National Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion Strategy Advisor

Terms of Reference

National Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion Strategy Advisor


Hanoi (main office), as well as frequent travel to Lao Cai and Son La

Assignment duration

1 year (with the possibility for a multi-year extension


Full time

Start date

September 2022*

Reporting to

International Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion and Advocacy Manager

Deadline to apply

5 pm Hanoi Time (GMT+7), 18 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 is seeking to recruit a highly qualified professional Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Strategy Adviser to support the implementation of 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 WEE and work with multiple stakeholders to address constraints, generate opportunities, drive market growth and increase 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 complement the sector strategies. Upscaling of WEE and MSD approaches through supporting National Target Program (NTP) implementation will also be a focus of GREAT 2.


Reporting to the GEDSI and Advocacy Manager, the GEDSI Strategy Advisor will contribute to the strategic direction of the Program, as well as articulate our gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI) approach and support the integration of gender equality principles across all program activities.  This will include capacity building, providing a strong gender perspective to program and partner planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation, as well as high-level inputs into learning and reflection workshops.  The role also includes identifying opportunities to connect the program to national-level gender policy discussions, and supporting quality reporting and communication activities. The position will also contribute to organisation-wide objectives as a member of the Strategy Team.


Program Development:

  • Provide strategic inputs for the identification of program solutions to systemically and comprehensively address gender within the ecosystem GREAT operates (households, local communities, target market sectors and businesses, government and policy).
  • Develop GREAT’s GEDSI Annual Workplan and design comprehensive interventions for upscaling WEE and gender equality approaches to achieve program objectives at provincial and national levels.
  • Provide advice to the GREAT team and partners for new and existing investments to ensure that the constraints faced by women are identified and solutions are appropriate.
  • Identify relevant targeting and mainstreaming approaches for the Program to be inclusive of people with disabilities. 
  • Participate in the investment selection process including:
    • Preparation of quality concept notes on new initiatives to the Team Leader/Deputy Team Leader.
    • Negotiations with potential private or public sector partners.
    • Preparing proposals and documentation for review by the Investment Committee.

Project Management

  • Manage specific GEDSI initiatives on a day-to-day basis including gender equality behavioural change communication, the leadership program and gender mainstreaming in NTPs for provincial and national partners.
  • Actively monitor and steer the partner's progress in achieving GEDSI targets and provide timely advice on potential improvements.
  • Collaborate with the team to ensure the quality of partner reporting and communications that address the multi-dimensional nature of women’s economic empowerment. 

Capacity Building

  • Provide broad expertise to the GREAT team, Project Management Units (PMUs) and Partners to build capacity and inform approaches and activities that address the multi-dimensional nature of women’s economic empowerment.
  • Coordinate a gender expert network across GREAT investments to promote learning between partners on GEDSI and WEE models and approaches.

Knowledge Development and Communication Products

  • Identify key gender insights based on monitoring visits, the longitudinal study and project-level surveys and contribute to GREAT knowledge management and communications products. 
  • Participate in and contribute to learning workshops organised by GREAT, government, and development partners to share experience and approaches on GREAT’s gender and WEE issues.


  • Master's degree in social science.
  • 5-7 years of directly relevant work experience, preferably with direct experience with international development projects.
  • An excellent understanding of GEDSI issues in Vietnam.
  • Experience with WEE programs and working with ethnic minorities.
  • Proven ability for strategic planning and steering.
  • Familiar with result-based project management tools.
  • Experience in organising and facilitating training and learning.
  • Ability to manage multiple demands and prioritise tasks, work effectively and collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, and support other team members as needed.
  • Excellent communication skills in Vietnamese and English.
  • Enthusiasm and the ability to work with, support and influence others.
  • Tertiary qualifications in a relevant area such as gender studies or international development.


Candidates are encouraged to apply no later than 5 pm Hanoi Time (GMT+7), 18 July 2022. Applications will be assessed as they are received. We thank all applicants, however, only those making the shortlist will be contacted.

Interested candidates are invited to send an application to [email protected]. Please indicate in the subject “Application for GEDSI Strategy Advisor ”.

Applications should include:

  • A cover letter including a response to each of the selection criteria
  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • Contact details of 3 referees

Cowater is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people with a disability, 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, 2022-07-18