WASH Officer (Research and Innovation Lead) At International Organization for Migration

Position Title: WASH Officer (Research and Innovation Lead)

Duty Station: Geneva, Switzerland

Classification: Professional Staff, Grade UG

Type of Appointment: Special short-term ungraded, six months with possibility of extension

Estimated Start Date: As soon as possible

Closing Date: 14 December 2022

Established in 1951, IOM is a Related Organization of the United Nations, and as the leading UN agency in the field of migration, works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

Internal and external candidates will be considered for this vacancy. For the purposes of this vacancy, internal candidates are defined as staff members holding a regular, fixed-term or short-term graded or ungraded contract, including Junior Professional Officers (JPOs), staff on Special Leave Without Pay (SLWOP), and staff members on secondment/loan released by the Organization, unless otherwise specified in their contract. Staff members holding a regular, fixed-term or short-term graded contract will not retain their contract type if appointed to an ungraded position.


IOM recognizes that access to water and sanitation services, paired with hygiene promotion, is lifesaving in humanitarian contexts, while sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services is also critical in the context of resolving displacement situations and building resilience to future shocks and stressors. The provision of WASH services is an important component of IOM operations worldwide.

The position will fall under the overall supervision of the Head of the Preparedness and Response Division and direct supervision of the Global WASH Coordinator, and in collaboration other HQ Departments and Units. The WASH Officer will be responsible for leading the bridging of research, policy and practice in humanitarian innovation by accelerating and managing high-impact innovation projects, including global sourcing of new opportunities for piloting and scaling solutions to complex WASH migration challenges, and convening strategic and operational learning to missions, within the Organization and the wider humanitarian sector, whilst simultaneously delivering on additional relevant objectives and activities outlined in the IOM WASH Strategic Plan 2023-2026.

Core Functions / Responsibilities:


  1. Provide substantive inputs for the review and/or development of IOM WASH strategies, global and at country or regional level.
  2. Lead the implementation of activities developed in the IOM Global WASH Strategic Plan 2023-2026 (and successive) to achieve one or several strategic objectives related to Research and Innovation.
  3. Support IOM’s institutional engagement on WASH across the Organization, including IOM’s leadership support for and engagement on WASH both internally and externally.
  4. Advise on the strategic alliances which should be built with key stakeholders at national, local and regional levels to increase programme impact and performance.
  5. Support in the collection and analysis of statistical data from IOM WASH interventions and contribute to the creation of global, regional and country reports to showcase the results of the various analyses.
  6. Represent IOM’s work on WASH in global processes and commitments, notably in the context of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Global WASH Sector Roadmap, the Humanitarian-Development Peace Nexus and Global Compact on Migration, to ensure that WASH activities and work are captured and reflected.
  7. Contribute to various global reports related to WASH, e.g. the UN World Water Development Report.

Resource Mobilization:

  1. Proactively identify programme development opportunities, new funding sources, new thematic areas of technical intervention and strategic partnerships that would promote the expansion of the IOM WASH portfolio.
  2. Liaise effectively with donors at regional and international/global level in order to advocate for adequate funding to sustain the WASH programme and prepare proposals for funding.

Technical and Surge Support:

  1. Provide effective and timely strategic and technical support to IOM Country Offices in the development of technical guidance, SOPs, policies, strategies, tools and approaches for WASH programme implementation, including in the engagement with partners and authorities.
  2. Supporting the integration of WASH programs into transitional programming through consultations with Country Offices, collection of case studies, and development of tailored guidance.
  3. Support in the review of WASH proposals, reports and other documentation developed by IOM Country Offices and Regional Offices.
  4. Provide surge support to IOM country offices as required.

Human Resources:

  1. Develop standardized tools to assist the recruitment and assessment of global IOM WASH staff.
  2. Expand IOM WASH diversified channels to acquire human resources, to support IOM country offices in short term and long-term recruitments.


  1. Actively liaise with the UNICEF / UNHCR and other WASH agencies, government authorities / entities and any other relevant stakeholders to ensure that IOM WASH activities are coordinated to avoid duplication, and delivered in accordance with national regulations and operational agreements set by the humanitarian community at the country level. Ensure that any needed operational agreement or authorization from the local authorities is convened to guarantee project stability and good relations with the local government.
  2. Coordinate with relevant IOM Divisions to develop and strengthen joint initiatives and to mainstream the WASH portfolio into institutional frameworks, processes and trainings, notably in the areas of preparedness, public health, environment and climate change, CCCM, protection, disaster risk reduction and HDPN/TRD programming.
  3. Sit on various global Technical Working Groups (TWiGs) as required including FaecalSludge Management TWiG, Hygiene Promotion in Emergencies TWiG, Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergencies WG, the Sub-Group on Hygiene Promotion for Cholera Control and the Global E-waste Task Force.

Research and Innovation:

  1. Lead the relationship building and management of key innovation and research collaborations and partnerships including government, public sector, private sector, universities, NGOs and start-ups that can support the organization and/or implementation of innovation and research projects.
  2. Undertake foresight research and horizon scanning with researchers and practitioners in order to effectively scope new and emerging areas of interest and build the evidence base around what works to advance innovation in humanitarian settings.
  3. Work with country offices to conduct evidence-based research activities to inform future programming.
  4. Work with country offices and globally to find opportunities of turning pilot innovations into scalable WASH technologies and/or service delivery.
  5. Work with other departments on opportunities for innovation cross-collaboration and sharing of lessons learnt, in particular the Innovation and Knowledge Management Unit and Donor Relations Division supporting synergies, collaborative approaches and capacity building to enhance impact.
  6. Development and facilitation of capacity-building support for implementation of innovation and research including best practice advice on enabling factors, techniques, and cost effectiveness.
  7. Deliver / facilitate impactful innovation content from IOM WASH to the global humanitarian community focused on new and improved processes, technologies and research findings that will make humanitarian action more effective and efficient, including peer-reviewed journal articles, expert panels, papers, briefings, reports, events, media articles, conference presentations and other knowledge products.
  8. Ensure appropriate and ethical research methodologies and methods, evaluation strategies and research tools are applied.
  9. Participate in relevant research fora, humanitarian innovation platforms and with communities of practice and other innovation working groups to facilitate dialogue on research and innovation needs and priorities, and to identify further opportunities for strategic engagement.
  10. Take a lead role in coordinating efforts to ensure major innovations are inclusive, responsible, and built on previous lessons from the sector.
  11. Contribute innovation and research indicators to the Global WASH Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and encourage them to be utilized for innovation projects to ensure adaptive programming and continuous learning.

Any other duties:

  1. Perform such other duties that may be assigned.

Required Qualifications and Experience:


  • Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Geology, Public Health, or a related field from an accredited academic institution with five years of relevant professional experience; or
  • University degree in the above fields with seven years of relevant professional experience.


  • Experience at an international level with specialized international agencies leading WASH programmes in humanitarian, transitional and developing contexts;
  • Experience working with different international organizations specialized in humanitarian assistance (e.g. UN agencies, INGOs, IOs, Donors, IFRC or ICRC);
  • Experience in the design and implementation of WASH infrastructure, including proposal development and project management including budget, resource and contract management;
  • Proven experience with technical facilitation and capacity building;
  • Experience with programme monitoring and evaluation, compilation and dissemination of lessons learned and best practices;
  • Experience in liaising with governmental authorities, national and international institutions and in partnership building;
  • Field experience in a conflict, disasters, or other humanitarian setting;
  • Experience in conducting assessments, analysis and research studies;
  • Substantial experience in a humanitarian innovation research and advisory role, with proven ability of leading research through all stages and the delivery of technical advice on humanitarian innovation;
  • Proven track record of published research and experience of synthesizing and communicating research and best practices to multiple stakeholders;
  • Substantial experience of working with different sectors and partners: public and private sector, civil society, academia, multilateral agencies, and donors;
  • Policy and/or programme experience of operational / field innovation in humanitarian settings; and,
  • Experience of large donor grant management.


  • Proven track record of driving cross-organizational collaborations and networks involving humanitarian innovation;
  • A good understanding of research ethics;
  • Computer literate (Microsoft) and engineering software (EPANet, AutoCAD, ArchiCAD or similar);
  • Proven ability to manage a large and complex workload and produce quality work accurately according to set deadlines in a fast moving environment;
  • Demonstrated organizational and coordination skills;
  • Ability to work independently and effectively and harmoniously in a team of colleagues from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds; • Excellent communication and verbal skills;
  • Proven capacity in problem-solving and creative thinking;
  • Excellent project management skills including program design, implementation, budget and resource management and forecasting and reporting;
  • Excellent monitoring and evaluation skills;
  • Sound WASH technical understanding with ability to build capacity of global missions through advice, training, technical guidelines or other;
  • Works effectively with donors, partners, local authorities, stakeholders, beneficiaries, and the broader community to advance HQ WASH and mission objectives; and, • Sound understanding of innovation in the humanitarian sector.


IOM’s official languages are English, French and Spanish.

External applicants for all positions in the Professional category are required to be proficient in English and have at least a working knowledge of one additional UN Language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, or Spanish).

For all applicants, fluency in English is required (oral and written). Working knowledge of French, Spanish and/or Arabic is an advantage.

Proficiency of language(s) required will be specifically evaluated during the selection process, which may include written and/or oral assessments.


Accredited Universities are the ones listed in the UNESCO World Higher Education Database (https://whed.net/home.php).

Required Competencies:

Values – all IOM staff members must abide by and demonstrate these three values:

  • Inclusion and respect for diversity: respects and promotes individual and cultural differences; encourages diversity and inclusion wherever possible.
  • Integrity and transparency: maintains high ethical standards and acts in a manner consistent with organizational principles/rules and standards of conduct.
  • Professionalism: demonstrates ability to work in a composed, competent and committed manner and exercises careful judgment in meeting day-to-day challenges.

Core Competencies – behavioural indicators

  • Teamwork: develops and promotes effective collaboration within and across units to achieve shared goals and optimize results.
  • Delivering results: produces and delivers quality results in a service-oriented and timely manner; is action oriented and committed to achieving agreed outcomes.
  • Managing and sharing knowledge: continuously seeks to learn, share knowledge and innovate.
  • Accountability: takes ownership for achieving the Organization’s priorities and assumes responsibility for own action and delegated work.
  • Communication: encourages and contributes to clear and open communication; explains complex matters in an informative, inspiring and motivational way.

Managerial Competencies – behavioural indicators

  • Leadership: provides a clear sense of direction, leads by example and demonstrates the ability to carry out the organization’s vision; assists others to realize and develop their potential.
  • Empowering others & building trust: creates an atmosphere of trust and an enabling environment where staff can contribute their best and develop their potential.
  • Strategic thinking and vision: works strategically to realize the Organization’s goals and communicates a clear strategic direction.

IOM’s competency framework can be found at this link.


Competencies will be assessed during a competency-based interview.


Internationally recruited professional staff are required to be mobile. Any offer made to the candidate in relation to this vacancy notice is subject to funding confirmation.

Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances. Subject to certain exemptions, vaccination against COVID-19 will in principle be required for individuals hired on or after 15 November 2021. This will be verified as part of the medical clearance process.

Vacancies close at 23:59 local time Geneva, Switzerland on the respective closing date. No late applications will be accepted.

How to apply

To apply, interested applicants are invited to submit their applications HERE via the IOM e-Recruitment system by 14 December 2022.

IOM only accepts duly completed applications submitted through the IOM e-Recruitment system. The online tool also allows candidates to track the status of their application.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

For further information please refer to: www.iom.int/recruitment

Posting period:

From 01.12.2022 to 14.12.2022

No Fees:

IOM does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, processing, training or other fee). IOM does not request any information related to bank accounts.

Requisition: CFA 2022 57 WASH Officer (Research and Innovation Lead) (UG) Geneva, Switzerland (57861542) Released

Posting: Posting NC57861543 (57861543) Released

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