International Researcher - Climate Adaptation Specialist

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Colombo, Sri Lanka 🇱🇰


The Climate Adaptation Specialist will conduct research on inclusive and sustainable climate adaptation to build resilience to the impacts of climate change and natural hazards across Africa and Asia. You will bring knowledge related to building climate resilience while incorporating physical and socio-economic considerations as they apply to developing countries leading to robust resilience-solutions to adapt to climate change. You will have a strong understanding of risk and vulnerability assessment methodology, climate adaptation and hazard mitigation, and stakeholder engagement to support the development of resilient and forward-looking programs, and policies. You will collaborate with an interdisciplinary team of subject matter experts in climate risk assessment, resilience, and planning to enable inclusive and sustainable actions .

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead development of an integrated framework for transformative climate adaptation and promoting resilience solutions;
  • Lead in integrating flood and drought management interventions with multi-stakeholders for the development of context- specific climate adaptation strategies;
  • Develop early warning to early action strategies in close collaboration with IWMI and CGIAR colleagues and consult with stakeholders for increasing food and nutrition security among vulnerable households.;
  • Compile indicators for rapid resilience assessment and prioritize local-scale investment needs for enhancing resilience and achieving Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Develop standard operating procedures templates to guide agricultural drought risk management involving proactive preparedness strategies, timely drought declaration and implementing contingency measures;
  • Develop case studies using multi-dimensional climate, socio-economic and environmental indicators for adaptation and resilience building measures;
  • Create and adopt new and innovative ways to disseminate research findings to reach diverse stakeholders;
  • Organize and facilitate policy dialogue and workshop on the topics of climate adaptation and mitigation practices;
  • Work closely with scientists and natural resource managers to synthesize research information, assess climate-related risks, and translate results into non-technical language for a diverse audiences;
  • Lead and contribute to key research outputs including research papers, journal articles, blogs and, multimedia presentations.


The successful candidate will posses the following:

  • A PhD (or equivalent) related to one of the fields of climate change and adaptation, development economics, water resources economics/management, environmental sciences, earth sciences, or any other discipline relevant to resilience building and disaster risk reduction.
  • A minimum of 3-5 years of experience in research for development in areas such as water-related risk management, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and/or integrated approaches to water-related risk management.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Demonstrated experience in effective interactions in a multicultural setting with other researchers and with policymakers, donors and civil society, facilitating the impact of research and capacity strengthening.
  • Experience in identifying specific adaptation interventions and developing resilience indicators for addressing gaps in governance measures.
  • Experience in climate adaptation solutions, nexus on Water and food resources, poverty assessment, vulnerability and risk, irrigation performance, impact assessments.
  • Knowledge and competency in the application of GIS and remote sensing techniques to hydrological problems.
  • Independent and critical scientific thought with the ability to explain complex issues clearly.
  • Knowledge of risk analysis for preparedness planning, risk reduction, response and recovery, taking into account both a multi-hazard and multi-sectorial perspective in reducing disaster risks and enhance livelihoods.
  • Ability to effectively establish priorities, and independently plan, organize, implement and monitor activities.
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with people in a multicultural and multi-disciplinary environment, with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Strong publication records in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Willingness to live, work and travel in developing countries in Asia and Africa.
  • Project management experience, which includes managing complex, multi-partner projects.
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively and effectively within multidisciplinary teams and with academic and non-academic stakeholders.
  • Strong analytical and numerical skills and the ability to process large temporal and spatial datasets, and conduct econometric analysis.
  • Interest in socioeconomic and poverty implications of disaster risk reduction and management.


What we are offering:

This is a globally recruited position with a competitive salary, a generous retirement plan, comprehensive international health insurance, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, long-term disability insurance coverage and a transportation allowance. Globally recruited staff who are employed at a duty station outside of their home base/country of nationality will also receive relocation assistance, a housing allowance, home-leave plane tickets for self and eligible dependents and education assistance for eligible dependents.

The duration of the contract will initially be for a three-year period with possible extension.

HOW TO APPLY: Apply for the position by following the application instructions at We will be accepting applications through 24:00 (IST) June 26, 2022 (applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis). Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

IWMI believes that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. We offer a multi-cultural, multi-color, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary working environment. We are consciously creating an inclusive organization that reflects our global character and our commitment to gender equity. We, therefore, encourage applicants from all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, and gender identities.