Senior Researcher (Adaptation)

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Ottawa, ON, Canada 🇨🇦

Senior Researcher, Adaptation

IISD is looking for a senior researcher to support the IISD Resilience Team’s work in developing and implementing a multi-million dollar support program for national adaptation planning in developing countries—particularly in the Latin American region. With funding from the United States Department of State, the program aims to provide targeted technical support for national adaptation planning and implementation.

IISD’s Resilience Team

IISD’s Resilience Team works with governments, civil society, communities, and businesses to help them manage climate- and conflict-related risks. The Program’s current work covers three resilience challenges: 1) Climate Adaptation, which focuses on reducing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change; 2) Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding, which seeks to promote better ecosystem management and resource governance to move conflict-affected societies from fragility to resilience, and 3) Food Security, which supports the development of climate resilient and socially inclusive agriculture value chains. The Project Officer will be working primarily on the theme of climate adaptation.

The Position

The candidate will undertake research, guide and conduct monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and knowledge management activities, and oversee in-country programming in Latin American countries, working primarily on NAP support. The candidate will work closely with other program staff on research, development and management of programming in Latin American countries, and the synthesis and communications of results from different streams of work. As a member of the Resilience Team, he/she will report to the Director, Resilience, and may provide support to other related Resilience projects as time permits.

The specific tasks to be undertaken by the Project Officer will include:

  • Consulting with in-country contacts to collect key information on the status of national adaptation planning processes, identify needs for implementation
  • Develop, oversee, and manage in-country programming in Latin American countries based on needs identified and communicated by in-country partners
  • Planning and facilitating workshops with government, donor, and non-government stakeholders, particularly in Spanish-speaking countries
  • Conducting background research and/or literature reviews on key issues related to national adaptation planning and action in developing countries
  • Contributing to and/or leading the preparation of research papers, issue briefs, blogs, and other knowledge products according to the needs of the Network and Resilience Program
  • Providing guidance and support for development and maintenance of M&E and knowledge management platforms and tools
  • Compiling and communicating monitoring data from across activities and countries


The Project Officer would bring the following set of skills to her / his position:

  • Knowledge of climate change adaptation and sustainable development more broadly
  • Excellent writing skills and strong oral communication skills
  • Capacity to clearly and succinctly communicate policy issues and research findings to different audiences
  • Organizational planning skills, including an ability to manage multiple tasks ranging from simple to more complex, under tight deadlines
  • Computer literacy, including Microsoft Office applications and experience using online knowledge and content management platforms including Google Apps and WordPress
  • Ability to work as part of an international, geographically-distributed team and independently with limited guidance
  • Strong interpersonal and networking skills


  • Masters degree or equivalent in a relevant social science (e.g. economics, political science, geography, international development)
  • A minimum of five years of relevant work experience in the field of climate change adaptation and development
  • Fluent written and spoken English and Spanish. French language skills would be an asset
  • Availability to travel within Canada and internationally
  • Work experience in developing countries and particularly in Latin America

The successful candidate will be based in IISD’s Winnipeg or Ottawa office.

We welcome all applications, however, only candidates currently eligible to work in Canada will be considered.

This position is dependent on IISD securing project funding. Job offers will only be made once funding is secured.

Deadline July 15, 2016