Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Officer, NO-A, Ciudad Neily, Corredores, Costa Rica, Temporary Appointment (364 days) At United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)


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, water, sanitation, and hygiene

Under the supervision of the Emergency Officer, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Officer provides professional technical, operational and administrative assistance throughout the WASH programming process, through the application of theoretical and practical technical skills in researching, collecting, analysing and presenting programme information while learning organizational rules, regulations and procedures to support the development, implementation and monitoring of the WASH output results of the Country Programme.

How can you make a difference?

  • Carry detailed technical assessments to review the conditions of Water and Sanitation System Management.
  • Provide technical support to construction activities of the Country Office.
  • The technical support on construction projects includes planning, support to procurement, as well as monitoring of construction works on site. The incumbent collaborates closely with UNICEF Programme/ Operations in defining construction interventions to meet programmatic needs and achieve results for children.
  • Develop designs/drawings and Bills of Quantities (BoQs) required to improve the status of the water and sanitation system to attain basic service levels in terms of water supply, sanitation, hygiene, & environmental cleaning.

Management of the Water, Sanitation and Construction System

  • Ensure compliance with minimum humanitarian standards in relation to WASH.
  • Help develop the annual work plan for the construction activities; determine priorities/targets and performance measurements and monitor work progress to ensure that results are achieved according to schedule and performance standards.
  • Supervise WASH and Construction actions and coordinate the correct execution of works or adaptations that are required to guarantee quality standards in emergencies.
  • Provide technical guidance on design, construction, supervision, and certification of WASH infrastructure and temporary systems (improvement of water distribution, hydration points, safe water) at Migrant Reception Stations and other key points requiring humanitarian assistance.
  • Coordinate with the logistics and finance departments the necessary materials and support for all activities.
  • Advocate and coordinate with State institutions to provide oversight of water and sanitation services.
  • Providing technical inputs, feasibility, and preparation for bidding specifications; quality assurance and guidance to contractors, implementing partners and other stakeholders for the design and construction of latrines/toilets, showers, handwashing points, hydration points and other systems that guarantee the rights to a dignified life within the EMISUR or wherever it is required nationally.
  • Promote hygiene promotion actions in the EMISUR or where required, monitor the operation of the installed water collection and distribution systems, including quantity and quality of water.
  • Prepare technical reports and inputs for programme preparation and documentation, ensuring accuracy, timeliness and relevance of information.
  • Assist in the development/establishment of WASH-related outcome and output results, as well as related strategies, through analysis of WASH sector needs and priorities.
  • Provide technical and administrative support throughout all stages of programming processes by executing/administering a variety of technical programme transactions, preparing materials/documentations, complying with organizational processes and management systems, to support progress towards the WASH-related outcome and/or output results in the Country Programme.
  • Prepare required documentations/materials to facilitate review and approval processes.
  • Provide support to define and implement actions to strengthen WASH management and infrastructure in other places in the country where UNICEF prioritizes.


Humanitarian WASH and Construction preparedness and response

  • Support the overall coordination of humanitarian response interventions in Corredores Duty Station
  • Assists supervisor with assessment of local emergency and security situations.
  • Coordinates with other partners to make rapid assessments when needed.
  • Design and implement coordination mechanisms with local actors and cooperation that allows the sustainability humanitarian response and development nexus actions.
  • Participates in the local humanitarian response clusters or workgroups.
  • Provide regular reports of the situation to the Emergency Officer.
  • Study and fully understand UNICEF’s procedures for responding in an emergency.

Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results and construction projects

  • Work collaboratively with colleagues and partners to collect/analyze/ share information on implementation issues, suggest solutions on routine programme implementation and alert appropriate officials and stakeholders for higher-level interventions and/or decision. Keep record of reports and assessments for easy reference and/or to capture and institutionalize lessons learned.
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual sectoral reviews with government and other counterparts and prepare minutes/reports on results for follow up action by higher management and other stakeholders.
  • Monitor and report on the use of sectoral programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets), verify compliance with approved allocations, organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity. Report on issues identified to enable timely resolution by management/stakeholders. Follow up on unresolved issues to ensure resolution.
  • Participate in the kick-off meeting of construction works with the construction company, the engineering firm and relevant government counterparts.
  • Provide close monitoring on construction activities by undertaking regular site visits and conducting regular technical meetings including joint monitoring with relevant Government technical services; follow up progress for each activity per milestones and review site supervision reports to ensure work compliance with norms, standards, and timeline; verify quality and precautions on health and safety standards on ground.
  • Use effective monitoring and supervision tools to ensure easily assessment of works quality, progress, and performance of engineering firms and construction companies during the entire duration of the project.
  • Certify payments/variations and compile supporting documents; monitor construction expenditures and progress certificates; prepare and maintain relevant table for each construction activity.
  • Provide assistance to UNICEF Contract Administrator on contract management, amendments, variations, duration extensions, applying liquidated damages, etc., compile and archive project documents, minutes, correspondence, instructions, etc.
  • Participate in the partial, substantial and final reception of works after verifying the correction of all defects during the Defects Liability Period, prepare and issue relevant certificates.
  • Prepare Contract Performance Evaluation; provide assistance to UNICEF Contract Administrator on contract close-out process; draft the final completion report with the lessons learned.


Networking and partnership building

  • Design and implement coordination mechanisms with local actors and cooperation that allows the sustainability of water, hygiene and sanitation actions.
  • Build and sustain close working partnerships with government counterparts and national stakeholders through active sharing of information and knowledge to facilitate programme implementation and build capacity of stakeholders to achieve WASH output results.
  • Draft communication and information materials for WASH programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances and support fund raising for WASH.
  • Participate in inter-agency meetings/events on WASH programming to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) operational planning and preparation of WASH programmes/projects and to integrate and harmonize UNICEF output results and implementation strategies with UNSDCF development and planning processes.
  • Research information on potential donors and prepare resource mobilization materials and briefs for fund raising and partnership development purposes.
  • Provide technical and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners/donors on the application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes and best practices in WASH, to support programme implementation.

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

A university degree in one of the following fields is required: Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering, Environmental Sanitation Engineering, Water and Environmental Management, Public Health, and other relevant technical field related to WASH and Construction

A minimum of two years of professional experience in WASH-related programmes is required.

At least two years of experience in the construction or supervision of water supply, sanitation & hygiene construction works.

Experience working with NGOs, humanitarian organizations and/or private contractors in rural settings in a developing context is an advantage.

Fluency in Spanish is required. Intermediate English is desirable.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others.

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.
We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.
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 is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children.


UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable male candidates are encouraged to apply.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be cancelled.

All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. 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.

Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.