Nepal nationals: Researcher (Social Science)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Kathmandu, Nepal 🇳🇵


This is a key position within the International Water Management Institute’s (IWMI’s) Nepal office in Kathmandu and the position holder will work across a range of research projects. Adept at understanding, interpreting and analyzing complex policy and institutional issues related to water security and management, climate change and social development in Nepal (and the surrounding region), the position holder will support existing cutting-edge research on river basin development, agricultural transformation, and gender and development. The person will also be expected to develop new areas of work in collaboration with colleagues in the Nepal office and, more widely, as part of IWMI’s Strategic Program on Sustainable Growth.



  • Contribute research inputs on socioeconomic development, and institutional and governance issues in relation to irrigated and rain-fed agriculture through intensive fieldwork and data analysis, and completion of reports and scientific papers.
  • Contribute to designing survey tools and supervising teams undertaking research work on livelihoods, land tenure, gender and institutions.
  • Analyze institutions of water management at different scales, both government and non-government, supported through qualitative case study research.
  • Coordinate policy reviews, including existing irrigation and hydropower initiatives by government and non-governmental actors, and seek to build research activities on the same areas with key partners.
  • Design and implement research projects on water management, incorporating land and water productivity linkages, institutional design and resource governance dimensions.
  • Undertake, as necessary, assessment of agricultural water management in relation to markets and value chains in Nepal.
  • Contribute institutional, governance and social development analysis, including gender, to research on river basin management at national and international scales, outside Nepal in the South Asia region.
  • Help liaise with national and international partners and stakeholders, and coordinate joint activities.
  • Develop coordinated approaches to utilizing surface water and groundwater resources for irrigation.
  • Communicate all key project outputs and findings successfully to wider policy research and development communities, including convening dialogues on IWMI research, with partners, at national and international events.
  • Contribute, as necessary, social science inputs to all country office proposal development processes.
  • Contribute to the active dissemination of IWMI research outputs and policy work at national and international conferences and other public fora.

Education, Skills, Abilities and Experience: 


  • PhD in a social science discipline or a field closely related to water resources management, agricultural development or natural resource management.
  • MPhil with 7-10 years of proven technical competence.
  • Understanding of social and institutional development issues in relation to irrigation system development and management, farming systems and rural development in Nepal.
  • Ability to work as a fully-committed member of multidisciplinary (and frequently) multinational teams.
  • Capacity to deliver high-quality reports in English against tight deadlines.
  • Capacity to support and mentor junior staff, and help to build teams in Nepal.
  • Advanced communication skills in English, including public speaking.


  • At least 5 years of post-PhD field research experience in Nepal or a similar environment.
  • Capacity to work with community institutions and the government at different levels, and with key development partners to nurture IWMI’s work and increase the Institute’s reputation for high-quality research for development in Nepal and the wider South Asia region.
  • Knowledge of Nepali and other local languages in the region.