Program Manager via ReliefWeb

Abundant Water


The Lao PDR Program Manager (PM) will be responsible for Abundant Water’s (AW) organisational direction and results in Lao PDR. The PM reports directly to the AW CEO and Board of Directors. Key competencies required are on-ground management skills with a willingness to engage in a practical hands-on approach to problem solving, strategic direction, monitoring and evaluation, an understanding of both WASH and Social Business, and budget oversight.

This is a full-time position with a preferred commitment of at least 2 years. The core responsibilities will be in line with achieving AW’s current 3-year plan, including: coordination of the filter-making workshop, managing AW’s local staff, financial accounting, developing partnerships and opportunities with both local and international NGOs, and improving the AW water filter technology, social business, and WASH program through monitoring and evaluation as well as research and development. The program manager will also have an opportunity to work in collaboration with the board to develop and implement the next 3-year plan.

You will represent AW at outside meetings with potential funders or influencers, and work alongside staff at events and receptions. This role will encompass duties that are both managerial and practical in nature.

This position is ideal for someone who would like to expand their skill set in the international development sector. As this is a small organisation with a start-up atmosphere, you will have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of running an international humanitarian NGO. While there is an element of administration work, the position will very much be “hands-on” working directly with the local staff and our partners on the ground as you strive towards our goal of increasing access to clean drinking water in remote villages in Laos.

Key Responsibilities

As the Lao PDR Program Manager you will:

  • Manage the AW filter-making compound and workshop in Vientiane, Lao PDR

  • Manage a team of 5 AW local staff and 1-2 interns in Vientiane; oversee their welfare and their recruitment

  • Administer AW finances and accounts in Laos

  • Monitor & evaluate impact of existing projects; implement feedback regarding technology development both in the Vientiane workshop and in the field

  • Manage existing AW partnerships in Laos and seek to develop new opportunities of mutual benefit. Develop new projects and partnerships to enable AW to realize its 3 year plan

  • Report to the AW Board of Directors in Australia on organizational and operational matters in Laos

  • Manage relationships with existing AW donors in Laos to develop new opportunities of mutual benefit, and develop new fund-raising opportunities in Laos

  • Work with existing local NGO partners to improve their planning, fundraising, M and E and social business project implementation

  • Conduct monitoring, assessment and evaluation on the overall project progress and provide feedback and suggestions on modification and change to the Board of Directors

Along with the Board of Directors, you will be accountable for:

  • ensuring that AW has a clear vision, mission and strategic direction, and is focused on achieving these

  • working in partnership with other Directors, the CEO, and other volunteers.

  • being responsible for the performance of AW in Laos and for its ‘corporate’ behaviour

  • ensuring that AW complies with all legal and regulatory requirements in Laos

  • acting as guardians of AW’s assets, both tangible and intangible, taking all due care over their security, deployment and proper application

  • ensuring that the AW’s governance is of the highest possible standard

Desired Outputs

By mid-2018 the PM will:

  • lead the workshop in Vientiane, in the Lao language, to successfully meet filter production demand

  • develop a strong working relationship with AW partners which sees the AW filter WASH program meeting the needs of priority areas in rural Lao PDR

  • developing and growing the social business program

  • contribute to monthly Board Director meetings – including updates and papers regarding the Lao PDR country program

  • shared ownership of developing a strategic plan for the Lao PDR program in collaboration with the AW CEO

Duty station

The PM will be based in Vientiane, Lao PDR. Regular trips to remote areas of Lao PDR will be required for purposes of Monitoring & Evaluation, and to scout potential new village partnerships. The PM is expected to attend the monthly board meeting via teleconference.


The Program Manager will be appointed for a 2-year term. This is a full-time position, however there are no “typical” working hours as would be the case with a 9-5 job and work hours may increase due to demands imposed by periods of high tempo work. It is expected that this appointment will start in November 2017 to include up to 6 months of handover with the current in-country program manager.


Starting from US$1500 per month, to be negotiated based on experience
Accommodation and health insurance included in the package
20 days of paid annual leave
Professional development funding of up to US$1000
Work travel will be covered by AW
There is no re-location allowance available


Travel through out Lao PDR is expected

Preferred Competencies:

  • A self-starter who has the ability to work with minimal direct supervision

  • Work experience in Laos (or elsewhere in the Mekong region); Thai or Lao language skills are also a plus. Experience working in any developing country context is useful.

  • A background and or understanding of WASH is essential

  • Experience in non-profit, humanitarian, and/or development work

  • A demonstrated capacity to succeed and lead in an environment that is unpredictable, complex, sometimes ambiguous, and rapidly changing

  • Demonstrated ability to be flexibile, adaptable, resilient and to learn in a fast paced environment

  • A demonstrated ability to develop and maintain relationships and partnerships across organizations

  • Demonstrated strong cross-cultural communication skills and understanding. Experience managing (including training and mentoring) a culturally diverse team in an international setting and/or in a different language would be a strong asset.

  • The ability to work to a regular monthly budget, oversee operating expenses, and manage petty cash needs

  • A demonstrated ability to work with and manage a team of both local staff and international interns.

  • A knowledge of or interest in social business, including an understanding or experience of basic business planning, in development contexts would be preferred

  • A qualification in a relevant field – such as, anthropoloy, sociology, water resources management, development, or environmental science.

Start date for the successful candidate is negotiable but ideally the successful candidate would commence in November 2017.

How to apply:

Application Procedures:
Please submit your application online here:

If you have any questions or difficulties submitting via the online form please contact: [email protected]