Consultancy: Urban WASH Consultant

New York, NY, US

Job Number: 503837 | Vacancy Link
Location: Programme Division, UNICEF NYHQ
Work Type : Consultancy

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Background & Rationale

UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. Consequently, all children, including those living in urban areas, are included within this mission. UNICEF WASH programmes fulfil the most basic of needs by ensuring access to safe water and sanitation.

According to Population Reference Bureau, by 2050 70% of the world’s population will live in urban environments. However, rapid urbanisation to date has not been matched with an acceleration of urban water and sanitation coverage.   UNICEF and WHO JMP estimates show that there is a stagnation in urban water and sanitation coverage since 1990s, and that the rapid gains where only made in rural coverage.. The number of people without access in rural areas has decreased by over half a billion, but the number without access in urban areas has not changed significantly. The changing demographics and rapid urbanization, have created a rapidly growing vulnerable segment of the population that is underserved, thereby compelling UNICEF to engage in Urban WASH.  

Although traditionally UNICEF’s strength is in rural programming, Urban WASH programming within UNICEF has a solid foundation with experience in both humanitarian and development in protracted conflicts in urban centres, small towns where there is an absence of major donors and in mega city slums. A review undertaken by UNICEF HQ indicated that 53 countries globally have some form of Urban WASH program (2009).

More recently some of the major initiatives undertaken by UNICEF in general and WASH in particular,  in the last few years are: 

  1. Review of humanitarian WASH preparedness and response in urban and peri-urban areas (September 2014)
  2. Urban WASH Workshop (Nairobi January 2015)
  3. Urban WASH Consensus Building Meeting involving multi-stakeholders(Copenhagen October 2015)
  4. UNICEF Region of South Asia (ROSA) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) guidance/framework in their respective regions (2016)
  5. Globally a number of countries has initiated urban programs in both development and humanitarian contexts (e.g. Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Syria etc).
  6. Urban Landscape Analysis (July 2016)
  7. Mumbai Workshop on UNICEF’s urban engagement (October 2016) 

Despite this solid programming foundation there is a need for UNICEF to take a more strategic and focused approach to WASH programming in urban environments.


The objective of this consultancy is to: 

  1. Provide technical assistance and programmatic guidance to CO’s and RO’s as required.
  2. Support in development of UNICEF Global urban WASH framework.
  3. Develop a UNICEF Urban WASH roster capacity development plan 

Main Tasks Required 

Reviewing Evidence and providing Programming Guidance

  • Desk review of UNICEF’s ongoing Urban WASH programmes and field visits as guided by supervisor.
  • Review UNICEF’s Urban WASH stakeholder analysis, and map UNICEF’s engagement in Urban WASH programming including mode of engagement, programming nature, partners, etc.
  • Develop at least 3 case studies drawing from UNICEF’s experience, one in a large city under protracted conflict, one in Urban Slums in mega cities and one in small towns.
  • Develop 3 brief Urban WASH programming guidelines for UNICEF Country Offices, one in a large city under protracted conflict, one in Urban Slums in mega cities and one in small towns. 

Developing UNICEF Global Urban WASH Framework 

  • Develop agenda and facilitate an UNICEF Global Urban WASH workshop
  • Facilitate, write and edit a Global Urban WASH framework (10 pages max), clearly outlining the recommendations for UNICEF Urban WASH engagement at global/regional/country level based on UNICEF’s comparative advantage. 

Building UNICEF Urban WASH Capacity 

  • Create a database of urban specialists (program managers and experts) within and outside of UNICEF. Define and highlight types of expertise, partnerships and capacities needed in UNICEF urban WASH programming including: partnerships with utility service providers; urban authorities; planners; and develop coordination options and linkages with non-WASH actors (e.g. shelter, planners, and land).
  • Identify cross-fertilization opportunities across UNICEF COs and regions.
  • Provide technical assistance to UNICEF Regional and Country Offices on Urban WASH programming remotely and through field visits as required.
  • Map existing Urban WASH Capacities, knowledge and experience gaps, etc in UNICEF and propose capacity building recommendations in line with the Global WASH Urban framework.
  • Within the existing Global Knowledge Management on-line platform include products for programming and capacity development on urban WASH.


The consultancy will be hired for 10 months starting from June 1, 2017. 

Duty Station and Travel 

The consultancy is NYHQ based with field trips to selected countries. 

The expert/consultant for the project will be expected to make a minimum of four field-level visits to document the case studies detailed above and provide technical assistance, and will be required to have extensive remote interaction and consultation with a wide range of stakeholders through various media and channels. The field work will need to be defined closer to the time to allow for security and access constraints to be considered. 


Start date: 1st June, 2017                      End date: March 31, 2018              



(See the last page for guidance on formulating deliverables)


(Estimated # of Days)


Desktop Review and WASH Stakeholder Analysis

20 days

June 30, 2017

Develop 3 Urban WASH Case studies

45 days

1st Case Study: July 31, 2017

2nd Case study:Sep 30, 2017

3rd Case study: Feb 28,  2018

Development of Urban WASH HR Roster

15 days

Aug 31, 2017

Develop 3 brief Urban WASH programmatic guidance note for UNICEF Country Offices

35 days

1st Guidance note: Aug 31, 2017

2nd Guidance note: Oct 31, 2017

3rd Guidance note: Feb 28 2018

Technical Assistance to UNICEF Regional and Country Offices

40 days

Throughout the consultancy period

Develop agenda and support facilitation of the Urban WASH Reference group Workshop

15 days

Oct 25, 2017

Write, edit and support publishing of the UNICEF Global Urban WASH framework

40 days

Dec 20, 2017


210 days



The consultant, while engaged will report to the Senior Adviser WASH Emergency in New York and work closely with the WASH Specialist (Emergency) in New York and the UNICEF urban WASH reference group (which include the Regional WASH advisors and key Country level staff). In addition the consultant will also closely coordinate with Data Research and Policy (DRP) Urban Specialist. 

Key skills, technical background, and experience required 

The consulted is expected to have the following technical   knowledge and competencies:

  • Advanced university degree (minimum Master degree level) in one of the disciplines relevant to the following areas: Public Health, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Geology, Hydrology, Sanitation Engineering, WASH related Economics or a field relevant to urban WASH related development assistance.
  • Eight years of progressively responsible professional work experience in the UN and/or other international development organization, national government or the private sector
  • Extensive experience in urban WASH and solid understanding of the stakeholders involved.
  • Proven ability to develop strategic models/frameworks for decision making and programme guidance for UNICEF country offices.
  • Background/familiarity with UNICEF and its working.
  • A good working knowledge of  recent developments and approaches  in WASH  programme   in emergency , early recovery and development

To view our competency framework, please click here

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable).  Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Opening Date Fri Mar 31 2017 15:00:00 GMT+0200 (SAST) Eastern Daylight Time
Closing Date Sat Apr 22 2017 05:55:00 GMT+0200 (SAST)