Emergency Watsan Technical Referent

Médecins Sans Frontières en Suisse


To fulfill its mission of assistance to victims of conflicts, epidemics or natural disasters, MSF-Switzerland has created an Emergency Pool, of which members are experienced individuals capable of evaluating a situation, opening and coordinating projects.

The candidate is expected to

  • work in all contexts set by the emergency cell
  • have the flexibility to work in different positions depending on his/her profile
  • work in emergency contexts with regular cells and fill gaps in regular projects if needed.


The job is structured around 4 main tasks:

  • Direct technical support to field operations (regular missions and emergencies)
  • Contribution to missions operational strategies
  • Management and supervision of Watsan team
  • Follow up of wash specific supply and budget line in mission.
  1. Direct technical support to field operations
  • Promote and implement water & sanitation activities of the mission (implement or facilitate)
  • Participate in:
  • Exploratory missions
  • Program support visits
  • Assume the post of WHS Coordinator, where appropriate, in emergencies.
  1. Contribution to missions operational strategies
  • Shares information with medical and logistic coordinators to identify potential WHS related activities to develop
  • Participates in the development of appropriate project strategies based on analysis of the situation
  • Advises on Eprep capacity when appropriate
  1. Management and supervision
  • Contribute to the definition of Watsan team required in emergency
  • Organize and prioritize the Watsan team members according to needs.
  • In the field provides coaching to WHS and logistic teams both local staff and expatriate
  1. Follow up of wash specific supply and budget line in mission.
  • Compile orders coming from the team he/she supervises
  • Validate orders according to the finance validation grid
  • Follow up and ensure dispatch according to priorities
  • validate local suppliers.
  • Clean up stock and Eprep stocks

Duty Station

All countries where the emergency desk opens activities, which require an urgent response. On call, the Emergency Watsan technical Referent should be available within 48 hours for rapid and short interventions. He/she is part of a core group of medicals, para-medicals and support staff responsible for responding to:

  • epidemic outbreaks
  • nutritional crises
  • displaced populations and/or refugees’ camps
  • conflict contexts
  • natural disasters
  • exploratory missions
  • Short gaps filling in the field on regular missions

How to apply

Your Profile

  • 18 months of Watsan field experience with MSF with at least one mission in an emergency context with MSF.
  • Or experience with other humanitarian organizations, with 24 months of field experience in emergency contexts in a WatSan role.
  • Capacity to quickly evaluate an emergency situation on ground and to propose an appropriate Watsan strategy
  • General knowledge of MSF in emergency management, Public Health, Rapid Water and Hygiene Assessment, and MSF standard WatSan protocols,
  • Knowledge of basics in logistics to work as an Emergency filed logistician desirable


  • A demonstrable understanding of the need to integrate Medical and Public Health/WatSan activities,
  • Good, hands-on experience of deploying and using MSF WatSan kits in the field
  • Excellent knowledge of the necessary Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures required in emergency medical facilities.
  • Knowledge of surface water treatment, groundwater, water quality and water trucking management.
  • A flexible and solution-oriented mentality and the ability to be decisive in chaotic circumstances,
  • Proven skills in negotiation, diplomacy and decision-making skills
  • Proven capacity for coordination and organization
  • Ability to prioritize work, manage teams and communicate clearly decisions
  • Capacity to work in a volatile, insecure context and deal with stress
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary team
  • Availability, flexibility, mobility
  • Fluency in both French and English is essential
  • Other languages represent an advantage: Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese

Terms of Employment

  • Field-based contract, fixed-term for one year, renewable
  • Per-diem in the field during assignments;
  • During missions’ standby at home, the Emergency Watsan technical Referent commits herself/himself to be available at any time in order to be deployed within 48 hours, she/he must be reachable in all circumstances

How to apply

Interested candidates should forward their complete application in English or in French (5MB max) https://msfsuisse-career.talent-soft.com/Pages/Offre/detailoffre.aspx?idOffre=194&idOrigine=502&LCID=1036

  • CV 2 pages. max.
  • letter of motivation 1p. max.

The deadline for applications is 29.02.2024 at 12:00am.

The applications will be treated confidentially.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

For more details on the job offer or MSF, please visit our website: http://www.msf.ch/travailler-avec-nous/

Deadline: 29 Feb 2024

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