Director of Engineering Operations

at LifeWater International
Location Hawassa, Ethiopia
Date Posted August 30, 2020
Category Engineering
Job Type Full-time
Currency ETB



As a part of the Vision of a Healthy Village (VHV) program, the WASH Construction Engineer is responsible for ensuring the highest technical standards for all WASH hardware in communities, health facilities and schools– in the assessment, construction and monitoring of water systems and latrines. They do this through supervising and providing oversight of construction, ensuring water quality is tested and potable, and documenting all processes through Lifewater’s AKVO system. They are responsible to follow Lifewater’s ‘software first’ approach by following planned program timelines and supporting Water Committees and community involvement before and during construction as appropriate.


Representation (5%)

Attend and represent the organization at coordination meetings which are relevant to country operations activities, including government and sector meetings. Network and liaise with other NGOs, government, other donors to learn and share information on design, construction of water, sanitation and hygiene scheme components with HQ WASH Engineer(s). Contribute to the creation of a positive image and overall credibility of the organization, notably through the application of the organization’s Code of Conduct, ethics, values and stand-point with regard to internal and external actors.

Day-to-Day Engineering Management and Leadership for Programs (50%)

The purpose of this position is to ensure the most strategic and highest quality construction of WASH hardware in all operational Districts of Lifewater; this is the foundation for both reaching basic water access in each program area and creating sustainable water delivery. You will do this by leading all hardware planning, construction, logistical movement, monitoring, and evaluation activities – both by distance and through regular field visits to each program.

  • To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to implement each essential function as described below. These functions are done in close coordination with field team, CO and HQ.
  • Lead Program Engineering teams in planning hardware, selecting the most appropriate solutions in each situation in-line with both Lifewater and government standards. Coach and mentor Lifewater's Water Planning and Design Engineers as well as Construction Engineers in successfully implementing planned work- including spearheading how the engineers use both regionally shared resources and program-specific resources in a strategic way for maximum output, developing bills of quantities, scheduling work to meet agreed timelines, managing contractors, safety, performing good site/design assessments, and upholding standards.
  • Develop processes and tools for reporting, construction management, design guides, and planning guides relevant to the context of Ethiopia and train the engineers in using them
  • Lead hardware construction by proactively leading the development of work schedules for all construction activities from identifying contractors to procuring materials to construction oversight to completion and the timely submission of appropriate reports and Akvo forms.
  • Provide oversight of hardware activities including well drilling, spring protection, school rain tanks, and school latrines. This is done through regular site visits, regular support meetings with Program Engineers, and regular review of completed hardware and associated data submitted.
  • Review, approve, and monitor construction contracts for hardware installations (both of companies and of local labor).
  • Support field staff in using Lifewater’s water quality test kit, including use of Akvo Caddisfly, for all hardware constructed or rehabilitated by Lifewater.
  • Work closely with Program Managers to facilitate the VHV program, making sure that the hardware components are aligned with the full program, and that important timing such as training water committees and school O&M training is completed at the correct time.

Support Drilling Management (20%)

  • Proactively oversee management of Lifewater drilling operations
  • Support Drilling Manager in creating and managing a detailed schedule for each drilling season, including assessment, logistics, staffing, that considers the needs of all Lifewater programs.
  • Coordinate procurement activities with Procurement Officer in advance of drilling and hardware construction, effectively eliminating downtime during hardware construction as well as the drilling season.
  • Ensure timely reporting of drilling operations

Technical Quality and Capacity Building (20%)

  • Serve as the Subject Matter Expert for Engineering and Drilling in Ethiopia, including evaluating effectiveness of hardware installations and reflective practice and learning events by Engineering program staffs.
  • Lead in updating and drafting hardware drawings and associated BoQs.
  • Support and lead, as appropriate, specific trainings for Engineering staff such as Water Quality Training, Construction Management Training, Akvo forms, etc.
  • Make necessary arrangements for trainings to be conducted by LI HQ in Ethiopia.

Proactive Compliance (5%)

  • Ensure the effective and efficient use of financial and material resources within the policies and procedures of Lifewater International - Ethiopia.
  • Ensure all government standards and reporting requirements for hardware construction are met
  • In conjunction with CD, DPO, and RPMs, support teams in project design, budgeting, developing concept notes, ensuring that projects meet government, and donor planning, programming, monitoring, reporting and financial requirements, including program quality standards.

TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT:      One-year contract with possibility of extension and probation period of 60 working days.

Job Requirements


  • Post graduate degree in Water Engineering, Civil Engineering, Hydrogeology, or related Engineering field. Additional training in Water quality testing, drilling, preferred but not required
  • 8-10 yrs of progressively responsible operations management experience, in a WASH National/International NGO setting, including Senior, Country-level positions and with experience with Subject Matter Technicians
  • Strong ICT skills especially Microsoft Office applications and other engineering software such as Water Cad, AUTO CAD, GIS, etc.
  • Competence in writing high quality reports, exhibiting detailed and professional attributes
  • Analytical skills and decision-making abilities even in complex and sensitive situations
  • At least 3 years of experience in delivering rural safe water solutions, including previous experience in WASH construction works, planning and budgeting, supervision. Experience with boreholes, rainwater harvesting systems, gravity and on spot springs construction, and school latrines is required. NGO and leadership experience is preferred 


  • Commitment to the mission, vision, and core values of Lifewater International
  • Flexible and adaptable to changing environments
  • Honest and dependable in all areas, including finances
  • Strong desire to live in and serve rural communities
  • Ability to speak local languages
  • Motorcycle driving licence as advantage

Applying Instructions

Candidates who fulfill all the requirements are invited to submit their CV, copies of relevant credentials and application letter to: within 10 consecutive days of this announcement. The position is open for both internal and external applicants.

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