Senior WASH Institutional Strengthening Officer – FCDO WASH Systems for Health

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Job Title: Senior WASH Institutional Strengthening Officer – FCDO WASH Systems for
Organisation: Self Help Africa
Location: Kano/Kaduna/Jigawa/Cross River (Final State to be determined)
Contract type: Fixed Term Contract, local recruitment
Period: Two years renewable
Reports to: State Programme Coordinator

Organisational overview:

About Self Help Africa
Self Help Africa (SHA) is an international development organisation headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and dedicated to the vision of ‘Sustainable livelihoods and healthy lives for all in a changing climate’. We have almost 50 years of experience working in Africa, including 25 years in Nigeria (as United Purpose and Concern Universal).
In 2021, Self Help Africa merged with United Purpose (UP), doubling our size. The organisation now works in 17 programme countries. 15 of these are in sub-Saharan Africa while subsidiary organisations, ‘Self Help Brazil’ and ‘Self Help Bangladesh’, have been created for our programmes in the two countries where we are working outside of Africa.
In early 2023, we launched a new five-year organisation strategy, which defines shared mission as the alleviation of hunger, poverty, social inequality and the impact of climate change through community-led, market-based and enterprisefocused approaches, so that people can have access to nutritious food, clean water, decent employment and incomes, while sustaining natural resources.
Our wider organisation also includes social enterprise subsidiaries: Partner Africa – which provides ethical auditing and consultancy services, TruTrade – an innovative trading platform in East Africa, and CUMO – Malawi’s largest micro-finance provider.

Our three core values are:
Impact: We are accountable, ambitious and committed to systemic change.
Innovation: We are agile, creative and enterprising in an ever-changing world.
Community: We are inclusive, honest and have integrity in our relationships.

To achieve our organisational mission, we work across numerous sectors, such as Agriculture, Climate & Environment, Enterprise, Energy, Nutrition, and WASH. Our global WASH portfolio currently spans 10 countries, 25 active projects, and has reached 5 million people with safe water, and 5 million for sanitation to date.
In Nigeria, we have a strong reputation in the WASH sector for our work on rural sanitation, having achieved the country’s first ODF LGA, and our systems strengthening approach to sustainable WASH service delivery.

Programme description:

SHA has been awarded a GBP£5m programme focused on WASH systems strengthening, covering Nigeria and Sierra Leone. We would lead the overall consortia, and the work in Nigeria, whilst another INGO would lead work in Sierra Leone, under our oversight and overall consortia leadership.
The aim of the programme is to strengthen the systems needed to establish and sustain reliable, resilient and inclusive WASH services. The programme will be for a duration of 4 years.
The precise intervention locations in Nigeria will be finalised during the inception phase, and may include (but not necessarily be limited to) northern states such as Kano, Jigawa and possibly Kaduna. This role is to be based in Abuja with frequent travels to the implementation states.

The three broad focus areas of the programme are:
i. Priority 1: Strategic planning and budgeting for sustainable service delivery using defined Service Delivery Models and strengthening capacities and processes for accountable and inclusive planning and budgeting for WASH.
ii. Priority 2: Support decentralised implementation of the Clean Nigeria Campaign in pursuit of the elimination of open defecation nationwide, demonstrating effective approaches to ODF, Market-Based Sanitation and ODF sustainability, in target LGAs, for scaling.
iii. Priority 3: Facilitate systems leadership and support the mobilisation of a network of WASH champions by strengthening nationwide non-governmental sector organisations and networks, and their respective capacities and mentoring processes.

Job purpose:

The role of WASH Institutional Strengthening Senior Officer is critical to the success of the WASH Systems for Health (WS4H) Project and its overarching goal of contributing significantly to improved health outcomes by addressing systemic challenges within the WASH sector. As a critical member of the project team, the incumbent will play a pivotal role in advancing the project’s objectives by leading efforts to strengthen WASH institutions at subnational and national levels.
The position holder will serve as a strategic leader, guiding the development and implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the institutional capacity of key stakeholders involved in WASH service delivery. This role requires a deep understanding of governance structures, policy frameworks, and organisational dynamics within the WASH sector, as well as the ability to navigate complex multi-stakeholder environments.

Overall, the role demands strong leadership, strategic thinking, and effective communication skills, as well as a commitment to promoting equity, transparency, and accountability in the WASH sector. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to make a tangible impact on improving health outcomes and contributing to sustainable development efforts in Nigeria.

Key responsibilities

Strategic Planning and Development:
 Lead the development and implementation of strategies to strengthen the institutional capacity of WASH stakeholders.
 Provide technical assistance, capacity-building support, and mentorship to enhance governance structures, institutional arrangements, and financial management systems.
 Conduct assessments and analyses to identify institutional bottlenecks, gaps, and opportunities for improvement.

Stakeholder Engagement, Advocacy and Capacity Building:
 Support the design and implementation of advocacy and policy influencing initiatives to promote conducive policy and regulatory frameworks.
 Participate and support forums, seminars, and discussions with stakeholders to solicit feedback, share knowledge, and advocate for policy changes aligned with global and national WASH targets.
 Represent the organisation in relevant forums, conferences, and working groups to influence policy dialogue and promote WASH-related agendas at the subnational level.
 Facilitate participatory processes to promote stakeholder engagement, collaboration, and coordination among key WASH actors.
 Collaborate with project partners, government counterparts, and stakeholders to leverage resources, expertise, and networks for effective implementation.

Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning:
 Work with the MEL team to monitor, evaluate, and document the progress and impact of institutional strengthening interventions.
 Support the MEL team to develop performance indicators, data collection tools, and monitoring frameworks.
 Contribute to knowledge management and learning efforts by documenting best practices, lessons learned, and innovative approaches.

Key Relationships:

Internal: Head of WASH, Programme Manager, State Programme Coordinators, Senior Policy and Governance Advisor, LGA Technical Officer, Communications Officer, Programmes, Finance and Operations Teams.
External: State Ministry of Water Resources, State RUWASSAs, WASH related MDAs, Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, Clean Nigeria Campaign Secretariat, and others

Knowledge, Experience and Other Requirements


 A University degree in Public Policy, Public Administration, International Development, Public Health, Environmental Science, Social Science, or any other relevant degree. A master’s degree will be an added advantage.

 Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in institutional strengthening, capacity development, or governance reform in the WASH sector, preferably in Nigeria or similar contexts.
 Strong technical expertise in WASH institutional governance, policy analysis, organizational development, and capacity-building methodologies.
 Demonstrated experience in facilitating multi-stakeholder processes, fostering partnerships, and promoting collaborative decision-making in complex environments.
 Proven track record in designing, implementing, and evaluating institutional strengthening programs or projects, including the development of strategies, work plans, and monitoring frameworks.
 Excellent communication, interpersonal, and facilitation skills, with the ability to effectively engage with diverse stakeholders, including government officials, donors, civil society organizations, and community representatives.
 Familiarity with FCDO-funded projects and/or experience working with international development agencies or NGOs is highly desirable.

 Excellent communication, negotiation and influencing skills for engaging with diverse stakeholders.
 Excellent planning, coordination, and prioritisation skills
 Strong facilitation, diplomatic and interpersonal skills
 Good command of writing in English
 Excellent communication and team-working skills, with the ability to build good relations, both internally and externally
 Excellent computer knowledge with command on MS Office suite.
 Ability to facilitate training for community-based organisations and government stakeholders
 Ability to work in a multicultural, diverse and performance-related environment
 A proactive approach to problem-solving
 Ability to work independently with minimal direction

 Gender and intercultural sensitivity
 Positive outlook and team spirit
 Adaptable and responsive disposition relative to the demands of the Programme.

Application Procedure:
Fill and upload the attached Self Help Africa application form and also send your cover letter and CV in a single document (of not more than 4 pages) uploaded to the portal here.
You may download the Job Description here.
In the cover letter, please ensure to explain the following:

  1. Why you are applying for the position
  2. How do your skills and experience meet the person’s specification
  3. When you would be able to take up the position if it were offered to you

    The deadline for applications is 12th April, 2024. You are recommended to apply early, as applications will be assessed as they are received. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

All candidates offered a job with Self Help Africa will be expected to sign our Safeguarding Policies and Code of Conduct as an appendix to their contract of employment and agree to conduct themselves in accordance with the provisions of these documents. Specific roles may require Police/DBS/or local police authority vetting.
Self Help Africa strives to be an equal opportunities employer.