Water and Sanitation Expert/Coordinator – Emergency Team member At MSF – Holland

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Artsen zonder Grenzen is an international, independent medical humanitarian organisation. We provide medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare. We are a non-profit, self-governed, member-based organisation. MSF was founded in 1971 in Paris by a group of journalists and doctors. Today, we are a worldwide movement of more than 67,000 people.

MSF coordinates operations through collaborations between global offices. The ‘MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam’ (OCA) is a partnership that is composed of the partners MSF-Canada, MSF-Germany, MSF-SARA, MSF-Sweden, MSF-Holland and MSF-United Kingdom. MSF-OCA has a team of more than 11,000 staff working in 115 emergency projects in about 31 countries.

At Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Artsen zonder Grenzen , we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our employees. We encourage applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, races, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics.

The Emergency Support Department (ESD) is part of the Operations Department and plays a fundamental role in responding to medical and humanitarian emergencies: The ESD conducts exploratory and assessment missions; initiates and manages large scale emergency interventions; supports emergency interventions managed by regular desks; provides support to the organisation and existing missions in promoting and guarding emergency response capacity; and supports the management of operations in highly insecure environments. The ESD consists of a headquarter-based Emergency Desk (7 permanent staff) and an Emergency Team for deployment in the field (23 positions).

With immediate effect, the E-desk is looking for a new member of the Emergency Team (E-Team) as a:

NB: Emergency Team members spend about 90% of their work days (so excluding holidays) in field locations, travelling with short notice to any required area and approximately 10% at the headquarters for briefing/debriefing/trainings/specific tasks.*


  • Overall: reports to the Head of Emergency Support Department in Amsterdam.
  • During field assignments the reporting line maybe under the management of the country management team (CMT) or under the direct management of the emergency coordinator, depending on the situation.
  • There is a functional reporting line to the WatSan Advisor at HQ level.


As WatSan of the mergency Team (E-team WatSan), you provide emergency response capacity for the field. This may consist of providing support within existing missions/projects, to either support in key positions depending on the needs, or being part of a new emergency response.

As a member of the Country Management Team (CMT), the E-team WatSan is responsible for defining, developing and coordinating the Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WatSan) program in the mission, according to MSF protocols, standards and procedures in order to improve the health and living conditions of the target population.


Your main responsibility resides in the preparation and implementation of WatSan responses in emergency missions/new projects. According to the context and the set up, you will find yourself functioning as a field WatSan or WatSan coordinator in countries dealing with emergencies.

You define the intervention’s WatSan strategy and monitoring system for the WatSan needs, ensuring the integration of the different WatSan components in the intervention activities as well as in the operational priorities as defined by the Emergency coordination or CMT.

You also may carry out exploratory missions, you may be asked to function in other supportive roles (eg. logistics) at project or coordination level for start-up projects or gap-fill in challenging projects.

In particular, as E-team WatSan, you will:

  • Carry out assessments and exploratory missions focusing on specific WatSan needs in health structures and populations at risk.
  • Prepare, plan, implement, monitor and report on Emergency Water, Hygiene, Vector Control and Sanitation interventions.
  • Contribute to the development of an intervention strategy in emergency project or country responses.
  • Function as the Watsan manager, team leader or WatSan Coordinator at capital level (part of country management team) in emergency projects or existing projects.
  • Represent MSF as part of internal and external coordination platforms and bodies e.g. WASH Clusters.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of training programs for emergency and non-emergency staff, logistical, medical or WatSan.
  • Contribute to the development of WatSan tools, guidelines and technologies employed during MSF’s interventions.
  • Contribute to evaluations/reviews carried out of emergency intervention projects.
  • Define and evaluate the HR set-up of the WatSan team as well as the supply cycle and the reporting cycle (quantitative, qualitative and financial)



  • At least 18 months WatSan field experience with one of the MSF sections in at least two different projects, of which at least one was an emergency project (disease outbreak, mass population displacement, or natural disaster) or project in a high insecurity context (according to the standards of MSF-OCA).
  • Academic background in engineering, environmental science, or an equivalent training in a Water, Hygiene or Sanitation related discipline.
  • Knowledge of Emergency Public Health, Rapid Water and Hygiene Assessment, and MSF standard WatSan protocols.
  • A demonstrable understanding of the set-up of a missions WatSan strategy and monitoring system, ensuring integration with the Medical and Public Health activities.
  • Good, hands-on experience of deploying and using MSF WatSan equipment and materials in the field
  • Proven expertise of surface water treatment, groundwater extraction, water treatment, water quality monitoring, emergency water trucking, and water distribution systems.
  • Experience of sanitation infrastructure and wastewater management and treatment systems.
  • Deep knowledge of the necessary Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures required in emergency medical facilities such as cholera treatment centres or surgical facilities
  • Proven organizational skills, diplomatic skills and experience with the representation of MSF in order to develop community participation strategies and engage other actors (internal and external)
  • Ability to prioritise work, demonstrable (people) management skills
  • Have a “can do mentality” with the capacity to motivate a team into action and communicate clearly your vision and decisions
  • Maintain a positive outlook and attitude
  • A flexible and solution oriented mentality and the ability to be decisive in chaotic circumstances
  • Knowledge of standard software within MSF-OCA (Word/Excel/Outlook)
  • Willingness to travel to any required area, frequently at short notice
  • Fluent in English


  • Language skills: French and/or Arabic speaking
  • WHS in emergencies training within MSF
  • Knowledge and experience using OCA standard data tools
  • Proficient use of GIS, GPS, water network modelling/design software and design software, e.g. AutoCAD or equivalent
  • Capacity in borehole drilling and piped distribution design/construction
  • Knowledge of chemical and biological wastewater treatment technologies
  • Experience inthe necessary Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures in Ebola, Cholera, COVID-19 and other infections disease contexts.
  • Experience in infrastructure construction, supervising construction projects and NFI distributions
  • Leading and coordinating operational research work in relation to WatSan institutional learning.


  • A challenging position within the emergency desk/team that seeks to support and grow its team members with direct one-to-one coaching support, trainings and keeping updated with developments and discussions from within the organization. – plus great colleagues to work alongside!
  • A fulltime appointment for 1 year, renewal (according to performance);
  • Function level will be determined according to the field function grid and the profile of the candidate (WatSan or WatSan co level of IRFFG). Salary depends on three main factors: domicile, level of responsibility and experience on the job. Candidate’s domicile determines which MSF section will act as employer (contracting section);
  • 45 holidays per year;
  • Completion bonus of 1.5 month of extra salary after completion of every 12 months commitment
  • Prioritisation for trainings in MSF (external trainings additionally and considered)

How to apply


Additional information can be requested from Sherwan Qasem, operations support officer (for general E-team questions): sherwan.qasem@amsterdam.msf.org or Freddy Liesner, WatSan advisor (for WatSan related questions) Freddy.liesner@amsterdam.msf.org .

If you recognise yourself in this profile a nd meet the requirements , please apply directly via the Apply button at the bottom of this page and upload CV (max. 2-3 pages) and motivation letter (max 1 page) in one single document. Only complete applications will be considered.

The deadline for application is 21 July 2021 and the selection will be done by means of written assignment (week of 26 July) and interview (in the first 2 weeks of August).

*Acquisition is not appreciated*

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