Iraq national or Schengen work permitted: Project Officer

Erbil, Iraq
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Languages Required: 
Arabic, Kurdish and English


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.

cewas Middle East and BORDA-WesCA are looking for a Project Officer based in Erbil for their joint project “Innovating solutions for sustainable sanitation and water management (SSWM)”.

About cewas Middle East

cewas Middle East is the regional branch of the Swiss NGO cewas. We offer professional training, coaching, mentorship and consulting in business development, as well as specialized technical trainings for performance improvement in the sustainable water, sanitation and resource management sector.

Our goals are to increase the role of the private sector and entrepreneurship in tackling the environmental issues of the region. Our programs focus on addressing environmental challenges in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. Our mission is to:

Ignite the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management in the region Support water and sanitation actors in the Middle East to improve the sustainability of their services

Bridge the entrepreneurship and water sectors to create more sustainable solutions in water, sanitation and resource management

We are a team of practitioners dedicated to linking business practices with sustainability. We have a long-term experience in the Middle East and believe in making things happen!


BORDA-WesCA (West & Central Asia) is the regional branch of the German NGO BORDA (Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association), they operate in Afghanistan, Iraq and Jordan. BORDA-WesCA develop tailor-made sustainable sanitation solutions and strengthens the capacities of key stakeholders through participatory and innovative approaches to improve living conditions for all and protect the environment.

They collaborate actively with local communities, governments, UN agencies, NGOs and the private sector to develop a more efficient and coherent water management system. Additionally, BORDA- WesCA support holistic approaches to policy formulation, participative urban planning processes, and infrastructure development.

In Iraq

cewas Middle East and BORDA have launched a training program in Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (SSWM) with funds from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

We have been active in Iraq for four years, that we used to build a solid network in WASH-focused NGOs, development organizations and municipalities/governorates. Together with these partners we implemented a range of trainings to activate a change in the planning, implementation and maintenance of sustainable sanitation, water and resource management at local level, through a holistic approach of resource management and a participatory approach.

Over the coming years, cewas Middle East and BORDA will implement the project “Innovating solutions for sustainable sanitation and water management (SSWM)”. Specifically, cewas and BORDA will:

  • Implement a tailor-made / hands-on and long-term capacity development program in SSWM, targeting relevant governmental officials, practitioners working in multilateral, international and local NGOs and developers, construction companies, architects and engineers.
  • Provide direct support to young professionals in order to learn the knowledge, skills and attitude of SSWM innovation and entrepreneurship. cewas will carry out a “identify-motivate-engage-empower” program with a selected number of potential SSWM entrepreneurs that can show that SSWM entrepreneurship in Iraq is possible.
  • Intensify our work to develop sustainable sanitation, water and waste management solutions with the Water and Sewerage Directorates and WASH organizations and to build a more enabling environment for social entrepreneurs in Iraq and the Middle East.
  • Network and encourage role models SSWM Entrepreneurs and relevant actors to working together in projects, PPPs, service contract agreements, etc.
  • Communicate and promote entrepreneurial activities in the water sector.
  Your role and tasks

With support from the cewas Middle East team and the BORDA team based in Iraq, and the overall guidance of a Senior Project Manager, you will be responsible for the implementation of our program activities in Iraq and the development of partnerships, a strong support network and the further development of the program approach to ensure we continue to add value. This means your tasks range from organizing logistics for the next training course to co-designing long-term strategies.

More concretely your will:

  • Manage the “Innovating solutions for sustainable sanitation and water management (SSWM)” Program, being responsible for defining the work plan, planning the activities and achieving the objectives.
  • Organize the implementation of Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (SSWM) trainings and workshops for partners from the public sector, NGOs and development organizations as well as private companies together with a senior trainer.
  • Develop yourself as a trainer and coach for business strategy development and implementation. Network, partner-up and engage with key actors in the SSWM entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Develop and strengthen partnerships for the implementation of the program and manage the Network of Practitioners, a platform of like-minded professionals in sustainable water and sanitation.
  • Recruit the participants for the start-up activities (Hackathon), organize the trainings and support a senior trainer in coaching entrepreneurs.
  • Manage the communication, marketing and reporting around the project in Iraq, including writing articles, connecting to TV stations, running social media activities.
  • Develop the program component to foster regional exchange and build a more enabling environment in cooperation with the cewas ME team.
  • Write proposals and acquire matching funds for the expansion of the program.

What makes this job most interesting, beyond the broad range of tasks listed above is that you will work with inspiring people who want to change things and get their hands dirty.

You also will work very close to the BORDA team based in Erbil. You will work with a decentralized team located in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Jordan and Lebanon. A Senior Project Manager based in Switzerland will be supporting and back-stopping you. Two senior cewas trainers and coaches will be working with you in the delivery of the capacity strengthening activities in Iraq.

  What we are looking for

For the operational tasks:

  • You are a project manager. You have proven experience in planning and implementing projects. You have very good organizational skills – be prepared to do multi-tasking.
  • You are a great communicator.
  • You are a networker and great at developing relationships, connecting and matching people. You are a potential trainer and coach.
  • You have organized events or workshops before and ideally you have experience in what it takes to engage participants for trainings and workshops.
  • An academic and/or professional background in Business Administration and Business Development is preferred. Expertise in the WASH sector or a personal interest in environmental topics will be an advantage.

For the strategic tasks:

  • You are from Iraq or have experience working there and ideally you have an existing network in the business or environmental sector in Iraq.
  • You have enthusiastic about supporting start-ups and developing capacities in water, sanitation and waste management. Learning new topics, either in the business or environmental sector, motivates you.
  • You can strike the thin line between being diplomatic, making compromises and being determined, to engage partners and strengthen partnerships.

Other requirements:

  • Perfect Arabic, Kurdish and English is a pre-condition, German an asset
  • Iraqi nationality or work permit in a Schengen State (EU, Switzerland)
  • Extensive experience outside Iraq (study, work) is an asset
  • You want to think, plan, decide and do things rather than administering work
  • We are a decentralized team, which means that you will have to be able to work independently

Implementing an initiative like ours, that is dependent on partnerships and has to be continuously adapted to a very complex environment, means that it is often not clear what is the right thing to do. We love this uncertainty and figuring out a way to still make things work and so should you.

Experience in social media communication is an asset

  Additional information

Contract type: 100%
Location: Erbil, with travels to Baghdad, Mosul and Sulimaniyah
Experience level: between 3 and 10 years
Starting date: 1st of May 2019
Please send your CV and a cover letter explaining why you’d like to join us until Wednesday 17th of April 2019 to .
Interviews will be conducted in Erbil on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th of April.