WASH Specialist

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

El Fasher, , SD

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, www.unicef.org/sudan

Sudan is a huge country, more than four times the size of Sweden and the third largest in Africa—even after South Sudan was carved out in 2011. Sudan has a lot of land and resources, a population of 40 million and a history that predates the Nubian kingdoms established along the Nile River around 4,000 BC.

Sudan’s children make up half of the total population, and the past two decades have seen their lives improve. Fewer boys and girls are dying before their fifth birthday. Primary school attendance is increasing. Immunization coverage is high and the country remains polio free.

Still, millions of children continue to suffer from chronic conflict, from seasonal natural disasters and disease outbreaks, from under-investment in basic social services. Sudan ranks as one of the worst in the world for malnutrition, and three million of its school aged children are not in the classroom.

How can you make a difference?

Purpose of post

The WASH Specialist reports to the Chief WASH (P5) for general guidance and direction. The WASH Specialist is responsible for leading the planning, design, management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the urban WASH component of the WASH programme within the country programme. The WASH Specialist leads and provides overall coordination, technical guidance and management support throughout the programming processes, to ensure the achievement of the planned results under the Urban Water for Darfur (UW4D) project within the country programme. The WASH Specialist provides authoritative advisory services to government and sector support agencies, and interacts with government at senior levels and with relevant Development Partners and UN Agencies in the successful implementation and scaling-up of the Urban WASH programme.

Key function, accountabilities and related duties/tasks

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:  

  1. Management support to the Chief of WASH
  2. Programme development and planning
  3. Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results
  4. Advisory services and technical support
  5. Advocacy, networking and partnership building
  6. Humanitarian WASH preparedness and response
  7. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

              Management support to the Chief of WASH

    •  Advise the Chief of WASH in establishing the annual work plan and annual workplan outputs, activities and developmental priorities of WASH section, determining priorities, especially of the urban WASH component of the WASH program.
    • Coordinate the implementation of the Urban Water for Darfur (UW4D) project by UNICEF and UNOPS teams ensuring sequencing and integration of project implementation processes (across the water supply & sanitation components), timely delivery of project milestones and results and regular review of progress and risks. Report critical issues to the Chief of WASH for timely action.
    • Provide technical advice, especially to WASH staff under the UW4D project on all aspects of programming and implementation.
    • Contribute to advancing the Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus within the implementing states as well as nationally through the effective implementation of the UW4D project
    • Programme development and planning 

    • Draft the WASH inputs for the situation analysis.  Provide comprehensive and current data to inform WASH policy and programme development, planning, management and implementation. Keep abreast of WASH sector developments, for maximum efficiency and effectiveness in WASH programme design, management and implementation, specifically with regard to the UW4D project.

    • Work collaboratively with UNOPS, UNICEF colleagues and partners to discuss state/locality level WASH priorities, resources, risks, strategies and methodologies to ensure the most strategic use of the collective resources of external support agencies for advancing the UW4D project.

    • Participate in strategic WASH programme planning discussions and the formulation of the WASH outcome and output results, related indicators, baselines, targets and means of verification, ensuring alignment with the UNICEF’s Strategic Plan, UNICEF’s global WASH strategy and the country programme as well as government plans and priorities, and the role of other WASH external support agencies.

    • Prepare WASH donor proposals as required, ensuring alignment with the WASH output results in the country programme.
    • Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results 
    • Draft documentation for programme reviews and analytical statements on progress and constraints of WASH outcome and output results. 
    • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes for the achievement of the planned targets under the UW4D project.  Ensure effective collaboration with UNOPS implementing the water supply component of the UW4D project and other UNICEF sectors, where needed. 
    • With other external support agencies, analyze national/state government WASH sector programmes and projects, with a focus on WASH outcomes (behaviors), using bottleneck analysis tools available in the sector (WASH-BAT, CSOs, SDAs), as appropriate. 

    • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual sectoral reviews with government and other partners and prepare reports for the Chief of WASH. Contribute to the preparation of the Self-Assessment report for the annual review of the UW4D project and track implementation of Annual Review recommendations.

    • Establish an up-to-date database to track progress on the implementation of the sanitation master plan priority interventions and ensure it is fully mainstreamed into locality administration.

    • Arrange regular steering committee (comprised of the DFID, UNICEF and UNOPS) meetings (quarterly) and maintain a record of key issues discussed and actions agreed.
    • Monitor, report and certify the use of sectoral programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets), verify compliance with approved allocations, organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity. Report issues to the Chief of WASH, for timely resolution.
  • Prepare (yearly, six monthly and quarterly as may be required) financial forecasts for next period in line with funding arrangement and disbursement schedule. Inform Chief of WASH of any changes in forecasts as soon as these are known. 
  • Prepare sectoral progress reports for management, donors and partners as per agreed formats and timelines.
  1. Advisory services and technical support  
  • Participate in strategic discussions to influence national/state WASH policies and strategies, including the reduction of inequalities, contributing to national/ global sector learning.

  • Advise senior officials in government, NGOs, UN agencies and WASH sector donor agencies on WASH policies, strategies and best practices to advance equitable access to water and sanitation in a protracted emergency context.

  • Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic materials for use by management, donors, UNICEF regional offices and headquarters.
  • Contribute to the development of Terms of references of studies and surveys; provide technical guidance/oversight for the successful conduct & dissemination of studies and surveys.
  • Plan for the use of technical experts from the Regional Office and HQ, as and where appropriate in the WASH programme, through remote support and on-site visits.  
  1. Advocacy, networking and partnership building
  •  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. Undertake effective collaboration with UNOPS implementing the water component of the UW4D project for an integrated approach to improve WASH services in urban, peri-urban and IDP settings.
  • Support analysis of state budgets for WASH, cost analysis and value-for-money studies, to advocate for improvements in sector efficiency. 

  • Produce materials for the UW4D project advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships and support fund-raising for the WASH sector at large.

  • Participate in inter-agency discussions as required, ensuring that UNICEF’s position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the planning and agenda setting.

  • Interact with global and regional initiatives and partnerships for WASH. 
  1. Humanitarian WASH preparedness and response

           Manage all aspects of UNICEF’s preparedness for WASH in emergencies, as required. 

  • Ensure the coordination arrangements for humanitarian WASH are in place, for instant robust coordination in case of an emergency. 
  • Ensure that all UNICEF WASH staff under supervision are familiar with UNICEF’s procedures for responding in an emergency.
  • Take up leadership/managerial role in an emergency response and early recovery, as and when the need arises. 
  1. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
  • Manage the implementation, monitoring and documentation of WASH action research and innovation (technical or systems) under the UW4D project, ensuring rigorous monitoring and wide sharing of results.
  • Prepare learning/knowledge products, covering innovative approaches and good practices under the UW4D project, to support overall WASH sector development.
  • Support the professional development of UNICEF WASH staff, to ensure our sector capacity remains up-to-date with latest developments.
  • Initiate and contribute to the systematic assessment of WASH sector capacity gap analysis, in collaboration with government and other stakeholders, and support the design of initiatives to strengthen capacities systematically, especially under the Urban WASH component.
  • Participate as a resource person in capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of WASH sector stakeholders.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in one of the following fields is required: Water Supply Engineering, public health, Civil Engineering, , sanitary engineering, Hydrology or a field relevant to international Urban WASH related development assistance. 
  • A minimum of eight years of professional experience in WASH-related programmes for developing countries is required. Experience in the planning, design and implementation of master plans for water or sanitation or both is required.
  • Experience of managing larger donor funded programs, especially with DFID an asset.   
  • Background/familiarity with Emergency (preparedness and response) and the IASC Cluster approach useful. One year of deployment in a developing country is required.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Arabic anguage is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

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

The technical competencies required for this post are….

View our competency framework at


UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.