Postdoctoral Fellow-Inclusive Governance & Nutrition-Sensitive Agri-food Systems
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Location: New Delhi
Apply by:17/08/2022


The International Water Management Institute invites applications from dynamic early career, post-doctoral researchers with expertise in gender equality and social inclusion in relation to agri-food systems governance and nutrition. We invite candidates with transdisciplinary, gender-transformative research skills and a strong publication record. The candidate will be based in India and be part of an exciting cross-CGIAR Asian Mega-Deltas research initiative. They will work in India and Bangladesh under the guidance of senior researchers in the International Water Management Institute and WorldFish CGIAR centres. The initial period of the contract will be two years, starting no later than October 2022.

Background to the Asia Mega Deltas Initiative

Home to 177 million people, the densely populated Asian Mega Deltas are biodiverse, fertile, and productive food baskets dominated by rice, fisheries and aquaculture that also support millions beyond the deltas. National governments in the Asian Mega Deltas (AMD) regions rely on the deltas to achieve national development goals for food security, nutrition, and poverty alleviation. The Delta food systems are however, fast reaching a tipping point[i], aggravated by inappropriate development pathways. The Asian Mega Deltas are also most likely to experience climate risks and impacts, including more frequent and more intense floods, salinization, water shortages. Climate extremes can erode national food security, slow down economic growth and trigger new poverty traps in these emerging climate hotspots.

CGIAR’s Securing the Food Systems of the Asian Mega-Deltas for Climate and Livelihood Resilience (AMD) research initiative aims to support governments, NGOs, private sector and local communities in the Mekong, Ganges and Ayeyarwady deltas to transition to more diverse, resilient, and inclusive food systems. At its core, we recognize that Deltas are strongly interconnected systems, and AMD sees transdisciplinary approaches as key to the design of transformative food systems solutions. Our aim is to work collaboratively with strategic public, private and other stakeholders to co-design and implement actionable pathways out of poverty for millions in the five countries of focus – Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and India.

Research, implementation, and investments under the AMD are grouped into five Work Packages (WPs). The initiative takes a systemic approach to: support accelerated adaptation locally (WP1), ensure that deltaic food systems can sustain and enhance nutrition security equitably (WP2), explore financially viable and sustainable investments strategies (WP3), emphasize the need for sustainable, inclusive governance of natural resources on which diverse food system depend (WP4), and provide regional foresight to advise of longer-term threats and opportunities (WP5).

Purpose of Post

The Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF)will work on achieving WPs 2 and 4. This will include the planning and design of complementary WP2 and 4 research through a transdisciplinary, gender transformative approach and methodology.

In a context of rapid change and multiple drivers, WP2 seeks to ensure that deltaic food systems sustain and enhance nutrition security equitably. The PDF will be responsible for the design and implementation of qualitative research in WP2 with respect to both food production and food consumption practices to understand socially differentiated (including by gender, age, and class) nutrition outcomes of food systems transformation in Deltas. This will include:

  • Evaluating socially differentiated nutrition outcomes of changes in deltaic agroecosystems and food production practices in response to multiple drivers
  • Assessing changes in deltaic food consumption patterns
  • With key stakeholders and partners, help facilitate the co-design of nutrition sensitive policies, and interventions to support equitable and sustainable consumption and production of nutritious foods in deltas in the face of rapid change


WP4 identifies three key barriers to more inclusive, sustainable and climate resilient food systems governance: policy disconnect, lack of institutional coordination and capacity of various natural resources (NR) and food systems sectors, and lack of capacity and agency of grassroots actors, particularly marginalized communities in NR-water-agriculture governance. The PDF will design and implement WP4 research to:

  • Identify gaps and disconnect between contemporary, strategic natural resources (water, land, environment) and agriculture, food-systems policies, programs, and strategies
  • Undertake case study analyses of program interventions to understand and compare differences in approach, implementation, and outcomes of more integrated and siloed approaches to food systems governance – with a specific focus on gender and social inclusion
  • Facilitate dialogue between public, private and civil society actors and enable the co-design of more inclusive, sustainable and climate resilient food systems
  • Along with senior researchers, identify ways to strengthen capacity of national and local implementing partners, including NARES, NGOs and private sector
  • Identify and work with grassroots actors to strengthen capacity and agency of local communities, particularly marginalized women, and youth.

The PDF will conduct primary research in Bangladesh and India; and will also coordinate WP2 and 4 research in different AMD research locations to ensure uniformity in conceptual framework, research approach, methodologies and in the analysis of comparative data-sets. S/He will have a key coordination role, ensuring connect between WPs 2 and 4, and with other AMD WPs as well as relevant strategic partners and stakeholders.

In Bangladesh, the geographical focus of the research will be the Southern Coastal districts where gender inequality, poverty and climate risks converge. In India, the focus will be in the Sunderbans region of West Bengal bordering Bangladesh. The candidate will be required to travel extensively to the research locations.

General Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plan, design and develop gender transformative and socially inclusive conceptual frameworks, research methods, and tools for WP2 and WP4 research specifically for work in Bangladesh and India, but with complementarity for WP2 and WP4 research in other AMD locations
  • Undertake primary and secondary research to provide evidence and data on barriers, challenges, and opportunities to gender transformative and socially inclusive governance of food systems with a focus on nutrition security for the marginalized
  • Work with, mentor and supervise research of junior national researchers, research assistants and enumerators on inclusive governance and gender/ social inclusion
  • Lead, coordinate and manage qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis using statistical software (where necessary) to ensure high quality evidence-based data,
  • Proactively support IWMI and WorldFish’s efforts in establishing and strengthening strategic partnerships with public, private and grassroots institutions at national and regional levels
  • Support WP2 and WP4 senior researchers to undertake dialogue and discussions with relevant stakeholders to co-design integrated, inclusive innovations in sustainable food systems by establishing a database of stakeholders, coordinating, and organizing meetings and workshops, and managing relevant data and information
  • Through due diligence help ensure that WP2 and WP outputs are actionable for local partners to tackle key governance and nutrition challenges
  • Innovatively and proactively lead effective communication and outreach of research results – ensuring outreach to AMD WPs as well as to strategic stakeholders
  • Substantially contribute to the authorship of key research outputs including, but not limited to, research papers and journal articles, blogs and webcasts/podcasts, multimedia presentations and social media
  • As an AMD team member, contribute to exploring bilateral funding opportunities and with senior researchers and relevant local partners support new proposal/ project development.



  • A PhD in governance of food systems and/or nutrition in South or Southeast Asia
  • Masters in gender and development studies, sociology, rural sociology, anthropology, development studies, economics, agricultural economics, nutrition and food security, geography, political science, or any closely related fields.
  • Familiarity with gender-transformative approaches in relation to climate-resilient food systems
  • Knowledge of political economy/ ecology research methods and concepts, policy and institutional analysis related to sustainable development and climate resilience across the nexus of food, water, and energy
  • Experience in translating data and evidence into knowledge products that have an impact and reach, including through communicating at major conferences and via other platforms, including social media
  • Experience in research for development (R4D) is desirable, specifically on issues relating to gender and social inclusion in relation to sustainable food systems, climate-resilient agriculture, and nutrition security.
  • Strong publications track record (including in internationally peer-reviewed journals)
  • Experience of collaborative work with public, private and grassroots stakeholders
  • Excellent understanding and experience of participatory, citizen science approaches to food, land, and water systems
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and capacity to work in a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional and multicultural environment
  • Excellent communications skills and the ability to explain complex issues clearly and to diverse audiences, including at an international level
  • Fluent in written and verbal communication in English
  • Working knowledge in Bangla/ Bengali including in conducting research is necessary.



This is an internationally recruited position with a fixed, two-year contract, starting no later than October 2022. IWMI offers USD 43,000 / annum and transportation allowances plus comprehensive health, life, accidental death, and dismemberment (AD&D), long-term disability (LTD) and travel insurance. If the successful candidate is not a citizen, they may be eligible for additional allowances, which could include shipping assistance, education, and home leave travel support for employee and eligible dependents.

Applications will be reviewed through August 17, 2022. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Your application must include a copy of your curriculum vitae and a letter describing your motivation and how your knowledge, training and experience match the requirements stated above. It must also include the names and contact information of three professional referees (indicating your relationship to each) who may be contacted if you are shortlisted for the position.

Click here to apply.