Consultant For Technical Support to the Rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene Project in Zimbabwe

Consultancy duration – 6 months

  1. Background

The majority of poor people in rural Zimbabwe lack access to safe water and basic sanitation. At independence in 1980, Zimbabwe inherited a neglected rural WASH sector. Despite significant efforts to develop rural infrastructure, 98 per cent of those currently without an improved drinking water source live in rural areas; and 48 per cent of the rural population practice open defecation. Lack of rural WASH is a preventable cause of a significant disease burden for rural Zimbabweans. In 2008, an outbreak of cholera resulted in around 100,000 cases and 4000 deaths and cost the international community an estimated £100 million.

In order to address the rural WASH challenges in Zimbabwe, UNICEF and DFID signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a grant of USD 50 million for the implementation of the rural WASH project ‘Improving Water Sanitation and Hygiene in Rural Areas of Zimbabwe’ in 30 low WASH coverage and cholera prone rural districts in the five provinces of Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands, Mashonaland West and Masvingo. With the signing of an MOU between the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and UNICEF in March 2013 for a USD 6 million grant, three more districts were added to make a combined total of 33 districts for the project.

The project, managed by UNICEF, will provide equitable and sustainable access to, and use of safe water supply to 2,375,000 people; and of these 1,140,000 will enjoy improved sanitation. Hygiene practices will be improved amongst the rural population in the 33 districts by October 2016.

The project is being implemented through government structures (National Action Committee – NAC structures at national, provincial and district levels as well as sub-district WASH structures) in partnership with NGOs/IPs that into PCAs with UNICEF. The NGOs facilitate for the activities, outputs and outcomes of the project through the District Water and Sanitation Sub- Committees of the project districts. Project implementation has been divided into 2 phases (phase 1 – June 2012 – December 2014 and phase 2 – January 2015 to June 2016.

  1. Introduction

A combined DFID/SDC Annual Review of the Rural WASH Project carried out in April/May 2016 indicated the lagging behind of the sanitation and hygiene project component and recommended a Low Cost Extension of the project to facilitate achievement of the sanitation target by end of October 2016.

In addition, the DFID has expressed keen interest in the sustainability of Operation and Maintenance of existing Bush Pumps. To this end, there is need to pilot SMS messaging between communities and Village Pump Mechanics with a view to informing national guidelines and policy review on sustainability.

During the last 6 months the WASH section has lost 2 key staff members who have been instrumental in accelerating project progress. It will not be possible to replace the lost staff members in the next 4 months which are crucial in meeting the sanitation project targets.

It is against the foregoing background that there has arisen the need to engage a consultant for a period of six months to provide the required critical support to the districts and IPs in order to achieve the sanitation deliverables and provide sustained technical support for the SMS messaging pilot project.

  1. Objective (s)
  2. The objective of the assignment is to provide technical support, from July to December 2016, to the Provincial and District Water and Sanitation Sub- Committees and NGO Implementing Partners to effectively plan, manage, implement and monitor the Low Cost Extension of the Rural WASH Project in the 2 provinces of Masvingo and Midlands to achieve the sanitation targets.
  3. Provide technical support and take lead on SMS triggering system for Operation and maintenance in one or more selected pilot districts by December 2016.
  4. Methodology & Expected Output
  5. The consultant will be based in Harare and will review all Rural WASH Project related documents including IP and DWSSC quarterly work plans and budgets and provide guidance and technical support to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and value for money in project implementation in accordance with the project objectives. The consultant will undertake sustained and periodic field monitoring visits to the project sites for a period of at least 15 days per month and provide on-site technical and managerial support at all levels.
  6. The consultant will, in addition, oversee the piloting of the SMS triggering mechanism in monitoring breakdown of bush pumps in one or more selected districts and facilitate interface with RWIMS.

Major tasks & Deliverables

  1. Technical Support for Project Management and Monitoring. • Review and analyse IP and DWSSC quarterly work plans and budgets and ensure compliance with UNICEF and Government of Zimbabwe guidelines strategies and policies on all project thematic areas. Deliverable – Bankable DWSSC quarterly work plans in place and being followed. District sustainability work plans developed and being implemented in all districts in Masvingo and Midlands provinces. • Conduct assurance activities through field visits to all project districts and monitor project implementation, provide the Provincial and District Water and Sanitation Sub-Committees with strategic guidance on project implementation and assist in addressing any challenges related to project implementation and sustainability. Deliverable – Improved DWSSC management of RWP. District field monitoring visits conducted in at least 4 districts per month and challenges addressed with UNICEF/NAC/DWSSCs/IPs. • Tracking project inputs and related outputs against agreed work plans and budgets. Follow up on Direct Cash Transfers to Rural District Councils and Implementing Partners to ensure timely liquidation within four months of fund disbursement. Deliverable – At least not more than 10% of DCTs to DWSSCs more than 6 months old. All DWSSCs adhere to work plans and budgets. • Provide technical support to the DWSSC monthly meetings. Deliverable – All DWSSCs in Masvingo province meet at least once per month and minutes of meetings shared with NCU. • Provide technical support in setting up and maintenance of SMS triggering system for monitoring of borehole breakdowns in one or more selected pilot districts. Deliverable – SMS triggering system in place and operational in the selected pilot district. • Participate in joint UNICEF/GOZ field monitoring visits and subsequent follow up to provide technical advice to implementing partners and District Water and Sanitation Sub- Committees on the sanitation and hygiene project thematic area. Deliverable – At least one Joint Monitoring Visit per district conducted and technical advice provided. • Provide technical inputs for review for amendments and budget re-alignments. Deliverable – All requests for budget re-alignment and PCA amendments reviewed and advice provided to UNICEF within 7 days of receipt. • Conduct periodic spot checks on data collection and transmission under the Rural Management System to ensure timeliness, completeness and reliability of data. Deliverable – All districts in Masvingo and Midlands Provinces provided with sustained technical support on RWIMS. • Timely advice and recommendations to UNICEF on any project aspects requiring special attention or corrective action for the effective and efficient implementation of the Rural WASH Project. Deliverable – All districts in Masvingo and Midlands effectively managing the RWP.
  2. Support Coordination for mainstreaming of Cross Cutting Issues • Coordinate and facilitate meetings with Provincial and District Water and Sanitation Sub- Committees to share information on challenges and possible strategies for mitigating any such challenges. Deliverable – Monthly Report Detailing meetings attended and their outcomes and recommendations. • Participate in all project related national meetings and provide backstopping support. Deliverable – All meetings attended as assigned. • Undertake any other related activities as may be assigned by the UNICEF Chief of WASH and any other authorized UNICEF officer from time to time including support for donor monitoring and reporting. Deliverable – All assigned activities undertaken.


A Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering, Environmental Health Sciences, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene or related field.

Work Experience

A minimum of 5 years relevant experience in rural Water Sanitation and hygiene management at national or international level

Knowledge of the Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector in Zimbabwe is a pre-requisite.

Familiarity with the current Rural WASH project UNICEF processes will be an added advantage.

Good communication skills, both oral and written

Working knowledge of computers is essential

Possess initiative and a drive to achieve results

Ability to work effectively in multicultural environment

Other Consultancy Costs and Payment Modalities**

Payment will be done on a monthly basis, against the delivery of the monthly report and associated annexes. In case the consultant is absent or does not report for duty, the monthly fee will be prorated based on the number of days worked in the month. Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for field missions outside Harare will be paid based on agreed rates between the consultant and UNICEF but conforming to UN guidelines. Therefore, the consultant will be expected to submit an all-inclusive financial proposal detailing his monthly professional fees, travel related costs (for an estimated 15 field travel days per month) and other miscellaneous consultancy costs for delivering this consultancy.


If you have experience of working in a similar capacity, meet the above profile and want to make an active and lasting contribution to build a better world for children, please send your technical proposal (including methodology, action plan and time frame) and financial proposal (inclusive of professional fees and other costs such as travel, transport etc.), application letter and CV quoting consultancy name and number to the following address email address

Applications submitted without an all-inclusive fee/rate (professional fees, travel and living expenses etc) will not be considered. Applications should be received by 21 July 2016. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. UNICEF is committed to gender equality in its mandate and its staff. Well qualified candidates, particularly women are especially encouraged to apply