WATSAN Specialist

Amsterdam, , NL

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent, medical, emergency relief organisation that provides assistance to people worldwide, regardless of their background, religion or political convictions. Above all, we aim to save lives and to offer medical care to victims of disasters, wars and epidemics. Working together with local staff, we give direct support to the population. MSF also appeals to those in power, including governments and international organisations, and speaks out about the abuses we encounter in the course of our work.  

MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam (OCA) coordinates operations through collaborations between global offices. ‘Artsen zonder Grenzen Nederland’ (MSF-Holland) has a partnership with offices in the UK and Germany. This partnership, known as ‘MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam’ (MSF-OCA), operates medical humanitarian interventions in about 25 countries. Annually, MSF-OCA deploys approximately 1,100 international staff and employs 9,000 national staff. 

 The Emergency Support Department (ESD) is part of the Operations department and plays a fundamental role in responding to humanitarian emergencies: The ESD conducts exploratory and assessment missions; initiates and manages large scale emergency interventions; supports emergency interventions managed by regular desks; provides support to the organisation and existing missions in promoting and guarding emergency response capacity; and supports the management of operations in in highly insecure environments. 

 The Amsterdam Emergency Team (AET) consists of up to twenty team members, who have different fields of expertise: medical and non-medical at project- and at coordination level. At this time, the Edesk is particularly looking for:  

Member Amsterdam Emergency Team

WATSAN Specialist (100%)


·      Overall:  reports to the Head of Emergency Support Department in Amsterdam.

·      During field assignments reports to relevant Management Team (MT) member at the capital level, Emergency Coordinator (EmCo) or directly to the Emergency Manager in Amsterdam.

·      Functional line to the context-related WatSan Advisor at HQ


·      To provide emergency response capacity for in the field (at least 70%) – providing support within existing missions/projects or to fill key positions and respond to emergencies within those missions or projects.  These responses may be under the management of the MT in country, or under the direct management of the Emergency Desk.

·      Contribute to emergency support activities, including scanning for potential emergency response needs, developing emergency preparedness (HQ and field level), reviewing and writing guidelines, and facilitating MSF trainings.


·      Carry out assessments, focusing on the Public Health needs of populations (during outbreaks, natural disasters and population displacements) and/or focusing on specific WatSan needs in health structures,

·      Prepare, plan, implement, monitor and report on Emergency Water, Hygiene, Vector Control and Sanitation interventions,

·      Contribute to the development of an intervention strategy in emergency project or country responses,

·      Carry out exploratory missions,

·      Function as the WatSan Responsible (Team Member, Team Leader or Coordinator) at capital or project level in emergency projects or existing projects,

·      Work as a specialist member of a team within an existing project or within a new project,

·      Contribute to the development and implementation of training programs for emergency and non-emergency staff, logistical, medical or WatSan,

·      Contribute to the further development of WatSan kits and other equipment innovations for field use,

·      Feedback to any evaluations/reviews carried out of emergency intervention project.


·      Essential: At least 18 months WatSan field experience with one of the MSF sections in at least three different projects, of which at least one was an emergency project or project in a high insecurity context (according to the standards of MSF-OCA),

·      Knowledge of Emergency Public Health, Rapid Water and Hygiene Assessment, and MSF standard WatSan protocols,

·      A demonstrable understanding of the need to integrate Medical and Public Health/WatSan activities,

·      Good, hands-on experience of deploying and using MSF WatSan kits in the field.

·      Knowledge of surface water treatment, groundwater, water quality and water trucking management.

·      Good knowledge of the necessary Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures required in emergency medical facilities such as cholera treatment centres or surgical facilities.

·      Proven organizational skills, diplomatic skills and experience with the representation of MSF,

·      Ability to prioritise work, manage teams and communicate clearly decisions,

·      Have a “can do mentality” with the capacity to motivate a team into action and to achieve pre-defined objectives,

·      A flexible and solution oriented mentality and the ability to be decisive in chaotic circumstances,

·      Knowledge of standard software within MSF-OCA (Word/Excel/Outlook Express),

·      Willingness to travel to any required area, frequently at short notice.

·      Fluent in English


·      French and/or Arabic speaking,

·      Knowledge and experience using OCA standard data tools,

·      Knowledge of GiS, use of GPS, water network modelling/design software and design software, e.g. AutoCAD or equivalent,

·      Knowledge of borehole drilling and pipeline design/construction,

·      Good knowledge of the necessary Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures in Ebola Management Centres and/or chemical warfare decontamination areas.

·      Infrastructure construction and supervising construction projects,

·      Experience with NFI distributions,

·      Experience with an emergency response to at least one of the following: disease outbreak and mass population displacement,

·      Experience in high security and middle income contexts,

·      Relevant post graduate training in a Water, Hygiene or Sanitation related discipline


·        A fulltime appointment for 1 year with a potential option to renew;

·        Salary is depending on three main factors: domicile, level of responsibility and experience on the job. Candidate’s domicile determines which MSF section will act as employer;

·        45 holidays per year;

·        Completion bonus of 1.5 month of extra salary after completion of every 12 months commitment;

·        A challenging position within a stimulating, professional working environment in a major international organization.


Additional information about the vacancy can be requested from:

– Operations Support Officer (for general Eteam questions): Margreet Kamp, [email protected] , +31 (0)20 840 8531

– WatSan Advisor (for WatSan related questions): Matt Arnold, [email protected]


If you recognize yourself in the profile, please apply directly via our website with the “Apply” button.  

The application deadline is 26 June 2017.

 *** Please upload a letter of motivation and Curriculum Vitae in English as one combined document. ***