Zimbabwe nationals: National consultants for the development of a model for improving the effectiveness of driving demand-led sanitation at community levels

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

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In 2012, Zimbabwe started implementing a National Rural WASH Programme in 33 rural districts in 5 provinces of Matabeleland North and South, Midlands, Masvingo and Mashonaland West. The programme has since been extended to a further 12 rural districts of Mashonaland East, Manicaland and Mashonaland central. The main component of this programme is demand-led sanitation and hygiene promotion, which is hinged on the ‘Sanitation-Focused Participatory Health and Hygiene Education’ (SaFPHHE) approach. SaFPHHE is a Zimbabwean version for demand-led behavioural change approach, aimed at eliminating open defecation based on the sanitation ladder with the upgradable Blair Ventilated Improved pit latrine (uBVIP) as the minimum technology of choice. In this approach, communities are capacitated to lead all the processes to include use of their own resources and capacities to eliminate open defecation in their respective villages with the aim of achieving an Open Defecation Free (ODF) community.

The implementation process of SaFPHHE approach starts with triggering, followed by post-triggering activities which are underpinned by intensive hygiene promotion and social mobilization aimed at creating a demand for the construction and use of sanitation and hygiene enabling facilities at household and community levels. In order to achieve the objective of eliminating open defecation, communities develop their action plans immediately after triggering, with technical assistance from the extension workers. To spearhead the development, implementation, monitoring and periodic review of this plan, a taskforce called the Sanitation Action Group (SAG) is formed. The unit of triggering is a village hence this taskforce is also formed at village level. The SAG consists of selected 5-7 gender-balanced members responsible for organizing and spearheading the operationalization and review of community action plans towards the elimination of open defecation. The taskforce reports to the respective village water supply and sanitation sub-committee through the village head


The Government of Zimbabwe with support from UNICEF is implementing the Rural WASH Programme in 33 rural districts in 5 provinces of Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Masvingo, Midlands and Mashonaland West in Zimbabwe of Zimbabwe, initially with funding from UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Swedish Development Cooperation (SDC). The programme was primarily financed by DFID (30 districts) and SDC (3 districts) from 2012 to June 2016. Subsequently, bridge funding was made available by DFID to expand the programme to an additional 12 districts in three additional provinces of Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Manicaland over the period to October 2018.The project aims to provide equitable and sustainable access to, and use of safe water supply, improved sanitation and hygiene practices to the population in the targeted locations.

Since independence in 1980, the Zimbabwe WASH Sector has implemented a subsidy driven approach to sanitation development. The Government of Zimbabwe in 2011 developed a National Sanitation and Hygiene Strategy that adopted the concept of demand-led sanitation and hygiene based on minimal to zero subsidy to eliminate open defecation. The strategy signifies a shift from a supply driven approach to a demand management approach, with an emphasis on behavior change and services responding to community and consumer demand. In contributing to operationalize the strategy, UNICEF supported Government in piloting in the districts of Binga and Hwange in Matabeleland North province under the Zimbabwe Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (ZIMCATS) project. After a positive evaluation of the ZIMCATS project, the approach was re-named as Sanitation Focused Participatory Health and Hygiene Education (SaFPHHE). In 2013, the SaFPHHE approach was rolled out in the 33 Rural WASH Project districts as the first large scale implementation of this new approach. A lot of successes have been registered to date, with more than 2,500 villages across the original 5 provinces attaining open defecation free (ODF) status, albeit with varying different conversion times. Sanitation Action Groups in these villages have proved to be the major driving force behind this success. Experience has shown that where these are more active and stronger, the greater the village ODF achievement rates.

The evidence coming from the field shows that activities implemented by the SAGs differ from village to village and from district to district. With the learning and experiences that have been derived in different villages, it is now necessary to the review the processes, activities and best practices from SAGs that can be replicated in new districts and villages where the Rural WASH Programme have been extended to. The review will lead to

  1. Clearly defined roles and responsibilities of the SAGs post triggering phase,
  2. Definition of potential roles and responsibilities post ODF, and
  3. SAG training and capacity building requirements.
  4. Spell out how the SAGs would relate and support the extension workers, traditional and religious leaders and the community and school health clubs.

The review through a consultative process will serve to inform the development of a strategic document or guidelines for adoption by both government and other WASH sector partners in operationalizing SafPHHE in promoting sustainable zero open defecation environment in Zimbabwe.

This consultancy aims therefore to engage a Consultant responsible to assess on-the ground realities and inform the development of a model or guidelines for improving the effectiveness of Sanitation Action Groups as a tool for acceleration of ODF achievement at village level, based on the best practices and lessons learnt in the original 33 rural districts where demand-led sanitation has been implemented. The guidelines will guide future implementation of demand-led sanitation in both existing and new districts, even outside the current Rural WASH programme, by Government and NGO sector players.

Objective (s)

The objectives of the consultancy are to:

  1.  Research to refine and come up with a framework including guidelines for the institutionalization and improving the effectiveness of community level enabling institutions and processes to achieve sustainability and scaling of demand led sanitation.

    The specific tasks are

  2. Document the formation and capacity building processes for SAGs and other relevant community level enabling institutions in the RWP districts 
  3. Highlight the various post-triggering and post-ODF strategies, activities, successes, best practices and key lessons learnt in the RWP districts with the associated timelines.
  4. Document the major bottlenecks and gaps that were faced by the SAGs and other relevant community level institutions as they journey towards ODF status and post ODF, and how these were tackled.
  5. Recommend and document the key drivers for attaining and sustaining ODF.
  6. Analyse and document the various linkages of the SAGs with the other institutions at community level e.g. village heads, traditional and religious leaders, extension workers, WWSSCs, health clubs etc
  7. Recommend and document post-ODF institutional framework and operational guidelines with focus on metrics for enhancing sustainability such as number of follow-up visits needed, time from triggering to ODF declaration, time taken for verification etc.


Education: At least a Masters University Degree in the Social Sciences, Development Studies applied to WASH, Environmental/Public Health, Sanitation Technology or other related field of study

Work Experience

  • At least 10 years’ familiarity and or experience with WASH Sector in developing countries especially in demand led sanitation or CLTS or hygiene behavior change interventions;
  • Prior experience in similar assessments especially will be an added advantage;
  • Experience with self-build approaches in infrastructure will be a distinct advantage;
  • Experience of carrying out institutional assessments and the analysis of information collected as part of past assignments;
  • Computer literacy, excellent writing skills and ability to produce high quality reports suitable for use at high levels;
  • Ability to deliver high quality products in the allotted time;
  • Ability to be flexible and respond to changes as part of programmatic response, review and feedback process;
  • Possess strong interpersonal skills, organization networking, ability to communicate effectively with varied partners;
  • Possess initiative and a drive to achieve results;
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to communicate fluently in English (written and spoken), while mastering or knowledge of other languages spoken in Zimbabwe would be an asset.
  • Familiarity with equity, gender and disability issues.
  • Experience in working with UN or similar agencies will be an advantage

    Application Procedure

If interested and available, please submit your application letter, CV, Technical and an all-inclusive financial proposal detailing professional fees, field travel days (estimated 15 travel days for the duration of the contract) and other miscellaneous expenses.