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Country Director - Malawi

Position Closes: 5 pm MST, Friday, November 15th 

Water For People is a global nonprofit working across nine countries, bringing together communities, local entrepreneurs, and governments to build and maintain water and sanitation services that will last. We have a sustainable solution to end the global water and sanitation crisis, and our employees around the world help drive this solution.

About the Position

Water For People is currently recruiting for the position of Country Director - Malawi. The Country Director - Malawi is ultimately responsible for managing all aspects of Water For People's work in country. Currently Water For People has programs in Africa in Malawi, Rwanda, and Uganda. The Country Director ensures implementation of the Everyone Forever approach in Malawi, and ensures programming is in line with Water For People's overall strategy and policy objectives. The Country Director oversees the effective management of Water For People funds and equipment, and ensures the Malawi office has established appropriate systems for financial, program, and human resource management. The Country Director provides leadership for national advocacy and learning programs and manages a wide range of external relationships at the national and local levels. The Country Director serves as the primary point of contact in the Malawi program for both the global headquarters office located in Denver, and the Africa Regional Office (AFRO).  Water For People expects its Country Director to adopt a collaborative management style, but to ultimately make necessary decisions which are in the best interests of our mission, our staff, and our partners.

Essential Job Functions and Duties


  • Leads long-term planning for Malawi program in line with organizational strategic plan
  • Develops and implements operational plans and budgets, to carry forward the organization’s strategy in Malawi
  • Drives the implementation of new organizational initiatives in Malawi, in all spheres of program or management
  • Actively participates in relevant national initiatives, policy deliberations, and programs, providing leadership support as necessary

External Relationship Management

  • Represents Water For People in Malawi and plays a part in hosting official visitors to the Water For People programs
  • Strengthens relationships with partner organizations, NGOs, government agencies, donors, and bilateral and multilateral agencies in Malawi
  • Identifies and develops in-country funding opportunities for further program work
  • Produces reports to the Malawi government as required                      

Internal Management

  • Manages the Malawi technical and administrative managers and any key specialist positions and provides performance management documentation to the Water For People Africa Regional Office and Headquarters
  • Provides fiduciary and programmatic oversight to the Malawi office
  • Contributes to Water For People's overall program and policy discussions, at a global level
  • Communicates and collaborates with the Water For People Africa Regional Office and Headquarters on personnel-related matters
  • Collaborates with the Water For People Africa Regional Office and Headquarters on implementing organization-wide initiatives inclusive of global policies to help build a global culture

Learning and Reporting

  • Promotes a learning environment among Water For People's partners and staff in Malawi
  • Develops the capacity of Water For People staff and partners to document their experience for learning and advocacy purposes
    • Personally, produces at least two substantive articles on the work in Malawi per year
  • In cooperation with partners, develops innovative and experimental approaches to water, sanitation, and hygiene programs in Malawi, which contribute to Water For People's learning and advocacy agendas
  • Develops Malawi annual operational plans and budget, and ensures that all reporting deadlines are met

Accountabilities and Compliance

  • Ensures compliance with applicable Malawian rules and regulations related to staff and property (e.g., taxes, insurance, employment contracts, etc.), with documentation being provided to the Water For People Africa Regional Office and Headquarters
  • Ensures that Water For People is meeting all its statutory requirements and the terms of its registration in Malawi
  • Ensures that Malawi program expenditures remain within the annual budget allocation
  • Undertakes monthly financial reviews with all budget-holders in Malawi to monitor expenditure against budget, provide financial information to in-country staff and partners on project implementation, and ensure that overall project expenditure is on track
  • Monitors and reports any financial irregularities to the Regional Director - Africa
  • Commissions annual independent audit of Water For People Malawi, as well as project audits as required
  • Oversees the procurement of materials, equipment, and other assets for the Water For People program and office

Behaviors and Competencies

  • Connects to the Mission – Embraces the mission of Water For People and is passionate about advancing the dynamic role it plays in leading social impact in international development
  • Demonstrates Ethics and Integrity – Understands ethical behavior and business practices, and ensures that own behavior is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the organization
  • Manages through Ambiguity – Demonstrates flexibility and adaptability in responding to change and ambiguity
  • Demonstrates Cultural Awareness – Able to engage the wide range of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds and cultures
  • Action-oriented – Maintains an attitude of open, curious and proactive learning, continually expanding own area of understanding and expertise
  • Connects with Others – Listens and fosters open communication through questioning, dialogue, and information sharing
  • Self-confident – Demonstrates humility, mature confidence and courage to innovate, risk, and lead in own role

Qualifications, Knowledge, and Skills Required

  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree or professional qualification in a relevant subject (for example, engineering, development studies, community health, business, economics)
  • Master’s Degree preferred
  • Minimum of ten years senior program management experience in Malawi, including financial management and budgetary control, and direct line management of staff
  • Minimum of five years of experience working directly with local governments in Malawi on development challenges
  • Understanding of technical, social, and institutional issues relating to water, sanitation, and hygiene education in low- to middle- income countries
  • Significant experience with development projects and understanding of community and private finance in enabling service delivery, and the role of market-based approaches to deliver services
  • Experience of implementing projects through government, private, and NGO partners
  • Proven leadership and staff management skills
  • Relationship building, including experience in developing relationships with government and donor agencies at a senior level
  • Ability to think clearly and analytically
  • Highly numerate, with the ability to create and manage budgets
  • A sound knowledge of financial control procedures
  • Ability to communicate clearly in English, both orally and written
  • Ability to plan own work, setting priorities, and completing it under pressure or when faced with competing demands
  • Ability to motivate and lead a multi-disciplinary team
  • Collaborative and flexible management style and willingness to learn from others
  • Experience in managing change
  • Advanced computer proficiencies with Microsoft Office programs including Word, Excel, Power Point, and Outlook

Physical Requirements/Working Conditions

  • Position is based at Water For People’s Malawi office
  • Up to 50% of time commitment to travel to partner districts and Lilongwe for local and national meetings, plus travel to Denver and other sites for organizational meetings as needed
  • Ability to travel to remote rural areas often in rugged and uncomfortable conditions
  • Normal office environment
  • Legally authorized to work in Malawi
  • Willing and able to reside in Blantyre

Note: This job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, or qualifications associated with the job.

Contact and Further Information:

If you are both qualified and Water For People interests you, please visit our Career Center and apply with your resume and cover letter to this position. Please no phone calls or in-person inquiries.

Deadline for submitting your application is 5 pm MDT, Friday, November 15th. 

This is an exempt, full time position with a comprehensive benefits package. Salary is competitive and commensurate with level of experience. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Water For People cannot provide immigration sponsorship for this position.


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