National Gender Strategy Advisor


Terms of Reference

National Gender Strategy Advisor

Location Hanoi (main office), as well as frequent travel to Lao Cai and Son La
Assignment duration 8 months (with possibility of extension)
Hours    Full time (part-time negotiable)
Start date May 2021
Reporting to Deputy Team Leader
Deadline to apply 12 April 2021


With more than 35 years’ experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial 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, 2018 and 2019.


Cowater International is seeking to recruit a highly qualified professional as national Gender Strategy Advisor 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. 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 – 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.

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 has a portfolio of approximately 50 partners to deliver results, including private sector actors, governmental and non-governmental organisations, and research institutions. The Program aims to mainstream gender equality in all projects, with gender targeting the focus of specific interventions.


Reporting to the Deputy Team Leader, the Gender Strategy Advisor is part of the Senior Management Team and will contribute to the strategic direction of the Program, as well as articulate our gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI) approach and support 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, supporting quality reporting and communication activities and strategic inputs into the design of a potential second phase of the Program.   


  • Provide strategic input into the Program’s direction, including a potential second phase of GREAT, through providing high-quality advice on GEDSI as part of the Senior Management Team.
  • Lead the gender network across Program partners to coordinate activities and document and share best practise on GEDSI.
  • Identify key gender insights based on monitoring visits, the longitudinal study and project level surveys and contribute to GREAT knowledge management and communications products. 
  • Manage specific initiatives including gender equality behavioural change campaigns and the gender-responsive business planning project.
  • 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.
  • Actively monitor and steer the Program’s progress in achieving GEDSI targets and provide timely advice on potential improvements.
  • Participate in the Reflect/Refocus workshops to inform the Program’s and Partner’s workplan development and provide expert knowledge and guide/facilitate partners’ discussion on gender and women’s economic empowerment issues.
  • Provide support for policy advocacy at a provincial level and identify opportunities to connect the GREAT Program to national-level policy discussions and other initiatives or programs.
  • Collaborate with the team to ensure the quality of reporting and communications that addresses the multi-dimensional nature of women’s economic empowerment.  


  • 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 women’s economic empowerment programs and working with ethnic minorities.
  • Familiar with strategic planning, steering and project management tools and techniques.
  • Experience in organising and facilitating training and learning sessions.
  • Ability to manage multiple demands and prioritise tasks, work effectively and collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, and support other team members as needed.
  • Excellent communications 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.


Interested candidates are invited to send an application to Please indicate in the subject “Application for Aus4Equality Gender Specialist”.

Applications should include:

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

Deadline of submission: 5:00pm, Friday 12 April 2021

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

Job Details
Organisation Name:
Aus4Equality|GREAT Program
Application Deadline:
Mon, 2021-04-12
Candidates have to confirm having received the recruitment information through the recruiting channel NGO Recruitment in the application letter for this position

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