WHS Referent Focal Point (Watsan)

Médecins Sans Frontières

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Médecins Sans Frontières is an international independent medical-humanitarian organization, which offers assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict, without discrimination and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation.

MSF is a civil society initiative that brings together individuals committed to the assistance of other human beings in crisis. As such MSF is by choice an association. Each individual working with MSF does it out of conviction and is ready to uphold the values and principles of MSF.

The MSF movement is built around five operational directorates supported by MSF’s 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together worldwide. MSF OCBA is one of those directorates. The operations are implemented by field teams and the mission coordination teams; together with the organizational units based in Barcelona, Athens and decentralised in Nairobi, Dakar and Amman. The field operations are guided and supported by 5 Operational Cells, the Emergency Unit and other departments supporting operations.


The Logistics Technical Unit (LogTech) is part of the Logistics and Supply Chain department, and consists of supporting the missions of MSF OCBA regarding their logistics’ needs. The unit comprises a diverse expertise, to ensure that it can support all different aspects of MSF´s logistics for both regular missions and emergency interventions: construction, shelter, fleet, energy, facility and cold chain management, general and biomedical equipment management and WHS (water, hygiene, sanitation and vector control). The focus of the unit is to ensure appropriate support and guidance to MSF OCBA’s missions regarding their logistics, in collaboration with other relevant departments/units (operations, medical, financial, projects & IT…). The WHS team is growing in terms of both number of staff members and support functions assumed. It has recently defined an ambitious improvement agenda for the coming years, comprising all relevant aspects of WHS and VC e.g. processes, continuous improvement, emergency response, collaboration with the field, new surveillance and monitoring systems, integration and analysis into medical data system.

The WHS Focal Point is based at OCBA hub, as part of the LogTech Unit and is accountable to the Head of LogTech Unit. The main objective of the position is to ensure full integration and consecution of OCBA ambitions related to water, hygiene, sanitation and vector control; s/he will lead the Watsan support group related to both the regular and emergency missions. S/he is hierarchically and/or functionally responsible for the Watsan Referents, Project Managers, Officers, Mobile Implementation Officers and/or Mobile Support Technician; sets priorities for the team and ensures that needs of operations are met. S/he ensure that quality and consistent execution of field support and procedures. Additionally s/he leads the team’s efforts to support the development of our human resources in the field and HQ. S/he maintains dialogue with other departments/units or entities within MSF to ensure alignment of priorities.


In order to align with our ambition of focusing on critical needs providing emergency lifesaving operations, we will strengthen our efforts in identifying water needs, water provision and will strongly lobby with other actors. We are committed to ensure the provision of water as an operational priority to be pursued through a network model, using a multi-sectorial approach. In terms of organisational responsibility, we need to focus on the biggest risk we create for communities: waste management. Our commitment is to invest in ensuring safe waste management on the field, in order to reduce the risk of a negative impact and on the health of patients, communities and staffs.

  1. General objectives and main lines of actions
  • Planning and forecasting
  • WHS and VC expert advice and support to the field teams and departments
  • Ensure full integration within departments
  • Contribution to the definition of the strategy to increase the emergency response capacity
  • Collaborates in transversal projects and dossiers with other technical referents across OCBA and the movement that requires WHS and VC expertise
  • Assess internal and external technical possibilities and new trends related to WHS and  VC that may be relevant for MSF and propose/share them within OCBA and the rest of the sections as appropriate
  • Participate in cross-functional CMT discussion beyond his/her technical area of expertise
  • Participates in the strategic discussions and decisions of the department and in the elaboration of annual and strategic plans
  • Knowledge sharing among operational departments, technical and/or strategic platforms and field teams (strategies, policies and tools)
  • To manage R&D projects related to WHS and VC
  • Performance management and continuous improvement
  1. Leadership of WHS team support group
  • Leads the team and has hierarchical responsibility towards them, ensures clear prioritization and distribution of tasks in alignment with operations priorities and Logistics & Supply Chain improvement agenda
  • Is in charge of HR & planning related matters for the team (job profiles, selection, on-boarding, career planning, trainings, evaluations, planning field visits, holidays…)
  • Ensures quality and consistent execution of field support, as well as application of up-to-date procedures in the field
  • Defines and follows up the annual plan, budget and execution for the WHS team (to be validated by Head of LogTech Unit) and provides reporting towards senior management
  • Contributes to mid/long term strategy for MSF OCBA Logistics and Supply Chain department
  • Leads specific projects and improvement themes
  • Define with the team the annual objectives, priority portfolios and overall planning of the group activities. Follow up these activities through the year with clear mid-term objectives and action plans.
  1. HR & training towards field
  • Leads efforts by the WHS team to support recruitment and retainment of WHS professionals on all levels through promotion of these functions, team building across field and HQ, direction setting in terms of training and follow-up with our field staff regarding their professional development
  • Follows up WHS related positions in collaboration with pool managers/HR department and participates in revision of WHS related job profiles (in collaboration with HR)
  1. Field support
  • Gives direct support towards limited amount of mission (in line with Job Description for WHS referents)
  • On request, conception, design and close follow up of large-complex WHS solutions/projects implemented in the field
  1. Other
  • Key contributor for OCBA Climate Smart strategy, aligned with OCBA strategic priorities and needs in the field, ensuring it encloses the best field support maximize efficiency and efficacy of the teams
  • Focal point for MSF intersectional WHS working group
  • Definition of technical policies, tools and standard procedures to be applied in field missions
  • Design training modules and facilitate trainings


Education and experience

  • Degree in relevant technical area like civil engineer, environmental sciences, environmental health / public health engineer or similar technical education related to the job profile
  • Project management experience
  • At least two years of WHS management experience
  • At least two years of experience with people and organizational management
  • Fluent written and spoken English. Additionally French and/ or Spanish would be an asset


  • Commitment to MSF Principles
  • Cross-cultural awareness
  • Behavioural Flexibility
  • Stress Management
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Strategic vision
  • Results and Quality Orientation
  • Service Orientation
  • Planning and Organising
  • Initiative and Innovation
  • Capacity to Negotiate
  • Teamwork and Cooperation
  • People Management and Development
  • Security Awareness and Management
  • Networking and Building Relations


  • Position based in any MSF OCBA Hub (Barcelona, MSF-Spain office delegations, Buenos Aires, Amman, Dakar or Nairobi).
  • Fulltime job.
  • Minimum of 3-years moral commitment.
  • Annual gross salary: HQ-4B ( divided in 12 months payments) + secondary benefits, based on OCBA Reward Policy.
  • Starting date:  April 2021.


  • To apply, please,  submit your CV and cover letter.
  • Closing date: March 17th , 2021, 23:59 CET (Central European Time)

MSF OCBA is a people-focused humanitarian organization that offers a diverse, collaborative, and inclusive work environment. We believe this approach enhances our work and we are committed to equity in employment. We embrace diverse backgrounds of people working together to exhibit their passion in action for the social mission of MSF.

Médecins Sans Frontieres, as a responsible employer, under article 38 of “Ley de Integración Social del Minusválido de 1982 (LISMI)” invite those persons with a recognized disability and with an interest in the humanitarian area to apply for the above-mentioned position.





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