Consultancy: Support to country implementation of WASH costing and financing tool

New York, NY, US

Job Number: 501810 | Vacancy Link
Location: Programme Division, UNICEF NYHQ
Work Type : Consultancy

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Background and Rationale

UNICEF’s overall objective in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is to contribute to the realisation of children’s rights to survival, growth and development through support to programmes that increase equitable and sustainable use of safe drinking water, basic sanitation, and promote improved hygiene.

During the course of UNICEF’s Strategic Plan 2014-2017, UNICEF seeks to further improve its global WASH programme in five key areas such that:

  • Our programming is recognised as the benchmark of best practice
  • Our programmes achieve scale and transformational change
  • We demonstrate outcomes across sectors and corporate agendas
  • We provide leadership in responding to emergencies
  • We make the best use of our global network of knowledge & expertise

This consultancy mainly relates to the fifth area. It fulfills directly one major area of work that falls under the SWA Secretariat, related to the High Level Meetings to be held in April 2017.

More recently, UNICEF has released its 15 year WASH Strategy, focused on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a focus on targets 6.1 and 6.2 (safely managed WASH) and 4a1 (WASH facilities in schools), although WASH underpins many of the SDGs[1]. Six programming approaches have been identified in the UNICEF WASH Strategy, which will be applied according to the local context, will be used to address five results areas (water, sanitation, hygiene, WASH in institutions and WASH in emergencies):

  1. Strengthen enabling environments
  2. Utilize evidence to promote child rights
  3. Leverage sustainable financial resources
  4. Build sustainable markets
  5. Empower communities
  6. Deliver services and supplies

This Terms of Reference relates most strongly to the second and third of these, as it will provide evidence to support responsible financing strategies of governments.


The purpose of the consultancy is to support the implementation of a costing and financing tool in countries preparing for the SWA high level meetings in April 2017.

The costing and financing tool is based on the MS Excel model developed by the World Bank to estimate the global costs of meeting basic and safely managed WASH services, which was published in early 2016[2]. The model aggregates costs from individual countries (140 low- and middle-income countries). The model has been further developed to include a user interface sheet that allows the user to adjust the values of selected inputs (see below) which in turn changes the model outputs – in sets of graphs and tables in a separate sheet. There are also instructions to the user on how to make the adjustments and use the results.


The overall objective of the consultancy is to support countries to understand the investment needs and financing implications of the SDGs related to WASH – specifically, targets 6.1 and 6.2. This will be achieved through:

  1. Regular communication with contact points in countries implementing, or seeking to implement, the costing and financing tool. These contact points may be government counterparts, support agencies (e.g. UNICEF, World Bank) or consultants. Support will be requested for a maximum of 30 countries, with varying degrees of support required.
  2. Provision of advice on how to adjust the model inputs to better reflect the country context. This includes aiding the understanding of the variables and their units, and seeking data sources to adjust the default values in the model. These model inputs include:
    • Coverage of WASH services in 2015
    • Technology choice
    • Target rate of different services for 2030
    • Unit costs per person (capital, maintenance, operations)
    • Lifespan of infrastructure
    • Cost recovery rate
    • Current financing to WASH sector
    • Discount rate
  3. Review of model input values provided by country and how the results vary from the original analysis conducted by the World Bank, and provision of feedback and follow-up.
  4. Review of the way the results are interpreted and written up in the country template reports, and provision of feedback and follow-up.
  5. Ongoing monitoring of the progress of countries in model application, and follow-up/encouragement to ensure the model is completed in time.
  6. Consolidate country data to support the updating of the main background publication, including writing up of case studies.
  7. Preparation of a stand-alone report which describes the outcomes and experiences of the exercise, and implications for future cost and financing studies.
  8. Special attention should be paid to building the capacity of government partners through fully explaining the purpose and functioning of the cost and financing model.
  9. Communication with UNICEF New York should be regular, to discuss how the strategy is working and how to improve the approach. Trips to New York and/or Washington DC will be based on need.

Duty Station

The consultancy is home based, except for the travel to New York or Washington DC (up to 2 brief trips).


The consultancy will be carried out in 40 working days conducted over the period January to May 2017.

Start date:      16 January 2017                   End date: 31 May 2017


The expected results of the operational research with estimated days are presented below:



Due Date

Communications with all governments, support agencies and in-country consultants seeking support on applying the model – including encouragement to implement and finalize the model and explanations on how to apply the model.

All communications will be copied to Guy Hutton, Senior WASH Adviser.

A monitoring sheet will be kept which indicates the incremental state of progress for each country invited to the SWA high level meeting

15 days

Ongoing until 15 April 2017





Submitted weekly

Review of adjusted data inputs and written reports of max. 30 countries, in the form of written comments (copied to Guy Hutton, Senior WASH Adviser)

10 days

Ongoing until 15 April 2017


Contribution to revising the main publication for the SWA high level meeting based on the country results

5 days

31 March 2017

Drafting and finalizing a stand-alone report on the results of the exercise, including follow-up with countries following SWA meeting

20 days

31 May 2017

[1] WASH underpins many of the SDGs. Within the 17 SDGs, UNICEF’s priority cross-sectoral interventions to improve child health, welfare and development will include: WASH in education (SDG 4) and health care facilities (SDG 3), MHM and other interventions focusing on women and girls (SDG 5), targeted sanitation and hygiene interventions in support of programmes to reduce malnutrition (SDG 2) and to end child poverty (SDG 1), and sectoral interventions to protect children and women from violence and indignity (SDG 16). WASH inputs also contribute towards the achievement of other SDG goals and targets including sustainable cities (SDG 11), reduced inequalities between and within countries (SDG 10), environmental protection and climate change (SDG 13) and decent working conditions (SDG 8).



The consultant will report to the SWA Senior Adviser (Amanda Marlin) who is the budget holder, and will work day-to-day with Senior Adviser for Scaling Up (Guy Hutton).

 Key qualifications, technical background, and experience required:

  • Advanced degree (Masters or PhD) in science or social science.
  • A minimum of five years of professional experience gained with Government, NGOs or international organisations working in the development sector
  • A minimum of 3 years in WASH
  • Demonstrated knowledge of financing and economics, with quantitative analysis
  • Financing and economics experience in the WASH sector is desirable
  • Experience working in developing countries on data and statistical issues
  • Excellent communication, presentation and writing skills.
  • Highly proficient in use of English with the ability to write in a clear and practical manner.
  • Familiarity with UNICEF mission, mandate and WASH programme is desirable.
  • A good working knowledge of French and Spanish is desirable.

To view our competency framework, please click here

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable). Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Opening Date 6 Dec 2016 Eastern Standard Time
Closing Date 21 Dec 2016 Eastern Standard Time