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WASH Officer


  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Dhaka
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
  • Closing Date:

Hardship Level


Family Type


Family Type


Residential location (if applicable)



Staff Member / Affiliate Type



Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

December 15, 2022

Standard Job Description

WASH Officer Organizational Setting and Work Relationships The WASH Officer will be responsible for provision of professional technical support and guidance on activities within the areas of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) in the locations within the Areas of Responsibility (AoR). Furthermore, the incumbent is required to play a lead role in formulating appropriate project proposals and assistance activities that should be incorporated into the relevant operation programmes of UNHCR. S/he is normally supervised by the Senior Programme Officer and will receive the technical backup and support from the Senior WASH Officer. In addition, the incumbent will be expected to work within multi-functional and interdisciplinary teams. The WASH Officer will support the UNHCR Operation, in coordination with the Government, to assess needs and coordinate the provision of WASH services to Persons of Concern (PoC) to UNHCR. This will include WASH contingency and preparedness planning, assessment and development of long-term WASH strategies and operational plans. The incumbent will be responsible for the coordination of WASH partners in conjunction with government authorities, and for monitoring progress and quality of WASH programme implementation to ensure that an adequate level of WASH services are provided at each site in accordance with the UNHCR WASH manual, technical guidelines, and applicable UNHCR and/or national standards and the Sustainable Development Goal targets. S/he will follow a rights-based and community focused approach to programme design and implementation. The incumbent will follow the five principles for protection, accountability and WASH as outlined in UNHCR's WASH Manual. Where there is no senior WASH colleague in operation or the region, the incumbent should maintain regular communication with the WASH team in HQ for technical advice, information, and access to updated global tools and resources. All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR's core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity. Duties Leadership and Coordination - Coordinate activities of WASH implementing partners, together with other UN agencies, governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other partners to ensure delivery of WASH services to beneficiaries (PoC and host community) meets UNHCR and /or nationally recognised and most up-to-date standards and policies. - Where there are PoC living outside of camps/settlements, strongly lead and collaborate with partners to ensure the enjoyment of the human right to water and sanitation by all PoC. - Work closely with government and partners, following the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), to unlock resources (humanitarian and development) for the design and construction of community-centred infrastructure, improved hygiene conditions, safe management of water and sanitation services and service provision upgrades in refugee hosting areas. - Promote all decision making regarding WASH services to take in to account the needs and capacities of PoC, and the solutions proposed by PoC. - Facilitate WASH coordination among partners, ensuring that inclusive and good practice coordination structures for all technical sectors covered are in place, and that sector coordination functions at national and field levels are in line with operational and partner requirements. - Address gaps and overlaps in UNHCR funded WASH programmes and unmet needs, and the activities are oriented to address priority WASH issues. - Manage and provide support to a multi-sector ¿technical unit¿ in the AoR, including sector functions covering site planning, shelter, health, nutrition, and environment. - Provide support to national government(s) for inclusion of PoC within national SDG 6 development plans (Urban and Rural) and financing mechanisms and service delivery systems. - Support key WASH strategic partnerships with development and humanitarian agencies to support inclusion of refugee WASH services within national systems and development financing mechanisms. - Engage with Urban WASH actors (GAUC, UCLG, UNHABITAT, Municipal Authorities, Utilities, and relevant government line ministries) for preparedness planning, inclusion in pro-poor tariffs, and provision of WASH services to PoC hosted in urban areas. WASH Strategy, Planning and Programme Support - Maintain a WASH strategy which identifies the targets and approaches for water supply, excreta management, personal and environmental hygiene (including menstrual health), solid waste management, vector control, and institutional WASH facilities. The strategy should include a contingency plan for potential epidemics, refugee and returnee movement. - Jointly with WASH partners and other stakeholders, update detailed needs and resource assessments and revise designs and technical plans, taking into account practical aspects of implementation, long-term sustainable solutions, and relevant technical specifications and guidelines. - Closely advise and assist the UNHCR programme staff on the development of WASH aspects of the programme including planning, budgeting and input to financial management of the programme. - Ensure PoC are consulted during planning, design, implementation, and monitoring of WASH services using an age, gender and diversity approach. - Ensure the WASH Strategy includes all UNHCR PoC, and considers at a minimum WASH access data collection, and advocacy for inclusion of all PoC (both in camp and out of camp) within national systems of WASH service provision Technical Assistance and Capacity Building - Ensure that the needs of women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities are adequately addressed in planning and implementing WASH activities. - Support operations to define the scope of UNHCR involvement, expressed in terms of overall and operational objectives during emergency, transition, and protracted phases. - Lead in the review and analysis of partner project proposals and budgetary submissions. - Use community-based approaches, including clear involvement of women, girls, boys, and men, elderly, persons with disabilities in the design of WASH related infrastructure, products, and services. - Provide technical assistance to UNHCR offices and programmes in the development, integration and mainstreaming of appropriate client-focused and cost effective WASH programmes. - Develop or ensure development of information, education and communication materials through community consultations, collaborating with women, girls, boys, men, elderly, persons with disability, and other potentially marginalised groups. - Assess needs and facilitate capacity strengthening activities of UNHCR and its implementing/operational partners to address key areas of WASH importance to PoC. - Build the capacity and competence of UNHCR's staff on both hardware and software components of WASH - Ensure community capacity building is carried out through multi-discipline teams working with women, girls, men, and boys of the community to train and empower them on WASH related aspects including: menstrual health, hygiene promotion, operation and maintenance, monitoring and reporting, and other topics. Monitoring, Evaluation and Quality Assurance - Monitor and evaluate WASH programmes against standard UNHCR and SDG indicators to ensure that programmes are evidence-based and implemented in a comprehensive, client-focused, and cost effective manner. - Ensure robust monitoring and evaluation is carried out following UNHCR's WASH monitoring system using standard resources for data collection, analysis and interpretation. - Ensure that all data regarding the boreholes and WASH infrastructure is updated on UNHCR's GIS portal and relevant website(s). - Ensure SDG 6 WASH access data is collected and recorded in the WASH Monitoring System for all UNHCR PoC to enable comparative reporting against national averages, to ensure that refugees/IDPs are not being ¿left behind¿. - Collate WASH services access data (for both in-camp and out-of-camp PoC) to identify and promote inclusion of PoC within national SDG 6 development plans and financing mechanisms and service delivery systems. Reporting and Accountability - Foster PoC's access to feedback and accountability mechanisms for the WASH services. - Collate and analyse data on the satisfaction of PoC with regards to WASH services. - Prepare regular sectorial reports and submit material for preparation of periodic project monitoring reports as required. - Report regularly on WASH activity implementation by all WASH partners, while maintaining accurate records of all relevant performance indicators. - Ensure adequate reporting, timely updates and briefings to donor and management. - Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications Years of Experience / Degree Level For P3/NOC - 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree Field(s) of Education Agriculture Civil Engineering Environmental Sciences Hydrology Geology Natural Resources Management Project management Construction Public Health Rural Development Community Development Social Science Anthropology Sociology Social work Social Developmnt Architecture Urban policy & planning Water resource /development Water/Sanitation Engineering or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses Not specified. Relevant Job Experience Essential Proven expertise in the area of WASH including surveys, programme implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and coordination. Desirable Knowledge and understanding of water and wastewater hydraulics and physical, chemical and biological properties; solid waste management practices, vector control and hygiene promotion/awareness raising strategies. Knowledge and understanding of relationship between water, wastewater, solid waste, vector control to public health indicators, and value of hygiene promotion/awareness raising and behaviour change methodologies. Functional Skills WA-WASH-related Technologies CO-Reporting skills SP-Natural Resources Management WA-Drinking-Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance WA-WASH Assessment: Survey planning, implementation and oversight IT-Geographic Information Systems (GIS) PG-Programme Management (programme cycles and reporting standards) SP-Vector Control Systems Management (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential) Language Requirements For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language. For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English. All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power. As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise. This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Desired Candidate Profile

• Knowledge and understanding of multisectoral and integrated WASH programming, WASH knowledge management, documentation and innovation
• Knowledge and understanding of ground water development, operation and maintenance of water supply system, wastewater and drinking water quality monitoring, fecal sludge management, solid waste management practices, vector control
• Knowledge and understanding of the WASH Sector/cluster and inter agency coordination mechanisms
• Emergency preparedness, community engagement and behavior change communication methodologies, hygiene promotion/awareness and response to public health emergencies (AWD/Cholera, dengue, etc)

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):


Desired languages


Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:

Nature of Position:

Under the supervision guidance of the Technical Coordinator (WASH/Shelter), the WASH Officer will be responsible for the provision of professional technical support and guidance on the development, preparation, management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and the coordination of WASH programmes in the locations within the Areas of Responsibility (AoR)

The incumbent should have strong skills in managing relationships, especially with local government officials and implementing partners. S/He must have the ability to navigate and engage on a professional level with multiple stakeholders and government departments including the Dept. of Public Health and Engineering (DPHE) and Refugee Response and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) and Camp in Charge (CiC).

S/He must be prepared to facilitate donor visits in the field with factual and well-prepared briefings and information updates and should be prepared to coordinate groups of professional WASH actors, in Zonal/Camp Sector meetings and chair Technical Working Group meetings of the WASH Sector when necessary. The candidate must have a strong and proven dedication to gender mainstreaming, and to be able to deliver programming for women, children, the disabled and the elderly (AGD). This must go well beyond simple technical solutions.

Hygiene promotion is one of the greatest problems in the Rohingya response thus, the ability to lead partners in designing and delivering high visibility, high impact behavior change programming is essential. S/He must have strong technical skills in all aspects of WASH technical programming including experience in urban and slum contexts as well as with the private sector. Strong experience in delivering at scale, faecal sludge management and large-scale drinking water networks is pertinent.

Working experience within UNHCR (UN) programming and funding mechanisms and collaboration with relevant divisions and partners, combined with experience working in an inter-agency environment, especially in a complex emergency setting is crucial including Sector coordination mechanisms. S/He should be prepared to operate in tropical monsoon weather conditions. S/He must have strong sense in safety and security for themselves, our field staff, our partners and the refugees. A good knowledge of the broader international refugee law and human rights  context under which UNHCR operates will be seen as essential.

Living and Working Conditions:

Cox's Bazar is a category D family duty station with a 2-year Standard Assignment Length (SAL). Educational facilities are limited, and international schools from primary to secondary school are currently available in Dhaka only. Health services are limited in Cox's Bazar, but more reliable facilities are available in Dhaka. Malaria and dengue risks exist throughout the year. Vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis and diphtheria are recommended.

Cox's Bazar is a principal tourist destination within Bangladesh, due to its location at the Bay of Bengal and its long beach. Infrastructure and shopping options in Cox's Bazar - a small city of just 250,000 persons is very basic. International staff reside in privately rented apartments, or serviced apartments all of which provide basic standards.

The Rest and Recuperation (R&R) cycle in Cox's Bazar is 8 weeks. The current R&R location is Bangkok, Thailand. Cox`s Bazar is connected by several daily flights to Dhaka, albeit only during daylight hours. Banks/ATM machines are available in Cox's Bazar and credit/debit cards are accepted. Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks and exchange houses. Staff who intend to be joined by family members, in particular young children, should contact HR for more information, as educational and medical facilities are not adequate.

The security level system in Bangladesh is level 3 moderate. Although security is generally acceptable, given the current situation in the area, no movement on highways at night is allowed. Walking and jogging in the streets as earmarked is permitted. Crowded local markets should be avoided. Security Clearance is required and can be requested via TRIP at Requests for clearance should be submitted 7 days prior travel.

Additional Qualifications



BA: Water/Sanitation Engineering (Required), BA: Water Resources Development (Required)


Work Experience

Annual Budget OL in Operation/Office, Number of Persons of Concern Served, Number of Workforce in Operation/Work Setting, Workforce to Supervise, Working with Persons of Concern: Refugees


Accountability, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Innovation & creativity, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Managing resource, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Teamwork & collaboration, Technological awareness

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Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022

Functional clearance

This position requires Functional Clearance
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