COUNTY WASH ENGINEER
Job Category: Programming
Requisition Number: COUNT01712
Maralal, KE-37, KEN
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.
To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.
With funding from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), Mercy Corps’ Nawiri Program is leading a consortium of Kenyan and international partners on a five year journey to sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition in Turkana and Samburu Counties of Kenya. Through a phased approach that emphasizes evidence gap analysis, as well as partnership, learning, and co-creation, the program takes a robust county-centered design with government leadership, active engagement from communities, the private sector, and civil society. Mercy Corps’ consortium brings together global leadership, research capacity, technical expertise, and implementation experience to partner with local institutions to test, adapt, and scale evidence-based solutions to sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition for vulnerable populations in Turkana and Samburu counties. Together we will sustainably reduce persistent acute malnutrition for vulnerable populations in Turkana and Samburu counties.
The Samburu County WASH Engineer will provide program implementation support to USAID Nawiri’s efforts in improving access to safe drinking water to vulnerable communities and promotion of appropriate sanitation and hygiene practices for improved nutrition outcomes. He/she will collaborate with county government, consortium partners, local CSOs and community to deliver quality, impactful and sustainable WASH systems that contribute to addressing immediate, underlying and systemic drivers of Persistent Acute Malnutrition (PAM).
S/he will play a pivotal role in implementing existing and novel measures to strengthen the county water governance structures, providing key support in water systems assessments, infrastructure design and implementation, WASH service professionalization processes, supporting performance improvement plans for peri-urban utilities and piloting new technologies that improve water services delivery beyond first-time access to drinking water. He/she will also support strengthening sanitation and hygiene component of USAID Nawiri while ensuring integration with innovative social behavior change strategies.
PROGRAM PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION
- In a joint-planning and agreed upon targeted approach with Samburu County, communities and other stakeholders, identify suitable locations for implementation of domestic water supply systems;
- Develop detail implementation plan aligned with USAID Nawiri’s overall Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sub-sector strategy, works schedule and ensure tracking of the same for timely projects delivery;
- Ensure the rural water supply projects conform to sound relevant technical assessments such as hydrogeological and feasibility surveys before implementation;
- In liaison with USAID Nawiri’s Water Systems Advisor and Mercy Corps Technical Support Unit (TSU), develop project technical designs, bill of quantities and specifications;
- Ensure approval of all plans from county teams and USAID Nawiri management prior to project implementation;
- Implement projects as planned according to developed technical standards, schedules timelines and budget;
- Ensure stakeholders such as county and communities are involved at all the project cycle phases (identification, design, implementation, and monitoring) for enhanced ownership, accountability and oversight;
- Where the rural water supply projects fall under multiple-use water systems (MUS), ensure collaboration and integration with other Nawiri sub-sectors – water resources management, agriculture, livestock, private sector and climate smart for a coherence implementation approach;
- Ensure all the water sources developed or rehabilitated undergo water quality testing and analysis as per approved Nawiri Water Quality Assurance Plan (WQAP) before handover;
- Work and collaborate with local water utilities in peri-urban areas on key performance improvement plans to enhance their effectiveness and efficiency in water service delivery;
- In collaboration with water systems advisor, Nawiri systems strengthening lead, county water department, Nawiri county staff and other stakeholders develop and implement county water governance strengthening framework;
- Provide support linkages for established or existing local water users association by employing the agreed upon contextualized rural water management model;
- In the exceptional case of highly technical projects, organize a competitive bidding process to select the most qualified and cost-effective contractor as well as provide prudent management of the contract certifying quality of the works delivered;
- Oversee acquisition of any materials needed through a competitive and transparent bidding process following the Mercy Corps’ procurement policies and procedures for such purpose and together with the county team ensures that they are safely stored up until their utilization;
- Keep detailed technical records and inventories of all WASH systems developed and ensure the same is documented at county and community level;
- In liaison with county public health department and Nawiri team, implement strategies and activities to improve capacity to practices appropriate sanitation and hygiene behaviors at household level;
- Support county public health team in catalyzing demand for sanitation products and services through implementation of community-lead total sanitation (CLTS) approaches in selected villages whilst integrating, layering and sequencing with other USAID PREG partners;
In collaboration with Nawiri Social, Structural and Behavior Change (SSBC) advisor, consortium partner Save The Children, plan and implement the project’s WASH and nutrition Social and Behavior Change (SBC) including designing compelling information messages (edutainment), culturally sensitive Information Education Communication (IEC) materials and mass media outreach, as appropriate, to effectively influence behavior change at the individual and community level;
- Ensure SBC concepts and/or messages achieve Nawiri objectives, such as increasing knowledge, changing attitudes, enhancing motivation to change behaviors, and increasing the perceived benefits of new behaviors. Lead in the research design, pretesting, production and distribution of SBC/IEC materials;
- Pursue other innovative ways to deliver compelling messages such as the use of schools and other culturally sensitive media/channels of communications to reach adolescent girls, women, youths and men;
- Develop and maintain harmonious relationship with partner organizations, line ministries and audience groups. This includes planning activities and coordinating closely with the greater Nawiri consortium partners and other USAID Programs;
- Monitor project implementation, document processes and achievements to ensure best practices are captured and disseminated;
- Regularly visit field activities to assess progress and provide formal and informal feedback;
- Compile and provide comprehensive project activities report.
COLLABORATION AND PARTNERSHIPS
- Work collaboratively with all key stakeholders to develop and maintain good relationships, explaining USAID Nawiri roles when in liaising with County and communities during all phases of the program implementation;
- Work collaboratively with all USAID Nawiri overlapping and cross-cutting thematic areas such SSBC, Gender, Youth and Social Dynamics (GYSD), institution and systems strengthening, environmental safeguards, Learning, Research, county integrated water resource management, monitoring and evaluation among others, to ensure coherence and integrated contribution to USAID Nawiri program purpose areas;
- Ensure coordination and linkages between community water management schemes with county structures for supportive water repairs and maintenance models for enhanced sustainability;
- Work collaboratively with USAID Nawiri program monitoring and learning team to ensure key learnings and lessons are capture to heighten program adaptation;
- Support collaborative partnerships with other county development partners to identify potential opportunities for leverage and linkages;
- Engage with program quality and monitoring team to ensure CARM is integrated in all Nawiri WASH activities;
INFLUENCE AND REPRESENTATION
- Assist Field Director to coordinate activities with consortium partners, sub grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs;
- Support the facilitation of planning meetings and workshops with government, NGO, private sector, and community partners to revise plans and promote partner acceptance/buy-in;
- Ensure close coordination and sharing of information with relevant stakeholders such as local government departments, NGO’s and local authorities, as appropriate and advised by the line manager;
- Represent Nawiri at county government, donor, NGO and other relevant events at county level such as WASH forums, in close coordination with Nawiri Field Director, Water Systems Advisor and Nawiri Management team;
Reports Directly To: USAID Nawiri’s Water Systems Advisor on technical oversight and with dotted line to Field Director on administrative and coordination oversight.
Works Directly With: Technical leads/advisors, Senior Environmental Safeguards Officer, learning and monitoring team, Field Director and team, consortium partners’ staff, M&E Coordinator, field level finance and operations teams.
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
- A BSc in Engineering, Water Systems Engineering, Water Resources Management, or related field;
- Minimum of 5 years’ of experience in implementation of development programs including rural water supply with integration of sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH);
- Experience in developing technical water infrastructure design drawings, technical specifications, feasibilities and environmental assessment and bill of quantities;
- Experience of gender and social inclusion approaches within WASH methodologies such as Community-led Total Sanitation, Water Safety Planning, community and school WASH;
- Previous experience working on USAID grants is preferred;
- Knowledge of WASH systems strengthening is preferred;
- Excellent and persuasive oral and written communication skills, including report writing; Previous working experience in Arid and Semi-arid Land (ASAL) counties;
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members;
- Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.
S/he will combine exceptional proactive aptitude in terms of planning and coordination with different stakeholders, teams, county institutions while maintaining cordial and diplomatic relationships with different stakeholders at county, sub-county and community levels. The post requires a target oriented and problem solving aptitude with ability to multi-task, prioritizing activities and simultaneously having an attention to detail with a strategic broad vision.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Samburu County requiring up to 75% field visits to WASH projects sites, local utilities, and county relevant department office and forums
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Deadline for applications is 11th June, 2021
Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply.
Mercy corps does not charge any fees at any stage of the recruitment process.