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Senior Program Officer, Reinvent the Toilet - Industry Development Specialist

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Johannesburg, South Africa
Posted on Saturday, October 28, 2023

The Foundation

We are the largest nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Founded on a simple premise: people everywhere, regardless of identity or circumstances, should have the chance to live healthy, productive lives. We believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve. We provide an exceptional benefits package to employees and their families which include comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage with no premiums, generous paid time off, paid family leave, foundation-paid retirement contribution, regional holidays, and opportunities to engage in several employee communities. As a workplace, we’re committed to creating an environment for you to thrive both personally and professionally.

The Team

The Africa Team works to enable the Foundation’s ambitious goals of scaling evidence-based interventions that target a range of disease and socio-economic conditions which are endemic across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Specifically, the focus of the Africa Team is to enable collective impact for the Foundation in Africa by influencing policy and finance towards key development priorities, strengthening capacity, and enabling systems for delivery, and innovating and using cross-cutting enablers for impact at scale. The team performs its responsibility through direct country engagement to deploy interventions and delivery models, and by building the partner architecture to replicate successful interventions and models across multiple countries.

Application Deadline: 30 November 2023

Your Role

As Senior Program Officer (SPO) Reinvented toilet Industry Development specialist, South Africa, you will lead the WSH Program’s efforts to launch a brand-new non-sewered sanitation industry in Southern Africa, with emphasis in South Africa. The ideal candidate will work from the Gates Foundation South Africa Regional Office in Johannesburg.

Your focus will be to identify and understand the needs of early adopters and potential customers (users, service providers and other buyers) of ”reinvented toilets” (i.e. sanitation systems conforming to ISO 30500 and ISO 31800) and orchestrate the market architecture required to deploy these technologies in South Africa and the surrounding region. You will be partnering and collaborating directly with commercial partners (i.e. those manufacturing, distributing or servicing the Reinvented Toilets), financiers, government regulators & policy makers, development partners and Gates Foundation colleagues to build market structures that will accelerate the growth of a brand-new sanitation industry. You will coordinate the South Africa strategy execution with colleagues leading the global industry development efforts and commercial partner recruitment, using a common framework for strategy formulation and strategy execution.

The charitable goals of our program depend on the development of this new industry, and on these new markets being sustainably profitable for our commercial partners. The imperative for growing these markets comes from the urgency of reducing the rates of death and disease, in these regions, due to poor sanitation. Your success in this role will contribute to saving and improving many millions of lives.

You are confident working with business executives and senior local and national government officials and promoting the adoption of new policies, regulations, and technologies. Your role will be critical in analyzing the market landscape; understanding and influencing emerging policies, regulations, and procurement trends; designing go-to-market strategies; and identifying bottlenecks and barriers that inhibit customer adoption of innovative sanitation technologies and building climate resilient sanitation service provision, inclusive of communities leaving in informal settlements of affected by climate change manifestations.

You will report to the Deputy Director - Southern Africa and have a dotted line to the Deputy Director who leads the Transformative Technology Commercialization initiative of the Water and sanitation Program. You will regularly consult with the global leads for RT industry development, and Industry liaisons, and technology transition for coordination on strategy formulation and execution.

What You’ll Do

  • Work with industry partners to design and implement go-to-market structures and strategies that enable the development of reinvented toilets and the non-sewered sanitation industry in South Africa. Identify funding opportunities and collaborate with partners to deliver on goals set by the WSH program in collaboration with the Emergency Relief initiative and the South Africa Regional Office.

  • Provide strategic insight on market dynamics & segmentation (incl. sizing, trends, and likelihood to be early adopters) to WSH leadership, and to commercial and business partners.

  • Coordinate with business partners and government on approaches and processes to influence policies, standards, and regulations; taxes and other financial drivers to promote adoption and successful commercialization of sanitation innovation and climate resilient service delivery.

  • Lead market and pricing studies, and value proposition analysis; Lead insightful research to bring the voice of the customers to commercial partners and technology developers.

  • Partner with commercial/industry partners and government for product rollouts and launch reference projects demonstrating inclusive and climate-resilient service delivery in early adopter market segments.

  • Identify and document incentives and disincentives specific to each early adopter market, and any other barriers to market development, and propose strategies and mechanisms to accelerate the adoption and commercialization of innovative sanitation solutions.

  • Advise commercial partners on their own go-to-market plans for these markets.

  • Drive strategy, program planning, and execution in coordination with cross-functional partners and stakeholders.

  • Hire and lead a multi-national team of consultants, as appropriate, to lead market development activities in their respective markets.

  • Coordinate country execution plans with other WSH colleagues

Your Experience

  • Strong command of strategy formulation, and strategy execution

  • Intimate experience in successfully launching a new product category or significant innovation into one or more emerging markets.

  • Strong organizational skills, ability to collaborate cross-functionally, and willingness to span from strategy to detailed execution.

  • Must have 10+ years in go-to-market strategy and/or product marketing.

  • Must be a strong project manager.

  • Comfortable with role ambiguity, working in a fast-paced environment, and navigating large organizations.

  • Must have excellent verbal and written communication (in English), presentation, and analytic skills.

  • Excellent collaborator/great teammate.

  • Strong systems thinker

  • Confident and comfortable working with senior leaders and cross-functional partners to drive alignment and execution.

  • Data-driven, customer-focused, naturally curious, and able to work collaboratively across functions.

  • Comfortable in a wide range of cultural, geographic, and operational situations, demonstrating culturally sensitive behavior with a diverse range of people.

Other attributes

  • Ability to work with flexibility and a high level of rigor, collaboration, and diplomacy, both individually and as part of a complex team effort.

  • High standards of personal integrity.

  • Willingness to travel up to 30% of the time when health and safety protocols allow.

*Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.

Hiring Requirements

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Candidate Accommodations

If you require assistance due to a disability in the application or recruitment process, please submit a request here.

Inclusion Statement

We are dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We strive for a global and cultural workplace that supports ever greater diversity, equity, and inclusion — of voices, ideas, and approaches — and we support this diversity through all our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve our mission will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to race, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and prior protected activity.