Instructional Designer

from Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology
Closing date: 28 Aug 2017

Do you love to create education tools that result in people taking action in water, sanitation and hygiene? CAWST is not like other organizations, and this position is not like others. We are looking for an individual with a unique combination of skills, experience and interests including instructional design (online and face-to-face), water and sanitation, and international development. You believe that everybody can learn, and you love training and supporting others to build their WASH knowledge and skills. You employ a variety of methods to build people’s capacity, you are enterprising, resourceful, and highly motivated. You have an insatiable curiosity and are deeply committed to applying your skills and experience to making the world a better place.

The Position: Instructional Designer

Reports to: Director of Education Program Development

Type: Full time, permanent

Location: The position is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Some travel is required.

Position start date: As soon as possible

Application Due Date: August 28, 2017

Position Summary

The Instructional Designer is part of CAWST’s Education Program Development team. This position develops online and face-to-face training programs to build skills and knowledge of WASH practitioners to start, strengthen and grow their WASH programs. The Instructional Designer trains and supports CAWST staff, our WET Centre partners, and clients to deliver training, and to customize and develop educational materials.

The Instructional Designer leads CAWST’s initiatives on the innovative use of information, communication technology for education. This includes the development of CAWST’s online training strategy, and the creation of online courses and digital learning assets.

The Instructional Designer works closely with all CAWST departments, and in particular in cross-departmental regional teams with Research Learning and Training and Consulting teams.

Specific Areas of Responsibilities

1. Education Program Development (~55% of the time)

  • Develop online and face-to-face training programs, for effective knowledge transfer that results in action leading to safe water and sanitation.
  • Adapt CAWST’s existing workshops and resources for online delivery or a blended learning approach.
  • Develop digital tools suitable for clients in low-income countries.
  • Improve and maintain CAWST’s existing suite of education and training materials (e.g., Household Water Treatment, Sanitation, and Community WASH Promotion).
  • Ensure that the contents of CAWST’s workshops and materials are up-to-date.
  • Coordinate and supervise staff, contractors, and volunteers who contribute to the development of materials.

2. Training (~30% of the time)

  • Train partners, clients and staff using a variety of methods including workshops, mentoring, peer support, and apprenticeship to effectively:

  • deliver workshops on water, sanitation and hygiene topics

  • design workshops on water, sanitation and hygiene topics

  • adapt or customize content for a specific client context

  • Support CAWST staff to effectively deliver online and face-to-face training in water, sanitation and hygiene.

  • Contribute to the delivery of our semi-annual Learning Exchanges to support professional development, knowledge sharing and feedback within CAWST and client networks.

  • Prepare and deliver webinars, online courses and training workshops, primarily for testing new or updated materials and collecting feedback. Potential for international travel.

3. Operations Planning and Reporting (~10% of the time)

  • Develop and execute strategies and plans to develop leading, water, sanitation and hygiene education and training programs.
  • Understand and contribute as appropriate to CAWST’s operations and business services cycle (e.g., department operations planning, monthly operations reports, budget reconciliations, timesheets, and trip reports).

4. Business Development (~5% of the time)

  • Market our Education Program Development services to current and potential clients.
  • Engage and sustain credibility with partners, clients and potential clients to promote CAWST’s professionalism and services.
  • Assist with proposal writing, fund development, donor reporting and public campaigns, as required.

Any other duties and responsibilities as directed by the Director of Education Program Development or designate.

The ideal candidate will have a proven track-record of designing online courses for adults, with a focus on content for global audiences, as well as extensive experience developing and delivering face-to-face and online workshops or courses for participants from low-income countries.


  • A bachelor’s or graduate degree in instructional design, education, instructional technology, adult education or equivalent.
  • Preference given to those with a second degree, diploma or equivalent training in environmental education, engineering, science, public health, or international aid and development.
  • Certified Training and Development Practitioner (CTDP) designation would be an asset.


  • Experience designing, developing, delivering, and evaluating participatory adult learning workshops or courses (minimum seven years).
  • Tested experience developing online courses and creating digital learning tools (minimum three years).
  • Up-to-date experience with multimedia learning technologies, learning management software systems (e.g., Moodle, Blackboard) and training design and development tools such as Articulate Storyline.
  • Experience designing and delivering face-to-face and online training for participants in low-income countries with variable internet access (one to two years).
  • Experience working in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector in low-income countries would be an asset.
  • Proficient in MS Office (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

Equivalent combinations of education and experience may be considered.

Skills and Attributes

  • Passionate about safe water and sanitation.
  • Able to illustrate complex ideas in simple ways.
  • Analytical, creative, and motivated.
  • Demonstrates excellent communications in English, written and verbal, with the ability to target different and cross-cultural audiences.
  • Strong written and verbal communication in Spanish would be an asset.
  • Able to think creatively about challenges, resolve issues, and seek support when necessary.
  • Enjoys working in a dynamic, diverse and vibrant environment.
  • Innovative and open to change.
  • Balances and manages own workload according to established business priorities and timelines.
  • Professional and diplomatic approach; works well independently, within teams, and across teams.
  • Manages all components of a project to completion, with a strong attention to detail.
  • Able to quickly establish credibility with other educators.
  • Committed to professional development and sharing new learning with others.
  • Passion for our cause, and shared values that align with our mission and vision.


Salary will be discussed in the personal interview so please include salary expectations in your cover letter.


You must be legally able to work in Canada.

Organizational Background

CAWST is a Canadian charity that focuses on the principle that clean water changes lives. Safe water and basic sanitation are fundamentals necessary to empower the world’s poorest people and break the cycle of poverty. CAWST believes that the place to start is to teach people the skills they need to have safe water in their homes. We transfer knowledge and skills to organizations and individuals in low- and middle-income countries through education, training and consulting services. This ever-expanding network can motivate individual households to take action to meet their own water and sanitation needs. Since 2001, CAWST’s client network has helped 15.4 million people get better water or sanitation.

The Financial Post newspaper named CAWST one of the Top 25 Charities in Canada in 2015. CAWST was one of only three charities to receive the top “A” rating in 2015. Read the article or see the Charity Intelligence report.

Our vision is a world where people have the opportunity to succeed because their basic water and sanitation needs have been met.

Our mission is to provide technical training and consulting, and to act as a centre of expertise in water and sanitation for the poor in developing countries. CAWST values equitable opportunities, sustainable solutions, and collaborative and inclusive processes. We recognize and accept differences in cultural, religious and political processes.

How to apply:

To Apply

Please apply by sending your cover letter, resume, and completed questionnaire to Review of applications will begin on August 28, 2017 and will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. Please note: Only resumes from candidates eligible to work in Canada will be reviewed; and only those applicants granted an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please.


Please answer all questions to the best of your ability. Be as specific as possible and try to keep each answer under half a page.

  1. What has motivated you to consider working at CAWST?
  2. What excites you most about this particular role at CAWST?
  3. What is your philosophy on education and training? Please support your answer with an example you have of developing and delivering online training, preferably for an audience in a low-income country.
  4. Describe how you would go about developing online training on a technical water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) topic for a non-technical audience in the developing world. Please support with an example from your experience.
  5. What are your long-term career goals and aspirations? Where do you see yourself in five years?