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WinS (WASH in School) specialist/consultant


WinS (WASH in School) specialist/consultant


Position Title:  WinS (WASH in School) specialist/consultant
Level + National / International*: P3/P4 level
Location: Sahrawi refugees camps- Tindouf- South Algeria
Duration:  06 months
Start Date: At latest September 2017
Reporting to UNICEF Representative in Algeria


Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, were established in 1975-76 when the end of the Spanish colonial rule over the Western Sahara resulted in the irruption of an armed conflict between the Kingdom of Morocco and the POLISARIO Front and the flight of tens of thousands of refugees. Tindouf is one of the Southwestern provinces of Algeria characterized by extreme weather conditions of the Sahara with temperatures below 8°C during the winter season and above 45°C in the summer in addition to frequent sandstorms which disrupt normal life. Water is scarce and neither clean nor sufficient for the entire refugee population. Most houses are built using a local technique and material consisting in clay bricks, which are not very resistant to heavy rain and consequent floods. Basic life is difficult to sustain in this environment where opportunities for self-reliance are extremely limited; the refugees living in these camps are completely dependent on humanitarian assistance for their very survival. However, Sahrawi camps differ from the majority of refugee camps in the world by the level of self-organization of the refugee population. Most social services and camp life organization are run by the refugees themselves, with no or only little outside interference.

The camps are divided into five wilayas (districts) named after towns in Western Sahara; Laayoune, Awserd, Smara, Boujdour and Dakhla, in addition to the administrative camp of Rabouni which host the offices of the various ministries and the Sahrawi Red Crescent. The camps are spread over a quite large area. While Laayoune, Smara, Awserd, Boudjeddour and Rabouni all lie within an hour's drive of the Algerian city of Tindouf, the Dakhla camp lies 170 km to the southeast accessible by a road recently paved by the Algerian authorities. The camps are also the headquarters of the 6th military region of the SADR.

As the refugee crisis enters its 42nd year, all four UN agencies (UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF, WHO) supporting the humanitarian response emphasize the plight of Sahrawi refugees aggravated by the steep decrease in funding to what has become as one of the world’s long forgotten crises and which is further deteriorating an already volatile situation, with frustration mounting among young people who are nearly all born in camps and whose future life prospects are uncertain and dim.

UN assistance to refugees is an important component of a multi-donor, multi-faceted humanitarian relief effort in support of the refugees. UNHCR and WFP have been providing basic food and essential non-food assistance (health, water, sanitation, education and housing) to the refugees since 1986. UNICEF is also present at the camps since 1986, and supports vaccination and maternal and newborn programmes and educational activities in addition to assistance to centers caring for children with disabilities and to the development of livelihood activities for young people. All UN assistance in Algeria is carried out and monitored in collaboration with national and international organizations to make sure the assistance reaches the people for whom it is intended.

In October 2015 and August 2016, the area was affected by severe floods with serious damages to the camps, particularly to health and education infrastructure, causing serious disruption in the provision of services to children, women and communities.  The assessment of Education Infrastructure facilities done by the Education group lead by UNICEF in August 2016 in Laayoun and recently in March 2017 in the five refugees camps, established that over 50% of the Sanitation facilities in 69 education infrastructures where more than 40,000 children are registered are not functioning and that 27% of the same infrastructures doesn’t have latrines for girls which in some schools is causing a real issue of girls absenteeism. UNICEF is co-leading the Education sector coordination and is highly engaged in the rehabilitation of some of the most damaged educational infrastructures in addition to capacity building activities for teachers and other education personnel.

UNICEF is looking for a highly qualified WinS Specialist/consultant who will bring his/her expertise to support the UNICEF team in Tindouf for the planning implementation monitoring and quality assurance of all WASH related activities planned to be implemented in about 15 school facility consisting mainly in 10 intermediate schools, along with one KG and 4 primary schools. Under the supervision of the Representative and in line with the UNICEF 2017 AWP,  she/he will be responsible to provide technical support to operationalization of UNICEF WASH in School program funded by ECHO in all Sahrawi refugee camps; builds and support the capacities/ competencies and skills of both Implementing partners and Sahrawi school personnel for the efficient management and functioning of the programme and ensure that rehabilitation and constructions of sanitation infrastructures are made according to recognized quality standards (SPHERE and other) ; besides that, he or she will ensure that issues and concerns from refugee camps in relation to WASH in School are timely addressed at the appropriate level.

• Provide technical support to Implementing Partner NGOs (TGH and CISP) for better conception and design of sanitation infrastructure and of water facilities in all target schools; this support will need to be made with reference to quality standards to avoid preventable diseases among Sahrawi schoolchildren and adolescents in all 5 camps;
• Overall Management of the WinS project in its various dimensions (construction & rehabilitation, KAP survey, training, hygiene promotion programme,  mobilisation campaigns and internal school arrangements for quality & healthy schools).
• Elaboration of 2 WinS practical guidelines through reference to similar tools existing in other countries and through wide consultation of stakeholders at all levels: 1/ guidelines on WinS minimum standards on school construction & rehabilitation (already good capacity existing in civil engineering construction standards while the improvement needed pertain to plumbing, treatment design, child-friendly facilities, and adaptation to the Sahara context and limited water resources); 2/ guidelines for healthy and quality school environment for  Sahrawi refugee children (facility operations, repairs and preventive maintenance procedures; roles and responsibilities of children, school personnel and staff, parent’s associations, and other stakeholders). This will contribute addressing some of the present practices which very often result in breakdowns of facilities.
• Support in Coordination of the WinS Working Group (both in WASH and Education Working groups) to provide input to and promote utilization of the new technical guidelines
by all relevant Partners: Education and Constructions authorities, local school institutions, NGO partners, Parent’s associations along with contractors and engineering companies.
• Support UNICEF information products related to the response including situation reports.

• Advanced university degree in civil engineering, WASH related studies or WASH in Emergencies or other relevant field.
• A minimum of 8 years of progressively responsible experience in planning and implementing WASH and WinS programmes with either the UN, IOs, and/or NGOs.
• Ability to work in a multicultural team environment.
• Good writing and training capacities
• Fluency in either French or English
• Fluency in written and spoken Spanish is a strong asset. Arabic is also an asset. These two languages are those most commonly used by Sahrawi.

Additional Information
• 6 months during the period August 2017 and April 2018. One 4 to 6 weeks break in the middle of the assignment is considered.
• The consultant selected for this assignment will rent a house or a flat in Tindouf and commute daily (5 days a week) with UNICEF team to Rabouni (20 min drive) where UNICEF office is located (in a compound hosting offices of all UN agencies and NGOs) with frequent visits to the camps and project sites
• Life in Tindouf is pleasant, though very hot during the summer (May to September), safe and reasonably cheap (social life, gym, swimming pool, good internet…). Tindouf is 2:30 h from Algiers by plane (at least 5 flights per week).
• Some specific security arrangements need to be observed and impose some constraints in times of work schedule.

Application Modalities

Interested candidates are requested to submit their application to include
- A letter of motivation
- A CV and/or a P11 form
- An indication of remuneration level expected by consultant


Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Algiers
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
  • Closing Date: 2017-07-15

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