Gender, Youth and Inclusion (GYI) Lead Specialist

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Colombo, , LK



The Gender, Youth and Inclusion (GYI) Lead Specialist will be responsible for driving efforts to deliver a step change in our understanding of gender, youth and inclusion challenges in sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. The focus will be on delivering evidence that can underpin changing policies and practices on gender, youth and inclusion; and support the transfer of this evidence to partners in order to enable positive outcomes for people living in rural and urban communities.

The GYI Lead Specialist will also coordinate gender research across the CGIAR Research Program (CRP) on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), which requires working closely with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) (the center leading WLE), and also with WLE’s other partner centers. As the Gender Focal Point for IWMI, the work will involve coordination of gender research across the research programs implemented by the Institute.


Research coordination and support: (40%)

  • Ensuring GYI is fully integrated into the work of WLE and IWMI, so that high-quality knowledge on GYI relevant to policy makers and practitioners is delivered. This will involve the following:
    • Lead the development and delivery of a strategy for integrating GYI into research for development which provides clear guidance to research leads and teams on how and when to effectively address GYI, building on relevant prior strategy work.
    • Provide advice and guidance to WLE and IWMI research teams, including setting up tools and processes to ensure there is effective adoption of GYI approaches in the design of research proposals, incorporating analytical methods and the formulation of key research questions.
    • Critical review of GYI research outputs to ensure these deliver development impact-oriented research, are of the highest quality and meet international standards.
    • Ensure that GYI deliverables and results are met, as presented in the WLE proposals.
    • Participate in the development of consortia and contribute to the preparation of submissions for research funds.
  • Support monitoring and evaluation efforts to ensure GYI outputs and outcomes are on track, and commitments are delivered according to annual work plans.
  • Assist in the preparation of reports on gender research achievements as required by the CGIAR System Management Office, the WLE Management Committee, WLE Independent Steering Committee and the IWMI Board of Governors.
  • Liaise with other CGIAR centers and CRPs, including, in particular, the CGIAR Gender Platform, to enhance collaborative research, identify synergies and encourage the sharing of skills, data and knowledge on GYI research.

Evidence and knowledge building for policy and development impact: (40%)

  • Deliver high-level/portfolio-level policy syntheses or reviews from across IWMI Research Groups and/or WLE subprograms, or commission additional work that leads to products that respond to big-picture policy issues. This includes the identification of new crosscutting research opportunities and contributions that create synergies between existing initiatives.
  • Lead the design and organization of workshops, sessions and/or side meetings at relevant international events to disseminate research and further expand WLE and IWMI global networks.
  • Convene and/or contribute to policy-level dialogues that engage policy and practice constituencies in different geographies and across thematic areas.
  • Lead and further develop a new research-for-development network on migration, agriculture and resilience, established by IWMI and WLE.

Partnerships and engagement: (20%)

  • Ensure the creation of effective partnership and engagement plans on GYI and support their implementation with relevant stakeholders and partners.
  • In collaboration with relevant communication teams (WLE Program Management Unit [PMU], IWMI and other partner organizations), ensure maximum outreach, media and online coverage of key GYI themes annually.
  • Provide guidance on how to better align the different GYI relevant research projects from across the WLE Flagships.
  • Lead the development of a wider network of research and development partners (e.g., nongovernmental organizations [NGOs]) that can broaden the support for GYI issues in natural resource management.




  • A proven ability to apply methods and approaches to achieve effective integration of gender, youth, poverty and/or political-economic and institutional analysis within research-for-development processes.
  • Understanding of how to operate at the science-policy interface, including how to achieve more effective research uptake.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and experience of working in multidisciplinary and multicultural environments in relevant geographies.
  • Strong track record of peer-reviewed publications; research-for-development communications; and collaborative research implementation, including transdisciplinary processes, i.e., bringing social sciences together with biophysical sciences.
  • Written and spoken fluency in English.


  • On-the-ground experience in South Asia, sub-Saharan African, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and/or Southeast Asia, and strong networks in research, including at the grassroots level in Africa and/or Asia.
  • Experience in fundraising and a track record of successful research funding grants.
  • Fluency in or, at minimum, a strong working knowledge of a second language used in the above-mentioned geographies



  • A PhD in a social science (geography, anthropology, sociology, development studies, economics, political economy, etc.) or substantial and long-term development experience on relevant topics.
  • At least 10 years of experience in managing research or research-for-development projects in developing countries; and supporting gender-sensitive, inclusive and pro-poor objectives in agriculture and natural resource management.