Agricultural Index Insurance Development Internship

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Pelawatta, , LK


The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is seeking motivated, career-driven, young and enthusiastic students to join its Water Risks and Disaster Research and Development Team.

Agriculture as an economic activity is severely affected by various factors which are beyond the control of farmers. The scanty, untimely, inadequate or heavy rains, sudden changes in weather conditions, crop diseases and pests, etc., make agriculture a very unsafe and unsure activity. The lack of infrastructure for post-harvest handling and loopholes in the marketing system add to the uncertainties in agricultural production. Thus, the risk in agriculture is a very complicated and complex phenomena, manifested by uncertain productivity and inadequate price realized by the farmers for their agricultural produce. This problem needs to be addressed to protect the farming community against risks as much as possible. Therefore, there is the need to develop insurance products for multiple climate hazards, and for rainfed, irrigated or horticultural crops, which are acceptable to farmers and not available at present.

IWMI is presently implementing an index-based flood insurance (IBFI) scheme and crop advisory products in India and Bangladesh. This IBFI scheme uses a range of datasets obtained from flood hazard models, satellite remote sensing, ground observations and socioeconomic data in the design and pricing of products. A flood insurance product has already been implemented in pilot villages in India. However, there is still scope for improvement in product design using new datasets and crop modeling information.

To support the project, the intern will:

  • capture and analyze various sources of spatial data related to the design and development process of the crop insurance product;
  • assist in modeling and improving existing flood insurance products in collaboration with (re)insurers and IWMI researchers;
  • assist in developing a drought insurance product using vegetation, climate and weather information in collaboration with (re)insurers;
  • work on problems of diverse scope, and ensure task schedules and quality requirements are met; and
  • conduct a literature review and report on various agricultural index insurance products, and provide recommendations.


Qualifications, exposure and skills

  • Master’s degree (final stage or completed) in Actuarial Science, Mathematics, Business, Economics or any other related field.
  • The ability to demonstrate some experience in financial sector development, especially insurance from internships or university work.
  • Experience of working with Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access) packages.
  • Aptitude for working with formulas and data.
  • Good communication skills, positive attitude and the ability to prioritize work on multiple projects.
  • A very good command of the English language (spoken and written).


  • Good knowledge and theoretical background on agricultural insurance risk management.
  • Aptitude for analyzing weather events, and discussing weather forecasts and post-climate events.

Added advantages

  • Basic knowledge on remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Computer programming skills in languages such as R and Python.


The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a non-profit, scientific research organization focusing on the sustainable use of water and land resources in developing countries. IWMI works in partnership with governments, civil society and the private sector to develop scalable agricultural water management solutions that have a real impact on poverty reduction, food security and ecosystem health. Headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with regional offices across Asia and Africa, IWMI is a CGIAR Research Center and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).