Vacancy Details

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Vacancy code VA/2012/B5108/177
Position title Executive Director, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
Level ICS-14
Department/office EMO, Switzerland
Duty station Geneva, Switzerland
Contract type Fixed Term
Contract level D2
Application period 23-Mar-2012 to 06-May-2012
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
This vacancy is closed.
Background Information - UNOPS

“UNOPS plays a critical role in providing management services for our life-saving, peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. I have seen many examples of how these activities help suffering people in troubled parts of the world.”
-Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

UNOPS mission is to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners to implement peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, UNOPS vision is to always satisfy partners with management services that meet world-class standards of quality, speed and cost effectiveness.

By assisting UN organizations, international financial institutions, governments and other development partners, UNOPS makes significant, tangible contributions to results on the ground.

UNOPS employs around 3,500 personnel annually and on behalf of its partners creates thousands more work opportunities in local communities. With its headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, a network of five regional offices and a further 20 operations and project centres, UNOPS oversees activities in more than 80 countries.

UNOPS is committed to achieving a truly diverse workforce.
Background Info - BU SWOC


UNOPS in Switzerland is based in Geneva and has excellent links with the international community. Local and international partners call upon the UNOPS Switzerland office for expertise in fund management, project management, procurement of goods and services, and human resources administration to ensure successful delivery of their projects. Focus areas include health, water, and sanitation.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) was established in 1990 and recognized in the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/45/181. WSSCC works to accelerate the provision of drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services for poor people in developing countries, with special attention to the un-served poor, by enhancing collaboration and coordination of all sector stakeholders.
In 2007, WSSCC made the strategic decision to focus on sanitation and hygiene because the problem is so large – 2.5 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation. In 2008, WSSCC founded the Global Sanitation Fund which has become a significant part of its work. WSSCC’s current annual budget is about $25 million, which is planned to increase substantially over the coming years. A full description of WSSCC activities may be found here:
The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) recognizes WSSCC as a collective both because of its long existence and peer recognition and because the UN General Assembly recognized its existence by mentioning it in Resolution 45/181. UNOPS recognizes the Steering Committee as the group that expresses the wish of the collective. UNOPS hosts WSSCC, and UNOPS provides WSSCC with a Secretariat to carry out the activities agreed upon by the Steering Committee.
Functional Responsibilities

Objectives of the Post

To provide leadership to the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and to manage its Secretariat, in order to achieve WSSCC’s mission of achieving water, sanitation and hygiene for all.

Organizational Context

The Executive Director works under the substantive and functional direction of the WSSCC Steering Committee while being under the administrative and legal direction of the UNOPS Line Manager. Guided by the Steering Committee’s policies and strategic documents, the Executive Director has a high level of operational autonomy and is expected to set standards, determine strategy and policy, develop relevant programmes of work, and build the partnerships required to implement these.
The Executive Director maintains a wide network of contacts including political leaders, ministers, executives of international organizations and private sector companies, NGOs, academic institutions, donor institutions and other sector organizations and sector professionals.
The Executive Director leads the WSSCC Secretariat, which is a 25-person unit within UNOPS. The Secretariat provides support and guidance to the worldwide network of WSSCC National Coordinators, members, and partners.
The post is located in Geneva and involves frequent and extensive travel.

Duties and Responsibilities

Contribute to global leadership on sanitation & hygiene
Play an active role in collective leadership of sanitation & hygiene, specifically related to poor people in developing countries. (The WSSCC Executive Director is expected to be one of the leaders in this sector, in collaboration with government ministers, heads of NGOs, directors at multilateral agencies etc.)
Provide strategic leadership and vision to WSSCC
Support the WSSCC Steering Committee to articulate a clear and strong vision comprising a broad range of work, with a special emphasis on sanitation and hygiene. Lead the implementation of this vision and strategy, with special emphasis on integrating the work of all aspects of the strategy.
Promote and maintain relations with stakeholders and ensure WSSCC is adequately funded in the long term
Promote and maintain WSSCC's relations with its new and existing donors and ensure the continued funding of WSSCC by those donors and by other means. Maintain good formal or informal links with all the major players in the global water and sanitation sector and raise the visibility of WSSCC’s mission
Support WSSCC's Chair to govern the organisation
Manage Steering Committee elections as needed. Administer Steering Committee meetings preparing manageable agendas and writing relevant, clear and concise documentation for these meetings. Be accountable to the Steering Committee for the implementation of the decisions that it makes.
Lead WSSCC's staff, National Coordinators and Members
Ensure the WSSCC Secretariat is fully staffed and all staff understand and perform their work satisfactorily. Ensure National Coordinators are correctly appointed, supervised and supported. Provide necessary services to WSSCC's members to enable them to play an active role in its work.
Collaborate with UNOPS on all operational matters
Ensure WSSCC’s operations are in full compliance with UNOPS rules, guidelines, policies and procedures.


  • Promoting WSSCC's position in water and sanitation leadership (leadership competency);
  • Producing results (core competency);
  • Ensuring the effective use of resources (management competency);
  • Moving forward in a changing environment (core competency); and
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment (management competency).

Preferred experience, skills and competencies seen as an advantage

  • Mature judgment and leadership skills.
  • Highly committed individual who commands respect at the highest levels and has the ability to influence thinking at all levels. 
  • Effective communicator adept in representing and advancing the organizational agenda at both the technical and political levels.
  • Highly motivational team player and team builder who can both integrate the work of diverse teams as well as bring together multiple players.
  • Knowledge and experience of managing large-scale results-driven programmes in developing countries.
  • Knowledge and experience of water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • Knowledge of the major international development organizations.
Education/Experience/Language requirements

Essential:        Post-graduate degree or provable equivalent in International Development, Public Health, Social Sciences, Engineering, Economics or related areas.
Desirable:        Qualification in management and/or administration.

Work experience
Essential:        At least 5 years’ experience as a Chief Executive or provable equivalent in government, private sector, UN, academia or civil society, which must include successful fundraising.
At least 15 years’ professional experience in international development.
Desirable:        At least 15 years’ experience in implementing programmes in water, sanitation, hygiene, slum upgrading, rural development or public health in several developing countries.

Essential: fluency in English.
Desirable: a good working knowledge of French.
Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (UCT/GMT + 1 hour)
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below the advertised level of the post
The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.
Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment (FTA)
Contract level: D-2
Contract duration: 1 year renewable subject to satisfactory performance

For more details about United Nations staff contracts, please follow this link: 

This vacancy is closed.