Policy Advisor (Adaptation)

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Ottawa, ON, Canada
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Junior (3-4 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an independent think tank that delivers the knowledge to act. Our mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability. Our big-picture view allows us to address the root causes of some of the greatest challenges facing our planet today—ecological destruction, social exclusion, unfair laws and economic rules, and a changing climate. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.

IISD’s Resilience Team serves as the Secretariat of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network, a group of individuals and institutions that is working to enhance adaptation planning and action in developing countries. Through a combination of peer learning, in-country technical assistance, and enhanced bilateral donor support, the Network is engaged with representatives from over 100 countries in advancing their NAP processes.

The Policy Advisor will work as a member of the NAP Global Network Secretariat. In particular, they will oversee the development, implementation and management of programs of work to advance the NAP processes in Colombia and Peru, as well as lead related knowledge management and communications activities. The successful candidate may provide support to other related Resilience projects, as time permits. The Policy Advisor, Adaptation reports to the Director, Resilience or their designate.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Planning, organising and administering international development programming for the NAP Global Network in Colombia and Peru, based on the needs identified and communicated by in-country partners.
  • Hiring and managing consultants to implement the in-country program workplan.
  • Consulting with partners in Colombia and Peru to collect key information on the status of NAP processes, as well as identifying trends, lessons learned and further needs for advancing NAP processes.
  • Working with in-country partners to develop policies, programs and proposals to advance national adaptation planning, building on existing socio-economic and climate risk analyses and any lessons from projects, and commissioning new analyses, as needed.
  • Planning and facilitating workshops in Spanish with government, donors and non-government stakeholders, particularly in Colombia and Peru and potentially other Spanish-speaking countries.
  • Providing advice and expertise to requests for technical assistance from developing countries on topics related to adaptation, brokered through the NAP Global Network’s Country Support Hub.
  • Ensuring the intellectual rigour and quality of all deliverables arising from the NAP Global Network’s in-country programming in Colombia and Peru, as well as deliverables prepared to support other Network activities.
  • Contributing to the preparation of progress reports to funders.
  • Leading and/or collaborating in the analysis and preparation of research papers, issue briefs, blogs and other knowledge products in English and/or Spanish, according to the needs of the Network.
  • More broadly, and as time permits, contributing to the intellectual leadership of IISD by conceptualizing, developing and seeking funding for research and project management opportunities in the thematic areas of the Resilience program.

Required Skills:

  • Deep knowledge of climate change adaptation and sustainable development more broadly.
  • Strong understanding of the efforts by, needs of and challenges facing developing countries as they adapt to the impacts of climate change. 
  • Organizational planning skills, including an ability to manage multiple tasks ranging from simple to more complex, under tight deadlines.
  • Capacity to clearly and succinctly communicate policy issues and research findings to different audiences.
  • Computer literacy, including Microsoft Office applications and experience using online knowledge management platforms including Google Apps.
  • Ability to work as part of an international, geographically distributed team as well as independently with limited guidance.
  • Strong interpersonal and networking skills.


  • Masters degree or equivalent in a relevant social science (e.g., economics, political science, geography, environmental studies, international development).
  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience in the field of climate change adaptation and development.
  • A minimum of 3 years of project management experience.
  • Work experience in developing countries, particularly in Latin America.
  • Availability to travel within Canada and internationally on a regular basis.

Language of work:

  • Excellent writing skills and strong oral communication skills in both English and Spanish.
  • French language skills would be an asset.

Wage range: $77,000 - $87,000

Terms:  Permanent, Full Time


  • Wage increases possible subject to annual performance review
  • Group Health and Dental Benefit plan
  • Life insurance
  • Short- and long-term disability insurance
  • Health Spending Account
  • Group Retirement Plan
  • Relocation allowance

Application Process:

Cover letter (maximum one page) followed by a CV (maximum two pages) together in one pdf document via IISD's Employment website.

Only those candidates we wish to interview will be contacted.

 Job Location:

220 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1100
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P 5Z9