About the Organization

The Better Cotton Initiative (Better Cotton) is a multi-stakeholder initiative and the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world. It is governed by a multistakeholder council comprising representatives of 5 membership categories (civil society, producer organisations, retailers & brands, suppliers & manufacturers and independent members) that are elected by a general assembly. Better Cotton’s Secretariat implements the Council’s decisions and operates the Better Cotton’ Standards System (BCSS) in collaboration with local partners currently supporting over 2.9 million farmers in 26 countries.

The BCSS is made of different components including among others the Better Cotton Principles & Criteria (P&C), a capacity building programme and an assurance programme designed to accompany and guide farmers in continuously adopting more sustainable agricultural practices.

Job Description 

We are looking for a proactive and experienced Social Impact Manager to take the lead on the implementation of the decent work and smallholder livelihoods workstreams in India.

As a Social Impact Manager, you will be expected to effectively pl an , lead, represent, communicate about and coordinate any decent work and smallholder livelihoods related activity, especially in the areas of stakeholder engagement and capacity building. This will comprise the initiation of new projects and partnerships around these workstreams and the design and implementation of localised plans to address decent work-related risks and enhance livelihood opportunities of cotton communities. The position will support our Programme Partners’ capacities to monitor and address incidents and risks to decent work including through the establishment of effective mechanisms and the development of partnerships with social and labour rights expert organisations.

 This role will report into the Capacity Building Manager in India. This role offers excellent opportunities for personal and professional development, together with a competitive benefits package.

Job Responsibilities

Stakeholder engagement on Decent Work

  • Build a network of key stakeholders at country level including labour experts, government agencies, local civil society groups and worker representative structures which can be drawn upon to help inform our decent work plans and support with capacity building work, and to support Programme Partners (PPs) to implement decent work projects in specific areas.
  • Lead on continuous risk assessments (local and country-wide) to enable risk-based targeting and inform assurance and capacity building approaches and help design relevant tools. 
  • Coordinate and conduct desk- and field-based research at country level to understand decent work-related topics and risk factors.
  • Ensure that country programme activities, including mitigation measures and remediation approach are informed by the outcomes of contexts specific risk assessments and consultation with key stakeholders.
  • Review Producer self-assessments and external assessments for risks, identify specific vulnerable groups and provide recommendations to adapt assurance and capacity building approaches and tools.
  • Translate Better Cotton’s global decent work agenda and lead its adaptation to India specific contexts.

Grievance Handling

  • Monitor the complaints received by Partners and farmers through existing feedback channels, escalating cases as needed, coordinating corrective action and facilitating remediation in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders, including government agencies, trade unions, local community actors, civil society organisations and labour experts.
  • Support Partners in establishing grievance redressal mechanisms supporting farm workers and sharecroppers through exploring existing local worker feedback mechanisms, designing and planning implementation of new solutions as needed.

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Enhancing Livelihood Opportunities of Cotton Communities

  • In accordance with the Principle on Sustainable Livelihoods in the revised Principles & Criteria, the Better Cotton’s Sustainable Livelihoods Approach, conduct mapping of organisations implementing sustainable livelihoods programme in India and identify ways to collaborate with those to support the 2030 Livelihood target of Better Cotton. 
  • Conduct rapid state-level assessments to understand what the drivers of living income in cotton communities are, and how the barriers in achieving those be overcome.
  • In consultation with Programme Partners, identify existing and potential resources and opportunities to enhance sustainable livelihoods of cotton communities, and support them identify priority opportunities and secure resources and support. 
  • Support PPs design livelihood enhancement programmes which are based on the principles of cooperation, collaboration and inclusivity; and support them with implementation of these programmes. 
  • Support PPs strengthen the existing Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and promote formation of new ones; identify opportunities to improve their market access and acquire financial and material resources to support the growth of FPOs. 
  • Equip PPs to work with existing Public/private/CSO programmes in building employable skills in youth, especially in young women in the cotton communities.

Capacity Strengthening

  • Support the review and update of Programme Partners training materials and facilitate the sharing of resources and approaches. 
  • Support the PPs in developing and roll-out Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning frameworks fit for purpose. 
  • Explore innovative ways to improve outreach to Better Cotton farmers and workers, including through social media, mass communication channels, etc. 
  • Support PPs in identifying effective training methods and help them develop relevant guidance and training materials on decent work and livelihoods. 
  • Support the roll-out and implementation of Better Cotton’s Revised Standard “Principles & Criteria,” related to Decent Work and Livelihoods

Fund Raising and Communication

  • Contribute to fund raising efforts to raise resources to fund decent work and livelihood interventions by PPs. 
  • Prepare relevant and engaging communication briefs on decent work and livelihood interventions in the India Programme
  • Ensure regular communication and collaboration with other teams. 
  • Represent the India team in Better Cotton’s Social Impact Working Group to share ongoing updates on key projects, activities and lessons learnt with other social impact focal point.


  • Participate in communication activities relevant to Better Cotton global targets on decent work. 
  • Support specific research and innovation projects relating to decent work specific topics. 
  • Undertake other duties as determined by the Line Manager and the India Country Director which are compatible with the role and job description.

Education Qualification/Required skills & Experience 

  • University degree in social sciences at a Master’s level, or equivalent higher education qualification, in a relevant field 
  • Demonstrated expertise in decent work, social issues, including international rights and regulatory framework in India on fundamental principles and rights at work, understanding specific challenges around informality and other risk factors in rural areas 
  • At least 10 years’ working experience, with a minimum 4 years’ experience managing complex projects
  • Outstanding communication and coordination skills 
  • Experience managing stakeholder relations, engaging with the government agencies (e.g., Ministry of labour, labour inspectorates, etc.), civil society and workers’ organisations 
  • Experience in conducting assessments and/or interviews with workers or other vulnerable groups, such as children 
  • Understanding of feedback mechanisms for farmer/worker grievances 
  • Experience directly supporting farmers, farm workers and farming communities 
  • Excellent organisation and problem-solving skills (capacity to operate independently or with limited supervision) 
  • Demonstrated qualitative research skills (i.e., focus groups discussions, stakeholder interviews, survey development) 
  • Fluent in English and one or more state languages in India
  • IT literacy including Microsoft software tools 
  • Willingness to travel frequently (unless travel restrictions are in place) and to carry out administrative tasks


  • Solid understanding of agricultural production and supply chains for agricultural commodities

How to Apply

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