Program/Research Associate Opportunity at Aquaya Institute

Position: Program/Research Associate (Full-time)

Application Deadline: Open

Location: Fort Portal, Uganda

The Aquaya Institute (‘Aquaya’) is a nonprofit research and consulting organization dedicated to advancing global health through universal access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). We deliver critical insights, data, and tools to support informed policy, program, and financing decisions. This knowledge helps secure safe water and sanitation for vulnerable populations, improving human health and well-being.

  • Aquaya’s portfolio spans public health, economics, technology development, and social entrepreneurship in over 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We have published or contributed to over 40 peer-reviewed research articles and produced numerous other reports and publications. Aquaya maintains offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and Accra, Ghana, with staff in Uganda, Ethiopia, the US, France, and Morocco. Many of our projects are carried out with local NGO partners, academics, and international academic research groups.

About the Program/Research Associate Role:

We are recruiting a full-time position (40 hours/week) based in Fort Portal, Uganda. The Program/Research Associate will support Aquaya’s work on two projects: WaterTRACS and VLSAs and will report to the Senior Program Officer.

Aquaya’s WaterTRACS program focuses on three key areas: monitoring water quality, conducting research to translate data into action, and strengthening the capacity of water sector stakeholders. Through these activities, WaterTRACS aims to address the pressing needs of water quality management.

Aquaya’s Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) program evaluates the impact of VSLAs on payments for handpump maintenance and community WASH behaviors. The program also supports Kabarole’s Handpump Mechanic Association to become a functional area service provider.

Role and Responsibilities:

  • Oversee program implementation activities:
    • Provide training and follow-up support to VSLAs.
    • Respond to community issues, complaints, or questions regarding project implementation.
    • Conduct regular water quality testing and monitor installed infrastructure.
    • Communicate water quality test results to local stakeholders and community members.
  • Coordinate fieldwork for research programs:
    • Plan, manage, and troubleshoot field logistics including procurement of local supplies and field team transportation.
    • Train data collection teams to adhere to research study protocols, following ethical guidelines.
    • Oversee teams of enumerators and laboratory assistants to collect high-quality survey and water quality data from both urban and rural communities.
  • Conduct qualitative research:
    • Conduct interviews and focus-group discussions or train and oversee others to conduct interviews and focus-group discussions.
    • Clean and manage qualitative data. Record, transcribe, and develop write-ups of qualitative interviews and focus groups.
  • Assist with maintaining local partnerships and relationships:
    • Interface with the District Local Government and other implementing organizations in Uganda.
    • Promote Aquaya when interacting with new connections or connections unaware of Aquaya’s work.
    • Maintain clear communication with direct supervisor and broader team, as needed.

Criteria for the Position:

Necessary Qualifications:

  • An MSc degree in civil and environmental engineering, environmental sciences, or a related field.
  • Demonstrated understanding of water quality testing.
  • Experience collecting field data, working with small water supply systems, or conducting community engagement activities.
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Commitment to living in the Fort Portal, Uganda area on a full-time basis.
  • Eligibility to obtain the legal right to work in Uganda.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Willingness to travel domestically up to 30% of the time.

Desired Skills and Attributes:

  • Previous work experience in rural communities and experience working in collaboration with local government authorities.
  • Interest in conducting research that informs development programming.
  • Strong work ethic and commitment to delivery.
  • Outstanding organization and time management skills, with attention to detail.
  • Ability to work productively in a dispersed team.
  • Language skills in Rutooro or Lango.
  • Proven ability to manage multiple and changing priorities in a dynamic environment.

Compensation and Benefits:

This is a full-time position, with an initial 3-month probationary period. Aquaya offers competitive wages that are commensurate with experience. Benefits include medical and dental insurance, enrollment in a retirement plan, and paid time off.

To Apply:

Please submit your resume via e-mail to along with a thoughtful cover letter. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. There will be an additional screening survey and activity once your resume is received.

In your cover letter, please explain why you are interested in Aquaya’s mission and activities, and tell us why your skills, background, and accomplishments make you the ideal candidate for this position, specifically highlighting your experience.

We will not consider applications without a cover letter. In your e-mail subject line, specify “Program/Research Associate- Uganda 2024”. No phone calls, please.

Aquaya provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Apply Here:

Apply Now


  • Industry: Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
  • Location: Kabarole, Uganda

Join Aquaya and contribute to advancing global health through innovative WASH solutions. We look forward to your application!

AQUAYA – Jobs in Uganda



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