India nationals: WASH Specialist

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Chennai, India
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programmes, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfil their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

How can you make a difference?

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children in the world's thereby ensuring a better future for every child, this is the chance to make a difference.  Under the supervision and guidance of the Chief, Social Policy, Chennai responsible for facilitating and influencing the State Government’s evidence-based policy, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and documentation for equity-based WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) sector plans and programmes and convergence with other flagship programmes that benefit children and mothers in the state of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Takes programmatic lead and works with the technical direction and sector specific guidance on WASH from the WASH Section, New Delhi.


  1. Provide leadership and influences state policy in WASH programme priority areas; develops strategy papers, approaches and innovative models for achieving convergent results for women and children in both the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  2. Develops strategic partnerships and networks with CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) or FBOs (Faith Based Organizations) for facilitating community based and community led social movements for sustaining open defecation status and initiating ODF+ (Open Defecation Free) programming at scale; sustaining safe drinking water supply and WASH in institutions and the use of effective Social and Behaviour Change communication for WASH.
  3. Upstream advocacy and leverages resources for improving the WASH service delivery to reach the marginalized and most deprived communities in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  4. Timely sectoral analysis, inputs, support to the Situation Analysis and its periodic update, made for effective WASH programme planning, development and management, including emergency preparedness and response.
  5. Knowledge management effectively promoted through drafting/finalizing key WASH sectoral programme documents and reports, sharing good practices, lessons learned, and knowledge/information exchange.
  6. Quality of rights-based WASH programmes effectively promoted, and coherence, synergy and value added to programme management process through results-based management and strategies.
  7. Sectoral work plan and activities formulated, implemented and monitored, ensuring alignment with the defined programme strategies and approaches. Programme monitored with special attention to gender/sex disaggregation of relevant indicators.
  8. Programme delivery, evaluation and reporting carried out efficiently, rigorously and transparently in compliance with the established guidelines and procedures.
  9. UNICEF’s global goals effectively promoted through advocacy and policy dialogue in the WASH sector.
  10. Proper and timely UNICEF and Government accountability ensured regarding supply, non-supply and emergency assistance as well as disbursement of programme funds for the WASH sector.
  11. Effective communication and networking achieved through partnership and collaboration including support to the IASC (Inter Agency Standing Committee) WASH Cluster.

Major duties and responsibilities:

1. Programme/Project Planning, Development and Management.

  • Enhance effective programme, sectoral or inter-sectoral, planning, development and management by leading, guiding, coordinating and supporting the timely completion of the Situational Analysis and its periodic update through accurate and complete monitoring and analysis, and the timely preparation or finalization of sectoral input.
  • Ensure inclusion and delivery on sectoral leadership responsibilities including leadership and facilitation of the IASC WASH Cluster, if required.

2. Knowledge Management.

  • Promote knowledge management by exchange of knowledge, information, situation analysis, experience or lessons learned; promote knowledge sharing and technical input or recommendations on major programme directions and on introduction of new initiatives in the country.

3. Rights-Based Programme with Results-Based Approach.

  • Promote the quality of rights-based WASH programme and programmes through participation in the formulation of programme/project goals, strategies and approaches. Bring coherence, synergy and added value to programme management processes using a results-based management approach to planning and design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. 

4. Sectoral Work Plan Development, Implementation, and Monitoring.

  • Takes primary responsibility for the development of the WASH sectoral work plan and technical decisions as well as for project management, implementation and monitoring of assigned project/sectoral activity, in compliance with the defined project strategies and approaches. Support maintenance of information system for monitoring gender/sex disaggregated data.

5. Programme Management, Delivery, Evaluation and Reporting.

  • Ensure programme efficiency and delivery through a rigorous and transparent approach to evaluation. Participation in major evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual sector review meetings with government counterparts. Ensure the preparation of annual WASH sector status reports.
  • Ensure adequate and transparent evaluation of emergency preparedness and response; if required.

6. Promotion of UNICEF’s Global Goals.

  • Promote the organization goals of UNICEF through advocacy and policy dialogue through active engagement in communication, networking and participation at every opportunity inside and outside UNICEF, leveraging the strength of UNICEF mission, goals and programmes, and reference to the WASH strategy.

7. UNICEF and Government Accountability.

  • Coordinates with Operations and Supply staff on supply and non-supply assistance activities ensuring proper and timely UNICEF and Government accountability. Certifies disbursements of funds, monitors and submits financial status reports to management in compliance with the regulations and guidelines.
  • Advocate for due attention and support to be given to environmental and sustainable development issues (pertaining to WASH) in all sectors and line Ministries.
  • Ensure adequate attention is given to Disaster Risk Management, including emergency preparedness and response.

8. Communication, Collaboration, Networking and Partnership.

  • Collaborate with Communication and Programme Communication groups to ensure development of effective communication materials and strategies to support advocacy, social mobilization and emergency efforts.
  • Overall coordination with WASH colleagues, Regional Advisers and HQ Officers. Collaborate with other Project, Programme and Emergency Officers to ensure the integration of the project/sectoral programme with other sectors.
  • Collaborate with the Operations and Supply Sections and Government authorities to establish and maintain sound internal controls supportive of WASH programme or sectoral planning and implementation, to coordinate financial and supply management requirements as well as to ensure accountability.
  • Interact with Government and other partners, NGOs (Non Governmental Organization) , UN (United Nations) and bilateral agencies in the different stages of WASH programme/project implementation to follow up on agreements and recommendations. Provide technical support and guidance on appropriate technical, financial and institutional capacity building measures to achieve WASH programme goals, including humanitarian response.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

Core Values (Required)

  • Care
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Accountability

Core Competencies (Required)

  • Communication  [ II ] 
  • Working with People  [ II ]
  • Drive for Results  [ II ] 

Functional Competencies (Required)

  • Leading and Supervising [ I ]
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts [ II ]
  • Analyzing [ III ]
  • Relating and Networking [ II ]
  • Deciding and Initiating Action [ II ]
  • Applying Technical Expertise [ III ]

To view our competency framework, please click here. 

To qualify as a champion for every child you will have…


  • Advanced university degree in one of the following disciplines: Social Science, Social Work, Public Health, WASH, MBA or a field relevant to WASH related development assistance.
  • Additional courses completed in WASH, DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction) and Communication for Development (Programme Communication), is an asset.


  • Minimum five (5) years of progressively responsible professional experience in WASH, DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction) or Communication for Development (Programme Communication), in the United Nations, international development organizations, National/State Government, or relevant private sector organizations.
  • Background/familiarity with Disaster Risk Reduction (preparedness and response) and the IASC Cluster approach is an asset. 

Language Requirements:      

  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of local working language of the duty station will be an advantage. 


  1. Specific Technical Knowledge Required
    • Advanced knowledge of one or more of the technical areas of UNICEF programmes.
    • Advanced Technical Knowledge of the theories, principles and methods in the following areas: communication for behaviour change, WASH in schools, water supply projects management, monitoring and evaluation; integrated water resource management appropriate water supply and quality technology i.e. community based water supply and experience of post disaster need assessment in WASH sector in the state of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  2. Common Technical Knowledge Required
    • Knowledge of the latest theories, technology and practices in: Community based sanitation i.e.: hygiene education or latrine construction and waste management.
  3. General knowledge of:
    • Methodology of programme/project management
    • Programmatic goals, visions, positions, policies and strategies for sectoral programmes
    • Knowledge of global human rights and gender issues, specifically relating to children and women, and the current UNICEF position and approaches.
    • UNICEF policies and strategy to address WASH issues, including those relating to conflicts, natural disasters, recovery, disaster risk reduction and environment.
    • UNICEF financial, supply and administrative rules and regulations.
    • Rights-based and Results-based approach and programming in UNICEF.
    • UNICEF programme policy, procedures and guidelines in the Manual.
    • Mid-Term Strategic Plan
    • UNICEF Board endorsed policy papers and agency-wide programmes impacting on WASH results.
    • Knowledge and proficiency in the use of corporate office computer system applications and software, including LAN, email, word processing, spreadsheet, database, telecommunications.
    • Knowledge of global environmental issues that pertain to sustainable development and specifically relation to children and woman, and the current UNICEF position approaches.
    • Gender equality and diversity awareness
  4. Technical Knowledge to be Acquired/Enhanced
    • Government development plans and policies
    • Knowledge of local conditions and country legislation relevant to UNICEF programmes
    • UN policies and strategy to address international humanitarian issues and the responses, including the IASC Cluster approach.
    • UN common approaches to programmatic issues and UNICEF positions
    • UN security operations and guidelines.
    • UNICEF policies, strategies promoting and supporting gender equality and diversity.


  • This position is based in Chennai (India).
  • Selected applicant will have a 364 days Temporary Appointment contract.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be notified and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.
  • UNICEF does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process including application, interview, meeting, traveling, processing, training etc. UNICEF is a non-smoking working environment.  

For more information about UNICEF India, please refer to the link below: -