Emergency Response Specialist (WASH)

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Resumes will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and the position will remain posted until a qualified candidate is identified

Job Summary

CARE is committed to meeting the urgent life-saving needs of women, men, girls and boys affected by disasters and conflict, consistent with CARE’s humanitarian mandate.  Humanitarian and emergency response are core to CARE’s programming and global identity in fighting poverty and to strengthen CARE’s global capacity to deliver high quality programming in key technical sectors with a focus on women and girls.

CARE experience has shown that capacity is often stretched beyond its limits by humanitarian disasters and conflict, and that additional senior staff resources are needed to provide program, operational and strategic support to ensure a timely, quality and effective response and to reduce financial and operational risks.  In support of CARE’s Humanitarian Strategy, CARE International is investing in a standing Rapid Response Team (RRT), whose members spend up to 65% of their time deployed to the field.  

WASH technical specialists within the RRT are an critical part of CARE’s Global Emergency WASH Team, who provide in country and remote support to CARE’s WASH programs and humanitarian responses, leads on WASH knowledge management, and represents CARE within the Global WASH Cluster.

Because of the nature of the work, demands are fast-paced and unpredictable.  This position requires an individual who is very flexible, provides expertise and leadership at a senior level and who works well within a team.  Experience in integrating gender equality considerations into humanitarian interventions is required.

Key Interactions

Internal: Senior Director – HAET; Global WASH Team leader; S&S Lead; HR/Finance Coordinator; Surge Capacity Coordinator; Head of Emergency Operations CEG; Country Directors / Assistant Country Directors; Regional Emergency Coordinators; Humanitarian Field Teams

External: Partner agencies staff; Peer-agencies WASH Staff; government officials; Donor staff; UN staff; Cluster Coordinators;

Overall ratio: internal 60% : external 40%

Key Responsibilities and Tasks

The primary responsibility will be deploying to provide technical support and leadership to CARE’s humanitarian WASH programming.  This will include support on rapid needs assessments, developing WASH strategies, providing technical guidance and support, managing the start-up of emergency WASH operations, supporting partner-led WASH responses, providing coaching for staff, and, as time allows, contingency and emergency preparedness planning. A key underlying principle of the approach to this work is integrating gender considerations into all WASH programming.

The position will respond to the fluid and changing requirements of Country Offices and involve frequent travel at short notice. Each deployment is expected to be associated with a detailed Terms of Reference developed by the specific country office, but generally speaking assignments as a Emergency Response Specialist WASH will include a combination of the following areas of responsibility:

Support and leadership on humanitarian responses

  • Ensure that the country office and field operations are supported and prepared to respond where WASH is a significant humanitarian need with high quality, timely and consistent WASH programming

  • Deploy as required to country offices as a member of an assessment and/or emergency response start-up team

  • Undertake WASH assessments and gender analysis to develop a response WASH strategy, and work with the country office to determine requirements to establish WASH programs

  • Promote the use of the WASH Minimum Commitments tool in all deployments to support COs in building their capacity in gender and vulnerability, in addressing key issues through programmed activities and in setting a response that is accountable to affected people.

  • Consider and support the transition from relief to development WASH programs.

  • Support COs to participate in coordination processes such as the Inter Agency Steering Committee (IASC) WASH Cluster and ensure that the CO respects guidelines established by the cluster or other coordination mechanisms

  • Support COs and field staff with capacity building, strategic planning, proposal development (incl. budgets), implementation and management of WASH programs, ensuring adherence to policies and procedures, implementation of donor requirements and reporting and ensuring contractual responsibilities.

  • Provision of remote support to CO WASH emergency responses.

Program development and program management

  • Develop concept notes, proposals and oversee the implementation and financial management of emergency-related projects (potentially includes development and/or revision of budgets, staffing plans, reporting, monitoring and evaluation, accountability, etc)

Monitoring, evaluation and learning

  • Deploy as required to COs to provide support and to monitor quality of recovery phase activities

  • Following each deployment, undertake and document a “lesson learnt / case study” analysis and liaise with the WASH Sector Specialist/CI head of emergency operations on all issues faced during deployment

Capacity building and emergency preparedness

  • Support Emergency Preparedness Planning (EPP) workshops and reviews in CO

  • Support development and refinement of CI WASH standards/ protocols/ guidelines as detailed in the Emergency WASH Team Action Plan

  • Assist in staff capacity building, contingency planning and emergency preparedness planning by working with CO staff (both in country and remotely), reviewing CO preparedness levels and supporting the institutionalisation of contingency planning processes

Integration of cross-cutting issues

  • Promote accountability to both beneficiaries and donors

  • Ensure that overall responses conform to good practice standards in mainstreaming gender including conducting assessments in a gender-sensitive manner and use of the WASH Minimum Commitments.

  • Promote and guide quality in WASH programming and integrate Disaster Risk Reduction into the emergency WASH components of Country Office strategic planning

Time between deployments will be spent working with the CI Emergency WASH Team Leader & the global WASH team, where they support CARE International in the implementation of the Emergency WASH Team Action Plan which aims to improve the team’s service to COs, covering areas such as WASH Knowledge Management, WASH Logistics, Partnership approaches and Gender in WASH.  The RRT member will also complete all deployment reports, provide remote advice, and undertake travel leave.  The staff member will have regular engagement with the Rapid Response Team, and also the CI Emergency WASH Team, including participation in team calls and meetings where possible.

Safety and Security

The incumbent will comply to CARE’s  safety and security policies and procedures,  promote a safe and secure work environment, and foster a safety and security culture.

Working & Living Conditions



Expected percentage of travel time   


Special Conditions (e.g. availability of basic schools/medical facilities, security situation)

Travel to extreme and high risk locations, often with short notice



  • Ability to design and manage appropriate emergency WASH programmes with at least five years’ overseas experience in the emergency WASH sector including preparedness.

  • Experience of line management (of consultants and contractors) including programme and budget management.

  • Strong understanding of issues of gender and vulnerability in WASH, and proven experience of addressing these challenges in previous emergency contexts.

  • Experience and technical training in urban WASH interventions and managing medium-large size engineering contracts.

  • Experience of humanitarian partnership approaches, including working with partners in the field and remote support/capacity building.

  • Demonstrated experience in capacity building and proven ability to lead, coach and motivate staff.

  • Demonstrated flexible approach and ability to balance competing priorities within demanding deadlines.

  • Demonstrated ability to build and manage complex and diverse stakeholder relationships.

  • Demonstrated ability to respond effectively to challenges, work effectively in a cross functional, diverse and busy team environment with minimal supervision.

  • Willingness to spend a high proportion of time travelling and working in often difficult conditions.

  • Ability to work proactively from home, providing remote support to country offices and working on development of strategic and technical policies and guidance for CARE.

  • Fluent in written and spoken English


  • Languages, French, Spanish and Arabic are assets

  • Experience managing CARE emergency WASH responses.

Key Competencies

Because of the nature of the work, demands are fast-paced and unpredictable.  This position requires someone who is able to provide expertise and leadership at a senior level to an experienced team working in complex and insecure locations.  Experience in integrating gender equality considerations into humanitarian interventions is required.

This position requires someone who has:

  • Strong ability to prioritize work

  • Leadership and management skills.  Ability to lead through vision and values.

  • Ability to provide innovative solutions and strategic foresight

  • Strong organizational skills; ability to multi-task, and/or provide timely feedback on an as needed and/or urgent basis

  • Strong ability to meet deadlines

  • Strategic decision maker

  • Ability to build strong partnerships and build commitment and collaboration towards shared goals

  • Results-oriented focus; keen drive, with an infectious enthusiasm and passion for delivering results

  • Cultural empathy and sensitivity

  • Ability to work in stressful and insecure situations required 

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; convincing presentation skills

  • Political acumen and the ability to negotiate effectively with wide ranging stakeholders

  • Superior interpersonal skills, with a preference to working as part of a team for a diverse group of individuals with competing priorities

Education & Training


  • Educated to postgraduate level, or relevant combination of qualifications and experience in WASH or a related field.


  •  Specialised training in humanitarian/emergency response

  • Engineering or Public Health qualifications are desirable.

Avoid fraudulent offers. CARE does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, processing, training or any other fees)

Évitez les offres frauduleuses. CARE ne facture pas de frais à aucune étape de son processus de recrutement (candidature, entretien, réunion, traitement, formation ou tout autre frais).