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UNICEF seeks to recruit a wash specialist – Refugee coordination, Gambella region, Ethiopia ( International Temporary Appointment-11.5 months)

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UNICEF seeks to recruit a wash specialist – Refugee coordination, Gambella region, Ethiopia ( International Temporary Appointment-11.5 months)

Job no : 517671
Work type : Temporary Appointment
Location : Ethiopia
Categories : WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), Emergency Programme

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,  protected and reliable access to sufficient, safe water and sanitation and hygiene facilities

Ethiopia currently hosts more than 900,000 refugees from neighboring countries, including Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. Gambella Region currently hosts 401,594 refugees.  UNICEF has constructed a water supply system with a corresponding water utility to service three of the large refugee camps in the region and the residents in the host communities near these camps which is currently providing water to 230,000 individuals.

In support of the roadmap for the implementation of the Government of Ethiopia’s pledges to meet the needs of refugees and the government’s signature to the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), UNICEF, in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), has developed a model for water supply, sanitation, and solid waste management service provision that aligns with existing government policies and frameworks for a professionalized utility management of services under government oversight.  The operation of the Itang water supply system in Gambella Region and the transition to a government operated utility continues to be a core pilot program for the operationalization of the CRRF in Ethiopia and the transition to UNHCR’s strategy for more integrated and sustainable service provision modalities.


How can you make a difference?

In keeping with UNICEF’s CCCs and its mandate as the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) Cluster lead in Ethiopia, UNICEF has specific responsibilities to ensure an effective coordination mechanism is running well, with appropriate preparedness and response plans put in place. UNHCR has the overall mandate on coordinating an effective refugee response. The interface between refugees and host community requires both UNICEF and UNHCR jointly institute effective planning, information sharing and coordination is done properly is a high priority, due to the large number of people affected, and the potentially high visibility the situation will attract.

As the WASH Specialist, you will provide technical support to UNHCR, ARRA, regional Health and Water Bureaus and partner NGOs in the overall coordination and delivery of the WASH responses in camps and host communities. During the assignment, you will also strengthen the existing response coordination mechanisms


Specific Tasks

In coordination with UNHCR and working closely with ARRA and designated NGOs, the WASH Specialist will :

  • Develop an agreed Annual Work Plan for joint UNHCR and UNICEF activities ;
  • Coordinate and monitor UNICEF emergency WASH interventions, particularly the operationalization of the Itang utility ;
  • Collect water supply cost data for a cost amortization report for different water provision modalities ;
  • Collect and compile refugee user practice data for water safety planning for Itang and monitoring of refugee water consumption practices within the camps ;
  • Working in collaboration with UNHCR/ARRA/regional authorities and NGO partners, strengthen the Emergency Task Force in Gambella, focusing on emergency WASH interventions in camps and in the host communities around the camps ;
  • Facilitate camp based WASH coordination meetings, feed key issues to the emergency task force for Gambella, and follow up actions taken to conclusion ;
  • Work in close collaboration with the UNICEF team and implementing partners involved in hygiene promotion and behavioral change activities for the development of a behavior change campaign specific to Gambella refugees ;
  • Provide regular updates to UNICEF Gambella/UNICEF WASH Section in Addis Ababa detailing the current situation, status of refugee activities, and the status of UNICEF supported interventions ;
  • Participate in the development and review of appropriate water, sanitation and hygiene strategy and response plans and support immediate actions relating to the plans for refugees and host community ;
  • Support UNHCR in ensuring minimum levels of service quality is enforced in accordance with UNHCR WASH guidelines ;
  • Ensure convening and play advisory role for the Itang technical working group.

 Expected deliverables

  • Monthly reports highlighting the status of the Itang utility capacity, transition, and operations

Expected outcomes :

  • Annual work plan  ;
  • Behavior change campaign strategy for Gambella Region ;
  • Cost amortization report for different water provision modalities in refugee settings in Ethiopia ;
  • Refugee user water consumption profile for Nguenyyiel, Tierkidi, and Kule camps ;
  • Water safety plan for the Itang water supply system.


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

  • Advanced university degree in one of the disciplines relevant to the following areas: Public Health, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Geology, Hydrology, Sanitation Engineering, or a field relevant to international WASH related development assistance ;
  • A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree ;
  • Minimum of five years of progressively responsible professional work experience in the UN or other international development organization, national government or the private sector with relevant technical experience in design, planning, advocacy, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation relating to emergency WASH interventions ;
  • Refugee WASH coordination considered an asset ;
  • Experience with urban water and sewerage utilities. Experience with utilities servicing refugee camps and host communities considered an asset ;
  • A minimum of ten months of refugee WASH coordination experience ;
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or 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 :

  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts ;
  • Analyzing ;
  • Relating and Networking ;
  • Deciding and Initiating Action ;
  • Applying Technical Expertise ;
  • Planning and Organising.

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 :

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.

Applications close : E. Africa Standard Time

Apply here



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