Niger nationals: Consultant for Sustainable WASH System Feasibility

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Niamey, Niger 🇳🇪

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, hope.

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child; in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

This project will examine opportunities to support Sustainable Development Goal 6 by matching donor incentives for more cost-effective and sustainable WASH services to vulnerable communities to growing private sector demand for investments with strong measurable environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact. UNICEF is seeking to design, pilot and launch a global blended financing facility dedicated to building sustainable water and sanitation infrastructure in fragile contexts.

These infrastructure investments will be aimed at reducing humanitarian reliance on more costly and carbon-intensive water and sanitation delivery modalities that may persist beyond their cost-effectiveness in protracted crisis contexts. The restricted nature of humanitarian funding and/or host government disinterest or inability to support infrastructure improvements in these contexts poses a challenge to financing more sustainable, cost-effective infrastructure.


The purpose of the consultancy assignment is to assess the feasibility of sustainable infrastructure interventions in crisis-affected and other vulnerable areas of Niger where provisional emergency delivery of WASH services by UNICEF and other humanitarian partners might be replaced by more cost-effective sustainable systems to service both host populations and displaced persons, as well as where UNICEF can support the Government of Niger in developing sustainable water infrastructure. The consultant will work closely with a research team consisting of UNICEF staff members (from both Headquarters and the Niger Country Office) and an international impact finance firm to identify and assess prospective WASH investment projects suitable for possible blended financing arrangements. Specifically, the team will be looking for investment opportunities in the following situations:

  • Aid/public budgets currently covering persistent heavy water operations (e.g., water trucking) in situations where sustainable solar/hybrid solutions might be applied;
  • Sub-optimal water delivery systems in public healthcare facilities; and
  • Expansion of long-term public water infrastructure developed in cooperation between UNICEF and local government (e.g., multi-village water networks).

Additionally, the team will examine UNICEF’s recent transition from water trucking to piped water delivery systems in Kidjani, Diffa region, in order to draw learnings on the project economics an public private partnership d operating model, which could be applicable by UNICEF or other international organizations working in comparable WASH contexts.

ow can you make a difference?

The consultant will first assist the team to conduct a mapping of prospective WASH investments, drawing upon:

  • Existing data and analysis on prospective water system development schemes, including local plans for water and sanitation (PLEAs) and technical feasibility assessments undertaken to date by the Regional Directorates of Water and Sanitation, as well as feasibility studies undertaken by humanitarian partners;
  • WASH humanitarian operational data, including budgets and expenditure trends, demonstrating trends in service delivery to affected populations. (e.g., 4/5Ws from the WASH cluster, NGO partner reporting, etc.); and
  • Existing needs assessment exercises and studies demonstrating community demand for services;
  • Interviews with relevant government representatives, humanitarian partners, local WASH experts, and other relevant parties.

Based on the results of the mapping, the research team will ask the consultant to undertake deeper analysis of 5-10 selected prospective projects. Deliverables for this phase will include assessments and reports per project/investment opportunity, integrating the following:

  • Review and analyze all relevant existing information, data, documents, plans and historical records of WASH activities and systems operating in the targeted project areas.
  • Undertake field reconnaissance surveys to establish field conditions, special features requiring attention before a full-fledged study is undertaken.
  • Engage with stakeholders, including host community members, displaced persons, government officials, and local private sector WASH operators, to assess their needs and perspectives on the existing WASH delivery systems as well as prospective new, rehabilitated or expanded systems.
  • Assess current and projected WASH service demands for the relevant population;
  • Based on the elements above, recommend a preliminary engineering design (or assess the feasibility of an existing design, if already done) for an appropriate sustainable infrastructure intervention to meet needs and preferences of the target population. The proposed solution must:
    • Demonstrate improved long-term water access for the final beneficiaries as compared to the status quo delivery modality. 
    • Adhere to standards for delivery of WASH services in humanitarian contexts, as detailed in SPHERE guidelines.
  • Provide a detailed costing of the recommended design solution, including capital costs and a 10-year projection of anticipated operational/maintenance, replacement, and overhaul costs (including identification of retailers of proposed technical solutions/parts in the country);
  • Provide an estimated timeline of completion of the recommended infrastructure interventions; and
  • Assist the team in the identification of local qualified companies for construction and installation of the defined water infrastructures.

The consultant shall also assist the project team in other project-related activities on the ground, notably:

  • Collect key local data inputs;
  • Participate and facilitate planning for the research team’s mission to Niger:
    • Present preliminary findings and work intensively with the team in;
    • Schedule and participate in meetings with key project stakeholders; and
    • Accompany the research team on site visits and to meetings with stakeholders.

The consultant is expected to provide regular status updates and be available when requested by the team throughout the duration of the project.

Deliverable 1:  Inception presentation describing the financing modelsand main actors of the current water delivery models across the main three axes(i.e., aid-funded water delivery, water delivery to public healthcare facilities,and expansion of public piped water infrastructure)Inception report
Deliverable 2: Preliminary report scoping potential investment opportunitiesacross the 3 main axes (i.e., aid-funded heavy water operations, water deliveryto public healthcare facilities, and expansion of public piped water infrastructure),including numbers of potential project sites and indicative range of required investment per site.The report should also include an ex-post analysis of UNICEF’s past investments into solar-poweredwater pumping infrastructure and its cost-effectiveness as compared to the previous situation.Preliminary report
Deliverable 3: Final report recommending the specific 5-10 investment opportunities(if relevant investment opportunities are identified), including:- Profiles of the project sites;- Preliminary study of each project site detailing existing water supply,projection of target population and their water demand, and water resources validation;- Indicative design of the preferred water supply infrastructure;- Project cost estimates, summarizing bill of quantities for the water supply(including a list of equipment characteristics detailing service requirements for equipment proposed(i.e., service intervals, cost of spare parts, frequency of replacement, how readily availablethese parts are time required for replacement, skill level for such service)); and- List of qualified local construction companies.Final report

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

  • University degree   in Civil Engineering/Water Supply Engineering is required.
  • At least 10 years of experience in water supply feasibility studies.
  • Fluency in French and English.

A part of their application package on the UNICEF online portal, interested candidates should submit:

  • A cover letter (letter of motivation);
  • An up-to-date CV;
  • A financial offer;
  • A copy of the highest obtained academic diploma.

Candidates should clearly state their ability and availability to fulfill these terms of reference, as well as provide their proposed financial compensation. The financial offer should be all inclusive (expected salary as well as any subsistence allowance and/or travel costs).

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.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Advertised: 07 Jul 2021 W. Central Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 14 Jul 2021 W. Central Africa Standard Time