Research Associate / Data Analyst - Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP) and Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS)

Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)

Chennai, TN, India 🇮🇳

About the TNUSSP

IIHS is leading a consortium of organisations that are working with and supporting the Government of Tamil Nadu (GoTN) in the implementation of urban sanitation, including inclusive sanitation and Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) across the State through the Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP). The GoTN is focused on scaling up FSM solutions across the State covering 663 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and a population of 25 million people. With the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) a Technical Support Unit (TSU) has been set up to be the comprehensive technical arm for the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply (MAWS), and assist in implementation of TNUSSP through state and city level initiatives.

The first phase of the programme adopted a two-pronged approach: working in two model urban locations (Trichy city and two Town Panchayats near Coimbatore) to demonstrate transformations on-ground across the sanitation chain, while in parallel, creating an enabling environment, implementing state-wide actions, and scaling up innovations.

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About the CWIS project

Trichy has been selected as one of eight cities under the City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) initiative by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. CWIS cities are expected to move towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal for sanitation to ensure safe, inclusive, and financially sustainable sanitation s90ervices, and serve as global benchmarks.

The Trichy CWIS project is guided by the urban local body and delivered by a consortium of partners led by IIHS. While the project aims to improve overall sanitation outcomes in Trichy across the full cycle of sanitation, it also focuses on improvement of service delivery to the urban poor and vulnerable. The project attempts to mainstream sanitation into existing initiatives, showcase innovations and systematically document and share learnings (particularly with a view to enabling replication).

Job Description

We are looking for a person who is passionate about the development sector and has a deep interest in working with spatial and non-spatial data. The candidate would be contributing to research on a range of topics with a focus on water and sanitation issues, and involving a variety of tasks including data extraction, analysis and visualisation.

The position of Research Associate / Data Analyst could be either a regular position or a contractual project-based engagement for an initial duration of 11 months, renewable on mutual consent. The position will be based out of Chennai, with travel as necessary to other locations in the State and India. The Research Associate / Data Analyst will support across all components of TNUSSP, and work closely with the Governance and Enabling Framework team to deliver specified tasks.

Activities and Tasks

Responsibilities would include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Assisting with primary and secondary research related to the TNUSSP and CWIS projects on a variety of topics including Governance, Inclusion, etc.;
  • Extracting and collating data (qualitative, quantitative and spatial) from existing secondary datasets (censuses, surveys etc. from various websites and databases) as well as building new datasets on water, sanitation and other related sectors;
  • Engaging with GoTN to collect relevant data related to water, sanitation and other related sectors;
  • Assisting in review and analysis of datasets, including contributing towards creating high quality outputs/visuals (dashboards, graphs, infographics, etc.), for independent use or inclusion in reports or other briefing/research material for internal and external audiences;
  • Assisting in review, quality assurance, analysis and regular reporting/tracking of indicators identified to monitor / evaluate the TNUSSP and CWIS initiatives;
  • Engaging with team members to socialise datasets and to support in bespoke data analysis;
  • Assisting in developing and managing data collection (including survey instruments for primary data collection) and entry protocols, and implementation;
  • Providing writing assistance on reports, academic papers and other outputs as part of the project;
  • Supporting tasks as and when required including planning, budgeting, training, implementing and monitoring;
  • Providing support to other IIHS activities including, academics, research, practice, operations, training and other activities;
  • Participating in all activities and meetings of institution-building at IIHS; carrying out tasks as assigned by IIHS; and travel on IIHS work within or outside the country as needed.

This offer is on an exclusive basis, which implies that other professional assignments (whether compensated or not) that bear a potential conflict of interest with the IIHS cannot be undertaken.

The search will remain open until the position is filled.

Structure and Reporting

The Research Associate / Data Analyst will report to the Consultant – Practice at IIHS and will be required to collaborate effectively with a diverse group of internal teams and external individuals/organisations.

Person Specification

Applicants are required to possess a Master’s degree or its equivalent in relevant fields such as (but not limited to) Economics, Public Policy, Urban Planning, GIS, Development Studies or related disciplines. A minimum of 3-5 years of demonstrable experience in data analysis and visualisation is required.

S/he should also have analytical and report writing skills, possess good communication skills, and proficiency in standard MS office applications – Excel, Word, PowerPoint. Knowledge of any data analytics and visualisation tools, and experience in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) or any other development sector, would be an added advantage. Reading and writing skills in Tamil and English are essential.


The position is based in Chennai, with frequent travelling to other locations in Tamil Nadu.

Review and Assessment

The role and performance of the candidate shall be subject to normal review and assessment systems at IIHS.

Diversity Policy

The IIHS is an equal opportunity employer that encourages women, people with disabilities and those from economically and socially excluded communities with the requisite skills and qualifications to apply for positions.

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Please write to us at [email protected] if you need any clarifications while filling the online application form.

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