Theme Leader - Water Futures -- IWMI, Sri Lanka

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is looking to fill the position of Theme Leader - Water Futures. The person should be an original thinker who can lead the Institute’s Water Futures global research team to deliver innovative, evidence-based solutions that are relevant to 21st century water resource challenges. IWMI’s Water Futures research theme: What, how and why? Climate change, urbanization, demographic shifts, and energy supply and access are presenting new challenges and opportunities for managing the world’s water and food supplies effectively. While agricultural water and land management in developing regions remain IWMI’s core business, we seek to respond to the wider vision of ‘a water-secure world’. We aim to provide solutions that require interdisciplinary approaches and cross-sectoral partnerships to examine water-food-energy trade-offs, synergies and solutions. Through the application of macro- and hydro-economic modeling, the theme will conduct research on the economics of water and land management, and carry out river basin modeling and institutional analysis to provide timely and responsive recommendations on food security, growth and development implications of alternative water management decisions. The theme will draw on the technical, social, institutional and economic dimensions of water resources management expertise across IWMI. It will be strengthened by existing and new tools (i.e., Policy Dialogue Model [PODIUM] and water evaluation and planning [WEAP] model), and the knowledge and capacity of key partners of IWMI, including the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and Global Water Partnership (GWP). The theme will produce water-related metrics and indicators, together with supporting tools and capacity, to establish baseline and expected future scenarios. The Water Futures research theme will shape policies and practices at the basin, national, sub-national and international scale, including aspects of the sustainable development goals (SDG) process. Its beneficiaries include multilateral development banks, policymakers and water resource planners, government officials tasked with national economic and financial affairs, bilateral donors, and academics in the field of water resources, economics, agriculture and natural resource management.

Job Description
Lead research • Engage a team of international researchers who aim to enhance our understanding of the interplay between physical hydro-economic systems and decision-making environments, such as political economy, and legal and governance factors. • Identify global development trends, set short- and long-term objectives, and structure the theme to deliver quality and relevant research outputs. • Offer science-based solutions and decision-support tools to enhance cooperation, and equitable, socioeconomic and environmentally sustainable allocation of resources across sectors and borders at the river basin scale. • Maintain recognition as a leading scientist and development practitioner as demonstrated through the publication of academic and practical research outputs, and/or contributions made to policy development, investment plans, and facilitation of improved water and land management practices. Collaborate to achieve high impact and secure financial resources • In partnership with IWMI’s business development team, secure resources for effective implementation of the Water Futures theme, and lead engagement with relevant donors through effective networking and proposal development. • Collaborate with IWMI’s regional and global uptake professionals to report on progress made towards achieving goals, and to ensure that the Institute’s research is well positioned, demand-driven, and responsive to current and future challenges. • Collaborate with leaders of IWMI’s other research themes, regional directors, office heads, CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) and key partners to develop cohesive strategies and ensure cross-fertilization of concepts, ideas and results. • Disseminate key research outputs and outcomes at national, regional and global levels in collaboration with IWMI’s professional communication teams. • Represent IWMI at international conferences and act as a spokesperson on issues related to the Water Futures theme. Manage and coordinate • Oversee the team’s finances and resources according to plans and budgets to ensure timely, high-quality outputs are in line with relevant policies and procedures. • Lead and motivate staff in accordance with IWMI’s policies and practices, which includes planning and directing work, appraising performance, guiding professional development and managing employee relations issues. • Model cultural agility, integrity and respect across the organization, and in all interactions with stakeholders. • Ensure that IWMI delivers on its relevant agreed contributions and strategic commitments to the CGIAR global research partnership and CRPs.

Minimum Qualification & Experience
• A PhD or equivalent combination of education and experience in economics or agricultural/resource economics and water resource systems. • A minimum of 10 years research experience and a strong publication record in peer-reviewed international journals, research impact and/or other acknowledgments. • Successful experience of working at an international level in developing regions of the world.

Skills & abilities
• A strategic communicator who can take scientific research findings and persuade policy-makers, international agencies, donors and other stakeholders of its relevance. • An economist with the quantitative and modeling skills that link hydrology and water/agricultural economics, with a body of published research to back up that expertise. • A hands-on, team leader with demonstrated skills in managing world-class researchers to deliver high-quality, actionable results. • A strong strategic planner with the ability to develop and deliver strategic initiatives to advance the research agenda of the Water Futures theme.  

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