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Vacancy: International Consultant WASH Quality Assurance Technical Assistance for Community Resilience and Capacity Development Project Micronesia

Washington D.C. (United States of America)

I. Back ground and objective of projects

Increased vulnerability of small-island and coastal communities to disaster hazards is partly due to proximity of people living close to exposed coastal areas. The vast majority of Micronesia’s population lives directly adjacent to or within a few kilometers country’s coastlines, including in hamlets and urban areas. With over 600 islands, comprised of only 702 square kilometers, spread over 1,600,000 square kilometers of ocean, with 17 native languages and limited resources, makes for a unique and challenging context to live and work in. Degradation of the coastal environment, because of population concentrations and human actions, continues to threaten the food security, livelihoods, and the overall economic development and well-being of coastal communities. A significant level of coastal off-shore or tidal area mangroves and on-shore shelter belts have been cut for firewood or other purposes, while in areas such as Chuuk and Kosrae States, disasters such as the 2015 Typhoons or continual sea abrasion have both made coastal areas more vulnerable to tropical storms and increased the loss of traditional livelihoods, other coastal assets and marine products. The challenge for coastal zone management in Micronesia is how to develop coastal and marine resources on an optimal and sustainable basis for the utmost benefit of the Micronesian people, by proportionally achieving sustained economic growth, social equity, maintenance of the carrying capacity of coastal ecosystems and mitigation of natural hazards.

Disasters associated with major storms, including floods and landslides, are likely to occur again, and limited formal preparedness exists at the community and/or institutional levels for highly exposed and populated areas. Underlying causes and preconditions that make coastal populations vulnerable to disasters need to be addressed in order to mitigate negative impacts and create resilient and sustainable societies. In 2015 alone, Micronesia has experienced two early-season typhoons (Maysak and Dolphin). Other weather-related storms also have severely affected Micronesia, such as heavy rains in 2002 from Tropical Storm Chataan, which caused more than thirty landslides which cumulatively killed forty-seven people and injured dozens others. Micronesia is one of the countries hardest hit by natural hazards, most especially typhoons and ENSO-related weather variability, that has seen both major droughts and floods affect a significant number of vulnerable people, especially settled in coastal areas, where virtually the entire population lives.

Based on the preliminary assessment and post-Typhoon Maysak learning, the American Red Cross (AmCross) supports Micronesia Red Cross Society’s (MRCS) Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities by improving disaster risk preparedness and other disaster risk reduction (DRR) practices and the provision of safe water and hygiene practices

The project goal and outcomes are outlined below:

Project goal: Reduce the number of deaths and injuries and lessen the negative socio-economic impact caused by climate-related disasters (e.g. typhoons) and environmental degradation in vulnerable Micronesian islands.

The project intends to achieve this goal through focusing on two objectives:

1) To strengthen exposed disaster prone small island communities of Chuuk State to be better prepared for or mitigate the negative impact caused from reoccurring disasters (i.e. especially typhoons) and adapt to climate change by improving their capacity and enhancing their resilience;

2) To contribute to improved national Red Cross institutional capacity to confront DRR and climate change adaptation issues.

The following results were proposed to USAID/OFDA and categorized by the OFDA-mandated list of sectors and subsectors:

Sector Name: Natural and Technological Risks

Objective: To strengthen the resilience of vulnerable small island communities to mitigate risk and negative impact of coastal hazards, especially typhoons

(a) Sub-sector Name: Hydro-Meteorological Hazards

Result 1: Vulnerability to climate risk and coastal hazards is reduced through increased capacity, knowledge and skills of community members to prepare for and to mitigate disaster risk.

Result 2: Vulnerability to coastal hazards is reduced through small-scale mitigation projects that improve safety and coastal land management

Result 3: Vulnerability to coastal hazards is reduced through a replicable integrated community based disaster management program

Result 4: DRR/CCA-related partnerships between MRCS and public-private sectors are strengthened

Sector Name: Water and Hygiene

Objective: To strengthen coastal community resiliency through improved water sources, sanitation along with corresponding hygiene practices

(a**) Sub-sector Name** Water Supply Infrastructure

Result 1: Community vulnerability is reduced through improved and strengthened water infrastructure especially protected from hazards such as typhoons.

(b) Subsector Name: Hygiene Promotion

Result 1: Improved PHAST hygiene behaviors will be practiced; leading to better environmental and community health.

(c) Subsector Name: Sanitation Infrastructure

Result 1: Improved community sanitation infrastructure (4) available to assist persons seeking refuge in evacuation centers, especially during typhoons

II. Project progress

The first year of implementation of the Micronesia CRCD project helped MRCS build a foundation for its volunteers and its overall capacity to implement community-based programming. Using a hands-on approach, MRCS has learned and delivered assistance for targeted communities in resilience building, starting with the design of community-based program planning, monitoring, and evaluation, followed by program implementation. The CRCD project officially commenced later than anticipated; however, the project has achieved the majority of its annual targets for the first year of the project (FY 2017).

Over eighteen months of active implementation (June 16-December 17), the CRCD team has produced deliverables including:

  • Establishment of Community Disaster Management Committee (CDMCs) in nine target communities comprised of representatives and volunteers from community groups (e.g., community/religious leaders, members of women’s groups) in all targeted communities. This body will liaise on any disaster preparedness and mitigation efforts within the community, with the Chuuk Disaster and Emergency Operation Center (CDEOC), MRCS and other relevant stakeholders.

  • Vulnerability Capacity Assessment (VCAs) in nine target communities yielded findings around communities’ potential hazards, risks, and capacity to adapt the risks. They also led to the development of Community Action Plans (CAPs) in eight communities.

  • Community Mitigation Assessments were completed following the development of CAP, in nine communities. The assessment focused on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) topics (e.g., needs assessment of new rain harvesting systems and water tanks in identified evacuation shelters, repairmen of existing water tanks, protection of water sources, and clean and improved dug wells).

  • 109 WASH Small scale mitigation project in nine targeted communities (14 completed) and 48 WASH infrastructure project (22 completed) in 30 community evacuation center identified mainly protection of water source, well improvement, water supply networks, water tank improvement/construction, gutter and roof improvement. Some WASH project on going and still in the pipelines, and expected to be completed in the end of March.

  • First Aid Training for community-based volunteers in five target communities helped to prepare these volunteers to serve as first responders in any upcoming disaster.

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on establishment of pilot thirty (30) well-prepared evacuation centers in Chuuk lagoon islands between MRCS and Chuuk Disaster Emergency and Operation Center (CDEOC) is signed.

  • MOU on Coastal Green Belt Rehabilitation Initiative by piloting in five communities between MRCS, CDEOC and Department of Agriculture is signed.

  • MOU on Safe, Clean and Healthy environment Initiative by piloting in nine communities between MRCS, CDEOC, Department of Health and Environmental Protection Agency is recently initiated.

III. Expected scope of work

The WASH technical assistance will be responsible for carrying out the WASH infrastructure and software (hygiene promotion, behavior change communication, community outreach, trainings…) quality assurance by conducting random quality assurance in some WASH infrastructure projects as well as WASH awareness raising sessions. The WASH technical assistance will also provide a training on relevant technical topics based on the observation and review to the MRCS Public Awareness and Public Education (PAPE) team to help improve its knowledge and skills. The WASH technical assistance will work closely with AmCross DM Delegate, and MRCS program team in conducting the quality assurance.

Purpose of Quality Assurance

To ensure that the WASH infrastructure and its software are meeting global standards (SPHERE, IFRC) for the maximum benefit of the people we are trying to serve to become better prepared for future disasters.

Objectives of Review

  • To measure the WASH infrastructure and software quality assurance in term of design, final result/product and service delivery

  • To assess major factors of the WASH infrastructure and software successes as well as challenges that contributes to the variance of project achievements.

  • To obtain inputs and recommendation in term of design, final result/product and service delivery for future intervention or improvement of its quality when possible.

Review criteria and questions

Reviews may consider many things, but should include at least three broad areas: key criteria, main review questions and sub-questions:

Relevance: How appropriate was the WASH infrastructure and software design?

1.1 To what extent were the WASH infrastructure and software’s assessment criteria, and key activities relevant, appropriate and effective in the evolving context, considering the project Goals (DRR and capacity of MRCS)

1.2 To what extent did the WASH infrastructure and software’s design meeting SPHERE/ IFRC/Country standards quality standard?

1.3 Is there a need to revise the WASH infrastructure and software’s design for the remaining project period or future intervention? If yes, how and what would they be? Appropriateness of the program vs project Goals/objectives

1.4 How well the program identified the needs, based on objectives vs needs

1.5 How the design contributed to solve the challenges in DRR

Quality : How did the actual quality of WASH infrastructure and software compare to international quality standards and practices?

2.1 Were quality standards defined, and did activities achieve high levels of quality in implementation? Did the project have sufficient technical assistance i.e. civil engineer/water engineer/HP specialist to assess different qualities?

2.2 Were beneficiaries—in general or for specific groups (such as the elderly or disabled) — involved in the planning and decision-making process?

2.3 Is the project allocating sufficient budget and resources to ensure that quality of service is provided?

2.4 Is there a need to improve the WASH infrastructure and software’s quality in the remaining project period or future intervention? If yes, how and what would they be?

2.5 How is the existing quality of design and its relevance with the quality of infrastructure on the ground?

Sustainability: How well is the project team ensuring the WASH infrastructure and software’s investments will have lasting impact?

3.1 How the community will maintain its investments?

3.2 What is most appropriate sustainability plan?

3.3 Did the project help the MRCS with any partnership with local agencies to ensure its sustainability (technical assistance)?

3.4 Did the project increase MRCS capacity in WASH i.e. to implement similar projects in the future?

3.5 Was local knowledge and design at community level considered?

The specific scope of work is as follows:

  1. To provide a detail quality assurance assessment of the WASH infrastructure and software’s implementation in Chuuk.

  2. To provide recommendations for improving the WASH infrastructure and software’s technical design and content to better address the community needs and meeting accepted quality standards.

  3. To provide recommendations for future WASH programming in term of program strategy, design and approach as relevant to North Pacific Context as well as the MRCS capacity.

  4. To facilitate discussions, meetings and workshop on quality assurance findings review process as required

  5. To facilitate any WASH infrastructure and software capacity building to the project team as well as MRCS volunteers on specific thematic topics based on quality assurance findings when relevant.

Methodologies

The review methods will use qualitative methods of data collection which will cover all required information to ensure that the findings are objective and reliable. Therefore, the methods would include the following:

Method

Critical element of Project review process

Desk review

  • Review of WASH training and technical resources such as IEC materials, training curricula, guidelines, etc.

Key informant interviews

  • Asking beneficiaries and field staff what is and is not working
  • Discussions with field based managers, which explore the question, “What are you doing to manage for quality?”

Group discussion

  • Asking beneficiaries and field staff what is and is not working
  • Random selection of sites to visit, not influenced by staff who may have a vested interest in showing only good things; this may also be determined through a set of criteria established by the review team
  • Feedback from implementing partners such as MRCS branch staff and volunteers, and external partners, as necessary

Observation 1 Site visits

  • Comprehensive review of all wash activities in the project
  • Random selection of sites to visit,

Location of work

MRCS Chuuk Chapter and potential nine target communities.

Administrative and logistic support

The WASH technical assistance consultant is expected to use her/his own computer, equipment and software. Air travel and accommodation will be covered by AmCross.

Reporting relationship

The WASH technical assistance consultant will report to AmCross Disaster Management Delegate based in Micronesia.

Duration

The duration is 14 days excluding travel days and with work expected to be performed in July 2018.

1 day : Project documents review

7 days : Field Assessment (MRCS Chuuk chapter, AmCross and selected target communities)

2 days : Report findings

2 days : Quality Assurance review meeting/workshop/training**

2 days : Final report

Qualifications

  • A degree from a reputable, accredited university in WASH and/or relevant field is required. A Master’s Degree is preferred;
  • At least 10 years’ experience providing technical support to WASH programs including prior work in role of a WASH consultant, preferably in the NGO sector
  • Strong project assessment background (direct observation, focus groups, in-depth interviews..)
  • Experience designing and leading trainings
  • Strong familiarity with North Pacific, ideally including Micronesia
  • Experience identifying and establishing institutional capacity building initiatives, particularly for local partner organizations;
  • Experience collaborating with government agencies, international organizations and working through local implementing partners;
  • Experience supporting and evaluating USAID and USAID/OFDA funded WASH projects
  • Fluent in English (written and spoken)
  • Superior writing and analytical skills
  • Advanced computers skills (Windows, Spreadsheets, Word Processing);
  • Understanding of and/or experienced with Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement preferred

Applications must include the following: Cover Letter, CV, Proposed Methodology & Workplan, Proposed Budget (in USD) and References combined into one Word or PDF file.

Please submit your proposal application in English by June 24th, 2018 to recruitment@amredcross.org with Micronesia WASH Quality Assurance TA in the subject line and include your name in the application filename. Please make sure to specify your availability dates in your cover letter. Only short-listed candidates will be notified and contacted for an interview. Applications received after the deadline or incomplete applications will not be considered.

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: Red Cross - American
  • Location: Washington D.C. (United States of America)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Social Affairs
    • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
    • Civil Society and Local governance
    • Supply Chain
    • Ombudsman and Ethics
    • Internal audit, Investigation and Inspection
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Disaster Management (Preparedness, Resilience, Response and Recovery)
    • Climate Change
  • Closing Date: 2018-06-24

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