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UNICEF seeks to recruit a WASH Specialist (Emergencies), Temporary Appointment (6 Months), P-4, Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO)

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UNICEF seeks to recruit a WASH Specialist (Emergencies), Temporary Appointment (6 Months), P-4, Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO)


Job no : 517192
Work type : Temporary Appointment
Location : Kenya
Categories : WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), Emergency Programme, P-4

Apply now

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.

Africa is the continent most affected by the current cholera pandemic. Between 2000 and 2015, 52,812 (83%) of 63,658 cholera deaths reported by WHO occurred in sub-Saharan Africa.

WASH access is recognized as a key intervention to ensure prevention of cholera. However, only scarce analysis is available to support UNICEF HQ and Regional Offices in making the case for WASH interventions as adequate and cost-efficient programs to prevent cholera at country level in Africa.

The recent years have seen the development of more targeted strategies for cholera control and prevention in Africa. The targeting is based on the better understanding of epidemiology and the identification of hot spots. Hot spots are defined as “geographically limited areas (e.g. city, administrative level 2, or health district catchment area) where environmental, cultural and/or socioeconomic conditions facilitate the transmission of the disease and where cholera persists or re-appears regularly. Hotspots play a central role in the spread of cholera to other areas” (GTFCC Surveillance WG 2017).

The work supported by UNICEF has been instrumental to support the development of such strategies, by providing evidence-based knowledge in Western Africa since 2009 to understand the dynamics of cholera transmission and to determine hot spots areas where to target prevention activities. Studies commissioned by UNICEF and its partners in Western and Central Africa include Guinea and Guinea Bissau (Cairncross, Ensink, and Kahawita 2009; Luquero, Carrillo-Santisteve, and Sanchez-Padilla 2009; Sudre and Bompangue 2009) , Lake Chad basin (Oger and Sudre 2011), Niger (Bompangue, Mutombo, and Mutombo 2013), Guinea and Sierra Leone (Dunoyer et al. 2013), and Togo-Benin-Ghana (Moore, Cottavoz, and Piarroux 2015). Ongoing studies in Eastern and Southern Africa focus on Horn of Africa (Kenya-Somalia-South Sudan) and on Zambezi (Angola-Zambia-Zimbabwe-Malawi-Mozambique) basins.

The revitalization of the Global Taskforce on Cholera Control (GTFCC) in 2012 following the cholera outbreak in Haiti provided the adequate framework to develop multi-sectoral strategies combining WASH, C4D and Health activities (including Oral Cholera Vaccine). As a result, a Global roadmap for cholera elimination was launched in November 2017 (GTFCC 2017).

The recent introduction of genomic analysis is an additional opportunity to provide more in-depth understanding of cholera transmission across countries in the continent (Weill et al. 2017). However, data collected by UNICEF and partners are still not used at their full potential. If some researchers from John Hopkins University with the support of UNICEF were recently able to develop a mapping of cholera cases at sub-national level (Lessler et al. 2018),  the link between WASH access and cholera epidemics still needs to be further explored at the same level.

UNICEF ESARO produced in 2018 some analysis at regional level highlighting some correlation between WASH access in 2015 and cholera incidence in the 21 countries of the Region over the period 2010-2016, but this analysis remains at a national level and cannot be used to support country offices in developing their cholera prevention plans. it is believed that a strong analysis at sub-national level using data collected by UNICEF and partners may be instrumental for the definition of targeted and cost-efficient WASH interventions that would be translated into well-defined cholera prevention plans at country level. During the last meeting of the Global Taskforce on Cholera Control in June 2018, key actors agreed on the need for more research to ensure an adequate level of analysis regarding WASH access and epidemiology of cholera at this sub-national level.


How can you make a difference?

The WASH Specialist will work under the direction and guidance of the Regional WASH Advisor to strengthen links between UNICEF, humanitarians’ partners and academic institutions aims to ensure that targeted and cost-efficient WASH interventions are translated into well-defined cholera prevention plans at country level. In addition, the WASH specialist will support country offices in the elaboration of funding proposals to the Green Climate Fund (GCF)


Major duties and responsibilities

 1.     Support to cholera data collection and analysis

  • Develop an Africa cholera database using data from UNICEF Regional Cholera Platforms, data from UNICEF supported studies and data from WHO and partners ;
  • Data collection quality insurance: ensure with UNICEF Regional Offices, Country Offices, WHO and partners consistency regarding cholera data collection in Africa ;
  • Provide timely trends analysis of ongoing cholera outbreaks for UNICEF Regional Offices and Country Offices ;
  • Participate to the production of UNICEF monthly outbreak bulletin ;
  • Provide quality assurance to the ESARO bi-weekly cholera bulletins.

2.      Operational research on WASH access and cholera transmission in ESAR

  • Develop a WASH access database at sub-national level with focus on cholera hotspots using data from UNICEF, WHO and partners ;
  • Develop with key partners, including WHO, CDC and Johns Hopkins University, a detailed methodology for robust analysis of WASH data at sub-national level ;
  • Conduct in-depth analysis of correlations between disaggregated WASH access data and cholera data at sub-national levels ;
  • Provide reports defining WASH-related cost-efficient prevention interventions for priority countries in Africa as defined by the East and Southern Africa office ;
  • Support the ESARO  in developing the definition of WASH tailored interventions in Cholera prevention plans framework.

3. Support to UNICEF country offices for definition of WASH activities in hot spots and cholera trainings

  • Conduct field missions to explore WASH access in high-risk transmission areas and provide technical recommendations for definition of cholera prevention activities ;
  • Provide remote support to help Country Offices for identification and definition of tailored WASH activities in hot spots ;
  • Design and facilitate trainings on WASH/epidemiology and Infection Prevention and Control in relation to infectious diseases.

4. Representation of UNICEF to cholera-related meetings

  • Potential participation as a member of the East and Southern Africa (ESARO) WASH team in the GTFCC WASH and Epidemiology Working Groups meetings, as well as to Global GTFCC meeting ;
  • Potential participation to UNICEF Global WASH-Net meeting ;
  • Potential participation to RO meetings as per request.

5. Resource Mobilization through the Green Climate Fund

  • Elaborate a rationale linking cholera with climatic/environmental parameters ;
  • Support Country offices in the elaboration of GCF proposals.

6. Promotion of UNICEF’s Global Goals

Promote UNICEF’s goals through advocacy and policy dialogue through active engagement in communication, networking and participation, leveraging the strength of UNICEF’s mission, goals and programmes with reference to the WASH Strategy.

7. Communication, Collaboration, Networking and Partnership

  • Exchange information and experience, and identify new strategies and courses of action to accelerate/improve the delivery of services toward the achievement of UNICEF’s WASH programme goals and objectives ;
  • Develop and deliver presentations for cholera forums as requested (e.g. RIASCO meetings, WASH and Health Regional meetings, etc.)  ;
  • Conduct field visits to monitor programme implementation, collect data and provide techincal support.
  • Collaborate with other programme colleagues to ensure the integration of the WASH programme with other sector (including intersectoral) responses ;
  • Provide technical support and guidance on appropriate technical, financial and institutional capacity building measures to achieve UNICEF & sector/cluster WASH programme goals.

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

  • Advanced university degree in relevant fields such as public health, water supply, social sciences, environmental sciences or a field relevant to international WASH related development assistance ;
  • Additional training in Health Education or Communication for Development (Programme Communication) an asset ;
  • A minimum of eight years of professional work experience in the UN or other international development organizations, national governments or the private sector ;
  • Developing or field country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset ;
  • Background/familiarity with Emergency preparedness and response and the IASC cluster/sector approach ;
  • 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 and Supervising, Formulating Strategies and Concepts, Analyzing, Relating and Networking, Deciding and Initiating Action, Applying Technical Expertise        

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.

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.


Remarks :

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

Applications close : E. Africa Standard Time



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