28 Nov 2019

Research & Program Manager at Aquaya

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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 report 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 position

We are recruiting a Research & Program Manager for a full-time position based in Nairobi.  The Research & Program Manager will report to Aquaya’s Director of Programs and mange field research in multiple developing countries.  We are searching for an individual who is passionate about collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data that builds the evidence base for water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions.  The ideal candidate will demonstrate experience is designing and implementing field research that comprises the following key activities:

  • Developing research protocols for quantitative and qualitative studies, including randomized controlled trials, ex post evaluations of interventions by other organizations, and testing of new technologies and behavior change strategies.
  • Creating and using electronic data collection forms.
  • Obtaining local research permits and ethical reviews.
  • Coordinating the logistical requirements for field research such as procurement and transportation of research equipment and supplies.
  • Managing and mentoring of early-stage research staff with recent graduate degrees from African universities.
  • Recruiting and training survey teams.
  • Collaborating with expert consultants.
  • Experience with statistics and quantitative data analysis.
  • Experience in coding and analyzing qualitative data.
  • Writing research reports and peer-reviewed publications.

The Research and Program Manager will work collaboratively with other staff members and consultants on a range of research topics that will vary over time.  In other words, this position is not focused on a specific program, research activity or time period.  Some of our current programs are described below:

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) 

WASHPaLS is a five-year (2016-2021) USAID funded program that seeks to build evidence for high-impact environmental health interventions and services.  Tetra Tech, an engineering and development-consulting firm, manages WASHPaLS.  Aquaya serves as a sub-contractor to Tetra Tech, with primary responsibilities for developing and evaluating strategies that improve the impacts of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programs for reducing open defecation in rural settings.

Monitoring for Safe Water (MfSW)

Aquaya’s MfSW program strengthens local capacity for water quality monitoring and water safety management in Africa.  Aquaya initiated research on monitoring performance among African water suppliers and public health agencies in 2012 with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  We are now applying our research results to build monitoring capacity in Ghana, Uganda and Burkina Faso with a five year grant (2017 – 2022) from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Urban Sanitation Costs and Low-Income Consumers’ Willingness-to-Pay

Aquaya is comparing the amounts that low-income urban residents in Bangladesh (city of Rangpur), Ghana (city of Kumasi), and Kenya (cities of Kisumu, Malindi, and Nakuru) are willing-to-pay for sanitation products and services with the costs of providing these services.  The results of these comparisons will inform strategies for making safely managed sanitation more affordable for the urban poor and also guide sanitation planning in the study cities.

Incentivizing Private Sector Provision of Fecal Waste Emptying Services to Low-income Customers in Kisumu, Kenya

Most households in the city of Kisumu, Kenya, particularly those in low-income planned settlements, rely on pit-latrines, which are generally emptied by informal manual pit emptiers.  These unregulated service providers dump waste illegally in convenient locations.  As a result, most of the fecal waste generated in Kisumu contributes to environmental and public health challenges.  Aquaya is developing and testing strategies for transitioning household and latrine pit emptiers to safe and regulated practices.

AquayaLEARN

Each year, Aquaya provides fellowships to outstanding Kenyan graduate students to support three – six-month research collaborations with our Nairobi-based research staff.  Our objectives for AquayaLEARN (Leading an Empowered African Research Network) are to inspire African researchers to tackle the water and sanitation challenges facing their countries while also expanding their research skills and opportunities.

Criteria for the position

The following qualifications are necessary for this position:

  • A Masters or PhD degree in one of these disciplines: epidemiology, economics, environmental engineering, environmental sciences
  • Authorship of a peer-reviewed paper published in an international scientific journal
  • Extensive experience of managing teams conducting field experiments (at least 3 years, preferably in multiple international locations)
  • Commitment to living in Nairobi on a full-time basis. Working remotely or maintaining a part-time residency in Nairobi are not options for this position.
  • Eligibility to obtain the legal right to work in Kenya
  • Ability to travel up to 30% time, often alone and often to remote areas of Africa and Asia.
  • Fluency in English

We are also looking for the following skills and attributes:

  • Previous work experience in developing countries
  • Demonstrated expertise in data management and statistical analysis
  • Strong work ethic and a commitment to delivery
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • 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, exempt position.  Aquaya offers competitive salaries that are commensurate with experience.  Benefits include medical insurance, enrollment in a retirement plan, and reimbursements of annual home leave travel expenses.

How to Apply

Please submit your resume via e-mail to [email protected] along with a thoughtful cover letter. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2020.

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 in developing countries, your background in quantitative data analysis, and any abilities to work in languages other than English.

Please note that we will not consider applications without a cover letter. In your e-mail subject line, please specify “Research & Program Manager 2020”. No phone calls please.






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