Principal Researcher (Water-Secure Africa Initiative)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Ethiopia or Ghana, Various
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
10+ Years
Degree Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is looking for a highly motivated Principal Researcher who will lead the Water-Secure Africa (WASA) Initiative, a flagship and collaborative initiative being developed by the Institute. WASA will advance knowledge on Africa’s water resources through a comprehensive assessment of the current state of water resources across the continent and future risks, through the integration of Earth observation, geo-spatial information systems, modeling and innovation in digital technologies. It will also work with governments, inter-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to develop and apply cutting-edge analytical products to identify priorities for action to respond to Africa’s pressing water challenges, and evaluation of potential solutions and future investments. The duty-post for this position can be either Ethiopia or Ghana.

Duties AND Responsibilities

  • Provide overall leadership to WASA and serve as the primary IWMI point of contact for the initiative.
  • Develop WASA partnerships with a wide variety of stakeholders (e.g., in-country representatives, national and regional organizations, bilateral donor agencies, international financial institutions – World Bank, African Development Bank).
  • Mobilize financial resources to support WASA research and capacity building for the region.
  • Provide policy communication on WASA outputs to a broad spectrum of stakeholders (researchers, academicians, policy makers, local partners) in the region.
  • Lead overall coordination and communication efforts between IWMI research teams and potential WASA partners and donors.
  • Coordinate effective and timely implementation of the WASA research program and ensure overall quality control of research.
  • Supervise the work of the research staff working on WASA.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • PhD in one of the following disciplines: hydrology, water resources management, water resource engineering, or environmental engineering, with at least 15 years of relevant work experience holding positions of increasing responsibility.
  • Strong record of accomplishment in research and/or technological innovation in systems for the management of complex datasets, analysis of geo-spatial information, systems modeling and applications to support planning, decision making or scenario assessment for water and land resources.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and research experience relevant to IWMI’s overall mission of water management in developing countries, as well as knowledge of the functioning of the CGIAR system.
  • A deep understanding of water, land and agricultural development challenges and opportunities in low-income countries and emerging economies.
  • Successful track record of representing an organization at a senior level, working closely with senior-level colleagues, and working in and leading high-performing teams.
  • Experience in engaging with regional networks and building strong partnerships with different categories of stakeholders.
  • Significant experience in producing high-quality written proposals, reports and academic papers as evidenced by a strong publications record.
  • Proven ability to communicate research results to stakeholders at different management levels in multiple countries.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers, managers and other stakeholders in a multicultural setting, with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Fluent in English – both written and verbal.

This is an internationally recruited position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience, an attractive retirement plan, comprehensive international insurance coverage and a transportation allowance. If successful candidate requires international relocation, s/he will be eligible for additional allowances, which include housing, education, shipping assistance, and annual home leave travel for employee and eligible dependents. The duration of the contract will initially be for a three-year period with possible extension.

IWMI is an equal opportunity employer and emphasizes the importance of gender diversity and inclusiveness in identifying candidates for this position and its staff more generally.