Skip to content Skip to navigation

Systems Tools for Assessment and Response Training


We’re looking for strategic thinkers and creative facilitators

Stanford University’s Program on Water, Health & Development (WHD) is looking to invite up to 12 consultants with facilitation backgrounds from Ghana, Ethiopia, and Uganda, to participate in a comprehensive training, Getting to the Source: Systems Tools for Assessment and Response (STAR). The STAR framework is a powerful approach for identifying and resolving the root cause of a problem. This training develops skills and provides materials that can be used when working with public, private, and non-profit clients. 

Participation in the training is subsidized through the generous support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Safe Water Strategy. During the STAR training process, facilitators gain experience working with the Foundation’s Water Strategy partner organizations. 

What to expect

Throughout the STAR training, participants can expect a highly interactive format with significant time to learn and practice STAR skills. The training requires an estimated 110-hour commitment over a 6-month period, and is delivered in three phases:  

  • In the Exposure Phase, trainees engage as participants in a six-week STAR course led by WHD facilitators, which involves six three-hour sessions, with additional time for peer coaching sessions and homework assignments. (estimated time commitment: 30 hours)

  • In the Experience Phase, trainees participate as support facilitators in three-week workshops with local government representatives. They co-facilitate discussions with active support from Stanford’s WHD team. (estimated time commitment: 40 hours) 

  • In the Application Phase, trainees apply the STAR framework independently in a workshop or coaching environment with clients, with more limited coaching support. (estimated time commitment: 40 hours

The initial course starts at the beginning of June, exact dates TBD. Trainees are expected to complete the full training program, and will be compensated at the end of each phase for their contributions on a graduated basis, with a total possible compensation of up to US$5,000. Trainees who successfully complete all three phases will also receive a certificate of completion from Stanford’s Program on Water, Health & Development. 

Required qualifications

We encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds.

  • Experience facilitating meetings, workshops, and/or providing consultant support to teams. 

  • Experience in rural communities in Ethiopia, Ghana, or Uganda.

  • A background in social, economic, and/or political sciences. 

  • English proficiency. 

Preferred qualifications

  • Proficiency in a local language of these districts: Amhara (Ethiopia), Asutifi North (Ghana), and Kabarole (Uganda). 

  • Experience working with non-profit, government, or development agencies  

About the instructors

Rachel Cardone

Rachel Cardone has spent over twenty years working in the water sector, with a focus on water and sanitation services in low- and middle-income countries. Her areas of experience include sector financing as well as organizational development, and has deep experience working with public, private and non-profit actors on questions relating to risk assessment, program design, and measurement, evaluation and learning frameworks. Prior to joining the Program on Water, Health & Development, Rachel worked as an independent consultant, and was a founding member of the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Rachel's research has been profiled by the New York Times, USA Today and other mainstream media sites, as well as published in academic journals.

Rachel has a BA, cum laude, from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor with a focus in History (Anthropology minor) and a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, concentrating in Energy Policy & Finance.

Jay Bakst

For more than 35 years Jay Bakst has been a practitioner of continuous improvement, project management and applying technology to solve real world problems. He has worked with large companies such as Boeing and Weyerhaeuser as well as smaller companies such as Toland Home Gardens, the Food Co-op, Seattle Cold Storage and SeaBright Insurance as well as individual startups. He moved to Jefferson County in 2013 and has become involved with the Chamber, EDC Team Jefferson and other local organizations teaching Lean Thinking and Lean Startup Thinking serving as Community Lean Resource and working with organizations large and small to improve their operations in order to better support their customers. He currently facilitates the PMI affiliated PMO Roundtable in Seattle. 

An international speaker, he has presented to PMI, APICS, the National Wood Processing Conference and the Winter Simulation Conference as well as Rotary, Kiwanis and other Civic organizations. An expert in manufacturing processes and process improvement methodologies such as Lean, Six Sigma, Agile and Theory of Constraints, Mr. Bakst is a PMP, is certified in Critical Chain Project Management and has 15 years as an adjunct instructor of Theory of Constraints, Critical Chain, Project Management and Operations Management at Everett Community College, Bellevue College and Pacific Lutheran University.


The application is now closed and we are reviewing applications. If you applied to be a STAR Trainee, we will be in touch soon.


With questions regarding this opportunity, please contact Heather McRae-Woolf, Project Coordinator, at