Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector
International portal

News IWMI seeks senior social scientist in Africa

Senior Social Scientist

The SRI Group has been retained by the International Water Management Institute ( to recruit for a strategically important individual for the organisation.

IWMI seeks to recruit a highly qualified senior scientist in the field of social science t
o lead research at scales from local to international on institutions, governance, power and politics and their effects on water use, development, management and decision making and how those in turn impact sustainability and success of water management interventions in sub-Saharan Africa.

The position will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and reports to the Theme Leader on Water and Society.

International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a non-profit, scientific organization engaged in research and capacity building activities for developing countries. Our mission is to overcome poverty through the better management of land and water resources. Working with diverse partners and supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), IWMI seeks to translate its research findings into actionable recommendations for policymakers, resource managers and poor rural communities. IWMI is based in Colombo, Sri Lanka and has regional offices located in 12 countries in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Job Purpose:

The main purposes of the job is to develop, lead and carry out research to understand the role of institutions, governance, politics and power with the aim of improving water management and water management interventions. In the short term the candidate will contribute to existing projects with significant components on institutions, governance, and politics related to water management decision making. In the longer term the candidate will be expected to contribute to development of the overall IWMI program on water governance, institutions and policy, particularly as related to agricultural water management interventions, in two of IWMI’s thematic areas, Water and Society and Productive Water Use.

Duties and Responsibilities:

· Lead research projects or component/s of research projects on institutions and policies that influence the outcome of water management interventions including in challenging contexts
· Bring innovative approaches to research dealing with complexity in agricultural water management, providing greater context specificity to project design, implementation and management to increase effectiveness of rural poverty reduction interventions.
· Contribute to synthesis of research on local informal governance arrangements for water, and interfaces with formal governance structures at intermediate levels, identifying requirements from governmental and non-governmental support structures that can result in improved water use and management and livelihoods in mixed crop-livestock systems.
· Contribute to research on gender and livelihood impacts of a variety of on-farm water management interventions.
· Conceive of and define research projects, approaches and related activities independently or in consultation with other senior researchers and project leaders;
· Oversee successful integration of social science research with biophysical research findings and understanding;
· Ensure preparation of high quality research products, including review of the work of others to ensure quality standards;
· Mentor junior researchers and students;
· Initiate, develop and sustain partnership with IWMI collaborators.

Selection Criteria:

The following outlines the attributes required and the criteria against which applications will be assessed.


· PhD in the field of Political Ecology, Human Geography, Sociology, Anthropology or Governance

Knowledge & Experience:

· At least 5 years post-doctoral experience in a relevant field/s
· Experience in a variety of social science methodologies;
· Familiarity with current international research theories and narratives regarding political ecology and institutional analysis;
· Knowledge of regional debates and actors regarding water resources development, agricultural intensification for poverty eradication and sustainability.
· Knowledge of gender & livelihoods analysis.

Skills & Abilities:

· Proven ability to lead complex multi-partner interdisciplinary projects and project teams, managing resources and donor accountability
· Strong ability in interaction with partners/clients; interpersonal skills, communication, leadership, management, teamwork and analytical skills
· Potential for independent and critical scientific thought; and for challenging accepted scientific knowledge and approaches
· Good interpersonal skills; with strong potential to develop mutual respect and sound working relationships in IWMI and partner organizations across the Africa region
· Strong ability to form, lead and/or work effectively in teams with members drawn from a range of nationalities, culture and scientific disciplines
· Demonstrated ability in networking and knowledge with national, regional and global network of scientist and research institutions
· Good record of publications including in international peer reviewed journals;
· Evidence of participation in various national/international professional events
· Excellent oral and writing skills in English. 

Contact information Ursula Crossan (email:
Phone: +353 1 6479206
News type Vacancies
File link
Source of information World Bank Africa Region
Geographical coverage Africa
News date 02/02/2010
Working language(s) ENGLISH