Consultancy: Human Rights Monitoring (WASH Section)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

New York, NY, United States 🇺🇸

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

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Background & Rationale

Access to safe and affordable water is a basic human right and UNICEF as a human right based organisation is committed to support the implementation of the human right to water and sanitation, with the goal of reducing inequalities making sure that no children are left behind. In addition, we know that basic water is not always safe or reliable – hence the SDG indicator 6.1.1 identifies a safely managed standard which includes water being free of priority contaminants.  Lack of safe water results in vulnerable and marginalized communities drinking contaminated water, which is a leading cause of diarrheal disease in children and child mortality.

In the post-2015 era, global and many national targets aim at the provision of universal access to safe and affordable water. This has led UNICEF to rethink its approach – outlined in its 2016-2030 WASH Strategy – and to develop a more systematic and comprehensive framework for programming to address issues of sustainability, water safety and programme for reducing inequalities and human rights to water and sanitation (HRWS) in the area of WASH.

The human rights to water and sanitation are at the core of the UNICEF mandate for children. UNICEF’s WASH Strategy 2016-2030 and strategic plan 2018-2021 articulate how UNICEF will support governments and partners to achieve universal and sustainable water and sanitation services and the promotion of hygiene, with a focus on reducing inequalities especially for the most vulnerable children, wherever they are; both in times of stability and crisis. Universal and equitable access means prioritizing support for services to marginalized and vulnerable communities that are still unserved or underserved, to ensure the availability of safe water and sanitation for all.

In the light of the continued need to support country offices to integrate the HRWS into programming and upstream policy and advocacy work, a set of indicators are needed to monitor the realisation of the HRWS at programme and country levels, with a longer-term aim that those indicators would be integrated into national monitoring systems.

In February 2017, UNICEF held and expert consultation to identify a possible list of indicators for monitoring the human rights. The list that came out of this consultation is still at a very preliminary stage and needs further development into a set of SMART practical indicators to be proposed for country-level monitoring – informed by the available global indicators.


The purpose of this TOR is to develop and finalize a menu of WASH indicators that are sensitive to both the human and child rights, to inform how well a country and/or a programme (to be used as a proxy in some cases) is doing regarding the realisation of the human rights within the context of SDG 6 Targets 6.1, 6.2, 4a and 1. The menu approach offers options to countries to choose from, reflecting different quality standards as well as different monitoring requirements. He/She will base their work on the outcomes of the round table meeting of experts that UNICEF convened earlier this year in Geneva.

The consultant will seek the inputs of the experts who were present at the meeting as a reference group and work in coordination of UNICEF WASH to propose a first-cut set of indicators and seek to reach consensus through a consultative process with this reference group.

Duty Station

The consultant will be home-based with a possibility of one travel to NYHQ for an inception meeting and another trip for the validation and review of outputs with different stakeholders.

Key competences, technical background, and experience required Deadline

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s) in relevant fields such as public health, water supply, social sciences, environmental sciences, public health / sanitation / environmental engineering, epidemiology, or a field relevant to international WASH programming.
  • Five to eight years of solid professional work experiences in the UN or other international organisation, government or the private sector in water related programming, monitoring, policy and management.
  • The consultant should have knowledge of UNICEF policies, a good track record of performance and have strong coordination and management skills. The consultant should also have good knowledge of existing monitoring and enabling environment tools and processes linked to the SDG framework in order to build on existing resources and draw from them in this work.
  • The consultant can be based in any location and work remotely under the close supervision of the WASH Specialist.
  • Experience developing and monitoring WASH indicators at global, regional or country levels, and measuring or implementing the human rights to water and sanitation.
  • Fluent English both written and oral

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.


With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.  

At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage.

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

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.