Post Doctoral Fellow (Inclusive Governance and Nutrition)

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Post-Doctoral Fellow (Inclusive Governance and Nutrition)

Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Application Deadline: 18 September 2022

Postlevel: Internationally Recruited Staff

Type of contract: 24 months fixed-term contract

Language(s) required: English (Proficient/fluent writing and oral skills)

About the Organizations

WorldFish is an international, non-profit research and innovation organization reducing hunger, malnutrition and poverty across Africa, Asia and the Pacific. For over 45 years, our work on sustainable aquaculture and fisheries has improved the lives of millions of women, men and youth.

Fish and other aquatic foods grown in and harvested from oceans, lakes, rivers and ponds provide income for more than 800 million people and provide 3.3 billion with 20% of their animal protein intake. Our focus on sustainability makes sure that the way we produce and use these foods today means a plentiful future of generations to come.

Our evidence-based solutions range in scale from households to global policies and spans across six interlinked themes: nutrition, gender, climate, sustainability, economy and COVID-19.

We champion aquatic foods for healthy people and planet and believe that a sustainable blue planet of well-nourished children, women and men is within our reach.

The International Water Management Institute (IWM) invites applications from dynamic early career, post-doctoral researchers with expertise in gender equality and social inclusion in relation to natural resources management and/or 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 Cambodia and be part of an exciting cross-CGIAR Asian Mega-Deltas research initiative The candidate will work in Cambodia and Myanmar under the guidance of senior researchers in relevant CGIAR centres. The initial period of contract will be two years, starting no later than October 2022.

About 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, 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, 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 goals of WP4. This WP 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 to engage effectively in NR-water-agriculture governance. The PDF will design and implement WP4 research to:

  • Support research to identify gaps and disconnects between contemporary, strategic natural resources (water, land, environment) and agriculture, food-systems policies, programs, and strategies, on the basis that healthy and well-managed natural systems provide the foundation for diverse and resilient food production.
  • Support research to develop a ground-up and stakeholder-differentiated understanding of how policies and nested administrative structures affect specific groups of women and men and their access to water and land resources to engage in food production in the contexts of climatic and other risks.
  • Explore how existing collective action models contribute to community-level capacities to manage water and land resources that underpin diverse food production systems. An important element of this will be to what extent any collective action ensures that women and men food producers across different sectors (e.g., agriculture, fisheries. livestock) are effectively represented as appropriate and are able to equitably gain access to productive water and land resources.
  • Support data management, analysis and writing of reports, journal articles as other communication products, along with IWMI, WF and IRRI colleagues.
  • 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 and support primary research in Cambodia and Myanmar under WP4 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 WP 4 and other AMD WPs as well as relevant strategic partners and stakeholders. The PDF will work with IWMI and WF colleagues in transdisciplinary teams. The PDF will have the important role of supporting senior IWMI and WF staff to backstop junior national researchers in data collection, analysis and writing.

In Cambodia, the geographical focus of the research will be the Tonle Sap floodplain, especially the area covering the Mekong Delta, whilst in Myanmar, it will be the Ayeyarwady Delta.

General Duties and Responsibilities.

  • Prepare annual operational plan and budget for WP4 related to the present JD.
  • Lead the operational plan and report against the M&E indicators.
  • Oversee tasks related to WP4 in Cambodia and Myanmar.
  • Contribute to designing gender transformative and socially inclusive conceptual frameworks, research methods, and tools for WP4 work in Cambodia and Myanmar, but with complementarity for 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 World Fish’s efforts in establishing and strengthening strategic partnerships with public, private and grassroots institutions at national and regional levels.
  • Support 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 WP4 outputs and outcomes/results 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.


The successful candidate will posses:

  • A PhD in governance of natural resources/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.
  • Knowledge of and ideally experience in participatory stakeholder engagement methods that enable the co-analysis of problems and co-creation of solutions.
  • Experience in translating data and evidence into knowledge products that have 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.

Skills and Qualifications

  • 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 written and verbal communication in English.


    This is a Globally Recruited Position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience, an attractive retirement plan, comprehensive international insurance coverage. The successful international candidates may also be eligible for additional allowances, which include housing, education, shipping assistance, and annual home leave travel for employee and eligible dependents. The duration of the contract will initially be for a two-year period with possibility for extension, depending on funding and performance.

    The successful candidate will be supported by the WorldFish Office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Short travel to Myanmar will be undertaken as required and subject to security assessments, where the successful candidate will work with the WorldFish and IWMI staff and partners. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

    Your application must include:

    • A copy of your curriculum vitae,
    • A cover letter which addresses key requirements stated above; and
    • Contact information of three professional referees who may be contacted if you are short-listed for the position.

    To be considered, applications must be submitted by no later than 24:00 (MYT) 18 September 2022.

    Working at CGIAR

    As part of One CGIAR, we are committed to fair, safe and inclusive workplaces. Our diversity powers our innovation. It is critical for our mission. We are driven by our LEAD values (Learning, Excellence, Accountability and Diversity) and strive to be a thriving and inclusive community of diverse people committed to learning and innovation, and with passion for making a difference in the world.

    We believe in multiple perspectives coming together to generate new ideas and develop new ways of doing things. This collective intelligence sets us apart in being able to address the complex problems we seek to solve with an ability to understand the trade-offs, and in doing so make better decisions.

    Our Gender, Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) Commitment

    WorldFish is committed to promoting a work environment where diversity and inclusion is valued and we are explicitly seeking representation from the global south as well as gender diversity in our senior leadership positions. We also aim to also seek balance across other diversity dimensions.

    People in WorldFish are treated equally irrespective of gender, ethnicity/race, national or social origin, disability, religion, political affiliation, age, family size, marital status or any other form of personal identity.

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