Title: Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Adviser (Long-term)

Project: TOMAK (To’os ba Moris Di’ak) / Farming for Prosperity

Duration: June 2023 – June 2024, with an option of a 2-year extension.

ARF Level: B2/B3

Location: Dili, Timor-Leste, with regular travel to municipalities

Reports to: Team Leader

Manages: 2 national technical personnel, short-term advisers, sub-contracted organisations


The To’os Ba Moris Di’ak Program (TOMAK) is a 10-year agricultural livelihoods program funded by the Australian Government in Timor-Leste. Its goal is to ensure rural households live more prosperous and sustainable lives.

TOMAK is being implemented at community level in Baucau, Bobonaro and Viqueque municipalities, through government and NGO partners, with broader reach achieved through a range of systems strengthening activities with government and private sector partners.

Position Summary

The Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Adviser is a key member of the TOMAK leadership team and is responsible for day-to-day direction-setting, activity implementation, stakeholder engagement and partnerships, and overall management of this important technical area. GEDSI is a cross-cutting principle within the TOMAK program design, and the GEDSI Adviser plays a critical role in ensuring that the program develops and implements contextually appropriate, best practice approaches to GEDSI in order to achieve program outcomes.

The GEDSI Adviser will lead the implementation of TOMAK’s Phase 2 GEDSI Strategy, working closely with TOMAK’s National GEDSI Specialist, program leadership and technical personnel. This strategy articulates and guides the program’s approach to mainstreaming inclusion and identify key areas where TOMAK intends to implement specific interventions (including gender-transformative approaches) to ensure key target groups are reached – namely women farmers, farmers with disabilities and youth farmers. The Adviser will ensure that the strategy is socialised and bedded down within the program, and updated regularly based on implementation experiences and learnings.

The Adviser will provide technical leadership for TOMAK’s GEDSI-related research as well as monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) activities, including managing any short-term consultants engaged to support GEDSI research and assessments (including researches into disability prevalence and inclusion to be used to inform and shape disability inclusion strategies). The GEDSI Adviser will also provide technical input into other research activities led by TOMAK and partners (e.g. food systems research, value chain analyses) to ensure all research has sufficient inclusion focus and employs gender and disability-sensitive methodologies.

The Adviser manages the GEDSI team (currently a National GEDSI Specialist, short-term consultants/advisers, with potential to recruit an additional disability-focused role). The Adviser will be expected to work closely with the GEDSI team to develop and execute an annual workplan, and to actively contribute to the capacity development of any direct reports. The Adviser will also work with the GEDSI team to improve GEDSI skills and capacity among the broader TOMAK team (through high quality trainings, skills building, mentoring), as well as with implementation partners and other stakeholders. With regard to community level approaches, the Adviser will be expected to play both a managerial and technical role in managing TOMAK’s main implementing NGO partner (CRS) along with other members of the TOMAK leadership team.

The GEDSI Adviser should have high level leadership skills, whilst still being willing to roll up their sleeves to get work done. The Advisor will have the ability to collaborate with diverse teams and effectively communicate new and sensitive topics, and to support colleagues to integrate GEDSI (particularly gender) in their work. Strong organisational skills and the ability to manage competing priorities and deadlines are a must. The Adviser should be an excellent communicator, capable of expressing the program’s vision and desired outcomes through a range of formats and with a variety of stakeholders. The Adviser should be willing to travel regularly to the field (Baucau, Bobonaro and Viqueque municipalities) including to rural/farming communities as required.

Duties and responsibilities

In collaboration with TOMAK’s technical teams, develop plans and lead the implementation of the TOMAK2 GEDSI strategy, ensuring that this strategy is well integrated across all areas (incl. food systems, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, food security and nutrition, market systems development, resilience, policy and institutional strengthening);

  • Provide high quality GEDSI technical input into TOMAK’s research and assessments, field implementation approaches, monitoring and evaluation, and policy/advocacy efforts including for activities implemented by TOMAK partners (GoTL, NGO, private sector);
  • Together with the National GEDSI Specialist (and possibly one other disability-focused role) manage key GEDSI partnerships including with the Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion (SEII), Rede Feto (the Timor-Leste women’s network), women’s organisations, youth organisations, and organisations of persons with disabilities;
  • Ensure provision of high-quality support, training and refresher training for TOMAK staff and implementing partners on GEDSI principles and approaches;
  • Ensure the program is adequately tracking inclusion outcomes through its monitoring, evaluation and learning systems, including through tools such as the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) or similar;
  • Directly supervise and support the National GEDSI Specialist and any other direct reports through provision of coaching, and support the GEDSI team in planning, implementation and monitoring of GEDSI activities;
  • Support the ongoing capacity development of TOMAK’s GEDSI staff in relevant technical areas, and support the broader TOMAK team to improve program-wide GEDSI knowledge, skills and capacity;
  • As a member of the TOMAK leadership team, play an active role in stakeholder engagement and the development of key deliverables including writing sections of the annual workplan and annual report, and presenting at donor briefings;
  • Recruit and manage any short-term personnel required for key GEDSI assignments to ensure delivery of high quality deliverables (incl. research, training curricula, analysis, etc.);
  • Liaise with and work in line with the DFAT Nabilan Program’s approaches on addressing violence against women and children, including prevention methodology endorsed under Timor-Leste’s National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence;
  • Work in line with the Australia-Timor-Leste Partnership for Human Development (PHD) Program’s approaches on addressing disability, endorsed under Timor-Leste’s National Action Plan on disability;
  • Review as required all TOMAK/ASI policies, procedures and other relevant documentation to ensure they are aligned to DFAT frameworks and adhere to principles of gender equality, disability and social inclusion;
  • Participate in relevant GEDSI-related networks (including those convened by DFAT) to ensure regular communication and coordination with other programs, organisations and agencies.

Skills and experience required:

1. Demonstrated international development experience in gender equality and disability inclusion-related programming, particularly in the areas of agricultural productivity, food and nutrition security (at least 7 years);

2. Demonstrated ability to design and adapt program approaches and strategies that promote gender transformative programming and that support women’s economic empowerment in diverse contexts;

3. Excellent research skills with the ability to synthesise rich multi-methods data, and contribute to TOMAK’s research and learning agenda on gender and agriculture;

4. Demonstrated familiarity with participatory MEL approaches and strong knowledge of current gender-transformative measurement;

5. Demonstrated high level organisational skills and the ability to manage multiple tasks, competing priorities and complete assignments within timeframes;

6. Experience in capacity building, including training and on the job mentoring of national staff, strong leadership and team management skills;

7. Excellent strategic communication and advocacy skills, analytical and report writing skills;

8. Exceptional interpersonal and cross-cultural skills and the ability to develop highly productive relationships within a large team and across key stakeholders;

9. Demonstrated capacity to work collegially with government, private sector, civil society, other partner organisations, youth and to manage effective partnership arrangements;

10. Post-graduate qualifications relating to international development, gender relations, agriculture, rural/development economics, or similar;

11. Prior working experience in Timor-Leste is preferred and fluency in Tetum language is desirable.

To apply:

For further information or to submit your application, please email HR TOMAK HR@tomak.org with the email subject line “GEDSI LT Adviser”. Application close COB Friday 05 May 2023 (AEST).

Applications should include the following:

  • a cover letter that addresses the Terms of Reference
  • an up-to-date CV (no more than three pages)
  • a recent example of authored GEDSI-related document (study, report, analysis).

Adam Smith International is an equal-opportunity employer – women and candidates from diverse backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply.

Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications received, only short-listed applicants will be contacted.