Using Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services to fight COVID-19: Experiences from African countries

Disaster Risk Preparedness and Resilience Expert

North America, United States

Your Role

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of adequate WASH services for the prevention of disease transmission. It has also exposed significant vulnerabilities of institutions from the global to local level when it comes to emergency preparedness and response, particularly in light of a new threat.


The African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW) is an inter-governmental, Pan-African, non- budgetary institution working under the Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment of the African Union, with the mandate to provide political leadership, policy direction and advocacy for the protection, management and effective utilization of all Africa’s water resources for sustainable social, economic and environmental development, and for the maintenance of the integrity of Africa’s ecosystems. AMCOW leads member states response to the COVID-19 pandemic by bringing them together to share challenges and lessons learned during the pandemic. To build on this support and provide additional tools to respond to COVID-19 and prepare for future emergencies, WALIS is working with AMCOW to develop a contextually appropriate model (i.e. a template) for the WASH sector that can be rolled out to the Member States and adapted to mitigate any impacts from the pandemic, stem further transmission and re-emergence of COVID-19, and build member states’ resilience to any future epidemic or pandemic.


A Disaster Risk Preparedness and Resilience Expert will develop an appropriate model for a COVID-19 and WASH Preparedness, Response, and Recovery plan, consisting of a resilience building strategy, that national ministries responsible for WASH services in Africa can tailor for their specific situation. The model or template should help ministries determine performance objectives, identify key vulnerabilities, and develop strategies for addressing these vulnerabilities. The Disaster Risk Preparedness and Resilience Expert will work in close collaboration with WALIS and the AMCOW team led by the Senior Policy Advisor and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Sub-committee on Sanitation. Once the tool has been developed and validated by an (extra-ordinary) TAC Meeting, the Disaster Risk Preparedness and Resilience Expert will provide support to up to two government ministries directly in applying the template to their specific context to draft a country preparedness and response plan. One of the two ministries supported will be the Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR) of Nigeria. The other ministry will be selected in conjunction with USAID and AMCOW. The template will also be made available to all AMCOW member states to adapt to their own use.


Task Duties

  • Perform desk review and risk assessment using background information including analysis of similar plans (i.e. Response and Recovery from Ebola or similar disease outbreak) as related to WASH and COVID-19;
  • Work with WALIS DCOP and AMCOW to identify key sections of the template and instructions for completion;
  • Conduct a virtual consultation workshop with the Secretariat and TAC Sub-committee on Sanitation to solicit feedback on the draft template and template instructions;
  • Consult selected member states and the AMCOW TAC Sub-committee on sanitation to enrich and validate the document and to promote ownership of updates.
  • Provide technical support to the FMWR of Nigeria to pilot the template, testing understandability of template’s instructions and adaptability, updating instructions with contextual examples. Potential travel to Nigeria;
  • Work with up to one additional ministry to adapt updated template to their specific country context, potential travel to work with Ministry as COVID-19 restrictions allow;
  • Finalize template and instructions for publication and dissemination by AMCOW;
  • Support WALIS reporting requirements by providing regular updates on the progress of the plan and related activities through weekly updates and inputs for technical consultancy/trip reports, etc.;
  • Provide guidance, advice and explanation to the WALIS and AMCOW Team on proposed solutions;
  • Perform other tasks as needed.



  • First Draft COVID-19 and WASH Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Plan template, with resilience building strategy, and instructions;
  • Virtual consultation workshop report;
  • Revised Drafts of template and instructions as applicable;
  • Final COVID-19 and WASH Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Plan template, with resilience building strategy, and instructions;
  • COVID-19 and WASH Preparedness and Response Plan for Nigeria’s FMWR and one additional ministry;
  • Trip Reports, as relevant; and
  • Final Consultant Report, including documentation of the consultancy process.


  • Minimum 12 years of professional experience on USAID or other international donor-funded technical assistance project; strong preference for previous work in Africa and WASH Sector;
  • Master’s or PhD in Public Health, Environmental Science or other relevant fields;
  • Demonstrated experience in leading the development of disaster risk response and management, epidemic response, emergency planning and/or institutional capacity building and resilience building strategies preferably in sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Experience working with African regional and governmental institutions;
  • Strong written and verbal communication, planning, and organizational skills;
  • Fluent English speaker with knowledge of French preferred


How to Apply

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