• 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)

Team description

WaterAid Nigeria has recently completed its 2023-2028 country programme strategy which sets a 5-year building block towards delivering a more influencing led programme over a 10-year horizon. This new country strategy rather than reflect a progression from previous country programme strategies, outlines key shifts in focus required to catalyze change and achieve maximum impact for our work in Nigeria.

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 the organization. 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 eduction/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

  • 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 Action Plan (NAP) in the revitalization of the WASH sector.

  • Work strategically and maintain relationships 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 and Grant Management, 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, 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[1]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.

Support Policy Influencing and Advocacy: 

  • Support with appropriate information on technical aspects of WASH to enhance advocacy, influencing and communications.
  • Provide support for accessing context specific WASH related technology for developing advocacy and communications materials for specific audiences.
  • Make technical inputs into advocacy and communications materials such as policy briefs and think pieces.
  • Support documentation of project implementation processes to feed into the development of communication materials for influencing and advocacy.

Programme Design/Implementation 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 activity.

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 Geology, Water Resources Engineering, Environmental sciences, Public Health or other related Social Sciences field
  • Minimum twelve (12) 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 programs financed particularly by USAID, FCDO, EU and others like; UN, Foundations and Private Donor
  • Sound knowledge of advanced 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 network and maintain effective relationships with multi-level stakeholders including donor representatives, government officials, private sector leaders and community-level actors.
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills
  • 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

  • Strongly embedded and with existing links and networks within the WASH sector

  • Membership of key relevant professional bodies driving knowledge management, learning and innovation within the WASH sector.


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

Closing date for this application is 16 March, 2023

WaterAid is an international not-for-profit, determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation.

Since we started in 1981, we’ve remained resolutely focused on tackling these three essentials that transform people’s lives

Without all three, people can’t live dignified, healthy lives. With all three, they can unlock their potential, break free from poverty, and change their lives for good. Children grow up healthy and strong, women and men get to earn a living, whole communities start to thrive.

WaterAid is fully committed to protecting those with whom it comes into contact. 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, discrimination, abuse, bullying, harassment, or exploitation of any kind. The safeguarding of the communities in which we work, our staff, volunteers and anyone working on our behalf, is our top priority, and we take our responsibilities extremely seriously. We are passionately committed to WaterAid being an organisation where everyone is welcome, respected, included and empowered to be their best. We represent and celebrate the diversity of our staff, partners and everyone with whom we work to create a culture where everyone can reach their full potential. All staff and volunteers are required to share in this commitment through our Global Code of Conduct.

We will conduct the most appropriate pre-employment references and checks to ensure high standards are maintained.

WaterAid will carry out disclosure checks for roles that involve direct contact with children and vulnerable adults. Applicants are required to provide details of convictions that, in other circumstances, would be considered spent. For more information about safeguarding at WaterAid, please visit our safeguarding webpage at: https://www.wateraid.org/uk/safeguarding-at-wateraid