• Job Title: Head of WASH
  • Department: Programmes Directorate
  • Reports to: Country Director
  • Direct Reports: State Programme Leads, WASH Coordinator, Matrix Manages WASH Experts, PD Intern
  • Location: Abuja
  • Grade: G
  • Contract Type: Full time, 2 years fixed term (renewable)


WaterAid is an international not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping the poor and marginalised people break free from poverty and disease, and change their lives for good through improved access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. Since 1995, WaterAid has dedicatedly worked with the governments and people of Nigeria to support the implementation of sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions and programmes. WaterAid has continued to advocate for the primacy of achieving WASH goals as central to delivering the SDG targets.

WaterAid is currently in the final stages of developing a new Global Strategy which will inform the design of a new Country Program Strategy. The candidate as part of the Senior Management Team will participate and support in the design and implementation of a new strategy for the CP.

As a leader in the WASH sector in Nigeria, we are consistently required to design and implement all our programmes in a manner that demonstrates needs driven innovation to maximize our effectiveness and impact. We therefore, require the services of a senior WASH expert to support the Nigeria country office to deliver on its mandate.

Nigeria presently faces huge WASH challenges with alarming statistics. Without concrete political will and committed leadership at the highest level to drive universal WASH access, its realization will not be possible for the country. Taking into cognizance the size of the country and the existing challenges, achieving SDG 6 by 2030 will require extensive political will and extraordinary efforts to enable improved WASH coverage to unserved populations. This will enable leadership mobilize the institutional, financial and legislative resources both local and international, along with the citizenry to begin to address the WASH challenges.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has risen to the challenge by formally declaring a state of emergency in the WASH sector and launching the National Action Plan for the sector’s revitalization. While this represents a huge milestone in the quest to achieve WASH for everyone everywhere in Nigeria, the challenge lies in effective translation of these policy pronouncements to practice.

In recognition of these opportunities and challenges in Nigeria and the huge benefits to the sector of addressing them, WaterAid named WANG a priority country for WaterAid. The implication of this prioritization is that WANG has to perform at full potential which requires that we are:

  • ‘thought and practice leader in WASH with a clear, well-recognized distinctive role of elevating WASH issues and putting them at the forefront of the development agenda. 
  • Have cutting edge programmes of exceptional quality so that what we do on the ground influences at national level.
  • “Think big” and deliver transformational change at either a whole state, district or city/town level or across a thematic area.
  • Be networked in the most influential spaces both within the WASH sector and with other sectors relevant to WASH. We will engage meaningfully with both national and international development actors including the government, utilities, think tanks, relevant business, media and civil society.
  • Where appropriate will be leading the civil society WASH platforms, shape strategic alliances and convene influential spaces to progress the WASH agenda.’

WaterAid is further responding to the unprecedented opportunity existing presently in the WASH sector by creating the role Head of WASH Service Delivery to provide thought leadership and technical assistance that will support the actualization of the objectives of the State of Emergency and the National Action Plan as well as their effective step down to states where the needs exist.

The Programme Directorate under which the Head of WASH works will be expected to play a central role in designing and overseeing delivery of quality programmes that enhance WANG’s leadership role within the WASH /development sector in Nigeria and more specifically, achieve clear and measurable contributions that result in improved WASH and broader poverty reduction/development indices in Nigeria. The Head of WASH role will work towards further enhancing WaterAid’s internal capacity to engage and network at the highest level of WASH in Nigeria.

The Head of WASH is a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) of WaterAid Nigeria and by extension part of the West Africa Regional Management Team (RMT).


Coordination of WaterAid technical support to Federal & State Governments

Support the Policy and Advocacy team:

  • Lead the support to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and its agencies to design specific activities with clear milestones, targets and indicators to translate the National Action Plan policy pronouncement to action.
  • Identify windows of influence and engage with / foster collaborative working, alliances and strategic partnerships between WaterAid and other WASH sector /development actors as required to achieve the goals of the National WASH.
  • Work strategically and maintain relationship with senior WASH actors in WANG focal states to advocate for the replication of the state of emergency declaration as a potential approach to achieve rapid increase in WASH coverage in the respective states.
  • In collaboration with the Head Strategic Partnerships, explore opportunities to engage and mobilize private sector resources for WaterAid Nigeria’s activities.
  • Work collaboratively with the communications team to give maximum visibility to the WASH National Action Plan and the State of emergency declaration, design campaign materials and advocacy messages to be used by local NGO’s, CSO’s, and citizen’s groups.
  • In collaboration with Civil Society and Policy Manager and Sector Capacity & Support Manager, conduct WASH bottleneck analysis and identify specific areas of sector strengthening support required to remove sector blockages and improve WASH delivery at federal and state levels; use the evidence from this analysis to shape influencing and advocacy activities targeting diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Facilitate development and implementation of the framework to establish public-private partnership models for the achievement of National WASH action plan.
  • Identify opportunities for linking National WASH action plan priorities with key priorities in the education, health and other related sectors; innovate linkages and influencing moments between senior actors across related sectors to maximize resource sharing and utilization towards achieving WASH outcomes.

Programme Design/Implementation & support fundraising

  • Lead the design and operationalization all WANG programme and ensure coordination with HQ/Regional based technical units.
  • Provide leadership support to the programme teams in collaboration with the grant team to develop competitive, evidence-based and cost-effective funding applications.
  • Working collaboratively with the Head of Strategy, Effectiveness & Learning, provide guidance, strategies and tools to ensure that programme design choices are based on needs assessments findings (primary and secondary data), analysis, operation viability, input from communities, a thorough understanding of context.
  • Provide leadership in the development of a localization strategy that supports WANG’s community-based approaches to ensure that local capabilities and systems are strengthened and sustainable post WANG interventions.
  • Ensure detailed, realistic and feasible project implementation plans are developed and adaptively modified as needed.
  • Coordinate with other members of the senior management team on appropriate management and performance compliance requirement of the country programme including; Quality Programme Standard (QPS) and Programme Accountability Framework (PAF), SMT Monthly Management Reports, Knowledge Management, CP Risk Management Plans.
  • Plan, manage and implement the Program Department budget.

Research, Knowledge management & Learning

  • Initiate research, develop publications and learning products for sharing with wider WASH sector audiences and contributing to increasing knowledge on sector building blocks.
  • Initiate/participate in national and state events for promoting Federal Government of Nigeria WASH state of emergency declaration and increasing knowledge of sector strengthening initiatives targeting strategic level partners and stakeholders.

Monitoring and Quality Assurance

  • Lead on support to the FMWR and donor coordination arrangements to develop appropriate monitoring and evaluation indicators to track progress against national WASH action plan/ state of emergency.
  • Contribute to make PMER and efficient management of project centre a reality in WANG and a day-to-day activities.

Oversight to State Programmes

  • Ensure implementation of WASH programmes in focal states align with WaterAid quality and technical standards and best practices expected of the sector.
  • Provide required guidance and support in the deployment of the various components of the building blocks in the Sector Strengthening work at the level of the state programmes.
  • Support state level Influencing work providing appropriate guidance on appropriate models to be deployed for uptake by state institutions. This will ensure that WANG WASH models are adopted at National and State levels.
  • Provide required leadership and guidance to state programme leads in the delivery of their roles.

Team and People Leadership

  • Ensure WANG is able to attract competent WASH technical experts and provide effective support for optimum performance; develop team members in order to maximise their contribution to the team and organisation. 
  • Manage, coach, guide, and mentor State Programme leads within the programme department so that they are effective as leaders and managers in managing their teams.
  • Leads team to ensure Safeguarding, Anti-harassment, Child Protection, Health and Safety at Construction Sites and other key policies are understood and adhered to by staff, partners and contractor.
  • Create and maintain a positive environment conducive for high performance of the department.
  • Accountable for forecasting and developing periodic budgets for WASH Service Delivery; manage day to day expenses in a manner that demonstrates WaterAid value of accountability and provide periodic budget management reports as may be required.
  • Responsible for proactively seeking and optimising opportunities to increase WaterAid’ Nigeria’s image, visibility and profile as a leader in the international NGO and WASH sector.

  • Strong academic background (preferably at Master’s degree level) in Engineering, public health or related fields.
  • Minimum ten (10) years’ experience of development programme management and at least 3 of which must be in a senior level position focusing on delivering in WASH services.
  • Prior experience working with high level government officials to influence and direct policy reform agenda.
  • Demonstrate sound understanding of WASH, Integrated Water Resource management issues and broader development and poverty reduction themes.
  • Previous experience managing program financed particularly by USAID, FCDO, EU and others like; UN, Foundations and Private Donor.
  • Sound knowledge of basic project management approaches, experience with conducting formative research and using research outcomes to make programme decisions.
  • Experience with building capacity of implementing partner organizations especially CSO’s and government.
  • Experience in developing strategic & operational plans. Able to effectively organise self and others, plan and prioritise in line with such plans.
  • Excellent relationship building skills. Able to build and maintain trusting relationships, negotiate, influence and resolve conflicts. Ability to build and maintain effective relationships with multi-level stakeholders including donor representatives, government officials and community level actors.
  • Strong communication skills, including active listening and ability to effectively convey information and ideas verbally and in writing.
  • Experience of leading, managing teams, motivating others and driving change.
  • Commitment to WaterAid’s values and a working style that reflects these.

Desirable Criteria

  • Existing links and network within the WASH sector.
  • Membership of relevant professional body.

We’re looking for people who share a commitment to our vision, and a commitment to playing their part in changing normal. We’re looking for people with an appreciation and respect for different people and ideas, and the energy and expertise to help tackle the most important challenges. In return, you can expect to get inspiration from the change you help make happen, a sense of belonging and the feeling of being part of a global community. You will also experience stimulation and fulfilment, the chance to grow, and space to be yourself at your best.

This is our pledge to you.

We started because no NGO like us existed. We’ll end when no organisation like us is needed. In the meantime, we’re making great progress – since 1981, we have reached 25 million people with clean water and, since 2004, 24 million people with sanitation.


If you are interested in this position and have the right skills and attributes, kindly apply by sending your CV and Cover letter in a single document to [email protected]

Closing date for this application is 22 February, 2022

Please note: to apply for this role you must be able to demonstrate your eligibility to work in Nigeria.

WaterAid is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

We particularly encourage applications from women who are underrepresented at this level in the organisation.

WaterAid is committed to ensuring that wherever we work in the world there is no tolerance for the abuse of power, privilege or trust. WaterAid reinforces a culture of zero tolerance towards any form of inappropriate behaviour, abuse, harassment, or exploitation of any kind. The safeguarding of our beneficiaries, staff, volunteers and anyone working on our behalf, is our top priority, and we take our responsibilities extremely seriously. All staff and volunteers are required to share in this commitment through our Global Code of Conduct.