Field Assistants - Aquaya Institute

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Field Assistants - Aquaya Institute

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The Aquaya Institute (Aquaya) is a non-profit research and consulting organization dedicated to expanding safe water and sanitation access in developing countries through science and innovation. Supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the five-year (2021-2026) Hilton Foundation Africa Water Quality Testing Fellowship Program aims, among other things, to collect water quality monitoring data from households, schools, and healthcare facilities in seven focal districts throughout Ethiopia, Ghana, and Uganda.

This will provide a strong evidence base and inform strategies for water quality improvement interventions.

Job Description

In early 2023, Aquaya will conduct a cross-sectional survey and water quality analysis in the Asutifi North district, Ghana. The activity is set to take three weeks and will measure:

  • E. coli and free chlorine residual concentrations in household drinking water samples.
  • E. coli and physical-chemical parameters from drinking water sources in 24 communities, 50 schools, and 8 healthcare facilities.



Research assistants will conduct surveys and test physical-chemical parameters on site, while a separate team of lab assistants will test E. coli in a temporary field lab daily upon delivery of samples.

  • Positions: Two (2)
  • Job Period: 3 weeks


The research assistants will report to Aquaya’s Program Officer for the duration of the data collection. Quality control checks will be conducted by both Aquaya’s Program Officer and Program Assistant throughout the data collection to ensure high-quality work.

Research Assistant Primary Responsibilities

  • Train with Aquaya’s Program Officer and Program Assistant on the research protocol, locating households, asking survey questions, collecting samples, and conducting physical-chemical water quality tests. The training will be held the week of February 13th, 2023.
  • Travel to the study areas and locate sites for data collection (households, water points, and/or institutions) according to the study protocol.
  • Collect survey responses at study locations (households, water points, and/or water points) in a mobile data collection tool, obtaining informed consent where required.
  • Perform physical-chemical testing on-site at water points. This may include measurements of pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, and free chlorine residual.
  • Collect and transport water samples from households and communities to the field lab for microbial analysis.
  • Throughout data collection, ensure that testing equipment and data collection devices are well maintained.
  • Participate in quality assurance procedures.
  • Assist with calibrating field equipment, as needed.
  • Assist with other tasks related to the fieldwork that may be assigned by the Aquaya staff.



Required Skills or Experience

  • Experience with field data collection using digital applications
  • Working knowledge of ethics for conducting human subjects research
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent record keeping
  • Strong communication skills in English and Twi
  • Punctuality
  • Ability to work independently and in a team
  • Experience with microbial and/or physical-chemical water quality testing
  • Working knowledge of using GPS apps to locate places

Being a field-based activity, it is expected that the research assistants will navigate field situations and difficulties such as long walks, difficult terrain, and changing weather, among others, where field transport means may not be able to reach.


  • The research assistants will be paid at a competitive daily rate and a per diem for days worked.
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