Senior Researcher (Digital Solutions for Agricultural Water Management)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Pretoria, South Africa 🇿🇦


The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a CGIAR Research Center is looking for a competent, self-motivated, and dynamic candidate to join as the Senior Researcher- Digital Solutions for Agricultural Water Management.

The Senior Researcher – Digital Solutions for Agricultural Water Management will be part of the Research Group Water Risk to Development and Resilience (WRDR). The successful candidate will be familiar with climate and applications research across multidisciplinary themes of earth system science. This role will include climate data digitalization and broader ICT and digital strategic planning, including data solution architecture, system design and software development, governance and product management to strengthen climate adaptation and resilience innovation, and partnerships/ecosystem development. The successful candidate will leverage people, partnerships and infrastructure to develop user-inspired digital solutions for agricultural water management. S/he will contribute to strategic leadership and management by leading the development of agriculture data hub platforms supporting the dissemination and wide and inclusive use of data solutions in the context of technology disruption, digitization, turnaround strategy and business opportunities and innovation in Africa and globally. Working with the project leadership as well as with other OneCGIAR colleagues and national and international partners, the Senior Researcher will be part of a multi-national and multidisciplinary team that is contributing to innovatively combining the driving forces of science, technology, and earth observations to deliver innovative weather and climate science and services within the context of sustainable and resilient food systems, helping to lead global digitalization in agriculture thinking and implement agriculture data hub and digitalization and technological innovation in water, energy, food and environment sectors.

Duties AND Responsibilities

  • Lead the development of agriculture data hub platforms supporting the dissemination and wide and inclusive use of data solutions for sustainable and resilient food systems;
  • Lead the identification, development and scaling of digital innovations within IWMI, the OneCGIAR Water System Group, leveraging people, partnerships and IT infrastructure to enable the uptake and utilization of climate information and services weather and climate in water, energy, food and eco-systems;
  • Lead strategic thinking and support knowledge on the integration of diverse technologies, cloud system capabilities to access earth observation data, climate, weather and forecast models and early warning systems on flood and drought indicators and contribute to the overall data-driven solutions capabilities;
  • Lead the development of various digital tools and products, especially in climate information services, agrometeorology, and e-extension platforms. Conceptualize and design digital data hubs and other platform-based models supporting the provisioning of various CIS and advisory tools/products




  • University degree (PhD) in fields related to Atmospheric or Earth Observation Sciences, Computer Science, Engineering or equivalent.
  • At least 10 years of relevant experience in the area of IT systems analysis, program management, product development and management and high-level digital solution design
  • Deep understanding of climate information and services, weather and risks, and early warning tools, especially in Africa.
  • Deep understanding of technology innovations (e.g. digital platform, mobile apps, blockchain, artificial intelligence)
  • Have proven experience in using Cloud Services, e.g. AWS, Azure, Google – especially higher-level services that focus on digital innovation and efficiently connect to the value chain (AI/ML, IoT, etc.).
  • In-depth knowledge of software engineering and design principles, technology evaluation and benchmarking, product management, Agile, lean startup and DevOps methodologies.
  • Demonstratable work experience and knowledge of climate services and risk profiling and early warning capabilities.
  • Maintains updated knowledge on development trends, including technological innovations and digital solutions in water, energy, food and eco-systems.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and research experience relevant to IWMI’s overall water management mission in developing countries, as well as knowledge of the functioning of the CGIAR system.
  • Evidence of scientific publishing as demonstrated by a very good publication record in peer-reviewed journals, research impact and other achievements.
  • Strong interpersonal and excellent communication skills with the ability to explain development challenges and complex interdisciplinary water, energy, environment, and agri-food systems issues in simple terms.
  • Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English.
  • Experience working in the private sector with demonstrated experience of successful delivery of software products and systems in an enterprise setup in high-performance teams would be desirable.


What we are offering:

This is a globally recruited position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience, an attractive 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) Septmeber 14, 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.