Strategic Programmes Manager

International Water Association (IWA)

London, , GB

Job Title:                  Strategic Programmes Manager

Job Location:          London, UK

Salary Range:         45,000 – 55,0000 GBP per annum

Benefits:                  Pension, private medical insurance, travel insurance, 24 days annual leave (in addition to public holidays)

Duration:                  Permanent

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 12 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 offices in Nanjing, China and Chennai, India.


In this position, you will play a leading role in operationalising the IWA Strategic Plan 2019 – 2024 as it relates to Africa. In line with the Strategy, you will strengthen the culture of service for the IWA members in Africa and develop a unique value proposition for the various membership categories. You will contribute to the strategic growth of IWA in Africa by developing strong partnerships with local organisations that will facilitate the flow of water-related ideas, innovations and solutions to support the transformation agenda of water management on the continent. You will help urban authorities and water practitioners advance water wise principles by securing partnerships to support technical assistance and knowledge sharing.

In this position you will also be responsible for managing the IWA portfolio of Strategic Programmes. The IWA Strategic Programmes aims to create a process to stimulate innovation and facilitate content generation from our members to support IWA’s vision of a water-wise world. The Strategic Programmes involve the collaboration of members and partners to solve the global challenges facing the water sector. It does this by addressing emerging trends including climate smart solutions, digital water economy, and the circular economy. The Strategic Programmes provides a gateway for stimulating and disseminating forward-thinking ideas to the IWA network through technologies, finance, business models and partnerships; as well as showcasing innovation and visionary developments from within IWA to the sector at large. You will be responsible for the overall management of the Strategic Programmes including budgeting and budget management, project planning, functional management, and monitoring & evaluation.

IWA Africa Programme

  • Be responsible for delivering on IWA’s Africa strategy, including planning, implementation, reporting, financial management and administration, to be achieved in collaboration with IWA Members and Partners in the region
  • Support the strategic collaboration of IWA and the African Water Association (AfWA). The aim of this strategic collaboration is to maximise synergies with respect to membership development and engagement, specialist technical groups and associated knowledge sharing, conferences and events, and publications.
  • Develop additional new strategic partnerships with Pan-African and Regional associations & organisations that are involved in all aspects of water management. The aim of these partnerships is to support the continent’s transition to sustainable water and wastewater solutions that are robust and flexible in the face of global change pressures
  • Increase IWA’s footprint on the continent through advice and support in the organisation and implementation of relevant IWA programmes and events in Africa.
  • Support African Governing Members engagement to ensure their active participation in the growth of a strong network of IWA professionals within their respective countries.
  • Work with IWA Specialist Groups to forge ways of increasing the active participation of members from Africa, and where necessary develop African chapters of selected specialist groups. 

IWA Strategic Programmes

  • Manage IWA’s strategic programmes including the Digital Water Programme and Innovators Platform. This will involve supporting the relevant steering committees and working with the membership to ensure maximum participation.
  • Be responsible for the day-to-day management of the programmes including budgeting and budget management, project planning, functional management, and monitoring & evaluation.
  • Ensure high visibility of programme activities, outputs, and outcomes through IWA publications, conference participation and general outreach and dissemination.
  • Support the development and implementation of Communities of Practice for Climate Smart Utilities and Aquarating.
  • With respect to Aquarating, oversee the development and strengthening of partnerships with key international and regional organisations that support AquaRating implementation and ensure its growth and widespread implementation, particularly in Africa. 


Skills & Knowledge

  • Strong analytical skills – the ability to research and analyse information, problem-solve, and make decisions. Evidence of the application of these skills to water related challenges would be beneficial.
  • A good knowledge and understanding of tools (e.g. IBNET, AquaRating etc.) that support international benchmarking of the performance of water utilities and provides guidance on data collection and monitoring would be desirable.
  • Strong project management skills – the coordination and completion of projects on time, within budget and within scope. Evidence of the application of these skills to water related challenges would be beneficial. 
  • Relationship management skills – the ability to develop and build long-term relationships and create and enforce plans that will help sustain these relationships. Evidence of the application of these skills to water related challenges would be beneficial.
  • Proven track record in resource mobilisation and creativity, imagination and an entrepreneurial attitude towards fundraising
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work well with other people, including in teams or groups, formally and informally.
  • Excellent communication skills in particular listening, effective speaking and presentation. Fluency in spoken and written English is essential and knowledge of French desirable.
  • Excellent computer skills with the ability to work across various digital and communications platforms.
  • Highly 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.
  • Proven ability in fundraising and resource mobilisation.


  • Minimum of a Master’s degree in a relevant area (e.g. water, environment, sustainability) or equivalent experience.
  • Formal training in Project Management would be a benefit.

Experience Required

  • 10+ years’ work experience in managing and coordinating international water and/or environmental related projects, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 4+ years’ experience of developing and maintaining strong partnerships and networks, particularly in Africa. Extensive knowledge of networks within the African region.
  • 2+ years’ experience working with multi-stakeholder platforms/communities responsible for addressing water related issues. Experience in Africa would be of benefit.
  • 2+ years’ experience in the application of tools for benchmarking the performance of water utilities would be desirable (e.g IBNET, AquaRating etc.).
  • 2+ years’ experience working with professional water associations would be a benefit.


Opening Date for Applications:             29/07/2020

Closing Date for Applications:               27/08/2020

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.

Applications should be submitted through e-mail before 6pm (UK) 27th August 2020 to the HR & Office Manager (Dominika Szczepanska ) at [email protected].

IWA is an equal opportunity employer.





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