WASH Specialist (Emergency WASH Engineer)

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Job Number: 496775 | Vacancy Link
Location: Ethiopia
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.

Purpose of the Assignment

Under the direction of the WASH Section Chief, and in close coordination with other members and technical specialists of the WASH Team and other sections as appropriate, responsible for, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of UNICEF’s emergency response in activities and results related to safeguard and improve public health of the affected population by ensuring access to safe drinking water and the progressive restoration and improvement of water facilities and services, including appropriate use and maintenance;  ensuring overall efficiency, effectiveness and delivery of results in accordance with UNICEF’s Core Commitment for Children in Emergencies (CCCs) and national and international humanitarian standards.


Ethiopia is currently facing its worst drought in decades with, according to the revised Humanitarian Requirement Document (HRD), over 10.2 million people in need of food aid and estimated 5.8mill in need of emergency WASH services by the end of 2016. This has significantly devastated livelihoods and greatly compromised the health and wellbeing of children and women, through malnutrition and hygiene-related diseases across Ethiopia with six regions hardest hit.

The El-Nino induced drought has also caused severe shortages of water and a large proportion of the population is severely affected. Access to water in drought-affected communities is widely reported to be below the life-saving threshold of 5 liters/person/day. The severity of the situation has developed due to the large-scale failure of improved and traditional water sources. In addition to the effects of the drought due to El Nino, the country is currently experiencing flooding in several parts of the country. Currently, flood disaster is reported from SNNP, Oromia and Somali region. Outbreaks of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) which were initially reported in Moyale Woreda of Somali and Oromia regions (Nov 2015), have now spread to other parts of the country, including Gelana and Abaya Woredas of Oromia Region, Hudet Woreda of Somali Region and Arabaminch and Amaro Woredas of SNNP Region. UNICEF is supporting the Government in responding to the emergency by undertaking the rehabilitation of non-functional water schemes, provision of emergency WASH items like soap, water storage containers and household water treatment chemicals.


In keeping with UNICEF’s CCCs and its mandate as the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) Cluster lead in Ethiopia, UNICEF has specific responsibilities to ensure an effective coordination mechanism is running well, with appropriate preparedness and response plans put in place.

UNICEF has been able to raise funds for various response activities including for the rehabilitation and upgrade of non-functional water supply schemes and the construction of multi-village schemes.

This TOR is for a Consultancy for Emergency WASH Response Specialist that will be responsible for the implementation of works based in the Afar Regional capital of Semera; while also being available to support other regions as necessary. The consultant will manage the day to day response activities for a period of eleven months. This temporary position is required to fill a critical human resource gap, as UNICEF currently has no senior WASH Emergency Response specialist on the ground in Afar Regional state.

Specific Tasks:

The Consultant’s major task is to be responsible for/support the definition of UNICEF’s response in the WASH sector related to ensure appropriate access to safe drinking water to emergency affected population (strategies, outcomes, target population) as per agreed standards and CCC’s benchmarks.  Develop and implement strategies and plans to restore the functionality of / rehabilitate / reconstruct or install new water distribution systems according to the identified needs and opportunities

  • Undertake day to day monitoring of all works according to specifications in contract documents.
  • Incorporate Early Recovery and Disaster Risk informed approaches as integrated component of UNICEF’s response in the WASH sector in activities related to the provision of safe water.
  • Collaborate with the design and effective implementation of a monitoring plan to follow up the implementation of UNICEF’s response in the WASH sector, incorporating required changes into water-specific activities, with special attention to special needs of women, children and people with disabilities and other cross-cutting areas.
  • Contribute to WASH reporting in accordance with UNICEF’s CCC based Humanitarian Performance Monitoring criteria.
  • Collaborate with:
  • Programmes and Emergency Sections to ensure integration of UNICEF’s response to the emergency, exploring opportunities for WASH to support and enhance the programmatic response in other sectors, including the provision of WASH services in schools and other child friendly spaces and institutions.
  • Operations and Supply Sections, as well as with government authorities and other implementing partners, to establish and maintain sound internal controls, to coordinate financial and supply management requirements and ensure accountability.
  • Communications and Programme Communication sections to ensure development of effective communication materials and strategies for advocacy, social mobilization and emergency programme implementation for the WASH sectoral response.
  • Interact with government and partners (including UN, Donors, NGOs, CSOs, etc.) in the different stages of the emergency programme implementation, following up on cooperation agreements, recommendations and other UNICEF’s commitments for the emergency response, including capacity development of national partners.
  • In coordination with other members of the WASH team, explore possibilities to strengthen UNICEF’s WASH regular/development programme/intervention through recovery/reconstruction/stabilization activities.
  • Provide timely, quality technical advice to Afar RWB, UNICEF and NGO partners on appropriate interventions including upgrade/rehabilitation of existing facilities, water quality and associated issues (e.g., training, procurement, and management) including water trucking as the intervention of last resort.
  • Provide regular updates to UNICEF Afar and UNICEF WASH Section in Addis Ababa detailing the current situation, status of cluster activities, and the status of UNICEF supported interventions
  • Other tasks, as assigned by UNICEF and pertinent to the emergency response action. 


The Consultant will support the RWB to ensure the fulfillment of the WASH cluster role and responsibilities. The Consultant also will support the ETF and will liaise with Government, NGOs, UNOCHA, and private sector contractors to help ensure efficient and effective operations.

The consultant also will travel to the hot spot Woreda’s frequently to monitor the situation on the ground, to help ensure the quantity and quality of response actions in the most drought-affected districts. The Consultant will share all relevant information with regional counterparts as well as with the UNICEF offices in Semera and Addis Ababa in a timely manner.

  1. Expected deliverables

The consultant will be expected to produce the following deliverables:






Inception Report and overall work plan

15th September 2016


Weekly Progress reports to UNICEF and Afar RWB,

16 Sept – June 2017


Monthly work plans updated and agreed with contractors/service providers.

1st week of every month


Mid Term progress report

15th Jan 2017


End of contract report

June 2017




Payment Terms:

Consultancy fee will be paid in 3 installments; payments will be contingent upon presentation of satisfactory reports.

  • 1st payment – Submission of Work Plan by 15th September 2016 (30%)
  • 2nd payment by 30th Jan 2017 (30%)
  • 3rd and final payment by 31st June 2017 (40%).

Management, organization and time schedule

The contract will be issued by UNICEF Ethiopia, and a dedicated focal point within UNICEF WASH Section will be appointed for all communication with the consultant.

Reporting and supervision:

The WASH Consultant will report to Chief of Field Office in Afar, with technical support provided by WASH Section Chief in Addis. Administrative (travel for field visits, R&R, meetings etc), issues will be under the direct responsibility of CFO UNICEF Afar.

Expected Background and Minimum Experience


MSc in WASH related or a Public Health related discipline with strong interest in hygiene promotion.

Competency Profile

  • Minimum of five years of professional experience with strong international experience (3 years or more)
  • Minimum of one year managing complex WASH emergency response activities, preferably within a UN or NGO environment.
  • Programmatic and technical knowledge of WASH interventions in emergency response contexts
  • First rate English communication (speaking and writing) and negotiation skills.
  • Knowledge of UNICEF’s global mandate, principles and relevant strategies, including Core Commitments for Children in Emergencies (CCCs), and SPHERE guidelines and standards
  • Knowledge of the Cluster approach to disaster risk response and reduction
  • Ability to mitigate and mediate conflict and disagreements among Cluster partners
  • Ability to think of innovative solutions and apply them
  • Willing and able to operate and live in relatively challenging circumstances (non-family duty station) based in Afar, Semera.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong team worker.
  • Cultural and Gender sensitivity

 General Conditions, Procedures and Logistics

The incumbent will be based in Semera with regular trips to the construction/works sites, and further identified sites.


  • The Consultant will be provided with accommodation in WFP Afar Guest House at prevailing costs if space is available. The incumbent will pay for him/herself.
  • The Consultant will be provided with laptop, EVDO with top up and cell phone top up cards
  • The Consultant is authorized to have access to UNICEF transport.
  • Post holder is entitled to Rest and Recuperation (R&R) at the prevailing break frequency and duration.
  • The Consultant will work from the UNICEF Afar office, with frequent field visits, and will be entitled to DSA at the prevailing rate throughout the assignment.
  • UNICEF will provide access to Internet on its IT platform.

Policy both parties should be aware of:

  • Under the consultancy agreements, a month is defined as 21 working days, and fees are pro-rated accordingly.  Consultants are not paid for weekends or public holidays.
  • Consultants are not entitled to payment of overtime.  All remuneration must be within the contract agreement.
  • No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant or contractor.
  • For international consultants outside the duty station, signed contracts must be sent by fax or email.  Signed contract copy or written agreement must be received by the office before Travel Authorization is issued.
  • No consultant may travel without a signed travel authorization prior to the commencement of the journey to the duty station.
  • Unless authorized, UNICEF will buy the tickets of the consultant. In exceptional cases, the consultant may be authorized to buy their travel tickets and shall be reimbursed at the “most economical and direct route” but this must be agreed to beforehand.
  • Consultants will not have supervisory responsibilities or authority on UNICEF budget.
  • Consultant will be required to sign the Health Statement for consultants/individual contractors prior to taking up the assignment, and to document that they have appropriate health insurance, including Medical Evacuation.
  • The Form ‘Designation, change or revocation of beneficiary’ must be completed by the consultant upon arrival, at the HR Section.

Competencies of Successful Candidate

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 8 Jul 2016 E. Africa Standard Time
Closing Date 22 Jul 2016 E. Africa Standard Time