WASH Specialist (Sanitation and Water for All Support to High-Level Political Dialogue)

New York, NY, US

Job Number: 496217 | Vacancy Link
Location: Programme Division, UNICEF NYHQ
Work Type : Fixed Term Staff

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.

Purpose of the Position

The WASH specialist (P4) will lead SWA’s work on increasing the political prioritization of WASH through the promotion of high-level political dialogue (HLPD) at national and global levels. In particular, the WASH specialist will 1) support country partners of SWA to strengthen national dialogue and use global processes and activities, including SWA-led ministerial meetings, to raise the political priority of WASH; 2) work with partners from other SWA constituencies, namely External Support Agencies, Research and Learning Institutions, Civil Society and Community-based Organizations and the Private Sector, to increase their alignment with and support for government-led, national programmes to achieve the water, sanitation and hygiene-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); 3) contribute to the design and implementation of SWA-led events at global and regional level; 4) lead work to strengthen mutual accountability in the WASH sector and: 5) ensure effective linkages between the work of SWA and relevant partnerships in other sectors, such as health, education and nutrition.

Key Expected Results

1. Support country partners of SWA to strengthen national dialogue and use global processes and activities, including SWA-led ministerial meetings, to raise the political priority of WASH

  • Understand national processes for political dialogue in SWA member countries and determine how best to use SWA activities, in particular global Ministerial Meetings, to complement and add impetus to these national processes
  • Conceptualize and implement a preparatory process that helps countries use global events to complement national processes, encourages high-level political involvement, including at Ministerial level, at SWA events and prepares Ministers to engage in dialogue at those events
  • Participate in SWA Ministerial Meetings, providing support to national delegations who are taking part.
  • Follow up with countries after Ministerial Meetings to ensure continued political dialogue at national level

Expected result: national level political dialogue is strengthened, leading to accelerated action towards achievement of the water, sanitation and hygiene-related targets of the SDGs. 

2. Support other sector partners of SWA to engage with political dialogue at national and global level, resulting in a shift in partners’ actions that is better aligned behind government-led national programmes

  • Lead support to the following SWA constituencies to increase the effectiveness of their engagement in SWA:
    • External Support Agencies
    • Private Sector
    • Research and learning institutions
  • Liaise with the SWA CSO Advisor (currently based at End Water Poverty) to ensure effective CSO involvement in SWA-led political dialogue
  • Promote dissemination and better understanding of the SWA collaborative behaviours, especially among development partners.

Expected result: Sector partners provide coordinated support to government-led national programmes for the achievement of the water, sanitation and hygiene-related targets of the SDGs that is more efficient and effective than support provided in an uncoordinated fashion.

3. Contribute to the design and running of SWA events at global and regional level that provide a forum for political dialogue around water, sanitation and hygiene

  • Identify objectives, target audiences and structure for global and regional events that aim to facilitate political dialogue
  • Draft agendas, briefing notes, presentations and other communications materials for global and regional events
  • Help in the facilitation and running of events and coordinate effective documentation

Expected result: SWA-led events at global and regional level provide an effective forum for high-level political dialogue that adds impetus to national processes.

4. Lead SWA’s work to strengthen mutual accountability in the WASH sector

  • Research and analyse global processes for mutual accountability, including the work of the UN High-level Political Forum and make recommendations to the SWA leadership about how the SWA partnership can best contribute
  • Liaise with key WASH sector processes for monitoring and tracking progress towards the SDGs, in particular WHO / UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme and UN-Water GLAAS, so that activities are aligned and complementary
  • Work with countries and other SWA partners to promote understanding of WASH sector monitoring and tracking and use of this information to inform planning and national-level programmes
  • Ensure that SWA activities feed into UN processes for follow-up and review
  • Draft reports, analyses and briefings as appropriate.

Expected result: Mutual accountability in the WASH sector is strengthened, providing a basis for better planning and modification of ongoing programmes, increasing the likelihood of achievement of the water, sanitation and hygiene-related targets of the SDGs.

5. Liaise with partnerships, organizations and processes in other sectors, such as health, education and nutrition

  • Identify and follow the progress of partnerships and organizations whose work impacts on, and is impacted by, water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • Make recommendations to SWA leadership about strategic ways to link to these processes and organizations, in order to contribute to the achievement of SWA’s objectives.

Expected result: Linkages between WASH and other sectors are improved, allowing for more meaningful political dialogue that allows countries to act on the SDGs in a way that is likely to lead to achievement of all targets, including those related to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Qualifications of Successful Candidate

  • Advanced degree in a related field such as political science, public policy, social sciences, environmental health, public health, ideally with specialization in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene*.
  • At least eight years of progressively responsible professional work experience in the UN or other international or national development organization, national government or the private sector. Experience should include the design and implementation of advocacy initiatives or processes for increasing political dialogue and proven ability to build strong networks. Experience in the water, sanitation or hygiene sector strongly desirable.
  • Excellent written and spoken English ir required. Fluency in at least one other UN language desirable.

*A relevant first-level university degree (Bachelor’s), in combination with 2 years of additional relevant work experience, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Competencies of Successful Candidate

Core Values

  • Commitment
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Integrity

Core competencies

  • Communication – Level III
  • Working with People – Level III
  • Drive for Results – Level III

Functional Competencies

  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts – Level III
  • Relating and Networking – Level III
  • Persuading and Influencing – Level III
  • Planning and Organizing – Level III
  • Adapting and Responding to Change – Level III

To view our competency framework, please click here

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 13 Jun 2016 Eastern Standard Time
Closing Date 11 Jul 2016 Eastern Standard Time