Consultant: Gender and Social Inclusion

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)



The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), A CGIAR Research Center is seeking applications from suitably qualified candidates for a short-term Gender and Social Inclusion assignment.

Project Background

Gender and Inclusion research at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) spans the Institute’s three Strategic Programs – water, food, and ecosystems; water, climate change, and resilience; and water, growth, and inclusion – as well as a fourth crosscutting program pillar on digital innovations. IWMI’s mission is to provide water solutions for sustainable, climate-resilient development, directly responding to international policy concerns about global systems changing in ways that increase the vulnerability of millions of marginalized populations, threatens species diversity, and impede achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2020 IWMI launched its Gender and Inclusion Strategy (2020-2023). Given substantial changes to the working environment over this period, and the process of strategy development – 2024-2030 – this consultancy will help position our work on Gender and Social Inclusion across our portfolio, including a substantial examination of both bilateral work and One CGIAR Initiatives. Three core areas will form a focus for this work:

  • Bridging Knowledge Gaps: Disparities in age, handicap, ethnicity, religion, caste, and class connect with uneven rights, responsibilities, resources, and opportunities across genders. This leads to discrepancies in power, privilege, asset ownership, risk burden, and opportunity distribution across diverse groups of women, men, and other gender identities. To guarantee that these intersectional inequalities are acknowledged in a society threatened by uncertain impediments (such as climate change), stakeholders must have access to rigorous, dependable, and quantitative data. This can result in the development of practical initiatives to overcome structural obstacles to gender equality. This involves conducting research and engaging with grassroots stakeholders, policymakers, and practitioners to identify and map critical gender and inclusion knowledge gaps to foster a more collaborative understanding of crucial data bottlenecks and biases that contribute to persistent inequalities.
  • Fixing Systems: A system of resource governance that is both effective and equitable determines the rights of men and women to water, land, and other natural resources. Consequently, gender discrepancies significantly influence how adaptable people are to change, how effectively they react to change, and how diverse their experiences are across a range of social and political settings. It is crucial to promote more inclusive and gender- equal institutions through capacity-building procedures. Transdisciplinary approaches will be necessary to analyze and explain patterns of change across multiple levels and systems.
  • Catalyzing Transformation: Gender-transformative approaches deliver more sustainable and equitable system-level solutions. Gender disparities will be addressed by recognizing, disrupting, and reversing intersections that perpetuate societal structural inequalities. To develop transformative innovations and solutions, collaboration with politicians and gender advocates is essential. Through a partnership with significant strategic partners in policy communities, climate policy and practice, as well as legislative processes, will be influenced. This would entail promoting investment methods and technologies that deliver more inclusive and climate-resilient solutions for the community.

Objective of the Assignment

The objective of the consultant is to critically review IWMI’s engagement in GESI work across One CGIAR initiatives and ongoing bilateral projects in order to develop an ambitious, clear, and feasible vision for IWMI’s GESI work with the Gender platform and GESI focused Initiatives work under the upcoming IWMI/One CGIAR Water Strategy 2024-2030.

Scope of Work

The Consultant will review and assess GESI capacity, activities, outputs and outcomes across IWMI bilateral projects and IWMI-led GESI work on One CGIAR initiatives. Through consultative processes and review of key literature, the consultant will conduct an in-depth review and evaluation of IWMI’s GESI work and facilitate the co-design of a strategic vision for a more aligned and collaborative future GESI work in all of IWMI’s Strategic programs and regions, including on One CG Initiatives. The activities will be completed in a maximum of 30 days.

Activity 1: Undertake a comparative GESI overview of IWMI’s current engagements on One CGIAR Initiatives, ranking IWMI’s engagements by innovation, gender transformative approach and by potential for impact, and identifying key gaps.


To create a comprehensive overview of on-going GESI research in the One CGIAR Initiatives in relation to the role of IWMI’s Gender team and staff.


Consultant will:

a) Review the detailed descriptions and theory of change/log frames for the Gender focused Initiatives – both those including IWMI’s GESI work, and those where IWMI is not involved in GESI work

b) Review IWMI’s ongoing bilateral GESI focused projects and asses them for alignment with the IWMI Gender Strategy and GENDER Platform strategy and vision

c) Conduct two (2) virtual discussions with IWMI Gender team members on their understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of recent IWMI GESI work and how it aligns with broader One CG Initiatives’ thinking

d) Prepare a detailed comparative summary of the initiatives and bilateral projects mapped against criteria such as gender transformative approaches, innovation, potential for impact and cross collaboration.

Activity 2: Develop an overview of IWMI’s GESI work in ongoing bilateral projects to distill potential opportunities for strategic strengthening of GESI work in reference to IWMI’s strategy, SPDs, RGs, Country goals.


To gain an understanding of opportunities for strengthening IWMI’s GESI portfolio in strategic program areas and regions.


The consultant will:

a) Review documents pertaining to IWMI’s GESI projects and conduct detailed discussions with GESI leads, researchers on these projects

b) Review internal documents, including but not limited to IWMI’s strategy, SPD, RG and Country office goals

c) Conduct a short survey of IWMI leadership, including SP Directors, RG Leads and Country Office Heads, on their vision for the place of gender in their portfolio

d) Identify potential opportunities for strengthening IWMI’s gender work in connection to the roll out of a new water plan and strategy at IWMI and within the One CGIAR.

Activity 3: Analyze IWMI’s GESI work in bilateral projects and in the One CGIAR Initiatives positioned and received by a broader CGIAR audience (including the GENDER Impact Platform) and relevant donors, partners and stakeholders.


To gain an understanding of IWMI’s GESI portfolio strengths and explore opportunities for more collaboration and integration within the One CGIAR and key external stakeholders.


Consultant will:

a) Conduct 10-15 interviews with select CGIAR Gender Impact Platform leads, partners and donor representatives

b) Write up a summary on perceptions about IWMI’s Gender work, focusing on gaps, strengths and opportunities for cross collaboration with Initiatives work

Activity 4: Design and lead a blue-sky thinking process – with IWMI and select group of One CGIAR researchers, external water, GESI researchers.


To collaboratively explore a shared vision for the future of IWMI’s GESI work.


Consultant will:

  • Design a one-day workshop for the IWMI Gender team and selected CG Gender platform colleagues with the goal of co-designing a strategic vision for IWMI GESI work
  • Carry out the workshop (online or in presence) using participatory tools, including methods such as Liberating Structures that foster participation and innovation
  • Write up workshop results with a view to feed into a future strategy document.

Activity 5: Outline a forward-looking GESI strategy that will guide IWMI’s bilateral projects and IWMI’s engagement in the One CG initiatives work on gender, youth and inclusion – and provide substantial input to IWMI’s wider strategy development process during 2023


To develop the building blocks of a future IWMI GESI strategy document, which is guided by gender transformative thinking and is both innovative and forward thinking, while also aligned with GESI work across One CGIAR Initiatives and the CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform. This will be presented to the broader IWMI team for feedback and validation.


Based on the work described above, the consultant will:

a) Develop a presentation of the draft document in the form of a slideshow

b) Author a forward-looking strategy document for IWMI GESI work

Parallel Activity (Activity 6): Planning meetings and draft report consultations


To ensure timely communication and smooth running of the consultancy


This is an activity that will accompany Activities 1-6 and will consist of planning meetings and revision sessions for various summaries and documents based on comments from the client.

Expected Deliverables

  1. A detailed secondary review of relevant literature, and overview of discussions and interviews with relevant IWMI staff and external actors
  2. questionnaire format/design to be administered to various respondents within and outside IWMA comparative summary of IWMI’s GESI work in the One CGIAR Initiatives and bilateral projects mapped against criteria such as gender transformative approaches, innovation, potential for impact and cross collaboration.
  3. Design, implement and document a one-day blue-sky workshop.
  4. Analyse and collate all documents and outcomes into a draft IWMI GESI forward looking strategy overview (PowerPoint for presentation and Word Document).
  5. Organize a virtual meeting to present document and share key findings and recommendations.

Duration: Maximum of 30 days from Mid-March to June 2023

Your application must include a copy of your curriculum vitae, a cover letter that addresses IWMI’s requirements stated above, and contact information of three professional referees who may be contacted if you are short-listed for the position.

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


The successful candidate will possess the following:

  • A Masters or Ph.D. in gender studies, development studies, sociology of sustainability studies, political science, human geography, anthropology or other related fields.
  • Minimum 8 years professional experience in GESI mainstreaming (in projects and across systems) and empowering women and excluded communities via policy advocacy, analysis and/or training.
  • Strong foundation in social science research, with a stellar publication record in peer-reviewed journals and experience with a variety of methodologies.
  • Publications and areas of expertise should reflect engagement with and exposure to new ideas and research in the broader field of gender, environment, poverty, equity, and sustainable development, feminist/political ecology & economy, environmental justice, post- and decolonial studies, deliberative democracy and social justice, and equity in sustainability transitions.
  • Prior experience developing a GESI Strategy and Action Plan for programs and projects.
  • Research background in development contexts with an emphasis on the multi-dimension and intersectional cause of gender inequality.
  • Skills in delivering exceptional reports and other knowledge outputs (including working papers, policy briefings, and blog posts).
  • Excellent written and spoken communication abilities, solid grasp of the English language, and outstanding research and writing analytical skills.
  • Proven track record of leading a group of researchers in producing visionary, sustainable, research portfolios.
  • Proven ability to work in a team setting and a willingness to collaborate with professionals from other fields.
  • Proven success in collaborations and projects with a diverse array of partners, including research institutes, governments, and other development organizations.


  • The consultant will be renumerated on a per working day basis for a maximum of 46 working days assigned to complete the following tasks.
  • If the successful candidate is a citizen of a country in which IWMI has an office, such candidate will be paid in the relevant local currency.

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.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development