Research Program Manager at Aquay
The Aquaya Institute (Aquaya) is an independent, non-profit research and consulting organization dedicated to safe, equitable, and sustainable water and sanitation in low-resource settings. 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 over 40 peer-reviewed research articles and produced numerous other reports and publications.
Aquaya maintains an office in Nairobi, Kenya. Staff members are also in the US, Ghana, Uganda, France, Ethiopia, and Morocco. Many of our projects are carried out in collaboration with academic research groups and expert consultants.
About the (Senior) Research/Program Manager position
We are recruiting multiple Research/Program Managers and Senior Research/Program Managers (‘Manager/Senior Manager’) for full-time positions. These positions will be based in Ghana or Kenya and require extensive domestic travel within the country of location, and international travel across sub-Saharan Africa. The Manager/Senior Manager will be responsible for managing research program activities, including, but not limited to:
Research Program Execution
- Develop research protocols and data collection tools
- Develop and monitor timelines for completing project milestones
- Develop, modify, and successfully manage project budgets
- Manage the ethical approval process and ensure that ethical principles are respected
- Lead fieldwork logistics and data collection activities with minimal oversight
- Develop training schedules and materials; successfully lead training activities
- Develop and administer effective QAQC methods to ensure data quality
- Manage quantitative and qualitative datasets
- Perform quantitative data analyses
- Delegate tasks to and/or supervise other employees as needed
- Organize and tactfully lead partner meetings and manage partner communication and reporting
- Maintain clear communication with any hired consultants
- Lead the preparation of project presentations, reports, briefs, and publications
- Participate in the presentation of program results at conferences and workshops
Initial Program Support
The employee is anticipated to initially lead to two or more components of the following projects:
- Urban Resilience by Building and Applying New Evidence in WASH (URBAN WASH)
- Enhancing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (EnWASH)
- Assurance Fund
Urban Resilience by Building partnerships and Applying New evidence in WASH (URBAN WASH) will generate evidence for more impactful, sustainable, equitable, and climate-resilient WASH and water resource management (WRM) policy and programming in urban and peri-urban areas. URBAN WASH will also support high-impact WASH and WRM interventions through collaboration with researchers, the private sector, civil society groups, government bodies, and multilateral institutions.
The program will conduct research on three primary topics:
- Partner and engage strategically for research, peer learning, and uptake of evidence
- Generate high-quality evidence focusing on the enabling environment for water and sanitation policies and regulations, small and informal service providers, and source water protection and diversification for resilient urban water supplies.
- Provide technical assistance to USAID Missions on WASH and WRM research, assessments, and monitoring, evaluation, and learning.
USAID/Ghana is executing a 5-year activity called Exchanging Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (EnWASH), being implemented by Global Communities. The program’s overall goal is to increase the use of sustainable, equitable, quality district-wide WASH services in communities and health center facilities (HCF) and increase the adoption of sustainable district-wide WASH practices in households, communities, and HCF.
Aquaya is tasked with leading all research and evaluation throughout the study and across the various partners.
Aquaya launched a Water Quality Assurance Fund (‘Assurance Fund’) in 2020 to encourage a central laboratory in Ghana to provide water quality testing to nearby rural water systems. The Assurance Fund primarily guarantees the laboratory will be paid, even if water systems receiving testing services default on their payments. The Assurance Fund mitigates the risk of non-payment and encourages the laboratory to expand its services beyond urban areas. The Assurance Fund thus provides a mechanism for addressing the ongoing barriers to water testing (financial, logistical, technical) in low-resource settings that are often ignored by traditional capacity-building efforts (such as the one-time provision of testing kits to water systems).
Aquaya has received funding to expand the Assurance Fund to:
- Evaluate the Assurance Fund as a mechanism to expand testing services to rural areas, supporting water treatment and improving water safety.
- Assess the feasibility and develop recommendations for scaling up the Assurance Fund to build sustainable water testing models for improving water safety.
- Expand the local and international water sectors’ knowledge of water safety management.
Criteria for the position
The following qualifications are necessary for this position:
- Demonstrated experience in managing research programs, preferably related to water or sanitation.
- Master’s degree – preferably in engineering, science, environmental science, or a related field. Ph.D. is preferred.
- 4+ years of work experience in research and project management.
- Experience in the management and execution of research staff, research processes, and knowledge-focused initiatives.
- Previous international work experience in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Ability to analyze quantitative data in Excel, R, or Stata.
- Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
- Fluency in English.
- Commitment to living in Kenya or Ghana on a full-time basis.
- Ability to travel to field sites approximately 25% of the time (this is an estimated average and is subject to fluctuation).
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.
- Outstanding organization 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 enrolment in a pension plan.
Please submit your resume via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and a thoughtful cover letter. Once your resume is received, there will be an additional screening survey and activity. This position will be open until filled.
Please explain why you are interested in Aquaya’s mission and activities in your cover letter. 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 only consider applications with a cover letter. In your e-mail subject line, please specify “Research/Program Manager 2023”. No phone calls, please.
Aquaya provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.