Innovator and business developer rural drinking water

Practica Foundation
Papendrecht, Netherlands
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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PRACTICA foundation; the organisation

PRACTICA Foundation works on local business development with low-cost water, energy and sanitation technologies. We develop and select affordable technologies with a high potential to improve the livelihoods of people in developing countries and make sure that these technologies are made available locally. To establish sustainable supply chains we support local enterprises to manufacture, import, operate or sell the innovative technologies. We strengthen their technical and business skills and link them to suppliers, customers and supporting organisations.

Focal themes of PRACTICA are sustainable rural water supply, farmer-led irrigation, Faecal Sludge Management and groundwater development. Services provided include assessments and feasibility studies, research and development in our workshop in Papendrecht as well as in the field, project design, training and capacity building and technical support.

The vacancy

PRACTICA Foundation is looking for an enthusiastic colleague who can contribute to innovation and transformation in the rural water sector: We see serious challenges with the sustainability of rural water supply, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our approach to challenge this, is in improving the business case of rural water. This includes reducing investment costs and operational costs while at the same time improving service levels and introducing smart ways for water fee collection. We see an increasingly important role for small local entrepreneurs to take the role as water service provider and take responsibility for service delivery. To facilitate this shift, PRACTICA is working on both the technology and hardware package as well as the business, finance and social models that are required to ensure the affordable and sustainable rural water supply transition.

For the rural drinking water subject, we are looking for a vibrant person with a background in the WASH sector (preferably in Africa) and knowledge and experience on business (case) development and financial models. Contributing to the rural water theme, you are a networking star who is able to connect with stakeholders from public and private sectors, non-governmental and knowledge institutes and to attract new projects, confident with acquisition and presenting and, skilled in writing proposals for various audiences. You play an important role in planning and executing the strategy of the rural drinking water theme and you manage, facilitate and implement projects that focus on drinking water. Projects can range from pilots to research and training projects and require regular travel to African or Asian counties. Ideally, the candidate has experience with scaling-up projects into sustainable business initiatives.

Your work

The exact content of your work will depend on the opportunities that arise, but it will definitely include a mix of coordinating, networking, acquisition and project management.

Acquisition activities include:
- Project proposal development, promotion and acquisition with our partners in the Netherlands and in focal countries in Africa.
- Representation of PRACTICA on national and international events

Project activities include:
- Project planning, (financial) management, monitoring, reporting and evaluation
- Project communication with project partners in the Netherlands and abroad
- (Assist in) project execution in the field, including (overseeing) the technical installation and commissioning of (pilot) water systems including technical monitoring and trouble shooting

Concept & Business model development activities include:
- Continued integration of the different technologies and concepts into viable business models for rural water supply. Depending on local needs, this can include business models for stand-alone pre-paid handpumps or solar mini grids, combinations of those two systems or national or international franchise models for rural water entrepreneurs.
- Continued development of the concepts toward practical toolkits that can be utilized in sector capacity building programs including business support and management tools (software, Excel, smartphone applications) for operation and management of rural water supply systems.

Research &Development activities include:
- Continue (coordination of) development of the current products for sustainable rural water supply like our modular micro grid concept towards mature products.

Our requirements & Wish list

- Master’s degree in Drinking Water, rural or international development, water management or social sciences. Or any other Master’s degree if you can convince us it is relevant for the position.

- Minimum of 5 years relevant professional work experience;
- Experience working in Africa in the rural water sector;
- Experience with business development and finance models;

- You are able to understand the needs of the water users living in rural areas in developing countries and have up-to-date knowledge about the rural drinking water sector globally. You can translate this into viable water business models.
- You can develop concepts and ideas into a convincing product including the required business plans and have experience in writing realistic and convincing (winning!) proposals to attract funding for your ideas
- You are a team player with eye for detail. You have a good overview of what needs to be done and are able to manage an interdisciplinary team, including our technical experts, to come to quick results;
- You have the drive to jointly build the capacity and identity of PRACTICA and present that at national and international events

Skills and languages:
- Excellent communication and writing skills;
- You need to be fluent in English
- You preferably have an advanced level in Dutch, especially in speaking and reading to be able to work within the setting of our Dutch network
- Proficiency in French is a big advantage as a major part of our work is in West Africa

- You are an innovator with a cheerful character and a good sense of humour. You see opportunities where others don’t and you are able to enthuse others about your ideas.
- You are willing to travel to Africa and Asia for missions of a maximum of 4 weeks each, up to 25% of your time

Practicalities and compensation

You will fill a maternity leave position from the period between April to September 2019. Your contract ideally starts in March for a total of 6 months. During this time, you will get the full opportunity to make yourself indispensable and secure a long-term contract. Successful acquisition of new projects will be a precondition for this.

PRACTICA can offer an inspiring, flexible and international working environment in a highly motivated team of professionals as well as a market-conform salary and pension compensation.

How to apply?

If you are interested in the position, we invite you to send a motivation letter with CV to

For more information, please contact Marije van den Broek at the PRACTICA office number +31786150125 or at