Senior Program Officer, City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) (South Asia)

Gates Family Foundation

New Delhi, Delhi, India 🇮🇳

The Foundation

We are the largest nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Founded on a simple premise: people everywhere, regardless of identity or circumstances, should have the chance to live healthy, productive lives. We believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve. We provide an exceptional benefits package to employees and their families which include comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage with no premiums, generous paid time off, paid family leave, foundation-paid retirement contribution, regional holidays, and opportunities to engage in several employee communities. As a workplace, we’re committed to creating an environment for you to thrive both personally and professionally.

The TeamThe Gates Foundation’s global water, sanitation, and hygiene (WSH) vision is to enable widespread use of safely managed, sustainable sanitation services, contributing to positive health, economic, and gender equality outcomes for the world’s poorest. Unsafe sanitation is a massive problem that is becoming more urgent as our global population increases and trends like water scarcity and urbanization intensify. About 3.6 billion people—almost half the world’s population—either practice open defecation or use unsafe sanitation facilities and services.
The Gates Foundation WSH Team collaborates with government leaders, the private sector, and technologists to advance promising new toilet and waste treatment technologies, service delivery models, and policies with the greatest potential to improve sanitation conditions for underserved communities. We focus our grantmaking in three complementary areas: 1) developing and commercializing transformative sanitation technologies, led by our Transformative Technology & Commercialization (TTC) initiative; 2) transforming how cities can provide sanitation as a reliable, inclusive and sustainable public service – led by our City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) initiative; and 3) policy, advocacy and communications.
The CWIS initiative focuses on furthering a public service approach to achieve equitable, sustainable and safely managed sanitation by strengthening the design and implementation of core public systems functions of responsibility, accountability and resource planning and management. The CWIS initiative includes a portfolio of investments and relationships to 1) demonstrate, enable and strengthen CWIS approaches through proof points, examples, tools and normative guidance; 2) influence development and financing partners through institutionalization of CWIS approaches in their support to country governments; 3) develop markets for innovative sanitation technology; and 4) replicate and scale CWIS systems change approaches in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia through support to implementation of CWIS programs and policies in selected countries and scaling through regional platforms.

In South and Southeast Asia, the CWIS initiative partners with a range of regional, national and international organizations working to advance the CWIS agenda. There are three categories of country engagement in Asia (excluding China) are:

a. Focus countries: India and Bangladesh are the two focus in South Asia where the foundation has established deeper engagement with all levels of government – federal, state and municipalities to support in policy advancement, demonstration and replication of CWIS as well as launching transformative sanitation technologies.
b. Moderate engagement countries: We have moderate engagement in Nepal to provide policy and capacity to drive CWIS, and Indonesia is under consideration for moderate engagement to represent Southeast Asia.
c. Engagement through partners: Our partners from development banks and UN Agencies are expanding CWIS in various countries through their initiation by learning from our focus countries.

Our work in Asia is led by a team of three based in the foundation’s India Country Office in Delhi.

Your Role

This Senior Program Officer (SPO) role will support advancing Citywide Inclusive Sanitation in the South Asia region, in particular Bangladesh and Nepal as well as minimal strategic support in India. The SPO will support the WSH Asia Regional team in building and sustaining our relationships with the development banks, development partners, and selected public authorities and governments to mainstream and institutionalize CWIS principles and frameworks within municipal, sub-national and national service systems. The SPO will support the South Asia regional team to advance the overarching WSH strategy in South Asia, including contributions to the market adoption of transformative technologies as a key lever to accelerate safely managed sanitation.

This role will report to Deputy Director – Water, Sanitation & Hygiene.

What You’ll Do

  • Develop and handle a portfolio of grants to support CWIS replication and scaling in Bangladesh and across South Asia.
  • Consult with IFIs and development agencies as they (a) shape their investments, programs, policies, strategies, and operations to mainstream CWIS principles and adopt CWIS frameworks, lessons and tools including IMIS infrastructure to inform service delivery and accountability; and (b) design and improve portfolio-level monitoring and operational systems including appropriate indicators and targets to inform financing decisions and to track progress against commitments. 
  • Crystallize frameworks and models of investment, program, policy and strategy in South Asia for initiating replication across the region and adoption by priority IFIs and the development partners.
  • Facilitate a strong coordination system between the IFIs and development partners to ensure effective convergence of efforts towards increased regional investments for CWIS, shape collective investments/ cross collaborative programs to achieve scale and sustainability
  • Consult with selected nodal Government Department/ Agency to coordinate across IFIs project implementation and key governmental, non-governmental execution partners to improve the mainstreaming of CWIS principles in their partnerships, investments and to support the overall effort to institutionalize CWIS principles
  • Drive the internalization of CWIS as an agenda in Intergovernmental regional platforms (SACOSAN and ASEAN)
  • Act as a special advisor to the TA Hub to develop the strategy for (a) operational structure and (b) advancing efficient and effective technical assistance to IFIs, and Government investments, program implementation.
  • Support the setup and or operationalizing of country-wide platforms/ regional platforms for furthering the agency and skilling/upskilling, including digital skilling, of marginalized communities and sanitation workers.
  • Adapt, synthesize, and/or advise on knowledge management materials from city engagements to develop information products that are tailored to investment, event, or audience-specific needs
  • Facilitate a consultative process with key governmental, IFI and development agencies to inform and shape country lending and borrowing expectations and norms for urban sanitation, approaches to IFI portfolio monitoring and analysis, budget allocations, project design, policy, government systems, uptake of transformative sanitation solutions and market development etc.
  • Facilitate adoption of transformative sanitation technologies and develop markets for transformative sanitation product & services.
  • Develop strategy to promote enabling environment through policies, regulations, schemes, incentive mechanisms to address market barriers and mitigate market entry risk for commercial partners.
  • Develop interventions in close collaboration with Governments and IFIs to introduce innovative technologies, including RTs and OPs with sustainable service and business models and scale.
  • Develop strategy for identification and engagement of commercial partners to achieve the targeted outcomes for market development and scaled adoption of transformative solutions.

Your Experience

  • Ideally, a minimum of 10  years’ experience, working in the sanitation sector in India or South/Southeast Asia.
  • Strong technical skills and knowledge related to non-sewered sanitation and fecal sludge treatment plants and management (e.g. background in civil, mechanical or environmental engineering)
  • Experiences to working with public sectors and development partners especially International Financial Institutions
  • Experience working within a philanthropic or grant-making organization
  • Outstanding written and verbal communicator.  Strong preparation and presentation of executive-level information.
  • Ability to facilitate and coordinate complex projects with multiple  partners, excellent research and interview skills
  • Excellent analytical skills and ability to synthesize and present findings
  • Ability to work independently, use critical judgment and seek guidance on complex issues
  • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.
  • Strong  teammate with excellent interpersonal skills; strong ability to coordinate complex projects; ability to collaborate across functions and geographies and transition projects to other colleagues successfully.
  • Able to negotiate, persuade, and build coalitions without formal authority.


Hiring Requirements

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Depending upon your work location, we may require proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and any recommended booster doses. All employees based in the United States are to provide proof of full vaccination upon hire and any recommended boosters, subject to applicable laws.

Candidate Accommodations

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Inclusion Statement

We are dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We strive for a global and cultural workplace that supports ever greater diversity, equity, and inclusion — of voices, ideas, and approaches — and we support this diversity through all our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve our mission will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to race, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and prior protected activity.




IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development