Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Water-related Health Specialist

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
10+ Years


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Objective and Purpose of the Assignment


1. Water supply, sanitation and wastewater services (WSS) are a fundamental part of every person’s life.
Lack of access to safe, sufficient and affordable water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities has a
devastating effect on the health, dignity, security and prosperity of billions of people. The COVID-19
pandemic demonstrates the importance and relevance of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services for
all, but in particular for poor and vulnerable people such as those living in informal urban areas and
settlements, thus eliminating inequalities and leaving no one behind. According to the 2017 ADB Report
on Meeting Asia’s Infrastructure Needs (MAIN 2017), some 1.5 billion people still do not have access to
basic sanitation and 300 million people lack access to safe water in the region. Untreated wastewater
and insufficient sanitation services not only contribute to the spread of diarrhea, cholera, dysentery,
chronic malnutrition, and other infectious diseases escalating in global pandemics such as COVID-19, but
also harm our natural resources. Frequent and proper hand hygiene is one of the most important measures
that can be used to prevent infection and WASH services should enable more frequent and regular hand
hygiene by improving facilities and using proven behaviour change techniques. Worldwide, in 2016, 1.9
million deaths and 123 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) could have been prevented with
adequate WASH. The WASH-attributable disease burden amounts to 4.6% of global DALYs and 3.3% of global
deaths. The burden of deaths among children under 5 years is 13%. (WHO 2019).
2. ADB’s Strategy 2030 confirms that health is vital to development, productivity, social inclusion, and
gender equity, and it envisages ADB building on those areas where ADB has distinct comparative
advantages. Health sector impacts will be taken into consideration in ADB core operations and health
indicators and targets will be systematically included in the design and monitoring frameworks of
projects in infrastructure (urban development, water and sanitation, environment, education) and
economic governance.
3. ADB has announced a response package of about $20 billion to address the immediate needs of its
developing member countries (DMCs) as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the clear demands in
response to COVID-19 was for ADB to enhance its WASH activities as part of ADB’s WSS portfolio. ADB’s
commitments in WSS were $0.7 bn in 2019 and are expected to increase to $1.9 bn by 2020.
4. Aside from homes and communities, ensuring WASH infrastructure and practices in schools, together
with physical distancing in schools, health care facilities, marketplaces, and other high density/high
pedestrian traffic areas will help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and other waterborne diseases,
and a first line of defense against serious threat to lives and health systems.

Objective and Purpose of the Assignment
5. The purpose of the assignment is to strengthen ADB Water Sector Group’s and ADB Health Sector Group’s
efforts to mainstream a more integrated and effective water and health program with the aim to promote
and achieve healthier populations in Asia and the Pacific.

Scope of Work


6. Water, sanitation, hygiene and health (WASH+H) aspects should be integrated elements of ADB urban,
health and water strategies, knowledge and lending programs. The assignment should inform short, medium
and long-term urban and water ADB investments to better incorporate health aspects into the ADB
portfolio and ADB health investments to better incorporate water, sanitation and hygiene aspects.

Detailed Tasks and/or Expected Output


7. The Specialist will undertake the following tasks:
a) review the ADB’s Health, Water, and Urban Sector Group’s operational and knowledge portfolios over
last decade to determine the extent of their WASH+H efforts;
b) prepare an inventory of mechanisms and approaches to implement WASH programs that adopted under ADB’s
past and ongoing projects to deepen the understanding of various approaches to the financing of WASH+H
in ADB’s DMC;
c) work with ADB staff to assess the efficacy of ADB past and ongoing operations in health, water and
urban sector in delivering WASH+H, if any as well as to scrutinize the existing pipeline and identify
opportunities in ensuing pipeline for relevant projects, TAs (and direct charges) to scale WASH+H
d) Taking into account any similar reviews already undertaken, review developing member countries
(DMCs) strategies, cross-cutting policies, country and regional programs, activities, knowledge and
capacity building efforts and investment priorities with regard to WASH+H to identify those DMCs or
contexts with enabling environments most conducive to implement successful WASH+H programs, and also
identify barriers (i.e. constraints and challenges) to scaling WASH+H actions;
e) summarize and highlight latest developments and best practices in relation to WASH+H including the
response to COVID-19 from DMCs, non-DMCs and other development partners;
f) identify opportunities for ADB to collaborate with development partners (and others e.g. NGOs,
academia, private sector where applicable) to up-scale and deliver effective and efficient WASH+H
activities in the near-term as well as the medium- and long-term;
g) identify entry points and recommend measures to intensify WASH+H programs within ADB’s portfolio
(Water, Urban, Social/Health etc.) to increase the penetration (vertically and horizontally) and
sustainability of integrating WASH components in ADB programs as well as helping DMCs scale their
h) facilitate and provide technical inputs/guidance to urban, water and health sector division’s ongoing
and pipeline in mainstreaming WASH+H activities

i) review and identity associated costs and benefits for WASH+H for discussion with ADB staff and DMC
counterparts as well as identify possible funding/resources to be leveraged through ADB’s program;
j) review specific COVID-19 emergency responses of public health and water sector entities in ADB
member countries, including regulators and utilities and other WASH sector stakeholders, and evaluate
application of related tools such as water safety and resilience plans business continuity planning and
workplace safety and health policy and provisions;
k) review opportunities for ADB operations to support utilities and other service providers to manage
COVID risk, by strengthening the management of viruses/pathogens in raw water, drinking water,
wastewater, water used for irrigation and recycled water (where applicable), including through treatment
and monitoring systems, and associated capacity building needs; and
l) In consultation with ADB staff, develop a guidance document for up-scaling WASH+H as well as a more
comprehensive TA proposal for ADB to upscale investment in WASH+H
8. In his/her review and assessment, the consultant will give consideration to gender aspects and the
specific needs of women and girls, in consultation with ADB Gender TG.
9. The consultant will closely work with the ADB Water Sector Group, ADB Health Sector Group, ADB Urban
Sector Group, other Sector and Thematic Groups as required and all ADB Operations and other Research
Departments as relevant (e.g. ECRD).

10. The consultant is expected to deliver the following reports and documents:
a) An inception report within 15 days of contract start, presenting work plan and methodology;
b) a report on ADB and development partner experience with WASH+H including water and health response to
COVID-19 by July 2020;
c) a guidance document how WASH+H can be better integrated into ADB operations, strategies, knowledge
products and capacity building activities (including use of development partners and specific activities
ready to move forward) by August 2020;
d) inputs to a Knowledge and Strategy Technical Assistance for a WASH+H to support knowledge work and
provide operations support to ADB staff;
e) a blog/case study by end of July 2020;
f) plan and deliver a presentation at an ADB internal knowledge sharing session with the goal to share
the results with a wider ADB audience by end of August 2020;

11. The assignment will require 4 person months of intermittent from June until November 2020.

Minimum Qualification Requirements


Minimum Qualification Requirements
12. The Specialist should have the following qualifications and skills:
a. Minimum of 10 years international working experience on WASH+H with proven track record on defining
and developing policies, institutional recommendations, strengthening government capacities with a focus
on WASH+H issues around Asia and the Pacific.
b. Experience in the preparation, implementation, and monitoring of strategies on regional health
security, specifically regarding communicable diseases control, regional public goods, and regional
cooperation and integration on health issues is preferred.
c. Experience in working in ADB developing member countries, particularly on WASH and/or health is
required. Experience working with water and sanitation service providers in the environmental health
context highly preferred.
d. Working experience with the public sector and with multilateral lending organizations is required and
with the ADB is preferred.
e. Advanced degree in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Public Health or related fields of specialization
preferred. Alternatively, university degrees in related fields combined with additional relevant
professional experience can be considered.
f. Excellent written and oral communication skills and proven effective client management, experience in
designing and implementing capacity building programs, and should be able to coordinate with and
synthesize outputs from various subject expertise.
g. Have the ability to work productively as a team member, with ADB staff and wider project
stakeholders. Working experience with a remote team and participate in virtual meetings is an advantage.

Background documentation
13. Links to COVID-19 ADB responses
14. WHO Guidelines and WASH/COVID knowledge related products.