THE Water and Sanitation Governance Expert at IRC: (Deadline 9 November 2022)

IRC is an international NGO that works with governments, Civil Society Organisations, entrepreneurs and people around the world to strengthen and support public systems for water, sanitation and hygiene service delivery. Our mission is to drive change that leads to everyone in the world having access to safe and climate resilient water, sanitation and hygiene services.

With over 50 years of experience, IRC runs large-scale programmes in eight focus countries, and smaller projects in more than 25 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is supported by a team of over 80 staff across the world, and has offices in the Netherlands, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali and Uganda and local representation in Bangladesh, Honduras, India, Niger, and Rwanda.

IRC seeks a highly motivated water and sanitation governance expert to lead our work on strengthening decentralised WASH governance in Rwanda. The expert will be based in Rwanda and will join our growing Africa Regional Programme.

The vacancy:

Isoko y’Ubuzima  is a five-year (2021-2026) programme being implemented nationally and in ten districts in Rwanda. The project is carried out by a consortium, led by Water for People Rwanda, implemented with IRC, VEI, CARE, and African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda’s Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA), Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN), Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), and district authorities including health and education departments. The goal is to improve safe drinking water and sanitation services through strengthening national and decentralised WASH governance and improving rural sanitation and handwashing services and products.

Main responsibility

As one of two IRC team members in Rwanda, you will be responsible for helping IRC to achieve its objective of improving decentralised water, sanitation and hygiene through country systems strengthening. You will drive IRC’s capacity building agenda and lead the decentralised governance strengthening in the 10 focus districts of Isoko y’Ubuzima.

As a member of IRC’s team of two staff in Rwanda, you will work under the supervision of IRC’s Senior Governance Expert. As the lead for decentralised governance strengthening, will support analysis and research at centralised government level in order to unpack and identify the priorities for implementation of these central policies at district levels.

You will represent IRC in Rwanda, where we work closely with the Government of Rwanda. As IRC supports the Ministry of Infrastructure with its WASH systems strengthening agenda, you will communicate and coordinate with government, donors, NGOs, private sector companies, communities, and civil society organisations.

Specific responsibilities

  • Lead planning and execution of IRC’s decentralised governance support in ten districts, contributing to the development of annual and quarterly plans.
  • Build relationships with Isoko y’Ubuzima’s district coordinators and with other district stakeholders to ensure timely delivery of IRC’s district-level activities. Pro-actively identify opportunities for adjusting or adapting the workplan to ensure the programme is optimised to achieve intended results.
  • Prepare and coordinate annual districts WASH reflection meetings and prepare the corresponding reports.
  • Actively participate in development of annual action plans with the preparation of the activities that need to be implemented at district level
  • Be a champion for gender and social inclusion, coordinating with the programme gender and social inclusion experts and helping to find opportunities to increase the inclusiveness of WASH programming in Rwanda.

  • Prepare the annual strategic capacity building plan and conduct the training of district WASH officers, District WASH Board members and Joint Action Development Forum members.
  • Create awareness of WASH system academy platform both at national and district level and develop the strategies to engage and encourage the high institutions of learning and young water professionals’ association to use and complete trainings in the WASH system academy platform
  • Actively engage and be a part of IRC’s global team, including joining internal webinars and meetings – mostly virtual with the possibility of travel.
  • Follow project management protocols and track progress against agreed project milestones, contributing timely and responsible administrative and financial reporting.
  • Perform other activities as per request of your supervisor including but not limited to supporting the organization of national level workshops.

Core competencies

  • Passionate about improving water and sanitation governance in line with the Government of Rwanda’s strategy
  • Systems thinking and ability to combine technical skills with interpersonal ‘soft’ skills in order to support a group of stakeholders to pursue a common vision
  • Water and sanitation sector expertise, knowledge of service delivery models, Sustainable Development Goal standards and targets, institutional arrangements and monitoring approaches
  • Results-oriented, strategic thinker, experience in multi-year programme planning an advantage
  • Respectful and clear communication, ability to engage diplomatically with government representatives, intercultural communication, virtual communication and presentation skills
  • Self-starter with ability to work independently and remotely (virtually) with colleagues located in other offices or countries.

Skills and experience

  • At least a master’s degree in public governance, water, environmental or sanitation policy, public health, engineering, or a related field.
  • Experience working with government at national and/or district level
  • Experience working with international organisations or collaborations, experience in USAID funded projects a plus
  • Strong interpersonal skills, good oral and written communications skills: English required, Kinyarwanda and French a plus.
  • Experience in digital calendar and asynchronous communication to enable success in a hybrid-working environment. Ability to manage agenda in Outlook to enable regular participation in virtual team meetings and build networks with remote collaborators.
  • Detail-oriented and experienced with administrative and financial project reporting. Ability to manage small budgets according to project procedures, in a complaint manner including invoice reporting, cost declarations, etc.
  • Experience as a consultant a plus.

Details of the position

You will be based at the Water For People office in Kigali and the role will include occasional travel to the project’s target districts across Rwanda. The role may also entail limited international travel to meet with IRC’s teams in other countries or to participate in regional or global learning events and trainings.

You become part of IRC’s Africa Regional Programme, and are expected to coordinate remotely with IRC staff in other locations,

You will initially be offered a one -year fulltime contract, with the possibility of an extension based on performance. At IRC a fulltime working week exists of 40 hours whereby we will be following the local working hours and national holidays as observed by Water For People Rwanda. The contract will be based on an IRC Associate (freelance) contract, with monthly invoicing billed by hours in correspondence to production of agreed deliverables. The Associate is responsible for tax compliant reporting within Rwanda.

The position is in line with IRC’s Programme Officer level. The remuneration rate will be determined in accordance with the experience and qualifications of the applicant, using the remuneration system/level of Water For People in Rwanda as a benchmark.

Interested candidates should submit an application with the following three components. Applicants who do not submit all three components will not be considered:

  1. Introduction letter explaining your motivation for the position (max one page)
  2. Curriculum Vitae demonstrating your relevant experience
  3. A brief one page essay describing your perspective on what good water and sanitation governance looks like, and introducing some key governance challenges in Rwanda. Note that this must be your original writing (no copy-paste), and it should include a list of any documents, articles, or websites from which you have sourced key information (references can be on a second page).

Please share the above materials by 9 December 2022 to IRC, attn. Marion Giese at or P.O. Box 82327, 2508 EH, The Hague, the Netherlands.

Job interviews will be scheduled at the Water for People office in Kigali (or virtually if required), in December. For additional information please visit our website at

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