Water and Sanitation Engineer via ReliefWeb

Oxfam Novib

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Oxfam Novib is a leading, global development organization that mobilizes the power of people against poverty.

The Humanitarian Team is looking for a:



Starting date: as soon as possible

Objective of the position

Global Humanitarian Team Purpose:

  • To support lead countries and regions respond to category 1 and 2 humanitarian responses

  • To support country teams to build their humanitarian capacity

  • To lead and coordinate the representation of Oxfam in global humanitarian bodies, processes and debates, including global partnerships

  • To track humanitarian information, learning and knowledge developed in responses, research and global fora and ensure these are actively shared and managed internally and externally

    WASH Public Health Engineering Team Purpose:

    The WASH team leads on the delivery of the WASH strategy, supports countries and regions in large scale (category 1 and 2) responses, supports humanitarian capacity building in country teams, leads and coordinates the representation of Oxfam WASH in global humanitarian bodies, processes and debates and in global partnerships and ensures that learning from research, responses and international flora are shared internally and more broadly with the WASH sector.

    Job Purpose:

    To enable Oxfam to respond quickly to the Public Health Engineering requirements of an emergency. The work may involve, immediate deployment in the first phase of an emergency stage, to assess the situation and subsequently implement public health engineering solutions appropriate to the context to provide life saving water and sanitation measures in accordance with international standards to alleviate the plight of the people affected by the emergency. Support may continue thereafter until the situation is stabilised and/or to strengthen capacities, systems and resources on the ground to be more prepared for either scaling up or future shocks.

    Key Responsibilities

    The post holder will undertake a series of deployments normally up to 6 months in duration for which specific Terms of Reference will be negotiated and agreed with relevant parties, prior to deployment and or revised in the early stages of the deployment. Often these deployments will be to support fast moving emergency situations, and/or complex and difficult operating environments, where Oxfam has had to rapidly scale-up its programme and capacity.

    Deployments will normally include some or all of the following responsibilities

  • To carry out Water and Sanitation assessments and identification of actions to cover Watsan needs in order to provide an efficient and rapid humanitarian response.

  • To evaluate Public Health risks related to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene practices and assess emergency needs, as requested, especially taking in the broader perspective of WASH.

  • To carry out the selection, design and construction of water systems, using ground water or surface water, including abstraction, storage, treatment and distribution for new systems or rehabilitation of existing systems, in consultation with the affected population and the PHP team appropriate to the context.

  • To select, design and implement the most appropriate form of sanitation system, in consultation with the beneficiaries and the PHP team, which includes excreta disposal, refuse disposal, vector control and drainage.

  • To where possible, ensure designs incorporate sustainability and cost effectiveness

  • To formulate and implement capacity building plans for teams and individuals that the post holder manages in country, which may involve conducting training and mentoring approaches.

  • To write country WASH Strategies, programme proposals and concise reports.

  • To analyse assessment and community feedback with MEAL and PHP adapting techniques to formulate more appropriate solutions.

  • The work will include management and administrative duties and co-ordination with other members of the project and with staff of other organisations.

  • To represent Oxfam to other NGO’s, agencies and Government authorities where requested.

  • To order equipment from Oxfam’s Purchasing Department as required. Occasionally to organise local purchasing and to keep accounts.

  • To ensure that all programmes take gender and protection issues fully into account. This includes the introduction of mechanisms to enable women to participate in decision making around public health engineering issues.

  • To be familiar with, implement and inculcate the Core Humanitarian Standard, NGO/Red Cross Code of Conduct, Oxfam International procedures and other regulatory codes (e.g. InterAction Field Co-operation Protocol).

    Technical Skills, Experience & Knowledge

    Minimum requirements all HSP members are expected to fulfil:

  • Ability to deploy at short notice to areas affected by crisis and to support the rapid scale up of humanitarian programmes.

  • Demonstrate Oxfam values and behavioural competencies.

  • Management skills: as HSP deployments often involve managing a team to deliver the work, HSP members will need to demonstrate management competencies, of international and multi-cultural teams, in difficult and stressful environments.

  • Behavioural skills: all HSP deployments require the individual to successfully work with and mentor others, often under challenging circumstances. HSP members should demonstrate competencies around “listening and creating dialogue” and “working with others” as well as networking skills.


  • A suitable qualification in a discipline related to Public Health Engineering. Experience could substitute for a formal qualification, but not vice versa.

  • Proven practical experience in humanitarian responses in appropriate water supplies, sanitation and hygiene promotion. It is desirable that most of this should have been in large scale emergency relief programmes. The post holder should have a good understanding of the WASH needs of poor rural and urban communities and of appropriate ways of tackling them. The post holder must be aware of and sensitive to the particular needs of women in this context.

  • The ability to write strategies, programme proposals and concise reports sometimes at short notice, reflecting the problems and possible solutions for particular situations.

  • To demonstrate the ability or willingness to implement different approaches to Humanitarian WASH programming using cash, vouchers or market based approaches.

  • Diplomacy, tact and administrative skills in order to work with people at managerial and, on occasions, senior government levels.

  • Understanding of the UN response and coordination mechanisms

  • Well developed interpersonal and team skills and proven ability to be flexible in demanding situations.

  • Experience and the ability to build the capacity of field teams is essential.

  • Good written and spoken English; the ability to communicate in at least one other language (e.g. Arabic, French, Swahili) is highly desirable.

  • Willingness to travel at short notice, and often in difficult, stressful, circumstances.

  • Commitment to humanitarian principles and action.

  • Commitment to Oxfam’s equal opportunity and gender policies.


Most of the year, you will be deployed in countries where Oxfam Novib is involved in humanitarian programming or preparations. Your residency (in between deployments) can be anywhere where an international airport is nearby and where working permits can be obtained. Residents of countries/cities where Oxfam Novib has a county office will be given preference.

We offer

This position is contracted by Oxfam Novib in The Netherlands as one of the contributing Oxfam affiliates to the Global Humanitarian Team. The position is graded in scale 9 (between € 2,962 and € 4,557 gross monthly based on 40 hours workweek). We offer additional benefits to compensate for the costs while travelling to the Country Offices.

How to apply:

Are you interested? Please apply here for the attention of Koen Hübben, HR Business Partner before the 28th of February (we don’t process applications received by e-mail). Further information about this position can be obtained from Andy Bastable, Head of Water and Sanitation of the Oxfam Global Humanitarian Team, [email protected]

We are committed to ensuring diversity and gender equality within our organization.