WASH Specialist (Water Sector Strengthening)

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UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. UNICEF has spent 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families. Defending children’s rights throughout their lives requires a global presence, aiming to produce results and understand their effects. UNICEF believes all children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfill their potential – to the benefit of a better world.

How can you make a difference?

The WASH Specialist (Water Sector Strengthening) will strengthen WCARO’s capacity to support country offices’ response to the greatly expanded scope and ambition of SDG 6.1 (drinking water) which now includes components related to water quality, availability when needed, accessibility, and safe management of waste water within the context of universal access. The position will also focus on sustainability as well as strengthening the WASH Sector enabling environment [decentralization, public finance management, policy & strategy, institutional arrangements, budgeting & financing, planning, monitoring and review, and capacity development] for delivery of WASH services.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  1. Advocacy, Strategic Representation and Partnership Building
  2. Technical Assistance and Capacity Building
  3. Innovation, Knowledge Management and Evidence Generation
  4. Quality Assurance
  1. Advocacy, Strategic Representation and Partnership Building


The WASH specialist (Water Sector Strengthening) will support country offices in the area of advocacy for WASH including the following:

  • Leveraging of increased government and other national resources, value-for-money in the delivery of WASH services and improvements in sector efficiency. 
  • Producing tools and evidence for WASH programme advocacy
  • Participate in inter-agency discussions, ensuring that UNICEF’s position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the planning and agenda setting.

Partnership building:

The WASH specialist (Water Sector Strengthening) will help to develop and strengthen UNICEF’s existing and emerging regional partnerships for WASH; e.g. with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) of AMCOW  for Central Africa and West Africa as these emerge. The WASH specialist (Water Sector Strengthening) will assist country offices with the following, among others;

Monitor country progress on regional WASH commitments (e.g. African Water Vision, Sharm el Sheik and Ngor Commitments)

  • Provide support to country offices in relation to commitments made under key strategic global and regional partnerships
  • Identify and develop new partnerships. Build and strengthen strategic partnerships with government counterparts, UN agencies, donor agencies, WASH institutions, NGOs, research institutes and the private sector to stimulate coordination and collaboration.
  • Manage partnerships with various technical implementation partners (e.g. Stockholm international Water institute (SIWI) and various water NGOs)

Strategic representation

The WASH specialist will:

  • Represent WCARO, as required, at international meetings and events dealing with drinking water supplies
  •  Interact with various global and regional initiatives and partnerships for WASH. 
  1. Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

Based on an analysis of regional needs and specific requests from country offices, the WASH specialist (Water Sector Strengthening) will develop a strategy and work plan for providing technical support to country offices in the region on strengthening the enabling environment for sustainable drinking water supplies. This will include but not be limited to the application of sector analysis tools such as WASH-Bottleneck Analysis Tool (WASHBAT), joint sector reviews, reviews of sector policy and legislation and advice on sector institutional arrangements.

The work-plan will comprise a combination of:

  • Capacity development in WCAR countries on WASH Sector Strengthening
  • General support through conferencing, advice notes, etc.
  • Specific support to countries on initiatives to monitor the sustainability of WASH infrastructure and behaviors through national Sustainability Compacts or similar
  • Support countries offices on their upstream governance work on WASH sector-including  includes development of investment cases, SWAPs, joint sector reviews, policy dialogue on public financing, economic analysis and impact evaluation of projects and programs.

Initiate and contribute to the systematic assessment of WASH sector capacity gaps analysis, in collaboration with government and other stakeholders, and support the design of initiatives to strengthen capacities systematically.

  1. Knowledge management and Evidence generation

The WASH Specialist (Water sector strengthening) will contribute to knowledge management and generation of evidence as follows:

  • Support country offices in conceptualizing, manage the implementation, monitoring and documentation and sharing results of WASH action research and innovation
  • Prepare learning/knowledge products, covering innovative approaches and good practices, to support overall WASH sector development.
  • Contribute to the WASH evidence base e.g. through preparation of articles, papers, policy briefs etc.
  • Support the professional development of UNICEF WASH staff, to ensure our region wide sector capacity remains up-to-date with latest developments and is responsive to the emerging global WASH agenda
  1. Quality Assurance

Following established guidelines and standards, the WASH Specialist (Water Sector Strengthening) will undertake the following quality assurance activities

  • Undertake Review of  Country Programme Documents (CPDs) and Sector Strategy Notes for countries with CPDs going to the Board
  • Participate, as required, in Strategic Moments of Reflection, Mid Term Reviews and  other country office programme events
  • Contribute to Review of  Country Office Annual Reports and the Regional Office Feedback Letters
  • Provide timely inputs to Global WASH Annual Results Report including review of country office inputs
  • Monitor results / indicators for donor funded programmes on Semi-Annual and Annual basis including Reporting and Quality assurance.
  • Advise and assist the Regional WASH Adviser in establishing the annual work plan and annual work plan outputs, activities and developmental priorities of WASH section staff, determining priorities and performance measurements.
  • Monitor work plan implementation, to ensure that WASH output results are achieved to schedule and performance standards

Impact of Results

The support provided by the Level 4 WASH specialist (Water Sector Strengthening) will enable the Regional Office to achieve the WASH-related output results of the Regional Office management plan.  When done effectively, the achievement of the outcome results will improve child survival, growth and development, safe and clean environmental conditions for children and reduce inequalities in the Region. 

To qualify as a/an [champion or advocate] for every child you will have…

  • Advanced university degree in one of the disciplines relevant to the following areas: Public Health, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Geology, Hydrology, Sanitation Engineering, Environmental Engineering or Sciences, or a field relevant to international WASH related development assistance.

  • Eight years of progressively responsible professional work experience in the UN or other international development organization, national government or the private sector. Field work experience.
  • Oral and written proficiency in English and French is required.  Knowledge of another official UN language or a local language is an asset.

Technical requirements

  • Rural water supply for low- and middle-income countries – including water safety, sustainability 
  • Urban water supply for low- and middle-income countries, including sustainability
  • National government WASH policies, plans and strategies

Specific Technical Knowledge Required

  • Programme/project management
  • Capacity development
  • Knowledge management
  • Monitoring and evaluation

Common Technical Knowledge Required

  • Humanitarian WASH – preparedness
  • Humanitarian WASH – response and recovery
  • Humanitarian WASH – coordinating the response
  • Human rights and WASH
  • Gender equality and WASH

Common Technical Knowledge Required

Analysis of national budgets and expenditure for basic WASH, and related advocacy

For every Child, you demonstrate…

Our core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

This position is classified as “rotational” which means the incumbent is expected to rotate to another duty station upon completion of their tour of duty,

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified candidates from all backgrounds to apply

Opening Date Fri Nov 10 2017 04:00:00 GMT-0500 (EST) GMT Standard Time
Closing Date Fri Nov 24 2017 18:55:00 GMT-0500 (EST)