WASH Specialist

UN Children's Fund, Nairobi, Kenya

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
29th November, 2018

Job Description

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, a chance to thrive.

The WASH Specialist (Water, Climate & Urbanization) will work under the guidance and direct supervision of the Regional WASH Advisor. The WASH Specialist will focus on providing advise and guidance on innovative technical, institutional, behavior change and financial solutions to water supply in the East and Southern Africa Region with a specific focus on the impacts of climate and urbanization on water supply provision, policy and adaptation. The position holder will work closely with other staff in the Section (see Section Organogram below). The Section provides guidance and technical support to WASH programming in all the 21 UNICEF countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. So, the position holder will work with colleagues in UNICEF ESARO/Headquarters in New York; provide technical support in the 21 countries in UNICEF ESARO, and work with other key strategic partners in the region.

The overall objective of the Section in the current planning period (2018-2021) is “improved access to basic service levels for drinking water and sanitation, reduced open defecation and good hygiene practices inculcated especially for the most vulnerable populations in context specific settings at household, community and facility levels”

To achieve this objective, the Section is organized into four programming pillars: (1) Drinking Water in households and communities (2) Sanitation and Hygiene in households and communities (3) WASH in Institutions, and (4) WASH in Emergencies. The Section has strong emphasis on evidence-based programming, reason for having a dedicated staff for data and knowledge management, who works closely with the WASH Advisor and other Section staff.

The successful candidate will oversee Pillar 1 – Drinking Water for Households and Communities. The key components areas under this pillar are: (1) Increasing access to climate-resilient drinking water supply (2) Developing innovative approaches to drinking water service management, financing, monitoring and sustainability (3) Water safety planning. However, as urbanization has been identified as emerging area in UNICEF’s Global Strategy for WASH (2016-2030), the successful candidate will have an expanded mandate to cover urbanization issues.

The successful candidate will be required to be innovative especially on the financing and sustainability aspects, so that the region can accelerate access to drinking water services to realize SDG 6.1. They will be involved in capacity building of UNICEF Staff and key partners; manage and develop partnerships with key partners engaged in innovative water service provision and climate resilience; and, document and share relevant initiatives in the technical areas mentioned.

How can you make a difference?

Key Functions and Accountabilities

Provide technical advice and guidance to country offices on increasing access to basic service levels for drinking water

  • Provide technical support in the area of sustainable groundwater development with focus on the professionalization of mechanical/manual drilling and solar powered systems.
  • Promote initiatives to improve national (or state) policies, regulation, standards and procedures of borehole drilling.
  • Provide technical support and guidance on project design, implementation and monitoring needs, in collaboration with UNICEF’s Supply Division.
  • Raise the skills and knowledge of groundwater development for UNICEF WASH staff and key partners.
  • Foster dialogue between UNICEF Staff and government agencies (including regulators), drilling contractors and consultants, NGOs, development partners and civil society.
  • Encourage and support efforts that raise awareness of decision-makers and the public about groundwater potential, management and its exploitation.

Provide technical advice and guidance to country offices on water safety practices.

  • Support country offices with the introduction of Water Safety Planning (WSP) at national and local level, national water surveillance systems and use of Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS).
  • Keep abreast of the development of the global knowledge and research frontier, innovations and other developments in the area of water safety and give advice and support to country offices on effective programming in the area.
  • Develop and support specific training programs in WSPs and HWTS for UNICEF staff in coordination with key partners in the sector.
  • Manage UNICEF’s regional support towards eradication of guinea worm.to focus on the remaining countries, or countries at risk to slip back to strengthen plans and develop key strategies.

Provide technical advice and guidance to country offices on financing and sustainability of water service provision

  • Actively support UNICEF WASH Staff in countries on how to integrate financing and sustainability into WASH policies and strategies and application of sustainability frameworks in programming.
  • Support country offices, in collaboration with key sector partners, with appropriate knowledge and capacity in operation and maintenance models, regulation of services, contracting, tariff setting, monitoring of sustainability and data sharing and cost recovery for water survive provision, partnering with private sector and the role of the community.
  • Keep abreast with sector developments and the development of assessment tools and tools for mapping and monitoring of sustainability and accountability.
  • Support the development of use of tools such as Sustainability Checks, the use of real time monitoring and accountability mapping.

Provide technical advice and guidance to country offices on WASH Climate Resilient Development.

  • Provide technical support and guidance to country offices to integrate climate resilience into WASH programming by following the global Strategic Framework for WASH Climate Resilient Development and related technical guidance.
  • Provide technical support to country offices to reduce vulnerability to disaster and conflict through WASH risk-informed country programmes that help build resilience.
  • Coordinate the regional component of the OXFORD University – UNICEF collaboration on “REACH – Improving water security for the poor”.
  • Document and share selected relevant climate resilient initiatives in countries with emphasis on challenges, lessons learned, and potential scalability.

Provide technical advice and guidance to country offices on Urban WASH

  • Provide technical support and guidance to country offices to integrate and/or strengthen Urban WASH into WASH programming
  • Develop strategic partnerships with financing and development partners to enhance Urban WASH programming in the region
  • Advance synergistic cross-sectoral programming, especially Health, Nutrition and Education, to ensure that WASH programming in urban areas has greater impacts for children.

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

  • Advanced university degree in a relevant field such as Water Engineering, Environmental engineering, environmental sciences, Civil engineering, or a field related to international WASH programming.
  • Additional relevant post-graduate training on Climate Change; WASH Financing; Urbanization; Sustainability of WASH Services; will be an added advantage.
  • A minimum of 8 years of professional, field-based and well-demonstrated work experiences in the United Nations or other international organization, government or the private sector in water supply, climate resilience and Urbanization.
  • Experience in working in developing contexts is needed. Work experience in Eastern and Southern Africa will be an added advantage.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language 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 competencies required for this post are Leading & Supervising, Formulating Strategies and Concepts, Analyzing, Applying Technical Expertise, Deciding and Initiating Action.

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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles


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