Water and sanitation specialists

As a water and sanitation specialist working for Médecins Sans Frontières you will plan, coordinate, implement and monitor all water, health and sanitation (WHS) activities in the project, including, but not limited to: water supply, excreta disposal, waste management, hygiene, and infection control.

You will work with medical teams to identify WHS needs, and make recommendations for response activities. This can involve providing technical support to the medical team in identifying possible ‘risk factors’ (e.g. behavioural practices, environmental sources of infection, and transmission routes) and offers solutions for infection control. You will also plan and review budgets for the WHS activities in order to identify and give a response to the needs of the mission and the targeted population.

Your skills in cross cultural human resource management and communication will be important, as the role involves providing technical support and coaching to staff under your responsibility.

All water and sanitation specialists are hired as logisticians. Médecins Sans Frontières logisticians come from a range skill sets and backgrounds: they are engineers, fleet managers, construction managers, architects, farm managers, project managers, and more.

All Australian and New Zealand field worker applications are processed through our Sydney office.


  • Qualification in either hydrology, chemistry, civil engineering, geology
  • Experience in any of:  building wells and boreholes, water quality monitoring, pollution, waste management
  • Previous experience in technical aspects of water and sanitation works


  • Experience in water filtration techniques
  • Experience of WHS in Emergencies
  • Public health background or experience


The essential criteria is an overview of the minimum requirements for international staff. Please note, these can change without prior notice in response to organisational needs. To work overseas with MSF, every applicant must meet the following requirements:

Work in a diverse team

The ability to work and live in multicultural and multidisciplinary teams in contexts that are often complex, unstable and isolated, requiring strict respect for the local culture, teams and security rules in force.

Experience working in remote, low resource and low tech settings

Clinical/working experience in environments with limited human resources, materials and equipment.  Access to electricity can be unreliable, running water may not be available, medical and other equipment may be in short supply and computer systems may be basic.

Management experience

Most assignments will involve supervision or management of teams and will require experience in: capacity building, training, planning and administration and performance management.

Commitment to the goals and values of MSF

Adhere to the MSF Charter and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust and Empowerment.

Commitment to a career with MSF

Commitment for 2+ assignments. We are looking for people that want to commit to multiple assignments and a long-term career in humanitarian aid. Hiring and training an employee is a major investment for MSF and we want to hire international staff who want to grow within the organisation. 

Ability to cope with stress

Many MSF projects are located in or near conflict areas. The environment is often chaotic and you will face various challenges. International staff must be able to cope with stress in a difficult and unpredictable environment.                   

Flexibility and adaptability

Contexts, environments, team composition can change quickly. Flexibility and adaptability are critical for a successful MSF assignment.

Work independently and use initiative

MSF assignments are demanding and every staff member must be able to manage their responsibilities and workload in a professional manner, with minimum direction.     


Language skills

Knowledge of French or Spanish, or willing to learn. 
Other languages including Portuguese, Russian or Arabic are an asset.


  • Refer to our benefits and opportunities for further information on how MSF supports you as a fieldworker. 
  • If you’re not yet ready to apply, register to receive updates from our Field Human Resources team including information on upcoming recruitment events.
  • Watch our logisticians webinar that features water and sanitation specialist Jeanne Vidal, to find out more about this role and more broadly how logisticians fit into projects overseas.


Please apply if your skills and experience match the requirements for this role and the essential criteria for all international staff, listed above. Allow approximately 1 hour to complete to application.

Before starting the application, please prepare the following: 

  1. CV (see our guide on how to write a CV)
  2. Motivation letter