Researcher - DIWASA Project Leader

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The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a CGIAR Research Center is seeking an innovative & multi skilled candidate to join as a Researcher – DIWASA Project Leader.

This is an internationally recruited position; therefore, individuals with relevant abilities from diverse locations around the world are encouraged to apply. Please disregard the preferred geographic location indicated above, as this is a technical limitation of the Workable software. The successful candidate can be based in any of IWMI’s offices in Africa, including the new office in Nairobi.

The successful candidate will oversee the implementation of the “Digital Innovation for Water Secure Africa (DIWASA)” project, ensuring the timely delivery of project objectives. The incumbent will provide both project management and technical leadership in executing the project, ensuring that end-users are equipped with the necessary skills to effectively utilize DIWASA data products and tools across Africa.

The primary goal of the DIWASA project is to enhance water security throughout Africa by improving the availability, accessibility, and application of water data products developed using Earth Observation techniques. The project aims to expand water data by harnessing Earth Observation technology and making the resulting data and tools accessible through the Digital Earth Africa platform.

The project comprises four key pillars:

  • Pillar I: Development and deployment of products and use cases.
  • Pillar II: User engagement and capacity development.
  • Pillar III: Strengthen the integration of water data products into the Digital Earth Africa platform.
  • Pillar IV: Improved water management decisions in the Limpopo Basin through Digital Twin Implementation.


Project Management:

  • Lead the DIWASA Phase 2 project initiation, execution, and completion lifecycle closely working with the DIWASA and IWMI PMO team and manage the project in line with donor and IWMI guidelines within set timelines to achieve objectives.
  • Oversee project administration, operations, implementation, and fiscal management to ensure technical and financial activity aligns with the scope and budget allocations, internal policies, and donor requirements.
  • Develop annual and quarterly result-based work plans and budgets in coordination with Pillar Leads.
  • Lead the preparation of result-based reports (quarterly, semi-annual, and annual) following IWMI procedures and donor requirements.
  • Closely monitor deviations from the work plan, devise, and implement measures to ensure the timely delivery of project outputs, supporting the development of strong monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, project monitoring tools, and efficient systems to ensure high-quality implementation.
  • Organize regular team coordination meetings and other events to foster closer collaboration between DIWASA team members and, as needed, with other IWMI staff.
  • Prepare and provide project updates to the donor, Country Representative, and, as needed, to IWMI management.
  • Supervise and support the DIWASA project coordinator to ensure the effective use of time and quality support to the DIWASA team.
  • Manage and oversee all contract management and implementation tasks based on established processes and procedures, inclusive of consultants and other services as part of project implementation.
  • Identify issues and risks related to activity implementation and take mitigative actions in a timely manner.
  • Plan for, initiate, and develop strategic partnerships with government stakeholders, academia, river basin organizations, development partners, and other relevant continental-level actors in Africa and beyond.

Product Development and Delivery:

  • Organize end-user and stakeholder engagement events (consultation meetings, workshops, webinars, etc.) to raise awareness, identify demand for DIWASA products, and enhance the visibility of DIWASA across Africa.
  • Lead assessment of existing and emerging end-user and stakeholder needs for DIWASA products. The needs will be assessed at national (initial focus on the four priority countries Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Zambia), regional (river basin organization), and continental (e.g., AMCOW, AUC) levels.
  • Lead the development of Use Cases to capture user needs (the Use Cases provide a detailed description of user needs and are aligned with key water management decisions which DIWASA products are going to support).
  • In consultation with the DIWASA team, Country Representative, and Water Data Science Strategic Program, develop product specifications to meet the identified end-user and stakeholder needs.
  • Review products developed as per user needs, provide feedback to the DIWASA team to ensure products meet user needs, and vet final products for dissemination.
  • Work closely with end-users in priority countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Zambia) to disseminate the data products and tools, train users to enhance the use of the products in practical applications, and address user feedback on the delivered products.
  • Explore and utilize opportunities for promoting DIWASA products across Africa at national, sub-regional, and continental levels.
  • Develop concept notes and initiate fundraising to expand DIWASA activities.
  • Author/co-author publications, blogs, and other write-ups to share/disseminate DIWASA results.
  • Maintain a timely database of DIWASA products and applications, their status of use by end-users.
  • Keep abreast of advancements in Earth Observation and digital innovation to ensure DIWASA implementation benefits from emerging technologies, where it improves the products to enhance responsiveness to end-user needs.
  • Lead assessment of end-user and stakeholder capacity development needs to ensure effective use of DIWASA products and tools.
  • Provide oversight and support to Pillar 2 lead in the preparation for and organization of capacity development events.
  • Develop a productive working relationship with Digital Earth Africa and oversee the integration of DIWASA products into the DE Africa platform.
  • Provide technical oversight in the establishment and running of user communities.




  • PhD in water resources management, remote sensing, hydroinformatics, hydrology, environmental engineering/science, or a closely related discipline, with strong training in the application of Earth Observation and digital innovation for water resources management.
  • Minimum of 5 years of post-doctoral work experience in various geographies, including at least 05 years of demonstrated experience in technically leading/managing projects aimed at enhancing the application of Earth Observation data for water resources management as a core objective.
  • At least 05 years of hands-on experience in developing and applying analytical tools for water resources management across different scales.
  • Hands-on exposure in applying Earth observation across scales to address challenges in water management, agriculture, or climate change.
  • Demonstrable track record of managing complex multi-country projects.
  • Experience in addressing water management challenges in Africa.
  • Experience preparing scientific information and papers.
  • Proven experience in building and sustaining relationships with diverse stakeholders.


  • Demonstrable experience of satellite image processing and analysis for environmental applications.
  • Qualification in Project Management (e.g. PMP, PRINCE2 or similar) and/or substantial, successful project management experience.



  • A problem-solving mindset and great organizational capacity across multiple projects and geographies.
  • The ability to effectively establish priorities and plan, organize, implement, and monitor work activities with limited supervision.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with people in a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment, with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Demonstrable proficiency in scientific programming in one or more languages (e.g., Python, R) with the ability to quickly learn new technical skills.
  • Demonstrated skills in employing facilitation methods for participatory decisions and shared visions with stakeholders.
  • Ability to deal with sensitive and confidential information in a professional manner.
  • Personal attributes include high standards of conduct, respect, flexibility, and a sound work ethic.
  • Excellent oral and written language skills in English, including effective listening and strong verbal and written communication abilities.


  • Proficiency in French will be considered an asset.


What we are offering:

This is an internationally recruited position with a competitive salary, an attractive retirement plan, comprehensive international health insurance, life insurance accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, and long-term disability coverage. Internationally recruited staff who are employed at a duty station outside of their home base/country of nationality will also receive relocation assistance, a housing allowance, home-leave plane tickets for self and eligible dependents and education assistance for eligible dependents. The duration of the contract will initially be for a period of three years.

HOW TO APPLY: Apply for the position by following the application instructions at We will be accepting applications through 24:00 (IST) on April 23, 2024 (applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis). Your application must include a CV, cover letter, and three (3) references, which may be contacted if you are shortlisted. Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

IWMI believes that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. We offer a multi-cultural, multi-color, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary working environment. We are consciously creating an inclusive organization that reflects our global character and our commitment to gender equity. We, therefore, encourage applicants from all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, and gender identities.

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