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Water and Sanitation advisor

Amsterdam (Netherlands)

  • Organization: MSF - Canada
  • Location: Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
  • Closing Date: 2020-11-03

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MSF is an international, independent medical humanitarian organisation. We provide medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare. We are a non-profit, self-governed, member-based organisation. MSF was founded in 1971 in Paris by a group of journalists and doctors. Today, we are a worldwide movement of more than 67,000 people.

MSF coordinates operations through collaborations between global offices. The ‘MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam’ (OCA) is a partnership that is composed of the partners MSF-Canada, MSF-Germany, MSF-SARA, MSF-Sweden, MSF-Holland and MSF-United Kingdom. MSF-OCA operates medical humanitarian interventions in about 25 countries with more than 11,000 staff.

The office of MSF-Holland located in Amsterdam hosts more than 400 employees, offering direct support to MSF-OCA operations. Around 50 staff focus on recruitment, communication and fundraising in The Netherlands (MSF-Holland) and 350 staff are focused on supporting MSF-OCA operations.

At Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Artsen zonder Grenzen, we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our employees. Our diversity fuels our innovation and connects us closer to our beneficiaries and the communities in which we work. We welcome applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, races, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics.

The Public Health Department (PHD) is responsible for providing strategic direction and integrated advice on medical and public health issues to the field and headquarters. The PHD plays a key role in developing and maintaining the medical humanitarian identity and image of MSF-OCA, and in continuing to develop and improve intervention strategies so as to be relevant and effective.

The department is made up of a group of generalist Health Advisors (based in Amsterdam and Berlin) and medical and public health specialists (paediatrics, nutrition, water and sanitation, mental health, HIV/TB, etc.) who provide expert support in a range of fields. The Manson Unit, a medical unit based in MSF-UK, focuses mainly on support to tuberculosis and epidemiology.

With immediate effect, our Public Health department is looking for a:

Water and Sanitation Advisor (100%)

(Supporting Emergency Operations)

based in Amsterdam


You provide expert advice and support to the MSF OCA Operations and to colleagues within the PHD on water, hygiene, sanitation and vector control (WatSan). You also initiate, implement, develop and improve the operational policies.


In this role you will be part of two teams: the team of three WatSan Advisors who are part of the PHD but also the emergency desk, which is a group of medical and non-medical experts who steer and oversee the emergency missions and projects of MSF OCA.

We are looking for someone who can provide technical and strategic support to emergency projects, either from Amsterdam or through field visits. You will mentor WatSan field staff. Because this role supports the emergency team you will also contribute to the assessment and/or intervention in emergencies as WatSan Field Co-ordinator in early phases when in the field.

You actively monitor the quality of programmes through reports, (de) briefings, field visits and communication with the field and suggest adjustments when required. In addition, you will contribute to the development of intervention strategies, activities and resources. This could apply to our field missions but also to our HQ environment. You contribute to the development of relevant tools (guidelines, evaluations and technical support documents), you update the emergency stocks, design operational research projects and vision documents. You give expert advice and technical support to colleagues across departments. You will also develop and facilitate staff trainings and you participate in representing the WatSan Unit and PHD internally and externally from a Water and Sanitation perspective.
In your field of expertise you initiate/performs operational research, literature reviews and you analyse for relevant developments. You initiates innovation projects as well as new product development, and you align strategy and policy with counterparts in other MSF sections on specific areas of expertise.


· Higher vocational education in Water and Sanitation, preferably Public Health Engineering or Environmental Health;

· Minimum 3 years field experience with MSF or other relief organisation in co-ordinator position in the field of Emergency WatSan;

· Flexibility to travel and support projects (up to 40% of the job will be spent on project visits);

· Ability to provide emergency support to field programmes for up to 6 weeks at short notice (i.e. 48 hrs) and work “hands-on” as WatSan coordinator;

· Knowledge of the humanitarian world; affinity with the principles and objectives of MSF’s work;

· Strong mentoring skills with adequate training experience to teach at internal and external courses.

· Knowledge + experience in hydrogeology, water networks and solar energy are a benefit, as well as knowledge and experience with Bio-safety (Ebola, Covid 19, Cholera).

· Fluency (written and spoken) in English and preferably French; other languages are an added value; Dutch is not essential;

· Good team-player, flexible, ability to work independently and under pressure.


· A full-time appointment for one year with the option for renewal (we are looking for someone who is interested in committing for a period of at least three years).

· A gross salary (scale 7) of a minimum of €3,360 and a maximum of €4,798 per month for a full-time position depending on relevant work experience.

· A challenging position in an international environment

· Attractive secondary benefits (premium free pension, 30 holidays)


If you are interested in this post and would like additional information, please contact recruiter Shelly Jonker at

If you believe that you fit the profile, you can react directly via the 'Apply' button on the website. Please upload a letter of motivation and Curriculum Vitae in English as one combined document.

Deadline for applications is 3 November. Selection will be done by means on an interview in the first or second week of November.

Personal applications only, acquisition is not appreciated

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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