Emergency Response Officer (WASH)


London, UK or Nairobi, Kenya, , XV

Starting salary: £33,316–£34,721 p.a. (UK based) or  Kshs 3,919,591 p.a. (Kenya based)

The Emergency Response Officer (ERO) – WASH has a global remit to contribute to the delivery of effective and high quality humanitarian assistance to new and ongoing humanitarian crises. As part of CAFOD’s Emergency Response Team – involving frequent travel at short notice – the ERO provides technical field level and remote operational support as well as supporting the implementation and maintenance of systems and procedures for ensuring good practice and meeting sectoral standards on accountability and programme quality. Working with partners is central to CAFOD’s humanitarian response and the ERO will play an important role in improving and developing the capacity of partners to prepare for, mitigate the impact of, and respond to disasters by providing support, knowledge and building long-term capacity. All roles undertaken by the ERO will have the aim of achieving peace, security and recovery in accordance with CAFOD’s mission and values. 

Job Scope

A key component of this role is to be a part of CAFOD’s Humanitarian Department global emergency response surge capacity – providing immediate, usually short term support to our humanitarian response teams in the field, as well as remote support. This role will be expected to be able to support a wide range of humanitarian responses, as well as technical expertise in Water and Sanitation. 

CAFOD’s humanitarian response comes before during and after emergencies. Our three core approaches are:

(a) Capacity building of partners, in areas such as Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), programme management, food security, nutrition and financial management.

(b) Facilitation, in which we work alongside partners to help ensure the delivery of a programme. This is our most common way of working.

(c) Implementation, where CAFOD takes on a more direct implementation role in the delivery of a programme when local partners lack the capacity to scale up rapidly. 

This post is offered as either a UK based post or a national post based in Kenya. 


The post holder is line managed by the Senior Emergency Response Officer. During specific emergency responses task management may come from other managers within CAFOD or its partner organisations. The role does not have permanent line management or budget responsibilities.

Key Responsibilities

This role will be required to undertake frequent travel worldwide. This could be for up to 12 weeks at a time, for up to 6 months a year (possibly more in exceptional circumstances), sometimes at very short notice and to insecure environments. Any travel exceeding 6 months a year will be mutually agreed by post holder and line manager. 

Emergency Response (50%)

  • Play a lead role in providing WASH technical expertise and ‘surge capacity’ to new and ongoing humanitarian crises through remote or field level operational support as defined by deployment-specific TOR, and other support as needed such as needs assessment, project design, development and implementation in the area of water and sanitation
  • Support the planning and implementation of humanitarian programmes providing technical support and guidance to CAFOD programme staff and partner organisations to deliver high quality assistance in relief, rehabilitation and recovery phases of humanitarian response and preparedness, particularly in the area of Water and Sanitation
  • Manage the technical aspects of proposal development and design of WASH programming, and contribute to the technical aspects of the report writing requirements of the WASH programme
  • Work with Head of Humanitarian Programmes / Emergency Management Teams to monitor new and chronic humanitarian crises, support corporate decision making on responses to these crises through timely provision of assessment information and support the development and design of humanitarian responses
  • Identify opportunities for scaling up CAFOD’s humanitarian work and support the Humanitarian Funding Team in the development of proposals for institutional funding and reporting to donors

Programme quality, systems and standards (40%)

  • Support the delivery of CAFOD’s Humanitarian WASH strategy. This may include monitoring WASH trends, development and roll out of WASH guidance and tools or engaging in WASH best practice initiatives.
  • Support the development and implementation of guidance and policies and maintenance of systems and procedures, in line with CAFOD’s Ways of Working, for ensuring good practice and meeting sectoral standards on accountability and programme quality
  • Work with CAFOD’s technical staff to ensure that key cross-cutting themes such as protection, accountability and DRR are appropriately incorporated into our humanitarian responses.
  • Engage with the Humanitarian Policy Adviser to ensure CAFOD’s humanitarian policy and advocacy is coherent and effective, and informed by our experience and that of our partners.

Representation and communication (10%) 

  • Represent CAFOD at interagency fora (including WASH networks such as the Global WASH cluster) and build and strengthen relationships with Caritas Internationalis sister agencies to promote and aid coordinated humanitarian response
  • Support global Caritas Internationalis initiatives to improve the quality of WASH programming in Caritas emergency programmes. This may include participation in the Caritas International WASH Working Group.
  • Develop supporter communications and work with the media, writing and undertaking interviews both on radio and TV

This list of duties and responsibilities is by no means exhaustive and the post holder may be required to undertake other relevant and appropriate duties as required. This job description is subject to regular review and appropriate modification. 

Child Protection 

CAFOD recognises the personal dignity and rights of children, towards whom it has a special responsibility and a duty of care and respect. CAFOD, and all its staff and volunteers, undertake to do all in our power to create a safe environment for children and young people and to prevent their physical, sexual or emotional abuse. CAFOD is committed to acting at all times in the best interests of children, seeing these interests as paramount. This post involves responsibility for people who will have contact with children or young people and applicants will be subject to specific checks related to child protection issues. The post holder is required to present or obtain a Disclosure from the DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service).

Key Competencies

  • Understanding our context
  • Actively supports CAFOD’s vision, mission and values and what we aim to achieve
  • Commitment to and demonstrated experience of working with humanitarian standards and best practice (Humanitarian Charter, SPHERE and CHS, Red Cross and Red Crescent Code of Conduct)
  •  Working together
  • Proven successes in working with community based organisations and local partners in the delivery of humanitarian programmes and capacity strengthening, particularly in preparedness and response; 
  • Making change happen
  • Proven experience of successfully delivering an operational emergency programmes overseas or in different humanitarian contexts; will tackle conflicts or problems in a balanced way 

Essential Job Specific Requirements 

Technical skills and experience:

  • Degree (or equivalent professional experience) in Civil Engineering, Public Health or relevant field
  • Experience of designing and leading WASH technical interventions
  • Proven expertise and understanding of emergency preparedness and response
  • Proven successes in working with community based organisations and local partners in the delivery of humanitarian programmes and capacity building

Humanitarian Leadership and Coordination:

  • High-level interpersonal and communications with the ability to effectively influence and liaise with key stakeholders on behalf of and in line with CAFOD’s principles.
  • Ability to quickly establish and maintain effective relationships to achieve results in short-timeframes
  • The ability to work autonomously, be proactive and proven ability to work creatively, innovatively and effectively to make decisions with limited direct supervision.
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude. 

Operating safely in a pressured and changing environment:

  • Proven experience in implementing security policy/protocols and ability to provide appropriate direction and support to team members in the event of a critical incident
  • Demonstrated ability at being flexible and adaptable to changing situations.
  • The ability to remain calm while dealing with conflicting priorities and working under pressure. 


  • Fluent in written and spoken English
  • Basic financial and budget management skills
  • Highly organised with the ability to manage multiple tasks and implementing systems and procedures

Desirable Job Specific Requirements

  • Language skills in French, Spanish or Arabic
  • Experience of providing WASH technical support or capacity development to local and national partners.
  • Knowledge/experience of working on hygiene promotion or community mobilization and sensitisation. 

Please note interviews are currently scheduled for W/C 14th May 2018