Water, Sanitation and Cluster Advisor - IFRC, Panama

Closing date:  11 Nov 2011

The Regional Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster Advisor is responsible for working to support National and sub national level Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Clusters in the Zone/Region to build their capacity to respond to water and sanitation emergencies. The Advisor must ensure safe water, sanitation, health education and community participation is encouraged and delivered through improved capacity of national and sub-national emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene coordination mechanisms and all agencies active in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector including both ‘host’ and participating Red Cross / Red Crescent National Societies where they are active. Provide regular technical guidance, coordination, supervision, support and advice to country based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene actors including Federation Water and Sanitation and Health Delegates and/or National Society counterparts as appropriate. The Regional Cluster Advisors will pay particular attention to the needs of local offices of International Nongovernmental Organizations and to those of local partners and strive to ensure the fullest participation possible by all relevant actors. Country based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene cluster coordinators are technically accountable to the Regional Cluster Advisors who should ensure that Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster standards and international standards are maintained.

Key Tasks and Responsibilities
Works towards the achievement of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster goals in the region of operation through effective managerial and lateral relations and teamwork.

Maps existing regional and national Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector capacity (resources, response and coordination mechanisms and expertise) in the area of operation.

Assesses levels of cluster awareness and participation, and identifies barriers to participation and major impediments to effective coordination with particular emphasis on countries where national clusters are inactive, underperforming or non-existent.

In collaboration with the UNICEF Regional Water and Sanitation Advisor, and other UNICEF staff as appropriate, develops a regional work plan and support the Regional Cluster Coordinator in drafting the Regional Cluster consolidated work plan.

Completes the identification and prioritization of high-risk countries in the region (emergency risk ranking).

On the basis of the mapping exercise and risk ranking, supports the development and annual updating of regional Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster Contingency Plans and, in countries at high risk of disaster, instigates a contingency planning process in national clusters.

Supports and monitors country adaptation and roll-out of Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster concept and tools tailored to specific country-level needs

Attends the locations of significant emergencies, supports, mentors and advises management and staff of responding agencies.

Addresses the identified barriers to participation and engages and facilitates the participation of local Nongovernmental Organizations and International Nongovernmental Organizations at national coordination levels.

Identifies capacity building priorities and appropriate approaches to develop capacity, coordinate and support training and provides ongoing technical support to partner Nongovernmental Organizations and Governmental institutions.

Works in close collaboration/ liaison with the other Regional Cluster Advisors and the Regional Water and Sanitation Advisors to ensure a consistent approach across regions while maintaining relevance to national contexts.

Collaborating closely with UNICEF regional and national Water, Sanitation and Hygiene staff, support the creation and development of national Water, Sanitation and Hygiene coordination platforms (clusters).

Captures lessons from emergency response and incorporates them into future plans and activities.

Creates strategic links between the regional and national clusters and bilateral donors.

Advocates for the promotion or re-invigorates national coordination mechanisms in countries where they are absent or ineffective.

Promotes best practices and lessons learned within the clusters and ensures establishment of appropriate technical standards for the humanitarian response. This includes promoting and guiding national clusters in their adherence to minimum standards, including SPHERE and other recognised sectoral humanitarian standards, the Red Cross and Nongovernmental Organizations Code of Conduct.

Ensures integration of cross-cutting issues (gender, protection and HIV mainstreaming, disaster risk reduction and accountability to beneficiaries) in policies, tools, training, and strategic planning.

Maintains records and information and provides timely reporting.

Undertakes assigned tasks from the global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene cluster 2011-2013 strategic plan or others tasks as requested by the supervisor.

Respects and follows the key Federation technical documents (Water and Sanitation policy, Strategy 2010, Health & Care policies, Global Water and Sanitation Initiative, Millennium Development Goals, SPHERE, Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation, etc.,) contributes actively to the Federations Global Water and Sanitation / Health agenda.

As budget holder, plans, manages and monitors expenditure and provides timely and accurate expenditure records and meet financial reporting requirements as need be.

Education and Qualifications
Degree or Diploma in Water and Sanitation, Civil Engineering, Public Health or in a Community / Social Development field
Postgraduate education in Public Health (preferred)

At least 5 years experience working with disaster-related Water and Sanitation interventions.
At least 3 years of experience in field programs
Previous experience with Red Cross / Red Crescent emergency response and knowledge of Disaster Management tools (Emergency Response Unit, Team Leader or Field Assessment Coordination Team) (preferred)
Experience with a National Society (preferred)

Skills and Knowledge
Leadership and coordination skills
Analytical thinking
Good communication and presentation skills
Ability to work under stressful conditions, meet deadlines and travel extensively to support field operations or training
Computer literacy: self-sustainable (Windows 2007 environment)
Adult training skills
Fluent in verbal and written English
Knowledge of another official Federation languages (French, Spanish or Arabic)
How to apply: 
The Federation is an equal opportunity employer. In order for us to assure a proper comparative evaluation of your application for this vacancy and to enable us to consider your profile against other similar current and future vacancies, we ask that you submit your application through JobNet. Please apply directly and refer to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster Advisor 2011-247-fld or follow the link