Project Manager – Systems Improvement

WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. Our mission is to transform lives by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the world’s poorest communities.

WaterAid works through supporting local organisations and government authorities to design and demonstrate appropriate and sustainable WASH programs. WaterAid also seeks to influence policy change through government and other key sector actors to secure and protect the right of poor people to safe, affordable water and sanitation services.

Everything we do is shaped by our six values:

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Collaboration
  • Courage
  • Accountability
  • Innovation

WaterAid Australia works within a federated international NGO structure, and is the WaterAid international member responsible for managing country programs in South East Asia and the Pacific. WaterAid Australia has country programs in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.

WaterAid is a child safe organisation. We recognise that we must meet community expectations and the trust placed in our personnel to maintain the highest standards of conduct with children. Therefore, all positions within WaterAid are required to comply with our Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct.

WaterAid is committed to protection from sexual exploitation and abuse in everything we do. The values and standards we uphold are highlighted in our Global Code of Conduct. All positions within WaterAid are required to comply with our Global Code of Conduct.

WaterAid passionately believes everyone in the organisation has a role to play in innovation. WaterAid encourages curiosity about the world and empowering everyone to take action. WaterAid recognises that both big and small changes can have positive impacts on our roles, our team and our mission.

The Project Manager – Systems Improvement is part of the Program Operations sub unit of the Policy and Programs team. The purpose of the role is to lead the design and implementation of a new grant- and program management system for WaterAid Australia and Country Programs in the region.

The aim of the new system is to automate, improve practices, and drive efficiencies across grant and program management. The position will be required to lead process improvement and engagement with internal stakeholders and external suppliers to ensure solutions meet business requirements. Over the 12 months, the role will oversee the system scoping and discovery; design; and testing phases to ensure it is delivered within timeframes and scope. The role will also make recommendations to inform change management and implementation phases beyond the contract period, and deliver successful handover to returning Project Manager.

To be successful, the position will be required to build strong relationships with key stakeholders and management across all three Country Programs, as well as coordinate across the WA Federation and WaterAid Australia, particularly with the Program Operations team, the finance team and Technical Leads. The successful candidate has experience from Product Management and from managing system improvement projects, preferably related to grants.

1. Governance and Stakeholder management

  • In coordination with Head of Program Operations, and project steering group, lead engagement with stakeholders and management teams across WaterAid Australia and the WaterAid Federation on key decisions in the planning, design and testing phases.
  • Ensure strong communication between project stakeholders, through agreed mechanisms/ platforms, and timeframes.
  • Effectively identify, control and manage issues, risks and changes in scope that may arise, including financial implications.
  • Manage ongoing engagement with external suppliers, including contract management, timelines and deliverables.

2. Process improvement and documentation

  • Contribute to refining existing system requirements through consultations across WaterAid Australia, Country Programs and the WaterAid Federation (as required).
  • Develop an understanding of our grant- and finance management practices in order to ensure the finance system integration meets business requirements.
  • Improve process flows for grant-, program- and partnership management as needed in consultation with other teams and in particular with Program Operations and Finance teams.
  • Identify gaps in business process mapping including changes as required and in consultations with relevant teams.

3. System design and testing

  • Manage system development phases across WaterAid Australia and Country Programs together with Federation Members and external system stakeholders,
  • Oversee and participate in the planning, discovery, design, testing and documentation together with external stakeholders.
  • Coordinate and provide support/guidance to the relevant project stakeholders to ensure timeframes and milestone are met.
  • Identify opportunities to leverage system technologies.
  • Ensure system improvements supports compliance with the ACFID Code of Conduct and DFAT Accreditation standards.

4. Change management

  • Develop and implement change management strategies and activities for relevant phases of the project to ensure buy-in and ownership of the new system.
  • Build awareness and capacity of key stakeholders across WA Australia and in the region based on designated user profiles.
  • Make recommendations for training, roll-out and implementation for optimal system uptake.


There is no fixed location for the role, and can be discussed during recruitment. There will be no provision for sponsorship or relocation.

Given the role will have some engagement with the WaterAid Federation, the successful candidate will be expected to conduct some work across time zones, including GMT and AEST. 



  • Demonstrated experience in managing system improvement
  • Demonstrated experience of grant management / the implementation of a grant management system
  • Experience from Product Management


  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, or equivalent experience

Knowledge and skills:

  • Experience in strengthening capacity of counterparts and commitment to locally-led and strengths-based approaches
  • Excellent communication, relationship building and problem-solving skills 
  • Business analysis and the ability to translate stakeholder requirements into system design
  • Knowledge of change management processes

Personal qualities:

  • Team player with ability to plan own work, manage competing priorities and work under pressure when required
  • Commitment to WaterAid’ values and standards of safety of children and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse in all our activities
  • Demonstrate an understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment including ethnic diversity and cultural sensitivity
  • Commitment to innovation, continuous improvement and open to new ideas



  • Project Management software; NGOs; International Development

Ergonomic work stations within an open plan office, standing desks, recreational area and flexible work environment, overseas travel may be applicable.  

Please submit an application to [email protected] by the 10 July 2022.

Applications must include a resume and cover letter addressing the Qualifications, Skills and Selection criteria.

Interviews will take place week commencing 11 July 2022.

For any question not answered in this document please email [email protected]

Location of the role will be discussed during the recruitment process. Applicants must have the right to work in Australia in their chosen location.

We promote diversity and equality in all our practices. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply.

WaterAid is a child safe organisation committed to protection of people we serve. Our recruitment and selection procedures are designed to ensure we only recruit people who are suitable and aligned with our standards on the safety of children and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse. All appointments are subject to appropriate background checks and screening.