Global Director, Safe Water - Evidence Action

  • United States of America
  • Bachelor's
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:

About Evidence Action

Evidence Action is a global nonprofit organization with an approach distinctive in international development - we exclusively scale interventions that are backed by strong evidence and can be delivered with exceptional cost-effectiveness. Our programs have grown since our founding in 2013 to reach over 280 million people annually. We deliver high impact for every dollar spent, as recognized by GiveWell, The Life You Can Save, and Charity Navigator.We do development differently. We take a data-driven approach to identifying, scaling, and continuously improving programs which deliver immense impact, ensuring these solutions measurably improve the lives of millions. Our Deworm the World Initiative has helped governments in Africa and Asia deliver over 1.4 billion childhood deworming treatments, improving health, education, and incomes. Dispensers for Safe Water provides sustained safe water access to over 4 million people in rural Africa, preventing childhood illness and deaths. We drive innovation. Our Accelerator builds the next generation of exceptional programs, taking an approach most similar to a venture capital model. We are ruthless in exiting programs which do not meet our criteria; those that advance deliver outsized impact for millions of people. We are global. Across eight countries in Africa and Asia, our 400+ people are united by a tremendous passion for our mission and impact. We are strong because of our diversity of experience, geography, and background - with over 90% of our people in the countries where our impact is focused. We have big ambitions. Our goal is to double our impact by 2024, to fulfill our vision of a world where hundreds of millions of people in the poorest places have better opportunities and their lives are measurably improved. We believe in bold and urgent action - because poverty doesn’t wait, and neither should we. We need great people. Our success to date is due to the collective work of our amazing staff. To achieve our ambitious goals, we are looking for people who share our passion for evidence, cost-effectiveness, and scale. We seek individuals who take an entrepreneurial approach, enjoy tackling hard problems, and have a bias to action and results. If our vision and approach excite you as much as it does us, we invite you to join us. Evidence Action’s Safe Water ProgramOur flagship Dispensers for Safe Water (DSW) provides over 4 million people across rural Uganda, Malawi, and Kenya.  Recent evidence highlights that clean water may be among the most effective interventions available to save young childrens’ lives, averting more than 30% of all-cause child mortality. The dispensers program - based on research for Nobel-winning economists - utilizes an innovative and human-centric design to deliver clean water at the source in rural settings, achieving usage rates which are 5x that of comparable interventions.  Given the tremendous benefits of safe water, Evidence Action is rapidly innovating to build the next generation of clean water interventions. We are currently incubating a next generation technology, in-line chlorination (ILC) that targets peri-urban communities. We are seeking to pilot and scale this program in early 2022. We are also actively seeking to build a broader portfolio of safe water interventions.  The potential of these interventions is incredible, with more than 1.8 billion people using contaminated water sources, causing more than 1/3 of all diarrhea deaths globally. About the PositionWe plan to dramatically scale up our safe water program – first in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda, and subsequently in additional countries that present cost-effective impact opportunities – while simultaneously identifying new technologies to add to the portfolio. Evidence Action is seeking a dynamic and proven leader who will lead our global Safe Water team. The Director will oversee country expansion, new technology development, technical thought leadership, fundraising, and partner management. 

Location: There is flexibility on location, though the preference is for the Program Director to be based in Washington, DC, New York City, or Nairobi, Kenya. The candidate should be available for 15-25% international travel, contingent upon COVID restrictions.  

Responsibilities will include:

This is a newly created role, and we are seeking a dynamic, highly entrepreneurial leader. S/he will bring experience managing and growing at-scale programs, ideally in the WASH sector, including working in close partnership with donors, governments and partner organizations. S/he will have exceptional problem-solving skills and be adept at understanding evidence and cost-effectiveness analyses. S/he will bring superb interpersonal and people management capabilities.

While Evidence Action has strict criteria around cost-effectiveness, evidence and scale which guide our work, the Program Director will have latitude to explore a range of possible interventions, with the aim of scaling additional highly cost-effective interventions that will join DSW and ILC as a portfolio of safe water interventions.

Program Expansion and Development

Working closely with the Africa regional team, drive and launch the expansion of safe water programs into new countries:

  • Identify geographies in which the interventions are cost-effective and scalable.
  • Engage with government and key stakeholders to develop partnerships and align on plans.
  • Conduct scoping activities, including pilots and water point surveys, to adapt the delivery model and prepare for launch.

Working closely with the Accelerator team, lead the identification, testing, and scaling of a portfolio of new safe water interventions:

  • Identify and build new safe water interventions that meet our rigorous criteria.
  • Design effective delivery models to roll out the interventions.
  • Oversee early implementation activities, including surveys and pilots, to prove the concept and optimize the model.
  • Test the interventions at scale, to ensure the intended outcomes are achieved and to further refine the delivery model. Working closely with the Africa regional team, support the scale-up of high-quality safe water interventions in Kenya, Uganda and Malawi. This may include support around target setting, monitoring and evaluation, work planning, technical issues related to ILC, and program optimization.  In collaboration with the Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation (MLE) Strategy and Delivery teams, support our strategic approach to M&E, including potentially engaging on the design of an impact evaluation. 

Financial and People Management

  • Manage program budget and expenditure for country expansion and new initiatives, and provider budget support, as needed, to relevant country/regional teams. Build, manage and mentor a high performing team. Provide coaching, motivation, and inspiration to direct reports and colleagues.
  • Identify and manage programmatic risks globally.

Donor, Carbon, and Partner Relationships

  • Build a diverse and high-quality diversified donor revenue stream through cultivation of new donors and maintenance of existing donors. Inspire, engage with, and update donors, including regular calls and written reports to maintain and build their support. Develop high-impact relationships with key WASH stakeholders, including implementers, donors, bi/multilaterals, and researchers.
  • Represent Evidence Action at relevant conferences and meetings.
  • In close collaboration with the Africa team, manage engagement with global carbon partners to drive consistent revenue streams.  
  • Lead fundraising and proposal development, and develop compelling, external-facing program materials, in collaboration with the External Relations team.


Evidence Action seeks a dynamic leader to support and expand its safe water work. The ideal candidate will have a strong commitment to the organization’s mission and thrive in an entrepreneurial environment. S/he should be a proven self-starter and manager. 12+ years of relevant experience.

  • Bachelor's degree in international development, public health, public finance, public policy, economics, statistics, or related field; Master's degree preferred.
  • Experience supporting large, multi-country programs in international development in relevant sectors (e.g. health, nutrition, WASH).
  • Experience managing and expanding highly successful initiatives in an entrepreneurial environment. Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills, and an understanding of evidence and cost effectiveness. S/he will be comfortable with data for decision-making - using imperfect data to make well-informed, thoughtful decisions.
  • Talented people manager, with a proven track record of successfully supporting high-performance from direct reports and indirect collaborators.Strong interpersonal skills. S/he will be highly effective in building relationships with donors and partners, and in engaging collaboratively and effectively across a matrixed structure.
  • Superb fundraising and communication skills – including strong communications both written and oral.Strong alignment with core Evidence Action values.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in WASH sector, with a preference for experience with safe water.Strong relationships with prospective funders.Experience in a high-growth, matrixed international organization.
  • Experience engaging with government counterparts on at-scale programs.Proficiency in French.