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The purpose of the USAID-funded Kenya KIWASH collaboration is to achieve sustainable water and sanitation services in Western Kenya through 1) County-wide approach to strengthening markets for sanitation and hygiene products and services and 2) Ensuring county-wide sustainable drinking water services to households, including effective management of water resources. Target counties for this activity are: Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, and Siaya.
Director of Research and Development (R&D) for the anticipated Western Kenya sanitation markets project. The activity will adapt research and development solutions to achieve success in expanding WASH markets and services in Western Kenya through the use of pilot programs and a robust collaboration, learning, and adapting (CLA) agenda. The Director of Research and Development will work with the activity market-based sanitation team to design, implement and monitor pilots that test an array of approaches for results and to shape a program that learns from its interventions and quickly focuses on efforts that are producing results, dropping those that are not and adapting interventions where appropriate.
The Director of R&D will report to the Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP) In this role, the Director of R&D will oversee will help design and monitor pilots, lead CLA work, and oversee M&E and project communications. This position will be based in Kisumu, Western Kenya and have three direct reports: the Strategic Activities Fund (SAF) Manager, MERLA Officer, and Communications Specialist.
Responsibilities of the Director of R&D include, but are not limited to:
- Set and oversee overall strategy and direction of the research objectives of the project in collaboration with the COP and DCOP.
- Oversee project R&D, SAF investment, performance management, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), strategic communications, and evidence generation.
- Lead the R&D team to design and monitor pilots, contributing to the design of high-quality and innovative research concepts, proposing ideas for SAF investment alongside the MBS team, and helping formulate challenge drives to further identify additional strong pilot ideas.
- Lead project work in CLA, including documenting and sharing learning through regular technical and stakeholder meetings and pause-and-reflect sessions.
- Participate as a part of the senior management team, providing overall leadership to technical and administrative staff.
- Supervise procurement competitions for innovative pilots, oversee due diligence assessments on prospective sub-awardee, and supervise the Strategic Activities Fund (SAF) Manager overseeing the research pilots implemented by sub-awardees.
- Address issues and mitigates risks related to pilot implementation in a timely manner and appropriately adjust pilot strategies, as required.
- Support the production of high-quality, relevant project performance M&E indicators.
- Track and report quarterly on programmatic achievements as required for project deliverable reporting. Produces technical and/or operational reports and updates for deliverable reporting and project success stories.
- Initiate, develop and maintain a range of working relationships, including with civil society, product innovators and designer, county governments, private sector firms, academic and think tank organizations, and others.
- Bachelor’s Degree and 12 years of experience, Master’s degree and 10 years of experience.
- Eight (8) years of experience implementing large and complex projects relating to strengthening of civil society institutions and organizations, inclusive development, and/or civil society participation in WASH service delivery in progressively senior management roles.
- Strong skills in strategic planning, management, supervision, research and M&E.
- Demonstrated experience managing technically, operationally and geographically diverse teams on internationally funded programs, USAID experience preferred.
- Experience designing and monitoring pilot interventions that test market feasibility and commercial viability.
- Expertise evaluating interventions for sustainability and scalability.
- Excellent analytic skills with ability to synthesize data and results for presentation to a variety of stakeholders.
- Experience leading or collaborating on peer-reviewed publications.
- Proven ability to work under pressure, and with multiple concurrent demands.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Ability to travel and work in any of the three provinces and difficult terrain/conditions at times.
- Proficiency in English is required.
- Work experience in Kenya required.