February 2022

Program Officer – Ethiopia

To be based in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, with extensive travel to field sites (to begin no later than April 2022)

About Aquaya

The Aquaya Institute ( Aquaya ) is an independent, non-profit research and consulting organization dedicated to safe, equitable, and sustainable water and sanitation in developing countries. Our mission is to improve public health by reducing the burden of waterborne diseases. Aquaya was established in 2005 to provide development agencies, governments, and implementing organizations with a trustworthy and agile resource for conducting rigorous research, experimentation, and evaluation.

Aquaya has completed projects spanning public health, economics, technology development, and social entrepreneurship in over 20 countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We have published or contributed to nearly 30 peer-reviewed research articles and produced numerous other reports and publications.

Aquaya maintains an office in Nairobi, Kenya. Staff members are also located in the US, Europe and other African countries. Many of our projects are carried out in collaboration with academic research groups and expert consultants.

About the Program Officer position

We are recruiting a Program Officer for a full-time position based in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, with extensive travel to field sites in Dera, Farta, and North Mecha. The Program Officer will report to Aquaya’s Senior Research Manager and will lead activities in Ethiopia for a new initiative for Aquaya, the Hilton Africa Water Quality Testing program. This Program Officer will be responsible for executing all of the related program activities in Ethiopia, including overseeing water quality data collection and collaborating with Bahir Dar University to develop a new Water Quality Testing Fellowship program. Specific activities include:

  • Collaborate with the Bahir Dar University to develop the details of the Water Quality Testing Fellowship program
  • Engage with key stakeholders, including national and local government
  • Oversee the procurement of water quality testing equipment and supplies
  • Assist with the development of data collection tools and research protocols
  • Coordinate water quality testing activities in Dera, Farta, and North Mecha
  • Conduct analysis of water quality samples for physical, microbial, and chemical parameters
  • Ensure the implementation of data QAQC procedures
  • Clean and manage datasets
  • Contribute to reports and dissemination materials
  • Disseminate findings to key stakeholders

The Hilton Africa Water Quality Testing Program

The Hilton Africa Water Quality Testing Program includes two primary interrelated components: 1) water quality data collection and analysis at the community, household, school, and health care facility levels in select districts and 2) a fellowship program centered on providing resources and opportunities for practical skill acquisition in water quality testing. The objective of the program is to conduct water quality monitoring and trend analysis at the community, household, and institutional levels in the Hilton Foundation’s Safe Water Initiative’s seven focal districts in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Uganda between 2021-2025 by partnering with academic and water quality-focused institutions in these countries. The program will provide statistically representative data on progress against water quality parameters in different contexts to inform targeting of safe water delivery approaches led by government and key partners in support of Sustainable Development Goal 6 targets, as well as the development and adaptation of safe water policies, plans and programs as part of the Foundation’s five-year strategy. Additionally, by working through local academic and research institutions, the program will include a Hilton Africa Water Quality Testing Fellowship to support promising undergraduate and graduate students and/or junior researchers as an essential component in its research and capacity development model, with the goal of identifying, leveraging resources and opportunities to provide academic training in water quality testing and analysis. In Ethiopia, this program will engage Bahir Dar University, and focus on Dera, Farta, and North Mecha for water quality monitoring.

Other programs

In addition to this primary responsibility, the Program Officer may contribute to Aquaya’s ongoing initiatives:

  1. Under the USAID-funded REAL-Water program, Aquaya is studying drivers of rural water supply professionalization, water quality monitoring, and holistic water resources planning.
  2. Aquaya is the Research & Learning partner for the new USAID-funded Enhancing WASH program, led by Global Communities.

Criteria for the Program Officer position

The following qualifications are necessary for this position:

  • Master’s degree – preferably in engineering, public health, environmental science, or related field.
  • 2+ years of experience developing and maintaining collaborations with different partners (e.g., universities, government, non-profits, private sector, etc.).
  • Demonstrated experience conducting water quality testing for physical, microbial, and chemical parameters.
  • Ability to manage operational logistics of field data collection.
  • Ability to manage quantitative datasets in Excel, R, or Stata.
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Commitment to living in Ethiopia on a full-time basis, based in Bahir Dar with extensive fieldwork in Dera, Farta, and North Mecha.
  • Fluency in English.

We are also looking for the following skills and attributes: 

  • Good problem-solving and time management skills.
  • Strong work ethic and a commitment to delivery.
  • Previous work experience working with staff from other countries.
  • Outstanding organization and time management skills, with an attention to detail and an ability to establish systems to manage constant flows of information and deliver on deadlines.
  • Proven ability to work closely with a small team and to successfully manage multiple and changing priorities in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, while maintaining a positive and productive attitude and a good sense of humor!

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time position, with an initial 3-month probationary period. Aquaya offers competitive salaries that are commensurate with experience. Benefits include medical insurance and enrollment in a pension plan. 

To apply

Please submit your resume via e-mail to jobs@aquaya.org along with a thoughtful cover letter. The deadline for submissions is March 3, 2022. There will be an additional screening survey and activity once your resume is received.

In your cover letter, please explain why you are interested in Aquaya’s mission and activities. Please also tell us why your skills, background, and accomplishments make you the ideal candidate for this position, specifically highlighting your experience.

Please note that we will not consider applications without a cover letter. In your e-mail subject line, please specify “Program Officer Ethiopia 2022”. No phone calls, please.

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