Senior Expert, Utility Partnerships – Kenya


The Senior Expert for Utility Partnerships is a key contributor to the overall success of Water.org initiatives across all levels of impact in Africa, with a specific focus on effective and timely execution of partnerships related to water and sanitation service providers and infrastructure within her/his assigned portfolio.

The Senior Expert will be instrumental in helping Africa Regional Team define how best to facilitate greater financing flows for utilities and other service providers in key markets across the region. This individual will lead the establishment of a utility practice and development of client services in the region, by leading strategy and partnership pipeline development, supporting fundraising and donor engagement, thought leadership and global learning.


This individual will oversee partnership design, management, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of utility partnerships, as well as lead the development of financing mechanisms designed to create a more enabling environment for investment into the sector.

The Senior Expert, Utility Partnerships is based in Kenya.


Key Responsibilities


Partnership & Business Development (50%)

Lead the development, execution, and sustained growth of key partnerships and priorities for impact across the region, as requested. Key activities include, but are not limited to:


Strategy development:

Lead strategy development at the regional and country-specific levels and assist with development of programmatic roadmaps, workplans and budgets.
Oversee regional landscaping of the service provider sector, identifying opportunities for Water.org to enter the market with the right services.
Business development:

Bring a business development mindset and approach to engaging with the service provider sector to enable ongoing identification of opportunities for Water.org to enter and stimulate the market.
Lead the development of a compelling and influential business case for Water.org’s services to investors and development organizations.
Develop and manage a diverse portfolio of influential relationships and partnerships including but not limited to water and sanitation utilities, municipal and sub-national entities, national governments, regulatory bodies, bi/multilateral organizations, capital providers, regional apex entities, and other stakeholders across the region to:
establish and maintain a strong position for Water.org’s influence and visibility across the Africa region,
ensure Water.org is effectively leveraging, collaborating, and adding value to the WSS and Finance sectors’ ecosystem of actors and policies, and
strengthen Water.org’s efforts to mobilize investment in WSS through the deployment of new resources and larger amounts of capital, ensuring new service provision of water and sanitation reaches low-income communities and households.

Portfolio Management (35%)

Demonstrate a personal drive for and embodiment of Water.org’s mission and leadership values, by motivating and mobilizing efforts to rapidly scale impact. Key accountabilities include, but are not limited to:


Support the execution of the service provider regional strategy, overseeing establishment of new partnerships, program design and development, and programmatic execution.
Accountable for successful delivery of technical assistance to service provider partners and / or sector associations, ensuring the ongoing viability of their water and sanitation lending services and sustainability.
Support establishment of linkages between international and domestic capital providers and partners seeking loan capital, facilitating creation of various financing mechanisms to de-risk investments, if needed.
Oversee compliance to established Water.org monitoring & evaluation practices.
Contribute to the strengthening of Water.org’s reputation as a robust brand and influential brand and influential thought leader in Africa. This may include serving as the primary representative of Water.org to key government, media, enabling partners, and other influencers. Contribute as an effective presenter at key industry and sector events across the region.
Contribute to building an evidence base to enable full range of impact and innovation internally at Water.org and externally across the sector.
Play a significant role in regional efforts to identify and effect reforms and changes at the system-level, i.e., enabling policies and investment practices which mobilize capital for WSS financing solutions.
Organizational Support (15%)

Collaborate with Water.org US and global teams to ensure integration of efforts, effective deployment of shared resources, and dissemination of best practices.
Participate in assisting with the development of new tools and processes, membership on cross-functional committees as requested, and/or participation at internal or external conferences or workshops.
Assist in the development of new tools, processes and/or procedures to gain efficiencies in the execution of work.
Availability to take calls outside normal working hours to coordinate with US-based staff or staff at other country offices.

Bachelor’s degree in finance, commerce, business administration, water engineering or management, or related fields; Additional relevant certifications in accounting or finance are an added advantage. Trainings and coursework will also be considered.
Deep understanding of the financing environment supporting the achievement of SDG 6 goals:
At least 6 years of proven professional experience, leading investment projects with water and sanitation service providers in Africa, with increasing levels of experience and responsibility.
Experience with infrastructure financing strongly preferred.
Experience working in East Africa and knowledge across the broader Africa continent desired.
Possess a robust network across the water supply and sanitation sector in East Africa, as well as more broadly across Africa, ranging across capital providers, utilities and other water and sanitation service providers, government institutions, investors, and other relevant stakeholders.
Operational and financial experience in managing national/ sub-national entities that oversee or invest in Utilities or private sector small medium WSS enterprises.
At least five years of project and/or program management experience required.
Demonstrated proficiency in facilitation of collaboration and linkages between staff, donors, partners and stakeholders.
Proficient in the use of effective communication techniques, particularly across a variety of constituencies and stakeholder groups. Skilled at cross-cultural communication and collaboration.
Demonstrated ability to identify new opportunities, establish cross- sector partnerships and design programs that are creative and leverage different stakeholders’ core capacities and assets.
Knowledge of relevant computer applications and ability to integrate technology into office and partnership activities.
Language proficiency in English and Kiswahili required.
Water.org is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing an inclusive environment. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, military and veteran status, genetic information, and any other status protected by law. We provide qualified applicants and employees reasonable accommodation, when necessary, to enable individuals to complete the application process and/or perform the essential functions of the job.


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About Water.org

Water.org is a non-profit organization that has transformed thousands of communities in Africa, South Asia, and Central America by providing access to safe water and sanitation over the past twenty-one years. Founded by Matt Damon and Gary White, Water.org works with local partners to deliver innovative solutions for long-term success.