What can I help you with?
I am fully competent in writing up WASH interventions to disseminate across the sector. In Zimbabwe, I undertook a fact-finding mission on the real-time national WASH monitoring system supported by UNICEF. I was interviewing government staff at national and sub-national levels, community health workers and community leaders, along with multiple site visits to peri-urban and rural areas.
I have extensive experience in podcasting. I have delivered multiple workshops to train non-profit teams in strategy, planning and execution to ensure the highest quality audio product is delivered on a routine basis. This is delivered through my podcast agency which is active in producing podcasts for numerous clients.
I have experience in conducting desk and field-based market-analysis for clients. For a UNICEF contract, I was responsible for extensive data collection activities (focus groups, interviews, observations, household surveys) in rural Kenya and comprehensive report writing.
I have extensive experience in evaluating WASH programmes. In Mozambique, I designed and delivered a multi-city evaluation of a 7-year urban sanitation intervention, interviewing government staff at national, district and municipal levels, business owners and community leaders. The consultancy required two trips to Mozambique, coordination with implementation teams and extensive report writing.
Training & Education
I have created online and in-person workshops for my clients as well as for my own business. For UNICEF, I worked with WHO colleagues to design and deliver three 2hr virtual workshop sessions with staff from 72 countries on safely managed sanitation. This included preparing scripts for all speakers, writing notes for moderators and testing slides to ensure maximum understanding.
Utility Innovation / Design Thinking
I have experience leading teams from water and sanitation utilities in Kenya and Zambia on innovation projects aimed at rolling out faecal sludge managed services. I was in a team to design an aspirational sanitation service for low-income areas of Kumasi, Ghana and a water business in Kenya. All involved consumer research, ideation, prototype and testing, and constant iteration, with constant engagement and consultation with government stakeholders.
2017 – present
I have undertaken a range of assignments for clients such as Unilever, UNICEF, IRC and Grand Challenges Canada. The ‘What can I help you with?” section above gives a sample of my work.
Deputy CEO at Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP)
2009 – 2015
I set up and recruited a new team in Nairobi to create new business models in water and sanitation services. I worked with IDEO.org and Unilever to create Clean Team, a sanitation social enterprise in Ghana. I was Chief of Party for the USAID-funded African Cities for the Future program in 5 countries.
Research at Cranfield University
2004 – 2005
Assisted Dr Richard Franceys with a DFID Knowledge & Research grant into service and pricing differentiation in water utility PPPs across Africa and Asia with a focus on the poor. I analysed numerous PPP contracts on specific clauses related to serving low-income areas.
Deputy Director at Evidence Action
2015 – 2017
I led strategy, financing and fundraising for the at-scale Dispensers for Safe programme serving over 4.5M people across Kenya, Uganda and Malawi. This included running the carbon crediting process with South Pole Group.
Team Leader at Halcrow Group Ltd
2005 – 2009
I project managed the design and construction of a number of infrastructure projects across the UK for the UK’s Environment Agency. These included a £5M tidal lock project in Lincoln, the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, and the River Nene Flood Risk Management Scheme.
Field Engineer at COMENSA
2003 – 2004
I worked with a team of local masons to design and build water supply schemes and construct school handwashing facilities for urban and rural communities across Guatemala.
Education & Qualifications
- Chartered Civil Engineer (CEng) 2008
- Member Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) 2008
- Cranfield University (MSc) 2003
- Exeter University (MEng) 1998
Read below for my resume in story form
After graduating with an MEng in Civil Engineering from Exeter University, and travelling around South East Asia for 12 months, my career began in London in 1999 with structural engineers Whitby & Bird. As someone always seeking creative outlets for my work, I ditched the calculator and moved into the exciting internet revolution, working as a project manager for a marketing agency building e-commerce solutions for DHL, Vodafone, Comet and As Seen On Screen (ASOS).
In 2002 I decided I didn’t want to be building websites in my career but wanted something more fulfilling. One thing that I kept coming back to was the lack of water and sanitation services I’d seen on my travels. So I went off to study water, sanitation, and hygiene at Cranfield University. My thesis with Dr Richard Franceys asked how economic regulation of privatised water utilities could benefit the poor. And so began my fascination with urban water and sanitation services delivered by the private sector.
The year following Cranfield was an adventure in Guatemala designing and building rural water supply schemes and managing the construction of school handwashing stations. I kept a blog to document my experiences, sadly now lost, but it taught me that keeping a personal blog is a great way to reflect on my experiences and solidify my learning. Not only did I become fluent in Spanish in Guatemala, but I also met my now wife, Rebecca, on a chicken bus. We climbed the Santa Maria volcano under a full moon soon after—and the rest is history.
Back in the UK, I married la chica del autobus, started a family and began training as a consulting engineer with the global engineering firm Halcrow. It was a supportive and structured environment for me to learn the skills that I’ve carried through my career, such as client relationships, public consultations, risk management, financial management, contract management and health & safety.
In 2009, I had the opportunity with Halcrow to move to Bangalore, India on secondment with WSUP working on urban WASH again. There I worked with the local team to manage a large water and sanitation upgrade project for several slums.
I returned from India to work with WSUP in London, managing a USAID-funded urban WASH project in 6 cities in Africa. The African Cities for the Future project touched on all aspects needed to improve service delivery for low-income groups, including:
- improving coordination between government ministries, departments and agencies responsible for WASH service delivery, as well as the private sector, civil society and households;
- providing specific technical support to utilities and government departments;
- constructing appropriate water and sanitation infrastructure for people living in low-income areas;
- financial analysis of water and sanitation systems for people in low-income areas to ensure they’re affordable and sustainable;
- the analysis and write up of our activities to share with other organisations around the world;
- and to explicitly address women’s needs to improve their lives.
At WSUP I was inspired by the delivery of water and sanitation services through the private sector compared to the slow change of institutions. So much so, I was introduced to someone at Unilever through a mutual friend to discuss my ideas. We conceived the idea of a portable toilet with a strong brand and high-quality service, as a way of providing sanitation to homes on low variable incomes. We embarked on a pilot in Ghana with design firm IDEO and Clean Team was born—a social enterprise that sought social impact above profits.
After moving to Kenya in 2013 to build WSUP Enterprises—a specialised business unit I conceived that would support early-stage water and sanitation enterprises—I recruited a team of design thinkers, analysts and project managers to realise my vision. It was my first management role and I learnt a lot about internal stakeholder management. We explored a business response to the water and sanitation crisis in Bangladesh, Kenya, Zambia and Ghana, and built an SME investment fund for supporting bankable water and sanitation projects in Kenya.
I moved to Evidence Action in 2015 to lead their Dispensers for Safe Water programme. I was responsible for ensuring over 45,000 community chlorine dispensers were operational and being used, benefitting over 4.5 million people. It brought the need for evidence and efficacy in development interventions into sharp focus for me. I worked with economists to compare the effectiveness of our programme with bed-net distribution or cash transfers to ensure donors get the biggest bang for the donated dollars.
In 2017 I started the Finding Impact podcast to continue exploring the world of social entrepreneurship and how it was attracting more and more non-grant capital. I explored the most common financial and human resource challenges faced by high-growth social enterprises by interviewing over 100 guests on the show. I created a volunteer programme to spread the workload for creating the episodes and had the privilege of working with some incredibly smart and generous people.
I struck out on my own as an independent consultant in 2017 still based in Kenya, working with the likes of IRC, AECOM, Whitten Roy & Partners, UNICEF and Unilever. I have conducted desk research, market research, undertaken evaluations, designed and delivered workshops and training programmes, written learning reports and mentored entrepreneurs.