Head of Programmes (Re-advertised)

  • Full Time
  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • TBA KWACHA / Month
  • Applications have closed


It’s hard to believe that today millions of people across the world still don’t have safe water and decent sanitation, resulting in immense suffering, disease and loss of productivity. WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. By 2030, we want everyone everywhere to have clean water, sanitation and hygiene. We believe that sustainable development cannot be achieved without the attainment of rights to water, sanitation and hygiene for all.

Do you want to be part of the team that will make this change happen?

WaterAid is looking for an experienced individual to play a vital role in contributing towards our mission to transform lives with safe water, sanitation, and hygiene in poor and unserved communities. The position will be stationed in Lusaka, Zambia, with frequent travel to Field offices stationed in other districts in Zambia as well as periodic international travel.

Reporting to the Country Director, the Head of Programmes will provide strategic programme direction, managerial and programme leadership, and oversight on all aspects of strategy development, programme development and management in water, sanitation and hygiene including significant component of public health programmes and projects. S/he is responsible for strategic programme leadership of programmes, programme design, management, quality assurance and partner support. S/he will provide an oversight of the quality of the programmes that reflect adherence to global and WaterAid standards and donor guidelines, while fostering innovation to improve effectiveness and impact ensuring the delivery and overall success of WaterAid’s Country Programme Strategy (2023-2028). The role enhances WaterAid’s existing portfolio of programmes and partnerships, working closely with Policy and Advocacy and diverse expertise to design and showcase WaterAid’s service delivery models, and innovation with the aim of influencing for wider and transformational change in support of WaterAid’s vision and strategy.

The Head of Programmes is a member of the Senior Management Team. S/he will have a strong professional relationship with the Regional Programme Manager, based in the Regional Team to ensure that global standards on programme quality, planning, monitoring, evaluation, and assurance are applied in country programme. At the Country Programme level, the Head of Programmes will have a strong professional relationship with the Head of Advocacy and Policy, Head of Funding, Head of Finance and Senior Programme staff.

Specifically, the Head of Programmes, will be responsible for the following amongst others:

  • Provide strategic programme direction for the design of the Country Programme strategic frameworks and plans, including the development of resource mobilization strategies to optimize the impact of programme interventions in line with the Country Strategy and WaterAid’s regional and global strategic priorities.
  • Collaborate closely with the health sector to empower them to prioritise Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) initiatives and embed hygiene practices as fundamental pillars of public health.
  • Lead the execution of WaterAid’s programmatic approaches that include Systems Strengthening Approach, Gender transformative WASH, Hygiene Behavioural-Centred Approach and Design methodologies, and   Human rights-based approach (HRBA) into all aspects of WASH programming and operations.
  • Lead the development and execution of strategic plans for WASH programming, ensuring alignment with the organisation’s goals and priorities.
  • Integrate Climate Resilient WASH principles into project design and implementation strategies to enhance the resilience of WASH systems and infrastructure to climate change impacts approach into all aspects of our work.
  • Provide technical guidance and capacity building support to staff and partners on systems strengthening principles, methodologies, and best practice.
  • Lead high-quality project design incorporating project management standards and Programme Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (PMER) methods, appropriate to project scope, context, and technical needs. Coordinate activity planning across various projects from multiple sectors, promoting programme integration and optimising implementation efficiency.
  • Lead on planning and management of programme budgets and timely delivery of programmes that comply with both internal and external standards and contract terms, while also ensuring they deliver the best contributions to our strategic outcomes and the expectations of our national/ local partners and communities.
  • Supervise programme managers and budget holders to ensure donor compliance and timely programme implementation. Inform management of team progress and performance. Manage team dynamics effectively and prioritise staff welfare.
  • Play a key role in shaping strategic direction, decision making processes, and corporate governance. Uphold the WaterAid brand, while addressing development issues specific to Zambia and other management related issues. Contribute to expertise and insights to ensure effective leadership and alignment with organisational goals and values.
  • Create conducive learning conditions, ensuring a safe environment for sharing of ideas and problem solving. Promote accountability, learning and knowledge management overseeing implementation of the PMER policy and facilitate cross-sectoral and cross-department learning.
  • Coordinate with Head of Finance and IT and Head of People & Organisational Development to ensure appropriate project budgeting and efficient use and stewardship of project material and resources.
  • In coordination with Country Director and the Head of Funding oversee the business development cycle to ensure development and submission to donors of quality proposals as per donor requirements.
  • Oversee the identification, assessment and strengthening of appropriate partnerships and the appropriate application of partnership concepts, tools, and approaches.
  • Ensure technical assistance and capacity strengthening for project teams and partners in project management standards and related PMER, business development and operational activities. Identify training opportunities, develop training curriculums, and deliver trainings.
  • Encourage and promote empowering and collaborative leadership, effective management, and a culture of openness, innovation, and accountability in line with WaterAid’s values.
  • Provide guidance and tailor individual development plans through coaching. Conduct performance assessments for direct reports to evaluate performance and provide feedback. Contribute to project staffing plans and senior recruitment processes.
  • Represent WaterAid in meetings with NGOs, Government Ministries, donor representatives and diplomatic missions, and other external partners.
  • As a key member of the Senior Management Team contribute proactively to Country Programme management and organisational effectiveness
  • Ensure highest standards of accountability through ensuring good communication and information sharing in line with WaterAid policies and procedures within and outside the organisation.
  • Be aware of, understand and comply with the WaterAid Code of Conduct, Safeguarding Policy and all WaterAid Zambia policies and procedures.

To be successful, you’ll need:

  • Minimum of master’s degree in WASH, Public Health, Engineering, Water Resources Management, Environmental Sciences, development Studies or relevant discipline.
  • At least 10 years of progressive managerial experience at senior levels, with strong relationship management skills. Ability to relate to people at all levels, both internally and externally.
  • At least 5 years of demonstrated experience in strengthening elements of WASH systems with an understanding of WASH interaction with other systems such as health, climate change, education, and economic development.
  • Experience of project and programme management and programme cycle management, with significant financial and budget management responsibility
  • Proven experience of leading, developing and implementing a WASH strategy.
  • Strategic and operational planning experience, experience in developing country and programme strategies and multi-sectoral development programmes.
  • Experience in Developing project / programme proposals for raising resources from institutional donors
  • Experience of managing and building high performing team.

If you are interested in the position and have the right skills and attributes, send your detailed CV and letter of interest before 12:00pm on 15 May 2024, to [email protected] using Head of Programmes as the subject of the email.

Please provide details of at least three relevant references and clearly indicate details of your current remuneration package.

This is a sponsored role open to candidates from and within Southern Africa who are not restricted from working and living in Zambia.

Only candidates shortlisted for interviewing will be contacted within two weeks of the closing date for applications.

Our People Promise

We’re looking for people who share a commitment to our vision. 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.

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

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.

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