Program Associate

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date





1. About Aquaya

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 over 20 peer-reviewed research articles and produced numerous other report and publications. 

Aquaya maintains an office in Nairobi, Kenya. Staff members are also located in other African countries, Europe, and the US. Many of our projects are carried-out in collaboration with academic research groups and expert consultants.

2. About the position

We are recruiting Program Associates for full-time positions based in Africa. The specific location in Africa will be determined by our program activities and each candidate’s skill-sets. We are searching for candidates who are eager to work collaboratively with other staff members and consultants on a range of programs 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:

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

In most cities, there are significant gaps between the costs of providing sanitation services (both through the public and private sectors) to poor residents and the abilities and willingness of poor residents to pay for these services. Aquaya is beginning an 18-month (2018 – 2019) research assignment with the development organization, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), to measure the sizes of these gaps in cities of Bangladesh, Ghana, and Kenya. Our measurements will inform policies and interventions for financing pro-poor urban sanitation in the three countries.       

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.


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.

3. Criteria for the position

The following qualifications are necessary for this position:

·       An MSc degree in environmental engineering, environmental sciences, economics, or epidemiology.

·       Demonstrated experience with drinking water and/or sanitation service provision.

·       Commitment to living and working in Africa on a full-time basis.

·       Ability to travel up to 30% time, often alone and often to remote areas of Africa and Asia.

·       Fluency in both French and 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.

·       Interest in conducting research that informs development programming.

·       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!


This is a full-time, exempt position.  Aquaya offers competitive salaries that are commensurate with experience. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, enrollment in a retirement plan, reimbursements of relocation costs, and reimbursements of annual home leave travel expenses.

Level of Language Proficiency

Fluency in both French and English.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply

Please submit your resume via e-mail to along with a thoughtful cover letter.

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 “Program Associate 2018”. No phone calls please.