WASH Specialist

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Kiritimati, Kiribati 🇰🇮

Job no: 566227
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Level: P-3
Location: Fiji/Pacific Island Countries
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, innovation. 

In the Pacific we work in Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu: These 14 Pacific island countries are home to 2.3 million people, including 1.2 million children and youth, living on more than 660 islands and atolls stretching across 17.2 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean, an area comparable to the combined size of the United States of America and Canada. Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu are classified as Fragile States according to World Bank/OECD criteria.

All 14 Pacific Island countries and territories have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but only a third are on track with reporting obligations. Explore the different areas of our work in the link provided here www.unicef.org/pacificislands.

The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme is an integral part of the Pacific multi-country programme and is overseen by the Chief of WASH for the overall management of the WASH outcome across the 14 Pacific Island countries, with teams in Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Samoa.

Kiritimati is part of the Line Island Group in Eastern Kiribati. It is a very remote and isolated location with a population of approximately 11,200 people in Kiritimati, Tabuaeran and Teraina.

How can you make a difference?

Under the direct supervision of the WASH Specialist in the UNICEF Field Office for Kiribati in Tarawa and guidance by the Chief of WASH in the UNICEF Pacific Office in Fiji, as well as operational guidance by the Chief of Field Office in Kiribati, the WASH Specialist in the sub-office on Kiritimati supports the development, preparation, management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the WASH programme within Kiritmati Island. The Specialist provides technical guidance and management support throughout the programming processes to facilitate the administration and achievement of the WASH-related output results in the country programme. S/he leads the implementation of the Building Resilience through Improved Sanitation (BRIS) project through access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene and enhancing community, household, and institutional (schools and healthcare facilities) resilience for WASH. The Specialist supervises a team of three UNICEF staff members and provides technical and programme planning support to the government line ministry.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  1. Programme development and planning:
  • Provide timely, comprehensive and current data to inform WASH policy and programme development, planning, management and implementation in the Line Islands, and keep abreast of WASH sector development trends for maximum efficiency and effectiveness in programme design, management and implementation.
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes and ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of WASH with other UNICEF sectors, for the achievement of the WASH output results.
  1. Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, project reviews and annual sectoral reviews with government and other counterparts and prepare reports on results for required action/interventions at the higher level of programme management.
  • Monitor and report on the use of project resources (financial, administrative and other assets), verify compliance with approved allocations, organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity. Report on issues identified to enable timely resolution by management/stakeholders.
  • Prepare sectoral progress reports for management, donors and partners.
  1. Technical and operational support for programme implementation:
  • Lead the implementation of building resilience through improved sanitation programme in Kiritimati, Teraina and Tabuarean and building resilience of communities, households and institutional WASH.
  • Actively monitor UNICEF-supported activities through field visits, surveys and exchange of information with partners, to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely interventions.
  • Provide technical and operational support to government counterparts and other partners on the application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes and best practices in WASH, to support programme implementation.
  • Participate in WASH programme meetings, to review progress, with government, other sector agencies and implementation partners, involved at various stages of WASH programme implementation, to provide expert advice and guidance.
  • Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic materials for use by management, donors, UNICEF regional offices and headquarters.
  1. Humanitarian WASH preparedness and response
  • Prepare requisitions for supplies, services, long-term agreements and partnership agreements to ensure UNICEF is prepared to deliver on its commitments for WASH in case of an emergency.
  • Contribute to the coordination arrangement for humanitarian WASH, for instant robust coordination in case of an emergency. 
  • Ensure that all UNICEF WASH staff are familiar with UNICEF’s procedures for responding in an emergency.
  • Take up support roles in an emergency response and early recovery, as and when the need arises. 
  1. Networking and partnership building
  • Build and sustain close working partnerships with government counterparts and national stakeholders through active sharing of information and knowledge to facilitate programme implementation and build capacity of stakeholders to achieve WASH output results.
  • Represent UNICEF during official events in Kiritimati, Tabuaeran, and Teraina.
  1. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
  • Lead the development, implementation, monitoring and documentation of WASH action research and innovation (technical or systems). 
  • Prepare learning/knowledge products, covering innovative approaches and good practices, to support overall WASH sector development.
  • Create and deliver learning opportunities for UNICEF WASH staff, to ensure our sector capacity remains up to date with latest developments. 
  • Contribute to the systematic assessment of WASH sector capacity gap analysis, in collaboration with government and other stakeholders, and support the design of initiative to strengthen capacities systematically.
  • Participate as a resource person in capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients/stakeholders.

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


  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: public health, social sciences, behavior change communication, sanitary engineering or another relevant technical field. (A first university degree in combination with two additional years of relevant work experience may be considered in lieu of an advanced university degree.)
  • Additional relevant post-graduate courses that complement/supplement the main degree would be a strong asset.


  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in WASH and climate related programmes for developing countries is required, including international work experience.
  • Experience in climate and disaster resilient sanitation and hygiene programming, implementation of Community-Led Total Sanitation, fecal sludge management is required.
  • Experience in WASH in schools and WASH in health care facilities is required.
  • Strong experience in operational management of construction contracts, quality assurance, oversight of construction of WASH facilities at households, schools, health facilities is required.
  • Experience in providing support and capacity building of government official and partners on WASH is an asset.
  • Deployment in at least two low-income settings is an asset.
  • Work experience in UNICEF or another UN agency would be a strong asset.
  • Experience in engagement and representation with senior/high level government officials and partners is an asset.

Languages: Fluency in English is required, knowledge of another official UN language or a local language would be 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…

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.


UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. 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.

With regard to higher educational qualifications, UNICEF only considers degrees 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/

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.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Appointments are also 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.

The selected candidate should be able to start within 45-60 days of receiving an offer.

Applicants to a previous advertisement are welcome to re-apply.

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

Advertised: 28 Sep 2023 Fiji Standard Time
Deadline: 08 Oct 2023 Fiji Standard Time





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