Sector Water Leader

SNV Netherlands Development Organisation

Vientiane, Laos 🇱🇦

Company Description

SNV is a mission-driven global development partner working in more than 20 countries across Africa and Asia.

Building on 60 years of experience and grounded in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we work on the core themes of gender equality and social inclusion, climate adaptation and mitigation, and strong institutions and effective governance.

Together with our team of over 1,600 people, our mission is to strengthen capacities and catalyse partnerships that transform the agri-food, energy, and water systems, which enable sustainable and more equitable lives for all.

For more information on SNV, visit our website:

Lao PDR, despite having made significant development gains in the recent years, still has an estimated 24% of the population practicing open defecation.  In Savannakhet, the most populated Province in Lao PDR and the location of this Project, the percentage of villages currently practicing open defecation remains at one of the highest in the country (71%).  Such high rates of open defecation, coupled with poor hygiene practices (lack of handwashing with soap) and the high prevalence of faecal coliforms in water sources (LSIS, 2018) represents a significant health risk to communities with long term implications to limiting further development objectives for Lao PDR. Climate change is predicted to further limit development, exacerbate health risks, and disproportionately impact upon poor and marginalised groups within Lao PDR, unless urgent climate resilience building efforts are undertaken.

The World Bank estimates that average temperatures, frequency, and severity of flooding, and dry-season length will increase in Laos because of global climate change.  Thus, the people of Laos must adapt to situations of increased flooding, but also of longer dry periods. In the Project districts of Savannakhet, over 30% of the households experienced a climate event in the past 2 years (flooding and droughts), which will get worse with climate change.

Renewed effort is urgently needed for governments, civil societies, communities, private sector, and other key stakeholders to understand and respond to the new water balance caused by climate change.  This will require an understanding of climate change terminology, and an understanding that local action can aid risk adaptation efforts for mitigating the impacts of climate change.  Despite the Governments significant advances in policy development around climate change (GoL, 2021), there is presently very little acceptance nor understanding of climate resilience actions and how to implement the National Policies at sub-national levels downward.

Water project in LAO PDR

Towards Inclusive Climate Resilient Rural WASH Services in Lao PDR (CR-WASH) aims to support the government of Laos to mitigate climate challenges and impact on water provision.  This 2-year project aim to strengthen the capacity of local governments and private sector actors to support adaptation and integrate climate change resilience within inclusive area-wide rural WASH services and systems in Atsaphone, Champhone and Phalanxay Districts, Savannakhet Province . Together with ISF-UTS and CBM Australia, proposed activities respond to these challenges by consolidating area-wide approaches, generating evidence of the costs of climate-resilient WASH services, innovating flood-resilient toilet designs, developing climate-risk messaging on water quality, and sector alignment with disaster risk reduction responses.

Job Description

SNV seeks a talented, entrepreneurial, result-oriented professional who will work with the country team in Lao PDR to broaden and develop the SNV Water portfolio under the guidance of the Global Sector Head Water and the LAO Country Director

The key roles for the Water Sector Leader:

1)   Responsible for the overall development, supervision and management of water portfolio, steering the quality of technical advisory services, and ensuring an alignment with the global trends of water programming and SNV’s global approaches
2)   Lead the identification and development of business opportunities for the water sector in the country.
3)   Responsible for building and maintaining relations in-country with National Government, donors, and other organisations of the sector;
4)   Enhance the quality and visibility of our water programmes and position SNV within the (inter) national sector; and
5)   Assumes the role of in-country Project Leader for the implementing the CR-WASH project while building on the foundations of the Beyond the Finish Line – Inclusive and sustainable rural water supply services”, which was implemented in Savannakhet between 2018-2022.  

The Water Sector Leader reports directly to the Country Director and collaborates closely with the global sector team including multi-country programme managers. 


  • Strategic Leadership: develop country level water strategy aligned to corporate frameworks; 
  • Advisory Services: lead complex assignments, set benchmarks for results, and monitor quality of advisory services of the sector team; 
  • Programme Management: deliver effective development results, planning and monitoring, financial management, and donor reporting; 
  • Business Development: develop proposals and secure funding for water sector programmes; 
  • People Management: lead, manage, and coach the team of SNV advisors, local capacity builders and consultants; 
  • Relationship Management: ensure cordial relationships with variety of partners connecting different processes in a competitive market and identify strategic alliances and networks to invest in;
  • Monitoring & Evaluation: ensure uniform understanding and practice in planning, reporting, monitoring, and evaluation of water programmes in line with SNV’s internal frameworks; 
  • Representation & Promotion: develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders to improve SNV’s market position and actively participate in external and internal networks;
  • Knowledge management: Facilitate learning, documentation and evidence based knowledge development in collaboration with SNV’s global team and partners with a focus on climate resilience, gender and social inclusion within the water sector programming;
  • Contribute to SNV as a member of the Country Management Team.


  • Master’s Degree in water engineering field or qualifications in a relevant technical field
  •  5+ years of relevant experience in a water project management

Basic requirements

  • Desirable 5 years of experience implementing (rural) water supply programmes
  • Proven track record in project management, specifically in water related projects
  • Demonstrated experience developing quality donor reports, project documents, and knowledge products
  • Demonstrated knowledge of monitoring and evaluation and its application for project development
  • Demonstrated knowledge, commitment and understanding of gender equality and social inclusive principles and approaches to water service delivery
  • Proven ability to understand and facilitate capacity building activities
  • Demonstrated creativity, willingness to innovate, and to think systematically and strategically
  • Demonstrated experience in stakeholder engagement and networking including government, I/NGOs, private sector, development partners
  • Willingness to travel in remote areas
  • Commitment to child protection principles and practice
  • Proficiency in English speaking, reading and writing required

The successful candidate will be a self-motivated achiever with excellent intercultural leadership, teamwork, coaching, communication, networking, and organisational skills.

Additional Information

Reports to:                                 Country Director

Contract Duration:                     18 months  (extension possible)

Contract Type:                            International

Expected Start Date:                  As soon as possible

Information Duty Station:          Vientiane, Lao PDR

Travel to Projects:                      In-country approximately 20%

How to Apply

If you believe that your credentials meet the above profile, we invite you to apply by submitting your CV with a cover letter before 8th of April 2023.

We will require that you provide us with full details of two people who are willing to act as a referee.  We will not contact these referees without your explicit permission.

All information will be in the strictest confidence.  We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application.

Should SNV wish to proceed with your application, two interviews with the Selection Committee will take place. 

Working at SNV 

SNV offers a challenging work environment, opportunities to lead and innovate, and a commitment to growing your skills in a fulfilling and diverse working environment. Our staff benefit from, and contribute to, an internal and global network of experts. For more information, please visit our website:

SNV is an equal opportunities employer and female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.




IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development