Senior Adviser (Strategy and Policy)

Sanitation and Water for All (SWA)

Geneva, , CH

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, clean water 

Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) is a global partnership of almost 300 country governments national governments, donors, civil society organizations, the private sector and other development partners working together to increase political will and strengthen resource allocations for water supply and sanitation. Strengthening resource allocations will require improved mobilization and better targeting of resources by both donors and national governments. The goal of SWA is sanitation and water for all, always and everywhere.
The Secretariat of the SWA global partnership is hosted by UNICEF at its Headquarters in New York. The SWA Secretariat is responsible for supporting the Steering Committee, Executive Oversight Committee and Global Leaders Council, promoting the country-level engagement of partners, the Mutual Accountability Mechanism and organizing global High-level Meetings (including the Sector Ministers Meeting ) and for guiding the related country-level preparatory and follow up processes.
Given of the Secretariat’s transition to a self-standing and independent Secretariat, there is a need for the support of a highly experienced and specialized strategy and policy adviser to increase political prioritization for sanitation, hygiene and water.

How can you make a difference?

Under the overall guidance of the Director CEO, the incumbent will provide consistent effective support and advice to the SWA Director/ CEO in managing the implementation of the SWA Strategic Framework and Secretariat Workplan and will lead programmatic workstreams.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:
The Senior Advisor will work closely with the Secretariat’s Director/CEO and will provide support in managing the programmatic work of the Secretariat, the larger partnership and her role as high-level political advocate for water and sanitation for all.
1. SWA and WASH positioning
Identifies the key drivers for positive change and works with key internal and external stakeholders by developing strong and credible policy messages and solutions, primarily, and works through an influencing route with policy stakeholders and decision-makers to effect change. Strategically and proactively positions SWA and WASH around critical and emerging policy issues by identifying opportunities to locate WASH in wider development agendas, as well as by linking WASH and SWA to international and regional development initiatives and partnerships such as the BRICS, ASEAN, African Union, Ibero-American Summit, regional political bodies, G20 and G77 or, special global or cross-country initiatives as relevant in the region.
2. Coordinates the generation of intelligence through political mapping and analysis, including through (i) charting key actors’ interests and agendas; (ii) power mapping of who the most important players are and how to influence them, and (iii) analyzing contextual developments, including at the regional and international levels, in the wider political and development arena as well as in WASH policy, funding and programming landscapes. Leads/coordinates research on the identification of new and emerging sustainable development issues and presents analysis of information gathered and reviewed from diverse sources with plausible recommendations. Leads on processes to understand and address political blockages to funding, systems strengthening and political prioritization of WASH, as well as to identify political openings and opportunities to further the WASH agenda at national, regional and global levels.
3. Relationship with Stakeholders and External Meetings/ Events
Builds and maintains relationships with key policy stakeholders inside and outside the sector, and represents the partnership at relevant external meetings and events.
4. Strategic external partnerships
Initiates, establishes and coordinates strategic external partnerships within and outside the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, by the creation of networks and establishment of strategic partnerships. Establishes/fosters relations and partnerships with UN agencies and UN bodies, such as the General Assembly, ECOSOC, Security Council, World Health Assembly and Human Rights Council. Secures excellent cooperation and working relations with other similar partnerships in the area of health, education, child and maternal health, nutrition, among others. Represents SWA and promotes policy coherence and consensus with other institutions.
5. Policy briefings, documents, reports, blogs and message
Writes or oversees the drafting of credible persuasive, evidence-based policy briefings, documents, reports, blogs and messages to ensure that there is consistency of messaging across the partnership. Provides expert and strategic policy and influencing advice across the partnership. Supervises preparation of various written output such as briefing notes, speaking points for the Director/CEO and the SWA Global Leadership Council
The key results aim to positively impact on SWA’s ability to work with countries and other global partners to contribute to the achievement of the water, sanitation and hygiene for all and related SDGs. In particular, the key results have an impact on the management of SWA’s substantive work streams and enable the Director/CEO to fulfil her role as Global Advocate for water and sanitation for all and position of the partnership and its contribution to achievement of the SDGs. The results will also contribute to the functioning on the Secretariat and the positioning of the partnership in the broader development landscape. Good quality support to the leadership of SWA will underpin the success of all efforts undertaken by the SWA partners, leadership and Secretariat.

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

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in international relations, foreign policy, law, diplomacy, economics, business or any other related field
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience at the international level in the areas of advocacy, development, human rights, diplomacy, policy analysis or external relations;
  • Experience required in identifying and establishing strategic partnerships, effectively networking with partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances and in establishing relations and quickly building trust and credibility with key stakeholders (external and internal)
  • Well versed in current policy issues (no prior WASH experience required, but an asset);
  • Experience providing advice to senior leadership and strong analytical skills is an asset;
  • Experience in performing analysis of political situations and scenarios, and contributing to the formulation of institutional responses is required;
  • Experience leading and managing multiple, complex projects in a fast-paced setting is required;
  • Excellent communication skills required, both oral and written, for a variety of audiences;
  • Fluency in English is required and in an additional UN Language is an asset (preferably Spanish and/or French).

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The functional competencies required for this post are…

▪ Leading and supervising (II)
▪ Formulating strategies/concepts (III)
▪ Analyzing (III)
▪ Relating and networking (III)
▪ Deciding and initiating action (III)
▪ Persuading and influencing (II)

View our competency framework at

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.

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.


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

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

Opening Date Tue Jul 21 2020 03:00:00 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time) W. Europe Daylight Time
Closing Date Fri Aug 21 2020 17:55:00 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development