WASH Specialist

Mercy Corps

, , SS



(pending funding)


Mercy Corps began programming in Sudan in 1985, and has been operating in states of what is now South Sudan since 2005; operations have continued since the independence of South Sudan in 2011. We have been working to meet people’s immediate needs, and with communities, to build local capacity and promote economic development, especially with the eruption of violence in December 2013. Mercy Corps South Sudan’s prority areas are food security and livelihoods (focusing on cash assistance, market-based solutions in agriculture and economic development), WASH and Education. Mercy Corps has been implementing project which combine agricultural, economic development, WASH, Education and other humanitarian interventions to tackle the convulsive crises affecting vulnerable communities. Mercy Corps has worked to build relationships with local government and other actors, which has enhanced our understanding of local contexts and the multiple stakeholders involved. With the Peace Agreement and formation of a Transitional Government, Mercy Corps is expanding and intensifying multi-sector programming to rural areas in Rubkona and Panyijiar Counties, especially areas inaccessible in 2014 and 2015.


The WASH Specialist will be responsible for providing strategic vision and direction for all WASH programming in the Mercy Corps country program. The WASH Specialist will implement water, sanitation, hygiene promotion, outbreak response and preparedness and behavior-change interventions depending on the results of initial assessments, and will provide technical leadership, supervise implementation staff and coordinate implementation of all program activities. S/he has a key role in ensuring program quality, new program development and contributing to the program strategy for South Sudan. The WASH Specialist will provide substantial strategic leadership to all Mercy Corps programs in the Emergency Response and Early Recovery, working to integrate civil society capacity-building, community ownership, natural resource management, conflict resolution and women’s participation into all program activities under his/her responsibility and coordinating monitoring and evaluation activities. Candidate flexibility and a wide range of WASH interventions experience, especially in camp, peri-urban and rural contexts, are highly valued.


 Strategy and Vision

  • Provide program technical guidance, coordination, supervision and monitoring designed to meet program objectives, deliverables and goals.
  • Spearhead a WASH strategy for the Mercy Corps South Sudan Country Program designed to integrate with other sectors, namely protection, education and livelihoods.
  • Develop innovative models for WASH programming with linkages to reproductive health, child protection, gender-based violence and food security and livelihoods.
  • Analyze WASH needs and concerns, propose new areas of work to Mercy Corps, participate and in proposal development

Grant Cycle Management and Design

  • Lead design and development of innovative program proposals for future WASH programming.
  • Develop and maintain effective and efficient oversight of quality control, reporting, monitoring and evaluations.
  • Ensure Mercy Corps and donor reports are produced in high-quality based on set reporting schedules and requirements.
  • Manage all financial aspects of WASH programs in line with Mercy Corps policies and procedures and close collaboration with the Finance Team.

Technical Quality

  • Lead, coordinate and supervise all water, sanitation and hygiene promotion programming ensuring grant cycle management and high-quality provision of services.
  • Provide technical guidance on high-quality localized WASH intervention packages in line with international and national guidelines and best practices.
  • Build and develop a monitoring and evaluation platform designed to monitor progress against set minimum standards and indicators.
  • Ensure capitalization of best practices and lessons learned by engaging beneficiaries, key stakeholders and staff regularly and routinely.
  • Provide technical guidance on protection, gender-based violence and disability mainstreaming.
  • Spearhead innovative research and methodologies in a diversity of contexts, including rural, peri-urban and camp-based settings.
  • Provide technical guidance on increased coordination with health and nutrition sectors especially to address outbreak preparedness and response.
  • Provide technical guidance on surveys, need assessments, data and information collection for the development of on-going and future proposals and improvement in current program quality.
  • Understand and follow Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy and Do No Harm

Team Management

  • Coordinate human resources under the program, including recruitment and orientation of new WASH staff, ensuring compliance with labor laws, participating in disciplinary, hiring and termination meetings as needed.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
  • Directly supervise WASH Program Managers and provide quality mentoring.

Representation and Coordination

  • Develop and maintain effective coordination with community stakeholders, government bodies/officials, civil society bodies and humanitarian partners with an eye towards long-term, cooperative and collaborative relationship-building.
  • Effectively represent Mercy Corps in coordinating bodies and other forums, especially the South Sudan WASH Cluster at field and national levels.
  • Participate in local coordination mechanisms.


Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Organizational learning

As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve – we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.



REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Director of Programs

DOTTED LINE REPORTING TO: Head of Office – Bentiu

WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: WASH program staff, operations staff at field and national level. 


  • BA/S or equivalent in relevant field. Graduate degree or extensive work experience in WASH or public health related fields preferred.
  • 5-7 years of water, sanitation, hygiene promotion and outbreak response experience in emergency and early recovery contexts.
  • Strong programmatic/technical background in a broad range of WASH in emergency and early recovery situations.
  • Demonstrated capacity in program management, budget management, planning, reporting, monitoring and evaluation, and team-building.
  • Strong oral and written communication capabilities, effective in coordination and representation roles, strong presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Demonstrated experience and abilities in donor and government relations.
  • Demonstrated experience in capacity-building of national and international staff.
  • Effective multi-tasking, organizational capacity, prioritization skills are necessary.
  • English (written and spoken) is required.
  • Works well in a fast-paced, multi-cultural environment. Flexible and able to handle pressure well.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members is essential


A successful candidate will have a strong technical, managerial and operational background and will have demonstrated management and coordination of similar projects in the past. S/he will have the capacity to deliver and meet deadlines, be conscientious, with an excellent sense of judgment and have an ability to foster solid working relationships with communities, GOs, INGOs, and NGOs and other stakeholders. S/he will have strong strategic planning and implementation skills. S/he will have an ability to work simultaneously on multiple tasks with strong computer literacy and exceptional organizational skills.


This position is based in Bentiu, South Sudan with travel to deep-field locations in Rubkona County, Panyijiar and Juba.  Accommodation in Bentiu is in containers/pre-fabs and may be shared with one other person. Filtered water, food stipend and basic cooking facilities are provided. Team members must be able to be 24 hours away from secondary, tertiary and specialized medical care. The security situation will be closely monitored. Team members should expect variable levels of insecurity.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.