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Consultancy - Multi Country WASH Emergency, LACRO, Panama City

Panama City (Panama)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Panama City (Panama)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
    • Emergency Aid and Response
    • Medical Practitioners
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-25

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The purpose of this consultancy is to provide leadership and facilitate the processes that will ensure a well-coordinated, strategic, adequate, coherent, and effective preparedness and response by actors at country level in WASH (and in coordination with other strategic sectors) on behalf of UNICEF, and in support of the Government/s.

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, deliver


How can you make a difference?


Many countries in Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) are prone to recurring environmental threats on a yearly basis as well as human made crisis. In addition, the Caribbean and Central America sub regions have a seasonal hurricane season from mid-May to December, with increasingly frequent and devastating impacts to many countries. In the Latin American and Caribbean Area, many UNICEF country offices do not have a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme nor a WASH officer but are expected to intervene in the WASH sector if a major event occurs by leading or supporting the coordination of the response and/or implementing WASH response.

The Regional Office has stretched human resources capacities and even if UNICEF can rely on the deployment of surge support (stretch assignments, standby partners, etc.) there is a general agreement that we act in urgency, in the response and have too little time to strengthen the national WASH sector coordination on the preparedness component that would strengthen the sector capacity to respond and reduce UNICEF workload in the responses.

UNICEF is the Cluster Lead Agency for the WASH Cluster when clusters are activated. UNICEF is not necessarily the one leading or co-leading the cluster but has the responsibility to ensure and support implementation (generally the actor from the sector with most capacity). To avoid confusion between leading or co-leading the cluster as UNICEF and UNICEF being also an implementing agency, the consultant, if deployed, will be confirmed by UNICEF Country Office and regional office if he/she is deployed to support UNICEF implementing its response or to lead/co-lead the sector but he/she will not be asked to do both.

Purpose of the Assignment

The purpose of this consultancy is to provide leadership and facilitate the processes that will ensure a well-coordinated, strategic, adequate, coherent, and effective preparedness and response by actors at country level in WASH (and in coordination with other strategic sectors) on behalf of UNICEF, and in support of the Government/s.

Under the overall technical guidance of the LAC WASH Regional Specialist/s, and in close collaboration with the Deputy Representatives of UNICEF ECA, Belize, Jamaica and Guyana/Suriname, the consultant will provide leadership, guidance and facilitate the processes that will ensure well-coordinated, strategic, adequate, coherent, and effective preparedness processes (including assessment and info management basic tools) and response by actors at country level in WASH (and in close coordination with other key sectors) on behalf of UNICEF, and in support of the Government/s.

The consultant key accountabilities will be towards:

  • The UNICEF Representative in each of the 4 country offices and will be managed by the Deputy Representative or other delegated manager as appropriate with direct technical matrix management from LACRO WASH Specialist
  • The cluster coordinator/co-lead and participants of the country led cluster, who will in turn ensure that they deliver on their agreed minimum commitments (see IASC Reference Module for Cluster Coordination at the Country Level, November 2012)
  • The Inter-cluster coordination bodies established by the Humanitarian Country Team/UN OCHA 
  • The Affected populations through agreed feedback mechanisms

The countries and territories to be supported are listed below by UNICEF Country Office (CO):

  • Belize CO: Belize
  • Jamaica CO: Jamaica and The Bahamas
  • Guyana/Suriname CO: Guyana and Suriname
  • Eastern Caribbean Area CO (based in Barbados): Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, British
    Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the
    Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands)

Specific Tasks

The consultant, in a non-emergency response context, has the double role of strengthening UNICEF office capacity in preparedness and planning of a response and the role and joint responsibility with UNICEF, partners and all WASH in emergency actors at the national and/or sub-national level for the efficient management and functioning of the WASH sector in emergency preparedness encompassing the following 3 non-negotiable activities described below:

  • Support UNICEF Country Offices (COs) to keep their Emergency Preparedness Platform (EPP) updated for the WASH sector and WASH links to other key sectors and cross sectoral areas. This includes the necessary support to preparation and signature of PCA and Humanitarian Programme Documents (HPD) with implementing partners in every country/territory.
    • Assist UNICEF Country Offices in identification and procurement of required WASH supplies
      and equipment (for both development and emergency-orientated activities).
    • Provide progress reports to COs as required.
  • Support the establishment of an appropriate coordination mechanism (including basic information management) of the WASH sector for emergency preparedness and response -in countries that do not have one yet- based on the Global WASH Cluster 6+1 functions and WASH LAC Group minimum requirements for WASH sector coordination (Appendix 1). Depending on thecountries/territories context this coordination mechanism may be merged with regular sector coordination platform or not.
  • Strengthen already existing sectoral national/sub national coordination ensuring fulfilment of the minimum requirements for WASH sector coordination through increased preparedness with primary focus on the hurricane season.

Strategic activities 2 and 3 above include the following sub activities:

  • Dynamise the WASH in emergency actors to conduct regular coordination meetings ensuring that the group regresents all key groups of interest of the WASH actors
  • Support national WASH in emergency platforms in filling the Vulnerability & Capacity Matrix and promote and support the use of the WASH activity monitoring tool
  • Work closely with the regional Information manager to build the nationally contextualized dashboard of the WASH activities monitoring tool.
  • Revise and provide recommendations to the national emergency response plans from National Disaster Agency, from the Ministry of Health and from the National Water Agency, and stakeholders involved in national WASH responses.
  • Support the national WASH coordination group in developing a comprehensive (but synthetic) response plan and at least a Contingency Plan for Hurricanes.
  • Ensure that the national WASH in emergency platforms counts with all the minimum cluster coordination tools (see toolkit box) and/or contextualized tools by UNICEF LACRO/WASH LAC Group
  • Support WASH actors’ training on the use of the assessment tool(s)
  • Support the execution of the standardised Cluster Coordination Performance Monitoring (CCPM) at 5 and 10 months to guide the support in strengthening coordination.

See detailed activities for each country office in Appendix 2.

In case of being deployed to the field for an emergency response or having to support remotely the country that responds to an emergency, AND IF the consultant is being given the role of Cluster lead or co-lead, he/she will:

  • Support the government in leading the coordination of the WASH sector including active co-leadership if needed and respond to the coordination platform participants’ needs;
  • Ensure assesssment tools are agreed upon and used by actors and support compilation and analysis of the data for prioritization of the activities and areas of intervention
  • Build complementarity of partner actions avoiding duplication and gaps by using a prioritization matriz that includes all communities of the country and vulnerability and affectation criteria;
  • Ensure adequate resources are mobilized and are equitably allocated for the effective functioning of the cluster and its response;
  • Ensure effective and comprehensive integration of relevant cross-cutting issues, including age, gender, environment and HIV/AIDs;
  • Maintain flexibility within the cluster/platform to respond to changes in the operating environment, evolving requirements, capacities and participation;
  • Effectively generate, use and transfer information to, from and between cluster/platform participants and other stakeholders, lead on the preparation of WASH sector SitRep with emphasis on plans, targets and achievements.
  • Interact with other clusters (including through inter-cluster coordination fora), humanitarian actors, government counterparts, and relevant authorities for operational planning, engagement and active contribution of operational partners;
  • Ensure that the WASH platform actors/cluster actors are accountable to the affected population through effective and inclusive consultative and feedback mechanisms.
  • Ensure minimum information management support to the WASH coordination/Cluster (with support from regional UNICEF IM) as per the Appendix 1.
  • Monitor/assess performance of the 6 + 1 core cluster functions and lead/c-lead the adjustments that are needed. Once a year the cluster should conduct a Cluster Coordination performance Monitoring (CCPM) Where there is both a national and a sub-national cluster, the consultant will ensure that there is effective communication, reporting, engagement and coordination between the two levels.

In case of being deployed to the field for an emergency response or having to support remotely the country that responds to an emergency, AND IF the consultant is being given the role of implementing or supporting UNICEF programatic response, he/she will:

  • Be accountable for the overall performance of UNICEF’s response in the WASH sector and the accomplishment of WASH related Core Commitments for Children (CCC)
  • Evaluate needs in collaboration with the WASH cluster and in coordination with other UNICEF key sectors and analyze the data and propose prioritization of activities accordingly
  • Deliver UNICEF emergency WASH programme in line with the CCCs and the Programme Document,
  • Report efficiently (SitRep, etc), rigorously and with transparency in compliance with the established guidelines and procedures
  • Provide inputs to other sectors’ or CO sitreps as required.
  • Attend WASH cluster meetings and report to the WASH cluster as any other cluster member and based on needs attend other sector’s cluster meetings.
  • Implement basic Information Management activities for WASH.
  • Explore/operationalize innovations to gain efficiencies/effectiveness and scale of response.
  • Coordinate with other key UNICEF sectors to compliment overall response (e.g. C4D/nutrition; etc.).

Finally, below a reminder of the Core cluster functions:

  • Supporting service delivery
  • Provide a platform to ensure that service delivery is driven by the agreed strategic priorities
  • Develop mechanisms to eliminate duplication of service delivery

Informing strategic decision-making of the HC/HCT for the humanitarian response

  • Needs assessment and gap analysis (across other sectors and within the sector)
  • Analysis to identify and address (emerging) gaps, obstacles, duplication, and cross-cutting issues.
  • Prioritization, grounded in response analysis

Planning and strategy development

  • Develop sectoral plans, objectives and indicators directly support realization of the HC/HCT strategic priorities
  • Application and adherence to existing standards and guidelines
  • Clarify funding requirements, prioritization, and cluster contributions to HC’s overall humanitarian funding considerations (Flash Appeal, CAP, ERF/CHF, CERF)


  • Identify advocacy concerns to contribute to HC and HCT messaging and action
  • Undertaking advocacy activities on behalf of cluster participants and the affected population
  • Monitoring and reporting the implementation of the cluster strategy and results; recommending corrective action where necessary
  • Contingency planning/preparedness for recurrent disasters whenever feasible and relevant.
  • Accountability to affected populations
    Therefor the preparedness process lead by the consultant must ensure that all core functions will be

Expected Results

The actors of the WASH sector in the countries and territories covered by the consultancy are prepared for an effective, appropriate and timely WASH response and sector coordination in response to an emergency and in line with Global WASH Cluster 6+1 core functions, the regional WASH LAC Group minimum requirements for sector coordination and UNICEF’s Core Commitments for Children.


Please find the deliverables in this attachment: Download File Deliverables.pdf

Also find the Appendix 1: Download File Appendix 1.pdf and Appendix 2: Download File Appendix 2.pdf


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

  • University degree, preferably at an advanced level, in a subject area relevant to WASH related studies including civil and environmental engineering, public health and related subjects. Extensive work experience relevant to this consultancy will be considered as a replacement for formal qualifications. Formal training in cluster coordination/Info management an advantage
  • At least 5 years work experience in preparedness, risk reduction, humanitarian response and contingency plans At least 7 years progressively responsible humanitarian work experience with UN and/or NGO, including programme management and/or coordination in the first phase of a major emergency response relevant to the WASH cluster.
    Basic Information Management (IM) experience.
    Experience working with UNICEF and in the countries to be supported is desirable.
  • Fluency in English (written, spoken) is required.
  • Understands key technical issues related to emergency water supply, sanitation and hygiene, needs assessment and sector/cluster coordination. Make full use of their experience and knowledge; guide strategy and plans, communicate and advocate on important issues. Basic Information Management (IM) skills (advanced Excel level and basics to understand and execute the Info Management needs listed in Appendix 1 and 2.
  • Extensive knowledge of UNICEF programme work in the LAC Region in the areas of climate resilient WASH and emergency WASH response in the Caribbean is desirable.


Supervision: The consultant will work under the direct supervision of LACRO WASH Specialist that and feedback of each Deputy Representative in the 4 Country Offices (or whoever is nominated by them)

Workplace: This is is a home-based consultancy.

- This is a full-time contract (the consultant has to deliver 40 hours/week) and is required to work and be available and attend any call/meetings/requests/etc. from the country offices and/or the regional office from Monday to Friday from 7am to 1pm (Panama/Jamaica time, meaning 9am-3pm Suriname Time, 8am to 2pm Barbados/Guyana time, ) as core hours. The lunch breaks, remaining working hours and overall working hours arrangements will be agreed for each day of the week with every country office.
Dedicated days per CO: ECA CO dedicated days will be Thursdays and Fridays, the allocation of the 3 remaining days for the other 3 COs will be notify when consultancy starts.

Duration: This contract is expected to start on 1 July 2021 with an estimated duration of 11.5 months.

Travel: To be determined. Will depend on emergency responses and countries needs and ability to fund the extra costs related to deployment of the consultant.

How to apply: Application should be submitted online and should include CV, cover letter and financial proposal. Qualified candidates are requested to submit daily fees in their financial proposal.


For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. To view our competency framework, please visit here.



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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.



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.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

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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