International Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) and Advocacy Manager





Project duration

12 months (with the potential for a multi-year extension)

Start date

September 2022*

Deadline to apply

5 pm Hanoi Time (GMT+7), 25 July 2022

*Subject to formal Government of Vietnam approval


With more than 35 years of experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specialising in international development. We have managed the implementation of over 2500 projects in more than 95 countries around the globe for clients such as FCDO UK, DFAT Australia, the European Union, the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada. We work with governments, partner organisations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, economic and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies from 2017 to 2021.


Cowater International is seeking to recruit a highly qualified professional as an International Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) and Advocacy Manager to support the Aus4Equality|Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Program.

GREAT is a flagship initiative of the Australian aid program.  The Program promotes women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in the ethnically diverse north-west region of Vietnam, through the integration of a market systems development (MSD) approach.

The primary beneficiaries are women living in the provinces of Son La and Lao Cai, while an overarching emphasis is placed on the inclusion of women from ethnic minority communities as these provinces are home to twelve and twenty-six ethnic groups respectively.

The objectives of the Aus4Equality|GREAT Program are:

Objective 1 Women, particularly ethnic minority women living in Son La and Lao Cai, have improved economic benefits.

Objective 2 Women, particularly ethnic minority women living in Son La and Lao Cai, have increased confidence and social status, including more balanced workloads and greater decision-making within the home, workplace, and community.      

Objective 3 Women, particularly ethnic minority women and household members living in Son La and Lao Cai benefit from more gender-responsive, inclusive, and effective provincial and national policies, plans, strategies, and programs.

Our approach to women’s economic empowerment focuses on:

  • Reach: Engaging women in all project activities and addressing barriers to participation.
  • Benefit: Improve women’s access to assets, financial services and support services.
  • Empower: Strengthen the ability of women to make strategic life choices and put these into action.

The Program is entering its second five-year phase and GREAT 2 will continue its focus on agriculture and tourism, identifying specific sectors that lend themselves to opportunities for advancing WEE and working with multiple stakeholders to address constraints, generate opportunities, drive market growth and increase the productive value of the sector. A limited number of agriculture sectors will be targeted, in addition to tourism. Cross-sector strategies such as women’s leadership, access to finance, digital transformation, policy advocacy and behaviour change communication will inform the sector strategies.


Cowater International is seeking an International GEDSI and Advocacy Manager who is highly qualified in both GEDSI and WEE.   Reporting to the Deputy Team Leader and a member of the Senior Management Team the GEDSI and Advocacy Manager, will oversee GREAT’s policy dialogue, leadership, behaviour change communications and program communications activities as well as help harvest and communicate learnings on WEE. The position will also work closely with GREAT’s Team Leader and Monitoring Evaluation Research Learning (MERL) Manager to provide technical advice and required deliverables on gender and WEE and support the program in tailoring and adapting its approaches to continuously and sustainably improve WEE.


WEE Programming and Policy

  • Oversee the design and update of the GEDSI strategy, WEE/GE frameworks, tools, and approaches, in conjunction with the GEDSI Strategy Advisor,   
  • Delineate and oversee GREAT's GEDSI advocacy and capacity-building initiatives for government stakeholders at the central and provincial level, as well as with the private sector.
  • Lead GREAT's policy engagement initiatives to help advance identified GEDSI and WEE-focused reforms and GEDSI-responsive policy development and implementation, in conjunction with national Policy Advisor/s.
  • Working closely with the GEDSI Strategy Advisor, identify and shape solutions for the program to systematically and comprehensively address GEDSI issues within the ecosystem in which GREAT operates, aligned with an MSD approach. This includes working across households, local communities, target market sectors, businesses, and government and policy levels.,
  • Oversee the selection of GESDI partners and support the delivery of intended outcomes.   
  • Support the GEDSI Strategy Advisor with the development and implementation of the annual GREAT GEDSI Action Plans.
  • Provide advice during the design or updating of gender sector studies and new or upscaled projects to ensure that the constraints faced by ethnic minority women, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups are identified and solutions are gender-responsive.
  • Identify relevant targeting and mainstreaming approaches for the program to be inclusive of people with disabilities. 
  • Support partners in their annual work planning and progress reporting to ensure WEE is effectively integrated into planning and results are easily captured and reported for consolidation at the GREAT program level.

Gender Equality Behaviour Change and Program Communications

  • Lead the development of GREAT’s program-level gender-equality behaviour change communication strategy, implementation and reporting.  Oversee the work of GREAT’s Communications Specialist including the updating and implementation of the Communications Strategy.
  • Ensure communications via GREAT channels are culturally relevant, respectful, gender-sensitive, accurate and aligned with the Communications Strategy objectives and the program’s gender equality and WEE advocacy agenda.

WEE/GEDSI Capacity Building

  • Lead capacity building for the GREAT team and Project Management Units in key gender equality and WEE approaches.
  • Support the GEDSI Strategy Advisor to develop and implement WEE/GEDSI capacity-building plans for local partners (at all levels of government, business and civil society), including GREAT’s leadership program targeting business and government emerging leaders. 
  • Provide technical advice and guidance to GREAT’s agriculture and tourism portfolio managers on WEE and GEDSI.
  • Advise the GREAT team on issues of intersectionality (e.g., intersecting forms of disadvantage and/for discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, disability, age, location, etc) as well as gender-based violence (GBV), including drawing on UNFPA’s expertise.
  • Provide other advice as needed to GREAT’s Senior Management Team and GEDSI Strategy Advisor, including on ‘do no harm’ approaches and issues.


  • In conjunction with the MERL Manager, harvest and communicate GREAT WEE-related evidence, learning, and insights through learning forums with other development programs and partners, conference presentations and other communication platforms.
  • Work closely with the MERL Manager and Communications Specialist, to oversee the development of and/or inform articles, discussion papers and knowledge products that elevate the gender achievements and lessons of the program to audiences in Vietnam and Australia/regionally, with a particular focus on the integration of WEE and market systems approaches. 
  • Provide strategic inputs into GREAT’s research agenda.
  • Contribute to awareness-raising and learning of partners, including by supporting the design of symposiums and Reflect and Refocus Workshops.
  • Collaborate with the MERL Manager to conduct reviews, synthesise and share global and country-specific analytical studies on WEE issues.
  • Collaborate with the MERL Manager and Communications Specialist, to develop stories of change on WEE.
  • Support the Team Leader and MERL Manager with the preparation of high-quality reporting to DFAT that demonstrates the program’s approach to addressing WEE including progress reports and annual work plans.  



  • Master’s Degree in gender, sociology, international development, monitoring and evaluation or another relevant field.

Minimum Experience:

  • A minimum of 10 years of experience working on gender, disability and social inclusion issues in an international development context
  • Experience and a successful track record in GEDSI programming, including intervention design and implementation.
  • Strong expertise in WEE, including a demonstrated understanding of systemic approaches to achieving gender-transformative economic and development outcomes for women  
  • Experience working to support women’s participation in the agriculture and/or tourism sectors and in value chains (an understanding of market systems development is an asset).
  • Demonstrated experience in leading capacity-building approaches to gender equality within program teams, implementing partners, and institutional actors.
  • Demonstrated experience in working with and supporting government agencies, private sector actors, and civil society actors, to facilitate gender-responsive policy reform and/or influence social change.
  • Experience working in Vietnam and with ethnic minority communities is an asset.
  • Evaluative research experience related to gender programming.
  • Experience working with DFAT will be considered an asset.

Essential Skills:

  • Excellent program management skills, including conceptualisation, planning and coordination.
  • High-level problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Proven ability to connect market sectoral issues and programmatic approaches to gender.
  • Demonstrated skills in leveraging gender evaluations, research and case studies to advocate for evidence-based solutions by policymakers, leaders and decision-makers.
  • Proven critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Excellent training, facilitation and mentoring skills.
  • Strong report writing and spoken communication skills in English.


Candidates are encouraged to apply no later than 5 pm Hanoi Time (GMT+7), 25 July 2022. Please send an application to [email protected] and indicate in the subject “Application for International GEDSI and Advocacy Advisor”.

Cowater is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and people from minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply. We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.

For more opportunities, please visit our website at or facebook page at

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Aus4Equality|GREAT Program
Application Deadline: 
Mon, 2022-07-25