WASH Advisor for Whole of Syria

Relief International
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
5-7 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
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Position: WASH Advisor for Whole of Syria                      

Location: Northeast Syria (with frequent travels to Amman-Jordan and Gaziantep-Turkey)

Reports to: Deputy Country Director

Duration: 12 Months                        

ABOUT RI:   Relief International (RI) is a leading nonprofit organization working in 16 countries to relieve poverty, ensure well-being and advance dignity. We specialize in fragile settings, responding to natural disasters, humanitarian crises and chronic poverty.

Relief International combines humanitarian and development approaches to provide immediate services while laying the groundwork for long-term impact. Our signature approach — which we call the RI Way—emphasizes local participation, an integration of services, strategic partnerships and a focus on civic skills. In this way, we empower communities to find, design and implement the solutions that work best for them.

Relief International includes the four members of the RI Alliance in the USA, UK, France, and Belgium.  Under our alliance agreement, we operate under a single, shared management structure with one CEO and one Board of Directors.

About our Programs.

RI is active in 16 countries around the world, including some of the most fragile: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen.  Often, RI is the only organization providing assistance to highly vulnerable communities. 

  • RI employs 7,000+ staff and auxiliary workers
  • 97% of staff are in-country nationals
  • We only have some 90 ex-pat staff out of 7,000+
  • RI spent $125 million in 2019 on our programs.

RI invests in four broad program sectors:  Economic Opportunity, Education, Health, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).  We design our programs to incorporate The RI Way:  local participation, integrated programming, the development of civic skills, and partnerships including with local NGOs, governments, and the private sector.

RI supports solutions that reinforce and improve upon existing in-country systems. Where such systems do not exist or are chronically underperforming, RI’s crisis response lays the foundation for long-term, sustainable change. 


The WASH Advisor is responsible for overall program technical design, development, administration and implementation of the RI WASH portfolio in Syria. S/he will provide technical support to RI’s Syria WASH team and have oversight of RI’s multiple WASH projects.  In addition, the WASH Advisor will be specifically focused to address water and sanitation needs in the communities in Syria and to assist in developing WASH programming in Syria. The WASH Advisor will play a key role in representing RI at all WASH-related cluster meetings and with donors, and will liaise with various donors, local authorities, including liaison with the WASH committee, academics and UN agencies, as well as various NGO partners.

Main responsibilities include technical and policy leadership, program development and guidance, and senior-level liaison with WASH coordination bodies. Local Authorities and donors.  


Essential Position Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Manage the WASH current and future portfolio funded by multiple donors. Overall responsibility for WASH in Syria;
  • Identify new program opportunities through rapid assessments and proposal development inputs and writing (emergency response and development);
  • Undertake and assist with assessment of local conditions resulting from emergency situations affecting Communities and vulnerable groups, including determination of priorities for interventions, preparation of project proposals for emergency assistance, and other related documentation as necessary.
  • Ensure collaboration and coordination with other RI sector leads to ensure integrated program development and implementation.
  • Provide technical advice to the Deputy Country Director on all WASH and Environmental Health issues.
  • Provide project-level and field-level capacity in the sector for staff, communities and local Authorities. 
  • Build the capacity of RI and RI’s partner(s) staff in WASH program implementation.  
  • Develop concept notes and liaise with donors on technical aspects in consultation with the Deputy Country Director
  • Provide technical oversight and support to the WASH team to ensure quality assurance and quality control of RI/RI’s partner(s) WASH projects/intervention in Syria, including needs assessment, Development of SoPs and protocols for emergency/development WASH intervention.
  • Contribute to monitoring, evaluating and documenting progress of program implementation against indicators to ensure SOPs and protocols are being followed.
  • Inform Deputy Country Director regarding activity progress and make recommendations for course corrections if necessary.
  • Ensure Sphere and National standards are considered through the program cycle and are well documented.
  • Provide support to the hubs program focal points to generate and review WASH-related tendering documents, including creation of designs, BoQs, specifications and contracts as needed; and oversight of consultants and contractors to ensure performance and delivery according to Scope of Work
  • Provide overall direction focusing on program team to achieve agreed targets and long-term strategic objectives.
  • Maintain effective communication with donors and other organizations operating in Syria, for coordination and partnership opportunities.
  • Participate in NGO sector coordination groups and identify areas for coordination and collaboration.


  • Foster, develop and maintain strong partnership relationships and regular contact with national and international NGOs, UN agencies, Local Authorities, and other stakeholders working to serve as a network for obtaining and coordinating information and services to support services
  • Represent RI externally in the project areas as required, including but not limited to UN/NGO/donor meetings, working groups/clusters, joint agency assessments and task force meetings in the sector.
  • Foster, develop and maintain partnership relationships with national partners and communities to assess the effectiveness of current projects and to identify possibilities for new projects
  • Assist Deputy Country Director as needed
  • Ensure that RI policies and procedures are adhered to. 

Human Resources

  • Promote positive team environment between various ethnicities and local and expatriate staff.
  • Facilitate dialog and group decision making to support an inclusive work environment, where appropriate.
  • Ensure mentoring and coaching for performance is undertaken for WASH team. Support supervisors in the hubs in developing training goals and Career Path strategies for the WASH teams.
  • Ensure staff are trained on and are applying the appropriate international standards.
  • Supervise consultants and volunteers as required.
  • Support in the recruitment process of new WASH staff.

Qualifications and Requirements:

This position demands a dynamic individual with a demonstrated ability to achieve results in a demanding and fast paced environment.

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field or Bachelor’s degree with commensurate work experience.
  • Minimum of 5 years professional experience in WASH sector including experience in leading emergency WASH response in a conflict setting with International NGOs.
  • Experience managing programs, including budget management required.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, public speaking, and strategic planning skills required.
  • English is required, with strong writing ability; Arabic and Kurdish abilities are not mandatory but would be an additional asset.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple priorities, deadlines, tasks efficiently.
  • Excellent time management skills and resourcefulness with strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to live and work from time-to-time in challenging conditions.

RI Values:

We uphold the Humanitarian Principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and operational independence. We affirmatively engage the most vulnerable communities. We value:

  • Inclusiveness
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Agility and Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Sustainability

How to apply.

  • To apply for this post, click on the “Apply” button in the job advert page
  • You will be asked to upload a CV and Cover Letter.  The cover letter should be no more than 2 pages long and explain why you are interested in this post with Relief International and how your skills and experience make you a good fit.

Closing date. Please apply immediately we will be reviewing applicants on a rolling basis, therefore may withdraw the position for the job board closing date.

Due to limited resources, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Note to external agencies, we will not be accepting CVs from third parties.

Relief International is committed to protecting our staff and the communities we work with from abuse and harm including sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

All staff are expected to abide by our Code of Conduct.

Recruitment to all roles in Relief International include a criminal records self-declaration, references and other pre-employment checks, which may include police and qualifications checks.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Relief International is committed to diversity and gender equality, we strongly encourage applicants from the global south and female candidates to apply.