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Senior Program Manager, Sanitation

Position Closes: 5 pm MST, Friday, November 22nd. 

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 Senior Program Manager, Sanitation. The Senior Program Manager, Sanitation provides direction and support to all nine Water For People Country Programs. The principle objective of Water For People’s sanitation work is to develop and implement innovative approaches to solutions and business models capable of providing long-term sanitation services, as required to meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 target of universal access to sanitation by 2030, which considers the full value chain from the toilet to final waste disposal or reuse. This requires rethinking and experimenting with sanitation services through market systems development, which is based on the principle that on-site sanitation at scale can only be achieved and sustained through private sector service provision.

Although this position’s focus will be strategic guidance and advisory support to scalable sanitation solutions, the Senior Program Manager, Sanitation supports sanitation initiatives that are more focused on social mobilization strategies to increase coverage of basic sanitation services in the 35+ Everyone Forever districts where Water For People works.

The Senior Program Manager, Sanitation must demonstrate trust and teamwork in all aspects of Water For People business; provide exceptional internal and external customer service; and communicate in an open and honest manner. The innovative nature of Water For People’s sanitation work also requires an ability to inspire change with continual challenge of the status quo.

Essential Job Functions and Duties

  • Guides and supports over 60 sanitation initiatives across all nine Country Programs
  • Leads development of organizational sanitation strategy and research agenda, which drives Water For People’s thinking and understanding on increasing global sanitation coverage
  • Guides Country Programs on country-specific sanitation strategies
  • Acts as a catalyst and facilitator for sharing information and stimulating debate within the organization, to encourage program development and innovation
  • Develops knowledge resources and promotes use of knowledge management system, both internally, and drawing from external sources, and ensures these resources are accessible within the organization; ensures the system works in conjunction and complements the broader Water For People internal and external communication systems and needs
  • Identifies capacity gaps and training needs across the organization and facilitates workshops and training events that respond to those needs
  • Manages the Sanitation Innovation Fund to inspire and support experimentation of new sanitation ideas in Country Programs
  • Ensures organizational monitoring and evaluation systems appropriately monitor progress towards the sanitation targets established through the global and country-specific sanitation strategies
  • Ensures appropriate reflection processes are in place to evaluate current approaches and results and makes data-driven decisions on future approaches and investments
  • Guides Country Programs’ annual sanitation priorities through participation in reflection and operational planning processes
  • Manages visits to Country Programs (and other partners)
  • Ensures ownership of any sanitation initiative remains with country teams

Business Development and Strategic Partnerships 

  • Identifies and develops strategic relationships and organizational partnerships that position Water For People to secure new funding and scale our impact
  • Develops proposals and manages contracts which help to deliver the sanitation research agenda, and specific programmatic initiatives in sanitation
  • Supports Business Development department with programmatic information as needed, including sharing new contacts made through conferences and influence work
  • Supports Business Development with select proposals focused on our global effort to further influence, global leadership, and scale in sanitation
  • Manages the services and contract arrangements of external consultants contracted to support specific program initiatives; this may be within specific contracts held externally by Water For People, or internally driven initiatives

External Communication and Sector Influence

  • Contributes to the organizations "sector influencing strategy", communicating directly with key audiences, providing information for others, and building organizational capacity to communicate Water For People’s ideas in sanitation
  • Represents Water For People and presents at key sector conferences
  • Provides organizational leadership and external voice to communicate the varied experience of Water For People’s sanitation work through contributing to external publications and speaking events
  • Communicates successes and challenges externally with progress towards sustainability to the sector
  • Evaluates sanitation data from annual monitoring systems and develops key messaging content and tools to communicate those results
  • Collaborates with Marketing and Communications department on communicating to broader audiences as needed


  • Builds alignment and consensus within the team around organizational goals
  • Demonstrates leadership in cross-functional collaboration across the organization
  • Sets individual contributor and team goals, and conducts performance reviews for direct reports

Behaviors and Competencies

  • Builds Teams and Talent – Open and approachable, able to extract excellent performance and develop leadership and confidence in others
    • Attracts, engages, develops, and rewards talented people to build individual and organizational capability needed to achieve desired impact
  • Uses Critical Thinking – Has a broad perspective and sees possibilities and opportunities by thinking innovatively
    • Manages competing priorities and makes hard decisions with an eye towards getting things done
  • Converts Strategy into Results –Translates business vision and strategy into winning tactics and plans to deliver excellent results for the organization
  • Connects to the Mission – Embraces the mission of Water For People and is passionate about advancing the dynamic role it plays leading social impact in international development
    • Understands and demonstrates how own efforts impact on the larger organization and operates in alignment with the vision, values, and strategic objectives of the organization
  • 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
    • Consistently follows through on commitments and lives our values of accountability, courage, empowerment, partnership, and transparency
  • Manages through Ambiguity – Identifies, supports, and champions opportunities for change and continuous improvement. Trusts the judgment of the field staff
  • Demonstrates Cultural Awareness – Shows empathy, a high comfort level in low- and middle-income countries, and unquestionable integrity; able to engage the wide range of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds and cultures
  • Action-oriented – Takes an entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to completing tasks. Has an unwavering commitment to delivering quality work products
  • Connects with Others – Demonstrates exceptional communications and interpersonal skills, exceptional networker, key influencer, and comfortable representing Water For People across a wide variety of audiences
  • Self-confident – Demonstrates humility, mature confidence, and courage to innovate, risk, and lead in own role
    • Is unafraid and willing to take risks and courageously to find new ways to achieve the organization’s desired impact

Qualifications, Knowledge, and Skills Required

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent work experience is required
  • Master’s Degree in relevant field (e.g. international development, public health, business, marketing, or public health engineering) is preferred
  • 10 years of experience in international development related to sanitation services
  • Extensive knowledge of the history and evolving approaches for sanitation service delivery in low- and middle-income countries
  • Extensive knowledge and on-the-ground experience of sanitation services in both urban and rural settings
  • Experience with market-based approaches to sanitation service delivery
  • Highly enumerate with business planning experience
  • Expertise in sanitation technologies and ability to support Country Programs with troubleshooting challenges
  • Comprehensive and deep understanding of currently available sanitation technologies and ability to guide technological innovation where gaps exist
  • Experience working in Africa, India, and Latin America, with a preference for direct overlap with some of the nine countries where Water For People works
  • Demonstrated skills in dealing effectively with a variety of constituencies, such as staff, donors, volunteers, and representatives of related organizations
  • Demonstrated skills with program planning, reporting, and communications
  • Good "people skills" and situation judgment necessary to relate well to all organizational constituencies, including staff
  • Professional-level bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish, written and spoken is strongly preferred
  • Capable of functioning in a high-energy, intellectual environment
  • Ability to meet deadlines and functions in a high-stress environment while maintaining congeniality and professionalism

Physical Requirements/Working Conditions

  • This position is based at Water For People Headquarters in Denver, Colorado with the option to work remotely from a location where Water For People currently operates or the United Kingdom.
  • Open office environment in Denver, Colorado

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 MST, Friday, November 22nd

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.

This position is based at Water For People Headquarters in Denver, Colorado with the option to work remotely from a location where Water For People currently operates or the United Kingdom.

Water For People cannot provide immigration sponsorship for this position.

Perks of working at our office space which is located at I-25 and Broadway:

  • Employer-paid parking
  • Walking distance from I-25 and Broadway RTD station
  • Food trucks outside the office daily
  • Dog friendly workplace


Your support can help us make the world’s water crisis a problem of the past, for Everyone Forever.