IWMI – Global Communications Lead for Water Systems

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Global Communications Lead for Water Systems February 2023

About the International Water Management Institute

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is a research-fordevelopment (R4D) organization with offices in 14 countries and a global network of scientists operating in more than 30 countries. For over three decades, our research results have led to changes in water management that have contributed to social and economic development.

IWMI’s vision, as reflected in its Strategy 2019-2023, is ‘a water-secure world’. IWMI targets water and land management challenges faced by poor communities in developing countries, and through this contributes towards the achievement

of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of reducing poverty and hunger and maintaining a sustainable environment.

IWMI is a Research Center of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a foodsecure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to transforming food, land and water systems in a climate crisis.

IWMI works through collaborative research with many partners across the globe, and targets policymakers, development agencies, individual farmers and private sector organizations.

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The Role

Title: Global Communications Lead for Water Systems

Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Base salary: USD 80,000 – 100,000 per annum

Tax free in Sri Lanka

Job Summary

The Global Communications Lead for Water Systems will direct the coordination and delivery of communication activities of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI)/CGIAR Water Systems department to enhance the impact of findings from research-for-development projects and programs, and to raise the global profile of our work and of water systems science in general.

The Global Communications Lead will connect to and exploit global and regional trends and opportunities to promote our work and collaborate with our scientists to help them turn their research into impactful communication products to expand the global presence of IWMI and the CGIAR Water Systems department. Collaboration with research leaders will be essential to strengthen strategic communications and impact through our research projects and regional presence.

The Global Communications Lead for Water Systems will report directly to the Director General. They will manage the Communications and Knowledge Menagement Division (CKM) at IWMI Headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and support the Communications teams in the regional offices.

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1. Communication and outreach Water Systems research

• Lead the development and creative thinking, implementation and monitoring of communications, media and outreach strategies to build the reputation of IWMI and CGIAR Water Systems and maximize the policy and development impact of our research across Asia and Africa.

• Make effective, strategic use of a broad range of communication tools to repackage and communicate water systems research to key target audiences including: policymakers to development nongovernmental organizations, development agencies, the private sector, donors, and others.

• Explore evidence-based advocacy and identify key opportunities to influence regional and global processes, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and key actors, including development investors.

• Lead the development and implementation of communication plans for IWMI’s/CGIAR Water Systems’ involvement in major global events and global advocacy days, including content creation for these events.

• Continuously explore new communication and social media tools to convey our messages in a digital world.

• Coordinate the media outreach strategy. This will include identifying promising stories, writing media releases and op-eds, developing press kits and building relations with

media outlets and other communication partners.

• Work with project leaders and partners to develop effective communications within their activities.

• Build the capacity of researchers, communications staff and senior leadership to develop content for multiple media and to be able to use communication effectively to amplify the impact of IWMI’s/CGIAR Water Systems’ research including through social media.

2. Brand management IWMI

• Oversight of brand awareness of IWMI and its relationship with CGIAR Water Systems, and develop branding guidelines.

• Redefine and manage IWMI’s brand and messaging, within the CGIAR context, to ensure it is a global thought leader on water-related issues and continues to resonate with funders and partners.

• Coordinate the production of IWMI’s corporate materials.

3. Management of the Communications and Knowledge Management Division (CKM)

• Lead an effective communications and knowledge management team across IWMI, including the following teams: Creative Communications, Publications, Library, Web/Intranet.

• Supervise the communications staff at IWMI headquarters, including interns, communications fellows and freelancers.

• Maintain oversight of regional communications staff to

ensure that global, regional and project communications are closely coordinated, meeting strategic priorities and quality requirements, and ensure overall coherence.

• Overall responsibility for quality of external communications.

• Identify, brief and manage contracts with writers, videographers, photographers, graphic artists and/or related resources together with the Communications team members.

• Provide regular updates on communication activities to the IWMI Management Team and Board of Governors.

• Support the implementation of One CGIAR Key Performance Indicators, and develop and implement an effective monitoring and evaluation system to better evaluate the impact of IWMI’s/CGIAR Water Systems’ communication activities.

• Undertake other related tasks identified as priorities by the Director General, IWMI/Senior Director, CGIAR Water Systems department, and the Global Director of Communications and Outreach, CGIAR.

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Candidate Profile

Educational Qualifications & Experience Required

• A university degree with at least 10 years’ experience in journalism, public relations, marketing, international studies or related field.

• Proven ability to understand scientific and technical concepts and communicate them clearly to various audiences across both social media and traditional media formats.

• Strong understanding of media/communications, preferably internationally, and experience in using a range of communication tools and techniques.

• Management and organizational experience.

• Experience in planning, implementing and evaluating complex communication programs.

• Experience in working for a research facility or within the development sector is an advantage.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities Required

• Creative thinker with excellent communication skills.

• A sound understanding of marketing and strategic communications.

• Ability to communicate with a diverse target market.

• Proven strong understanding of social media and how digital media works.

• Strong writing and editing skills, with a fluent command of English.

Physical Requirements

• Some international travel.

International Water Management Institute

Candidate Profile


Demonstrate high levels of the following competencies:

Strategic Leadership

• Shows drive and commitment to IWMI’s/the Water Systems department of CGIAR’s vision and mission; helps others understand how their efforts contribute to IWMI’s/the Water Systems department of CGIAR’s work.

• Demonstrates and sets expectations for integrity and honesty in relation to professional ethics and practice. Treats everyone fairly, consistently, and with respect.


• Demonstrates effective oral and written communications skills. Shares information with others, adapting messages to diverse audiences.

• Communicates and responds promptly to meet the needs of internal and external stakeholders.

Stakeholder Focus & Impact Orientation

• Develops realistic plans with available resources; establishes high standards of performance and demonstrates a commitment to quality and excellence; empowers staff; focuses on results and delivers on time and within budget.

• Drives for results by being proactive and setting high standards for self and others; takes ownership and responsibility for maintaining a strong focus on both internal and external stakeholder needs and expectations.

Collaboration & Teamwork

• Promotes collaboration; shares knowledge and information; builds partnerships and creates an environment for learning and continuous innovation.

• Creates an environment conducive to interdisciplinary teamwork across organizational boundaries; builds alliances and promotes open communication and collaboration to achieve joint objectives.

Influencing & Resolving Differences

• Gains support and commitment from others; resolves differences by determining needs and forging solutions that benefit all parties.

• Displays flexibility and respect for differences of opinion; demonstrates transparency and objectivity when negotiating with others.

Promoting Diversity & Inclusion

• Builds diverse teams and manages differences to achieve results. Demonstrates commitment to diversity and inclusion through staffing decisions (recruitment, recognition, development, etc.).

• Respects and values differences, listens with an open mind and enables all staff to actively and visibly contribute.

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How to Apply

All correspondence, at this stage, should be via Oxford HR. To apply for this post, click on the “Apply” button on the job advert page, complete our online application form, and submit your CV and cover letter. Please provide a CV and cover letter in two different documents, which should be prepared before applying as they will be considered in the application process. The cover letter should be no more than two pages long and explain why you are interested in this post and how your skills and experience make you a good fit.

The document should be saved in MS Word in the following format: Your First Name-Your Last Name-Document Name-Date (mmyy) e.g., Pat-Jones-CV-022023-IWMI or Pat-Jones-CoverLetter-022023-IWMI.


Closing date: March 13, 2023

First stage interviews: TBD

Final interviews: TBD

Selection Process

All candidates will receive an update regarding their application after the closing date. We advise candidates to add the role email to their safe senders list and regularly check their spam folder.

Equality Statement

Equality and diversity are at the core of IWMI’s values. Staff are expected to work collectively and individually to promote a constructive and sensitive approach to others from a variety of backgrounds, where the work of others is valued and respected.


If you have any queries on any aspect of the appointment process, need additional information, or would like to have an informal discussion, please email at iwmi-global-communication-lead@ oxfordhr.co.uk in the first instance.

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About Oxford HR

Oxford HR operates globally - mainly within the international development and charity sectors. We carry out retained executive search mandates at board and senior management levels. We also offer human resource and organisational development consultancy.

Oxford HR has many years of experience in search as well as an extensive network of international development, social sector, corporate, public sector, and academic contacts from across the world. We carry out comprehensive and often international searches designed to meet the specific needs of our client.

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