and adopt appropriate hygiene and environmental practices. It is focused on combined interventions with high potential for integration to be used to enhance converging approaches aimed at inclusive participation and community and system resilience and to learn lessons for gradual scale-up

The Chief WASH reports to the Deputy Representative for general guidance and direction. The Chief is responsible for managing and supervising all stages of the WASH programme from strategic planning and formulation to the delivery of the WASH outcome and output results.  The Chief is also responsible for leading and managing the Burkina Faso CO WASH team.  The Chief WASH is accountable for ensuring that the WASH outcome and output results are achieved according to plans, allocations, results-based-management approaches and methodology, UNICEF’s Strategic Plan, standards of performance, and accountability framework.

How can you make a difference?  Chief WASH_Burkina Faso.docx

Managerial leadership
• Establish the annual work plan, determining priorities and performance measurements. Monitor work plan implementation, to ensure that WASH output results are achieved to schedule and performance standards. Report critical issues to the Deputy Representative and Representative for timely action.
• Establish the annual work plan outputs, activities and developmental priorities of the WASH section staff. Provide timely guidance to enable the WASH section staff to perform their duties responsibly and efficiently.
• Manage the WASH team building and motivation. Signal potential conflicts and take preventive action, in coordination with Human Resources staff.

Programme development and planning
• Prepare the WASH inputs for the situation analysis. Provide comprehensive and current data to inform WASH policy and programme development, planning, management, and implementation. Keep abreast of global, regional, and national WASH sector developments, for maximum efficiency and effectiveness in WASH programme design, management and implementation.
• Work collaboratively with colleagues and partners to discuss national WASH priorities, resources, strategies, and methodologies to ensure the most strategic use of the collective resources of external support agencies.
• Lead the development of the WASH outcome and output results of the country programme, along with related background, strategic analysis and delivery strategies, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plan, UNICEF’s global WASH strategy and the country programme as well as government plans and priorities, and the role of other WASH external support agencies. Lead the development of output-related indicators, baselines, targets and means of verification. Lead the development of the WASH content of the CPAP.
• Develop and manage a fund-raising strategy for WASH, aligned with the WASH output results in the country programme, and lead interactions with senior staff of donor agencies.

Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results
• Prepare documentation for programme reviews and analytical statements on progress and constraints of WASH outcome and output results.
• Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes for the achievement of the WASH 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 WASH outcomes (behaviours), using bottleneck analysis tools available in the sector (WASH-BAT, CSOs, SDAs).
• Manage monitoring and evaluation of the WASH programme and its components, programme reviews and annual sectoral reviews with government and other partners 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 timely donor reporting, and negotiate any changes required to agreements with donors promptly. Ensure systems are in place for HACT compliance.

Advisory services and technical support
• Participate in strategic discussions to influence national WASH 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 WASH policies, strategies and best practices.
• Lead the preparation of policy papers, 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
• Build and strengthen strategic partnerships with government counterparts, UN agencies, donor agencies, WASH institutions, NGOs, research institutes and the private sector to stimulate coordination and collaboration.
• Oversee the analysis of national budgets for WASH, cost analysis and value-for-money studies, to advocate for improvements in sector efficiency.
• Produce materials for WASH 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 with global and regional initiatives and partnerships for WASH.

Humanitarian WASH preparedness and response
• Ensure the annual preparation/revision of UNICEF’s preparedness for WASH in emergencies.
• Ensure the coordination arrangements for humanitarian WASH are in place, for instant robust coordination in case of an emergency.
• Ensure that all UNICEF WASH staff are familiar with UNICEF’s procedures for responding to an emergency.
• In case of an emergency, ensure that UNICEF meets its commitments for WASH in the response and early recovery.
• Support the government to strengthen WASH emergency preparedness.

7. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
• Organize and lead the development, implementation, monitoring and documentation of WASH 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.
• Organize the systematic assessment of WASH sector capacity gap analysis, in collaboration with the government and other stakeholders, and support the design of initiatives to strengthen capacities systematically.

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in one of the following fields is required: public health, social sciences, behaviour change communication, sanitary engineering, or another relevant technical field. Additional relevant post-graduate courses that complement/supplement the main degree are required.
  • A minimum of 8 years of relevant professional experience in  WASH-related programmes for developing countries is required.
  • One year of deployment in a developing country is required.
  • Proven ability to effectively lead a team to deliver results is required.
  • HUMANITARIAN: At least one year of work in humanitarian situations, including one three-month mission deployment (with UN-Govt-INGO) is required. 
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergencies is considered an asset.
  • Experience in the operationalization of Humanitarian, development and Peace Nexus is an asset.
  • Fluency in English and French is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

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

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others (8) Nurtures, leads and manages people.

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.
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 is committed to promoting the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. 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.


Burkina Faso is a non-family duty station (Classification C) with a “Rest & Recuperation” cycle every eight weeks.

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 are encouraged to apply.

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

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 are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees who 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.

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

Advertised: 19 Sep 2023 Greenwich Standard Time
Deadline: 11 Oct 2023 Greenwich Standard Time






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