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Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Position Number: 2762528
  • Location: Worcester, MA
  • Position Type: Computer and Information Technology

Program Manager


Social Science & Policy Studies

Worcester Polytechnic Institute - WPI

WPI is searching for a Program Manager-Sanitation Lead for its role and responsibility as technical, a five-year USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) Title II award (2021-2026). The RFSA focuses on implementing the government
Public Safety Net Program (PSNP), building resilience to shocks, enhancing livelihoods and improving food security, health and nutrition for rural households vulnerable to food insecurity. The new RFSA will operate in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia.

Applicants must have demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace and/or commitment to do so as an employee at WPI


The Program Manager (PM), an employee of WPI, is responsible for the day-to-day management of sanitation interventions. The PM also provides strategic vision and technical support across other activities of the key purposes to emphasize collaboration, integration, coordination and learning. The RFSA team leaders are responsible for each purpose and report to the Deputy Chief of Party (DCoP) for programming. The PM will strengthen communication and harmonization of technical approaches across all Purposes Leads and DCoP and potentially with other USAID-funded activities with geographic and technical overlap. The PM will lead the development of annual work plans, strategic plans, and donor reports, while also maintaining systems to track program quality. The PM will also lead the development of a strong Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning (MEAL) systems for monitoring program implementation and ensures that data is analyzed and used for decision making that strengthens sanitation results. The PM will provide strong support to MEAL initiatives including assessments, studies, barrier analyses and beneficiary accountability. The PM will also ensure appropriate support to implementing partners and other consortium members according to identified needs and in collaboration with CRS. The PM will report to WPI's PI in a timely manner so that we can track and maintain necessary data for reporting to CRS and US AID.

Specific Responsibilities:

Leadership and Representation:

Provide leadership, supervision, and oversight to improve the performance of all sanitation activities, ensuring efficient and effective project implementation including the timely completion of high-quality work plans, accurate reports, and other mandated deliverables. Work with the RFSA COP, DCoP for Programming, DCoP Gender and Youth, DCoP Grants Management and MEAL Manager in preparing project work-plans with clear objectives and achievable benchmarks, reflecting strategic long-term and short-term priorities and program assessments over the life of activity. Maintain clear, regular and effective lines of communication with relevant GoE stakeholders, TVETs, agro-dealers, RFSA clients, implementing partners and other consortium members. Ensure all RFSA sanitation approaches are aligned with the GoE food security and resilience building priorities, plans and policies especially in the upcoming shift from PSNP IV to PSNP V, national GoE sanitation guidelines. Support all related off farm opportunities and social behavior change (SBC) interventions to improve the uptake and sustainability of MicroFlush.

Project Innovation and Organizational Learning

Capitalize on project achievements and with CRS, other technical teams and different consortium members to identify pertinent learning questions for improved program quality. Lead efforts for Collaboration, Layering, and Adaptation (CLA) at senior management level. Regularly review and revise learning agenda. Promote and facilitate innovation through capacity building and motivation of implementing staff. Regularly review the RFSA sanitation strategies to ensure relevance and enhance program impact by suggesting appropriate alternative strategies, improvements and changes. With the MEAL Manager, develop mechanisms, including Quality Improvement. Verification Checklists, for regular feedback on the quality of on the ground support.

Project Implementation and Reporting

Facilitate development of partner annual and quarterly DIPs including budget considerations; participate in monthly DIP reviews at Purpose level to ensure sanitation integration Prepare consistently high-quality reports to CRS by planning with team leaders quarterly and annual program reviews, lead consolidation and production of quarterly, annual, and monthly reports. In consultation with CRS, make efforts and support a strategy to complement services under the RFSA through identifying, leveraging and creating linkages with other projects where appropriate. Help coordinate the organization of sessions to share study results with communities, partners, local development actors, consultants and donor. Support the MEAL Team in conducting data quality assessments. Participate in working group meetings, reviewing agendas for each meeting and supporting technical chairs in following up action items when related to sanitation interventions. Hold regular (bi-weekly) if possible, program team meetings to discuss strategic, implementation and partnership issues. Provide critical feedback and quality control to technical teams and consortium members. Support the team leaders in conducting operational research and evaluative studies. Ensure all final versions of donor reports, trip reports, assessment reports, SoW/ToR are shared, filed and available for reference; conduct periodic checks. Address bottlenecks, communicate security responses/adaptations, identify appropriate programmatic pivots or shifts in consultation with CRS and scale up best practices to achieve high quality program implementation.


Ensure program staff cultivate and support partnerships with Woreda authorities, including Woreda Food Security Task Forces. Coordinate, with CRS technical teams, the training of technical partner staff, TVETs, field agents, agro-dealers and community animators on the use of data collection tools. Accompany partners in project management, quarterly monitoring, annual reviews and integration of activities. Accompany partners in data analysis and the use of data to inform programming activities. Accompany partners in the use of the Indicator Performance Tracking Table (IPTT), Indicator Tracking Table (ITT) and other relevant project documents to enhance sanitation interventions Accompany partners in drafting quarterly and annual reports in a timely manner and according to project requirements. Address capacity issues to strengthen quality of reporting. Accompany partners in establishing and implementing community-based MEAL systems, including community developed indicators. Accompany partners in organizing regular sessions to share project results and outcomes to date with local development actors.

Positioning and Capture Planning
  • Lead positioning efforts (including strategic marketing and communication and cross sector engagement) in priority sectors related to sanitation
  • Lead functional teams to develop and implement robust capture plans to prepare for upcoming strategic funding opportunities.
  • Support WPI senior management's cultivation and strengthening of institutional relationships with donors, partner organizations, and other key stakeholders. Strengthen donor intelligence and market research to identify potential donors and develop marketing strategies to pursue funding from diverse donors (foundations, embassies, corporations, major donors, INGOs, EU, U.N., and multilaterals, funding opportunities).

Pursuing Opportunities
  • Identify and track strategic funding opportunities and maintain opportunity and proposal records up to date
  • Facilitate go/no-go decisions between WPI senior leadership and relevant staff.
  • Support the identification of local and international partners, articulating value-add to applications with WPI's participation
  • Lead and coordinate proposal processes and teams, including consultants, to ensure timely submission of high-quality, donor-responsive proposals that comply with industry standards and best practices.
  • As appropriate, serve as proposal coordinator or other lead role in proposal team. Write or edit technical narratives, produce budgets, and other proposal pieces, as required depending on capacities of proposal development team.
  • Support the identification of and coordination with local and international partners as they relate to business development, such as facilitating teaming agreements and MOUs, negotiating WPI's role in proposal consortia to ensure a competitive position for WPI
  • Work with proposal teams to develop and maintain timelines reflecting respective responsibilities of team members and due dates.

Management, Supervision, Finance and Donor Compliance

Manage all resources associated with project implementation in compliance with CRS and donor policies. Provide daily supervision to all sanitation team members including field technicians Implement a performance management system by organizing coaching and evaluation sessions with supervisees. Assist with the hiring, orientation, and training of key staff to build a technically strong, well supported, motivated team. Provide direction and managerial advice through formal coaching sessions and daily support.

Supervisory Responsibilities: Sanitation Team Members

Key Working Relationships:

Internal to WPI: Principal Investigator, Robert Krueger
External to WPI: Implementing partner managers, CRS RFSA Staff, other consortium member staff, GoE officials, TVETs, agro-dealers, and key community leaders

Personal Skills:
  • Proven leadership skills and ability to build and motivate diverse and talented teams.
  • Cultural sensitivity, patience and flexibility.
  • Demonstrated personal accountability and drive to serve others.
  • Strong organizational and planning skills, detail oriented.
  • Able to prioritize work, multi-task and meet deadlines.
  • Able to analyze problems and design solutions at strategic and functional levels.
  • Maturity and discretion.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

An advanced degree in a relevant field including public health, food security, agriculture, or international development. Minimum 3 years demonstrated experience managing large USG or other similar development projects focused on food security (preferably with experience related to engaging food insecure populations and increasing resilience, preferably Ethiopian with understanding of the Ethiopian context). Experience managing large, complex USG grants; knowledge of relevant rules and regulations. Demonstrated ability to work and coordinate effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders, including national and local government, donors, community-based organizations, and the private sector. Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English. Established experience working with PSNP, and GoE food security entities. Strong understanding of underlying causes of food insecurity in Ethiopia. Experience with USAID project implementation. Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.

This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties and responsibilities associated with the position.

Required Foreign Language: English
Required Travel: Extensive travels to and within Ethiopia, and internationally as required. Work Environment: Mixed (on-site and remote) with regular travel to the field.

About WPI

Worcester Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1865to create and convey the latest science and engineering knowledge in ways that are most beneficial to society. Today, WPI holds firm to its founding mission to provide an education that balances theory with practice.

The university's curriculum features a flexible, rigorous program that is project-based and globally engaged, aimed at quality experience and a positive impact for the communities it partners with. WPI faculty members across four schools work with students on interdisciplinary research seeking solutions to important and socially relevant problems, both on campus and at more than 50 project centers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

Graduate research programs include robotics, materials science, cybersecurity, and learning sciences and technology. WPI invests in research in critical areas, seeking solutions to important and socially relevant problems in such diverse fields as fire protection engineering, life sciences and bioengineering, energy, and data science.

WPI is passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. We are looking for candidates who can support our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

About the Institute of Science and Technology for Development

WPI's Institute of Science and Technology for Development consists of faculty, affiliated scholars, students, and volunteers who are committed to bringing different forms of lead for sanitation in the new RFSA knowledge together to solve some of the world's grand challenges community by community.

Building on WPI's core values, the Institute of Science and Technology for Development's approach is collaborative. We know transformative ideas and solutions come from academic perspectives and from the perspectives of those who live inside a community. Expertise is layered with many kinds of individual experiences. As an integral part of WPI's Global Initiatives and the work of The Global School, the Institute of Science and Technology for Development seeks to advance the ways science and technology can solve pressing global problems from community to the global scales.

To meet these goals, we foster alliances between communities, private sector firms, NGOs, government, and universities from around the world. We collaborate with our community to identify challenges, develop co-produced design solutions, cultivate the necessary resources to sustain these solutions. Education and job training are part of the way we design this work. Whether in North America, sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, or Australasia, our teams of thinkers and doers develop authentic partnerships with communities and other stakeholders to co-create sustainable outcomes.

About The Stephen J Mecca Center for Sustainable Development @ WPI:

In 2021, WPI established the Stephen J Mecca Center (MC@WPI) to continue and improve upon the work of Stephen J Mecca. Over a decade ago, Mecca created GSAP to support sanitation and education work in Ghana and it has amassed experience in 20+ countries to bring low-cost, effective and durable sanitation approaches to mitigate health problems with different donors and types of support. In June 2019, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) partnered with GSAP to implement its MicroFlush technology as part of a comprehensive water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) strategy within its USAID's Development Food Security Activity (DFSA). In parallel, in early 2020, GSAP participated in the design and development of a new proposal to continue and improve upon the success of the current DFSA. This allowed the team to strengthen its relationship with WPI. In August 2021, MC@WPI took over the management and implementation from GSAP as sanitation technical lead for the new Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA) in Ethiopia, which USAID has awarded to CRS as prime.

WPI requires employees to be fully-vaccinated for COVID-19. For additional information on WPI's response to COVID-19, refer to

United States of America (Exempt)

WPI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or disability. We are seeking individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences who will contribute to a culture of creativity and collaboration, inclusion, problem solving and change making.

To apply, visit:

About WPI
WPI is a vibrant, active, and diverse community of extraordinary students, world-renowned faculty, and state of the art research facilities. At WPI, we have competitive and comprehensive benefits, including health insurance, long-term care, retirement, tuition assistance, flexible spending accounts, work-life balance and much more.

Diversity & Inclusion at WPI
WPI is committed to creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and respected; a place where every student, faculty and staff member can be themselves, so that they can study, live, and work comfortably, to reach their full potential, and make meaningful contributions in order to meet departmental and institutional goals. WPI thrives on innovative practice and welcomes diverse perspectives, insight, and people from diverse lived experiences, to enhance the community environment and propel the institution to the next level in a competitive, global marketplace.

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