Aus4EqualityGender Advisor (International)



Gender Advisor (International)


Terms of Reference



Hanoi (main office), Lao Cai, Son La

Assignment duration

1 year with possibility for extension


50 days (with the possibility of an extension)

Start date

March 2020 (approximately)

Deadline to apply

5pm, 15 March 2020



With more than 30 years of experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development. We have managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe for clients such as DFID, DFAT Australia, the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada. We work with governments, partner organizations, 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 in 2017 and 2018.




Cowater International is seeking to recruit a highly qualified international Gender Advisor as a member of the Technical Panel for the Aus4Equality|Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Program.

The GREAT Program is a flagship initiative of the Australian Development Cooperation program in Vietnam – it commenced in November 2017 and will run for five years (2017 to 2021). The Program is promoting women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in the ethnically diverse north-west region of Vietnam. The primary beneficiaries are women living in the provinces of Son La and Lao Cai with a focus on economic inclusion for of women from ethnic minority communities.  The Program is partnering with approximately 50 organisations to deliver results, including private sector actors, governmental and non-governmental organisations, and research institutions.

The objectives of the Aus4Equality|GREAT Program are:

·       Objective 1 – Empowering local women: Women living in local communities have increased capacity, space and choices to beneficially engage with agriculture and tourism businesses.

·       Objective 2 – Inclusive businesses partnerships: Selected private sector actors within the agriculture and tourism sectors innovate to profitably and sustainably trade with more women entrepreneurs and operate in gender sensitive ways.

·       Objective 3 – Improving sector governance and policy: Government agencies reinforce policies, and enact plans, regulations and services that enable more inclusive socio-economic development.


GREAT is tackling complex gender dynamics in public and private spheres as it attempts to develop pathways for women’s economic empowerment. The pathways are multiple, unpredictable, non-linear, and not always well-understood.  The Program needs insights and ideas to find pathways that work with and for ethnic minority women in our target locations.



The Gender Advisor will work for the Program as a member of the Technical Panel to provide technical advice and contribute expert knowledge on gender and women’s economic empowerment to help the Program tailor its approaches in ways that continuously improve women’s economic empowerment. The Technical Panel currently comprises of an M&E Advisor (International), Policy Advisor (National) and Ethnological Advisor (International).

Reporting to the Team Leader, the Gender Advisor will work closely with the Program’s National Gender Specialist, technical and MERL teams to provide advice and inputs as needed.  The Advisor will also help build the capacity of the Program team, the provincial management units (PMUs) and the implementing partners on gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Additionally, the role will liaise with the DFAT Senior Gender Advisor, as appropriate.


·       Build the knowledge and skills of the GREAT team and the PMU’s in relation to issues of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

·       Support the Program to deepen the integration of women’s economic empowerment in a market systems approach, including by supporting the operationalisation of the “Inclusive Systems Development” framework.

·       Review GREAT’s GESI mainstreaming approach with partners and results to date and provide strategic and practical recommendations for strengthening the Program’s outcomes for women’s economic empowerment.

·       Contribute to awareness raising and learning of partners, including by supporting the design of, and harvesting learnings from, a GESI workshop with GREAT partners (planned for April 2020).

·       Inform GREAT’s gender equality policy advocacy at national level, including by advising the development of the National Target Program on Social Economic Development for Ethnic Minority and Mountainous Areas 2021 – 2025 (NTP – SEDEMA).

·       Identify opportunities for GREAT to influence the policy agenda at the Province and National level.

·       Advise the GREAT team on issues of intersectionality, particularly between women’s economic empowerment and gender-based violence (including drawing on UNFPA’s expertise on violence against women).

·       Advise on how to appropriately engage men and boys through the Program to support Women’s Economic Empowerment outcomes.

·       Along with the Program Gender Specialist, provide advice to the Team Leader and MERL Manager on how GREAT’s MERL system can best capture, analyse and report on critical gender issues.

·       Contribute to communications and related 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 women’s economic empowerment and market systems approaches. 

·       Provide other advice as needed to GREAT’s Team Leader and Gender Specialist, including on ‘do no harm’ approaches and issues.





·       A minimum 15 years experience working on gender issues in an international development context.

·       Excellent understanding of women’s economic empowerment.

·       Strong understanding of market systems and systemic approaches to achieving development outcomes.

·       Experience providing high level gender advocacy and policy advice to governments.

·       Proven critical thinking and analytical skills.

·       Excellent training, facilitation and mentoring skills.

·       Strong report writing and spoken communication skills in English.

·       Masters degree in gender, sociology, international development or another relevant field.

·       Experience working in Vietnam, including with ethnic minorities, is an advantage.



Please submit your application to by 5 pm (Hanoi time) 15 March 2020 specifying the position you are applying for in the email title. The proposal should include:

·       A detailed CV (maximum 4 pages)

·       A cover letter including a response to each of the selection criteria

·       A daily rate that complies with DFAT’s Aid Advisor Renumeration Framework for international staff  The budget for travel costs will be negotiated with the successful consultant.


Please note that an agreement will be entered into with the successful consultant that has to be compliant with Cowater’s head contract with DFAT including DFAT ownership of final deliverables.


 Please note that an agreement will be entered into with the successful consultant that should be compliant with CowaterSogema’s head contract with DFAT including DFAT ownership of final deliverables.

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

Women, and people of minority groups, are encouraged to apply