About Us 

The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) is a national education institution committed to the equitable, sustainable and efficient transformation of Indian settlements.

About the Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP)

The Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply, Government of Tamil Nadu Municipal (MAWS, GoTN) aims at scaling up access to safe and sustainable sanitation to all its urban areas in the next five years. Tamil Nadu will be poised to becoming a fully sanitized and healthy state, substantially eliminating open defecation, achieving improvements through the entire sanitation value chain, safely disposing an increasing proportion of its human excreta, and re-using/ recovering resources therefrom. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is supporting GoTN to achieve the Sanitation Mission of Tamil Nadu. This support shall enable the GoTN to invest resources towards innovative solutions to achieve mission goals. 

A Technical Support Unit (TSU) has been set up to be the comprehensive technical arm for the MAWS-GoTN, and assists in implementation of state-level and city-level initiatives, based on agreed parameters. In addition, two sub-TSUs have been set up in two select urban locations.

IIHS is supporting the Government of Tamil Nadu, and is the lead agency for implementation of the TNUSSP (see tnussp.co.in).

About the Trichy CWIS Project

Trichy has been selected as one of the cities under the City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) initiative by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The wider CWIS initiative is globally supported by multiple agencies and organisations including the BMGF and the World Bank. CWIS cities are expected to move towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for sanitation to ensure safe, inclusive, and financially sustainable sanitation services, and serve as global benchmarks. 

The Trichy CWIS project is guided by the urban local body and delivered by a consortium of partners led by IIHS. While the project aims to improve overall sanitation outcomes in Trichy across the full cycle of sanitation, it also focuses on improvement of service delivery to the urban poor and vulnerable. The project also attempts to mainstream sanitation into existing initiatives, showcase innovations, and systematically document and share learnings (particularly with a view to enabling replication).

The project builds on ongoing work done by IIHS on urban sanitation in Tamil Nadu (TNUSSP).

Job Description

The Specialist – Gender will be responsible for the overall deliverables of the program initiatives for gender, and also for strengthening the program related to sanitation. The current initiatives are a mix of policy/ governance and on-the-ground implementation. These are broadly in the areas of improving access to sanitation services, strengthening women professionals in sanitation, and improving governance.

The incumbent will work closely with the TNUSSP & CWIS teams to deliver the following outputs:

  • Integrating gender concerns across the sanitation chain, both at city and state level;
  • Guiding/ supporting local partners in implementing gender-based initiatives; 
  • Strengthening women’s agency in sanitation decision-making;
  • Developing, implementing, monitoring and reporting on various initiatives related to gender;
  • Coordinating with various alliances and experts working directly or indirectly on gender issues. 

Activities and Tasks

Responsibilities would include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Coordinating with the team to develop pilot demonstrations at Community Toilets/ Public Toilets (CTs/PTs) on gender-friendly sanitation facilities/design and improved management models, including Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) facilities; 
  • Proactively working with the identified local partners to implement the gender and MHM-related initiatives along the full cycle of sanitation; 
  • Reviewing and developing strategies on creating/ strengthening opportunities for women professionals along the sanitation chain; including strengthening women-led enterprises;
  • Supporting work with sanitation workers, particularly working at the intersection of gender and caste;
  • Developing a professional approach in the operations of women sanitation workers and reducing operational hurdles for women’s federation-run sanitation activities towards profit and sustainability;
  • Supporting development of various capacity building and sensitisation initiatives related to gender;
  • Overseeing the team in the implementation of other key gender components across the sanitation value chain, and monitoring progress against set indicators;
  • Providing support to other IIHS activities including academics, research, practice, training, operations and others;
  • Participating in all activities of institution-building at IIHS; carrying out tasks as assigned by IIHS; and traveling on IIHS work within or outside the country as and when needed.

Structure and Reporting 

  • The Specialist – Gender will report to the Team Leader, TNUSSP or to any other person designated by the Team Leader, and will be required to collaborate effectively with a diverse group of internal teams and external individuals/organisations, and students.

Person Specification

  • The applicant is required to possess a professional degree in women’s studies/ gender, development studies, social science, political science, or any other relevant field with a total of 8-12 years’ work experience, including at least 5-9 years of experience in gender.
  • Ideally, the candidate should have worked across a range of gender issues including improved services, livelihoods strengthening, etc.
  • Experience of working in urban contexts would be an added advantage.
  • S/he should also have experience of working in multi-disciplinary teams, have interfaced with NGOs, Community Based Organisations, and donor agencies, and possess good people management skills. Experience in working with government programmes and alliance-building processes will be valuable. 
  • This offer is on an exclusive basis, which implies that other professional assignments (whether compensated or not) that bear a potential conflict of interest with IIHS cannot be undertaken. 
  • The search will remain open until the position is filled.


  • This position is based in Chennai with frequent travel to other districts in Tamil Nadu, and may entail travel to other locations in India as well.

How to Apply

  • If you are interested to explore this opportunity with us, please fill the online application form by clicking here. (You can also click on the “Apply Now” button at the end of the Job Description displayed on the website).


  • Please write to us at [email protected] if you need any clarifications while filling the online application form.

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