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Global Policy and Research Director



United Kingdom · Ethiopia · Sweden · Ghana · Senegal · Kenya
Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Job Description

Global Policy and Research Director

Contract: Permanent, Full time

Location: The role can be based in the following locations: United Kingdom, London, United States, Sweden, Kenya - Nairobi, Ethiopia - Addis Ababa, South Africa -Pretoria, Rwanda- Kigali, Senegal- Dakar, Ghana- Accra, subject to right to work eligibility in the respective countries.

Salary & Benefits: Salaries and benefits for different countries will vary in line with the location of the successful candidate and depending on experience. See further details below:

  • UK: 80,050 - 85, 493 GBP per annum with excellent benefits
  • US: 150,000 USD per annum with excellent benefits
  • Ethiopia: 97,956 - 116,219 USD per annum with excellent benefits
  • Ghana: 1,062,587 - 1,275,104 GHS per annum with excellent benefits
  • Kenya: 13,250,000 - 15,483,364 KES per annum with excellent benefits
  • Rwanda: 89, 805, 686 - 110,300,603 RWF per annum with excellent benefits
  • Sweden: 50,000 - 55,000 SEK per month with excellent benefits
  • Senegal: 66,508,132 - 75,058, 488 XOF per annum with excellent benefits

About WaterAid:
Want to use your skills in Policy and Research to play a vital role in making clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone everywhere?

We need passionate, creative and dedicated people. In return, you will be encouraged and empowered to be yourself at your very best. Together, we will make a bigger difference.
Join WaterAid as Global Policy and Research Director to change normal for millions of people so they can unlock their potential, break free from poverty and change their lives for good.

About the Team:
The Global Policy team plays a leadership role across the WaterAid Federation in setting WaterAid's policy change agenda to achieve sustainable and equitable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene globally. The role of the Global Policy and Research Director is pivotal to ensure the credibility and robustness of policy positions throughout WaterAid.

The Director and the teamwork with other relevant colleagues across WaterAid - both in other members as well as in Country Programmes - supporting the design of policy agendas relevant to those contexts. The role will play a major part in realising WaterAid's ambition to achieve national change through its research, policy work and global priority advocacy and campaigns. About the Role:
The successful candidate will play a major role in: 1) ensuring that WaterAid's policy positions have relevance for and are rooted in Country Programme experience, robust research evidence and the wider international development agenda; 2) supporting the development of policy capacity within WaterAid's Country Programmes; and 3) contributing to global advocacy and campaigning strategies.

The position ensures quality controls are in place and is responsible for the control and mitigation of policy related risks to WaterAid's reputation. The Global Policy and Research Director plays a significant role in representing WaterAid, its work and public policy positions to high-profile, informed and critical external audiences.

You'll also:
Vision and direction

  • Articulate a clear and compelling vision for WaterAid's policy change agenda, that is based on robust evidence and analysis, practical and programmatic experience, a good understanding of the political economy of WASH at national level and the wider global agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Work collaboratively with others to achieve these changes and help deliver an increase in the scale and impact of WaterAid's influence to accelerate progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6;

Policy agenda setting and development

  • Provide robust analysis for identification of the key bottlenecks to achieving universal access for WASH and provide support to strengthen the case for prioritisation of the WASH sector with key policy and advocacy targets.
  • Lead and manage a team of policy experts working on the key areas of sector governance; development finance; water; sanitation; health and hygiene.
  • In collaboration with regional and country colleagues and the policy team support the development of robust national visions for how to achieve universal WASH, underpinned by analysis of key bottlenecks that is holding back progress for universal access to WASH.


  • With the Global Programmes and Advocacy Executive, the policy team, the Programme Support Unit and country colleagues identify a set of policy research priorities for WaterAid, identifying the major knowledge gaps that underpin the lack of progress in the WASH sector and develop the research proposals to fill these gaps.
  • Collaborate with PSU research and learning staff to coordinate and align with programme / technical level research and learning initiatives.

Advocacy strategy development and implementation

  • In partnership with the Campaigns Director and International Affairs Director and relevant senior advocacy leaders (especially at the Global Programmes and Advocacy Executive), support the design of global advocacy strategies and campaign plans on priority issues.
  • Work collaboratively with others to ensure that our advocacy and campaigns decisions and strategies are based on robust analysis of the political context at play;
  • In partnership with Policy and Campaigns Department Senior Management Team, Regional Directors and Country Directors, support the development of national advocacy strategies.

Policy team leadership

  • As a member of the Department's Senior Management Team, share responsibility for shaping the department influencing approach, champion a matrix style of working with teams and colleagues around the world.
  • Lead the Policy Team by creating a coherent and ambitious vision of WaterAid's policy agenda, develop a culture where diversity is valued, foster collaboration as a way of working and nurture strategic integration with other departments.

Organisational leadership

  • Contribute to WaterAid's strategic direction and its positioning in the public policy environment.
  • Be an active member of the Global Policy and Programmes Executive.
  • Play a leading role in WaterAid's Global Strategy process.

About You:

  • Post-graduate [or equivalent] qualification in one of the following areas: water, sanitation, hygiene behaviour change, development economics, social sciences or other relevant areas
  • A proven track record in successfully building, leading and managing dispersed teams and fostering high performance through communication, empowerment and feedback.
  • Demonstrable and extensive policy experience preferably in the water, sanitation and hygiene sectors.
  • Robust analytical and research skills.
  • Proven ability to operate strategically, with a track record of winning significant policy change in challenging political contexts and leading others to do the same.
  • Demonstrable experience of working effectively at a senior level in global organisations across diverse cultures, multiple networks including governments, international institutions, think tanks, research bodies and key opinion formers.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to synthesise significant amounts of information and prepare compelling and nuanced briefs for a wide range of internal and external audiences.
  • Experience of lobbying at ministerial level with the gravitas to be an effective influencer and ambassador for WaterAid.
  • Extensive experience in international development covering water, sanitation and hygiene issues (especially the agenda around strengthening the WASH sector), development economics, economic justice and inclusion and equality

How to Apply: To see the full job pack, please click 'Apply'.

  • Please apply by submitting your CV and a cover letter in one document in either Word Document or PDF format.
  • Please indicate your location and the right-to-work eligibility in your Cover letter.

Closing date: Applications will close at 23:59 on 18th June 2024. Availability for an interview is required in the week commencing 1st July 2024.

Pre-employment screening: To apply for this post, you must be able to demonstrate your eligibility to work in the respective country. All pre-employment checks will be carried out according to the applicable laws in the respective countries. All our UK-based vacancies require a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to comply with our Safer Recruitment policy.

Our Commitment

Our People Promise:
We will work with passion and focus to ensure safe and sustainable water, toilets and hygiene are available to everyone, everywhere. WaterAid is a place of purpose - where people have a real commitment and shared responsibility for the impact we have. We are a global community with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, motivated by inspiring, stimulating work. We are determined to put the wellbeing of our people first, to be a place where people feel safe and able to contribute their voice and truly live our values.

Equal opportunities:
We are an equal opportunity, disability-confident employer and are dedicated to achieving the highest standards of diversity, equity and inclusion. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, beliefs, customs, traditions and ways of life. This includes, but is not limited to, race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, national or social origin, health status, and economic or social situation.

We are also committed to protecting everyone we come into contact with. We have a zero-tolerance approach to abuse of power, privilege or trust across our global work, and any form of inappropriate behaviour, discrimination, abuse, bullying, harassment, or exploitation. Safeguarding the people and communities we work with, our staff, volunteers and anyone working on our behalf is our top priority, and we take our responsibilities extremely seriously.