Principal Sanitation Specialist

African Development Bank (AfDB)

Abidjan, , CI


Established in 1964, the African Development Bank is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. There are 81 member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries).  The Bank’s development agenda is delivering the financial and technical support for transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. In order to sharply focus the objectives of the Ten Year Strategy (2013 – 2022) and ensure greater developmental impact, five major areas (High 5s), all of which will accelerate our delivery for Africa, have been identified for scaling up, namely; energy, agro-business, industrialization, integration and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa.


The African Water Facility (AWF) is an initiative of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) to mobilize resources to finance water sector facilitation and investment activities in Africa. The AWF has been established within the context of the Africa Water Vision and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The African Development Bank is managing the AWF on the request of AMCOW. The resources of the AWF are primarily allocated to: water resources projects and programmes focused on improving the enabling environment for sustainable national and regional water resources management, preparing projects and programmes for immediate capital investments, and providing resources for strategic and small-scale investments. The AWF plans, organizes and carries out activities related to projects and programs cycle activities (identification, preparation, appraisal implementation and supervision) in the above areas, in all African countries; undertakes studies on issues regarding the water sector development and related areas; provides advice and technical assistance to African countries; and ensures coordination and synergy with other partners and donors in the water and sanitation sector in Africa. The AWF currently manages a portfolio of €166 million spread all over Africa. 

The AWF is recruiting a Sanitation Specialist who will mainly support the management of the growing sanitation portfolio of the AWF.

Key Functions:

  • Develop the AWF portfolio in line with the AWF strategy through identifying projects and conducting dialogue with governments, river basin organisations, local governments, utilities, private sector and NGOs, among others;
  • Supervise AWF’s sanitation portfolio ensuring that project objectives are met particularly with regard to financing of follow-up investments;
  • Develop knowledge products to disseminate AWF’s impact and lessons learnt.

Duties and responsibilities

The Sanitation Specialist will be responsible for supporting the development of the AWF portfolio, with a focus on sanitation. S/he will be responsible for managing a portfolio of projects and will ensure that project objectives are met in an efficient and sustainable manner. S/He will undertake various activities, which among others, include:

Supervise AWF sanitation portfolio

  • Lead the thematic project identification and preparation including assessment of concept notes, preparation for/guidance during orientation events and preparation of full proposals.
  • Recruit consultants and/or organize and undertake project preparation missions as necessary to finalize the preparation of the Project Appraisal Reports and support the review process to approval by the relevant authorities.
  • Ensure that grant agreements are signed promptly after approval as well as timely achievement of grant effectiveness.
  • Provide on-going assistance to Recipients in understanding and applying AWF’s operational procedures relating to grant administration as well as the rules and procedures for the procurement of goods, works and services.
  • Work with AfDB’s Financial Department in processing disbursement requests by providing up-to-date information on spending categories, established list of goods, works and services, contracts, entry into force of grant agreements, authorized signatories, extension of closing dates, managing grant savings and any revisions and modifications thereof.
  • Undertake desk and field supervision to ensure that projects are well implemented, are accomplishing the intended objectives and recommend any necessary corrective measures.
  •  Conduct regular meetings with team members to assess status of projects and also to make necessary changes and improvements, where necessary, to achieve the expected results.
  • Ensure efficient achievement of all the project milestones including project evaluation, regular audits, knowledge synthesis and timely monitoring and reporting on project progress and completion, problems experienced and solutions to all stakeholders.
  •  Support arrangements for project evaluation.

Develop Knowledge Products

  • Contribute to knowledge management including: (i) providing hands-on support to Recipients in implementing projects to achieve the overall goals; (ii) establishing and maintaining an E-network for sharing knowledge and providing back-stopping support; (iii) linking projects to the sanitation experts in Africa and ensuring effective support; (iv) looking out for key approaches, findings and lessons and ensuring prompt sharing among the Recipients; (v) encouraging and supporting dissemination of findings at national level for possible replication; (vi) preparing project synthesis reports and sharing them identified audiences; (vii) ensuring effective recruitment of consultants to undertake various Knowledge Management (KM) activities; (viii) managing the annual peer-to-peer review events; etc.
  • Ensure coordination with sanitation partners in Africa (and elsewhere), and represent AWF in donor meetings, regional and international meetings, conferences, seminars and workshops on sanitation development issues.
  • Establish and maintain active communication between the different stakeholders and work with them to ensure that they are adequately informed on portfolio progress.

AWF Administration/Liaison

  • Contribute to the preparation of the AWF Annual Report, and the Annual Work plan and budget as required.
  • Respond to requests for information from the AWF Co-ordinator and the AWF team at HQ in a timely manner.
  • Participate in the co-ordination and organisation of AWF activities and participate in specific AWF events as required
  • Undertake assignments as may be required by the AWF Co-ordinator from time to time

Selection Criteria

  • Hold at least a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, Sanitary Engineering, Sanitation and Hygiene, or related discipline.
  •  A minimum of 6 years of relevant experience related to project management, sanitation policy and strategy development, preparation and management of non-sewered sanitation and reuse projects preferably in urban and peri-urban settings
  • Ability to deal with sensitive issues in a multi-cultural environment and to build effective working relations with colleagues
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision as well as part of a multicultural team
  • Ability to influence and participate effectively in actions to drive change
  • Ability to be flexible, open minded with integrity.
  • Client and results oriented individual demonstrating “a can-do attitude”
  • Good understanding of sanitation issues, trends and opportunities in Africa.
  • Ability to identify and articulate policy and technological issues and to provide sound advice.
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize complex issues and communicate them effectively orally and in written briefs.
  • Experience in delivering high quality operational products and services (research advice, sectoral studies and review; projects).
  • Good communication skills and ability to build effective working relationships in a diverse multicultural environment.
  • Experience with International Development Financing Institutions in developing countries including a satisfactory knowledge of their operational policies and procedures.
  • Competence in the use of standard Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint); knowledge of SAP is desirable
  • Excellent spoken and written English or French, with a working knowledge of the other language
  • Competence in the use of the standard Microsoft software applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) and SAP.


Should you encounter technical difficulties in submitting your application, please send an email with a precise description of the issue and/or a screenshot showing the problem to: HR Direct [email protected](link sends e-mail)

To apply for this position, you need to be national of one of AfDB member countries.