Programme Officer – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

International Water Association (IWA)

London, UK 🇬🇧

Job Title: Programme Officer – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Job Location: London, UK
Salary Range: £30,317 to £ 35,117
Benefits: Pension, private medical insurance, travel insurance, 24 days annual leave (in addition to public holidays)
Duration: 18 months (extendable for another 6 months)
Hours: Full-time (35 hours per week)

Drawing exceptional professionals from 130 countries, the membership of the International Water Association (IWA) brings together scientists, researchers, technology companies, and water and wastewater utilities, all working to address the world’s most urgent water challenges when and where they arise, from ridge to reef and from catchment to tap. The IWA has become an international reference and source of durable water solutions, products and services that are robust and flexible enough to be universally applicable, easily accessible, and locally adaptable.

IWA publishes 14 scientific journals and 40+ books per year on water management. IWA develops leading edge innovations and synthesises these through the work of its IWA Specialist Groups, Clusters and a set of global programmes focused on for example Cities of the Future and Basins of the Future. IWA has a worldwide staff of approximately 50, with headquarters in London and office in Chennai, India.

The International Water Association (IWA) is committed to the inclusive goals of access for all to water supply and sanitation, recognised as human rights. As the leading international network of water sector professionals, IWA makes a fundamental contribution to progress on these goals, connecting sector actors and facilitating the sharing of knowledge, especially by linking the worlds of research and practice.

IWA is committed to inclusivity in terms of its own membership and as such a key initiative in IWA’s strategy for the next three years is to accelerate the mainstreaming of low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) needs, activities, membership, and leadership into IWA. The association also believes that the next 10 to 20 years will be a golden era for sanitation and, as the world continues to urbanize, inclusive citywide approaches to sanitation are urgently needed.

To achieve inclusivity within its membership and programmes, IWA is launching a new initiative that will encompass two components:

1. A More Inclusive IWA
IWA’s 2019-2024 Strategic Plan sets as a critical objective to ensure an engaged and balanced membership through some strategic goals, including increasing the number of IWA members from under-represented regions (mainly Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean), by offering bespoke membership services and opportunities relevant to their regions and interests. As such, a key initiative in IWA’s strategy for the next years is to accelerate the mainstreaming of LMIC needs, activities, membership, and leadership into IWA.

IWA is developing a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative to deliver on this important strategic objective, by ensuring that LMIC expertise and knowledge are mainstreamed across all IWA’s portfolio of groups, activities, and programmes. As a result of this initiative, all core vehicles of IWA will expand their membership and activities in the coming years to better reflect the needs of LMIC water professionals.

The primary outcome of this component, built on IWA’s Strategic Plan objectives and goals, is to ensure ‘A more inclusive, well-balanced and equitable IWA, positioned to more effectively support professionals worldwide and address global challenges.’

2. Advancing a CWIS Agenda
In 2020, 3.6 billion people (nearly half of the world population) had no access to safe sanitation. The vast majority of these people live in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). The two regions with the lowest indices for safely managed sanitation were Sub-Saharan Africa (21%) and Latin America and the Caribbean (34%). In this context, and in a scenario of accelerated urbanization and increasing climate change, one of the most important discussions within the LMIC water community is how to effectively contribute to achieving SDG 6.2.

Traditional sanitation approaches are failing to provide safe sanitation services for a considerable part of the population of LMIC, mainly because they tend to disregard cultural, social, economic, and urban heterogeneities. Therefore, an alternative pathway has been discussed in the last few years: the Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) approach, which proposes a paradigm shift in urban sanitation, advocating the use of multiple technology solutions, tailored to the particularities of each urban context, to provide safe, equitable, and sustainable sanitation for all.

IWA at the World Water Congress, Copenhagen in September 2022 launched a new initiative ‘Inclusive Urban Sanitation’ aimed at changing this paradigm, urging that CWIS is no longer an acronym for a ‘new sanitation approach’, but rather that safety, inclusivity, and multi-technology dimensions become fully integrated into the urban sanitation concept worldwide. To ensure this outcome is achieved effectively, IWA intends to advance a inclusive sanitation agenda, acting through two interrelated core axes: revising urban sanitation concepts & norms, and creating and disseminating knowledge.

In this position, you will support the Programme Lead on the overall management of the two initiatives described above, focusing mainly on the DEI component. Your tasks will include, but not be limited to:
• Support planning and management of the DEI initiative, ensuring all established milestones are met within scope and budget.
• Support project monitoring and evaluation.
• Organise and run meetings / webinars / workshops engaging various IWA communities (e.g., Young Water Professionals, Specialist Groups) and multiple stakeholders.
• Organise and run trainings sessions to sensitise IWA Secretariat staff on DEI.
• Prepare and deliver presentations to multiple audiences and through various channels.
• Develop gap analysis related to DEI within IWA and in the broader water sector.
• Write and review documents (e.g., reports, learning outputs, communication pieces, etc).
• Support the preparation of content and financial reports to the funder.
• Identify and interact with key partners within and beyond the water sector.

You will be reporting to the Programme Lead.


Skills & Knowledge
• Project management skills (coordination and completion of projects on time, within budget and within scope).
• Strategic and analytical thinking.
• Strong awareness and understanding of global and cultural DEI issues.
• Experience in implementing DEI projects and leading with influence, ideally in membership organisations.
• Solid knowledge of current best practices and trends in diversity and inclusion.
• Ability to research, build, operationalize, and scale DEI strategic plans.
• Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work well with other people, including in teams or groups, formally and informally.
• Outstanding communication skills in particular listening, effective speaking, and presentation.
• Excellent computer skills at the user level, particularly the MS Office package (Excel, Word, and PowerPoint).
• Highly organized, motivated, and results-oriented individual with the ability to prioritise competing tasks and manage workflow in a high-pressure environment.
• Ability to work effectively with multicultural and multidisciplinary teams with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
• Ability to work across various digital communication platforms.
• Language skills: English (full professional). Proficiency in a second language is a plus.

• Minimum of a Master’s degree in relevant areas (e.g., water and sanitation, development studies, gender studies, social sciences).
• Formal training and certification in Project Management and/or DEI would be a strong benefit.

Experience Required
• 2+ years’ work experience in DEI projects, ideally in the water sector.
• 1+ year’s international DEI experience.
• Experience working in membership associations and/or in the water and sanitation sector would be a strong benefit.

Opening Date for Applications: April 3, 2023
Closing Date for Applications: April 17, 2023

Applicants are asked to submit their CV in English and a supporting letter of motivation along with the names and contact details of two referees.

IWA is an equal opportunity employer.






IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development