Researcher – Social Science
Value Chain Development and Irrigation Management
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The person and the job
If you have strong research and development interest on issues related to the social science of irrigation including value chain development, irrigation governance and management, and livelihoods and are looking for an exciting and challenging opportunity to contribute solutions, we may have the job for you. Together with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is launching a four-year project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) that aims to transform irrigation in Ethiopia. We seek a systems thinker who can work with a wide range of interests to develop and deliver new approaches and interventions to enhance livelihoods and gender equitable wealth. You will be based at IWMI’s East Africa and Nile Basin Office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and will report to the IWMI LIVES Project Leader. While the incumbent will focus on the Livestock and Irrigation Value-chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project, all IWMI staff form part of a larger team contributing to poverty reduction through better agricultural water management.
The Livestock and Irrigation Value-chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) Project The goal of the LIVES Project is to “contribute to enhanced income and gender equitable wealth creation for smallholders and other value chain actors through increased and sustained market off-take of high-value livestock and irrigated crop commodities.” The purpose of the project is to “improve competitiveness, sustainability and equity in value chains for selected high-value livestock and irrigated crop commodities in target areas of four regions of Ethiopia.” This will be achieved by working alongside high caliber national partners to build capacity, provide knowledge and skills through action-oriented research. More detail is given in the Executive Summary appended below.
As a Researcher, you will:
- lead the diagnosis of irrigated agricultural commodities value chains in selected project areas, and design/match appropriate input/service supply, and processing/marketing interventions;
- design and oversee the implementation of related research activities on irrigated agricultural value chain development, and the management and governance of irrigation schemes to support the overall project;
- provide advice to project staff and partners for the introduction of the selected value chain interventions;
- lead capacity building of project partners in irrigated agriculture commodity development;
- ensure the effective dissemination of research findings to producers, processing businesses, marketing organizations and consumers;
- be able to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team; and
- be part of, and contribute to, IWMI’s global program on irrigation revitalization.
You will possess:
- a PhD in a social science, economics, rural development or a closely related discipline;
- at least 3 years’ experience conducting research on topics related to value chains, institutions, governance and irrigation, preferably in the context of sub-Saharan Africa;
- evidence of working in a dynamic team environment from different backgrounds and organizations;
- an ability to conceptualize and implement research projects in your field;
- a record of research publications and wider dissemination products on value chains, irrigation and water management;
- excellent communication skills with a variety of people from household communities, extension workers, private businesses to government representatives and academics; and
- familiarity and experience with participatory methods (such as participatory value chain analysis).
This is an internationally recruited position with a competitive salary and benefits package, which includes a housing allowance, transport, education, shipping assistance, annual home leave, retirement and health insurance package. IWMI’s policy is to appoint staff initially on three-year contracts which are subject to renewal, depending on performance and the Institute’s needs.
Review of applications will begin on 15 May 2012.
LIVES Project - Executive Summary
“Livestock and Irrigation Value-chains for Ethiopian Smallholders”(LIVES) is a four and a half-year initiative designed by ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute), IWMI (International Water Management Institute) and their national partners to build upon the success of the project, “Improving Productivity and Market Success of Smallholders in Ethiopia” (IPMS) funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Since 2005, IPMS has helped to create in its pilot areas an enabling environment in which the public sector, smallholder farmers and private-sector agents are empowered to increase the production and productivity of crops and livestock through participatory, market-oriented development. The successes resulted from applying innovation system approaches to identify and exploit opportunities in commodity value chains. LIVES will build on these lessons, but will also introduce new approaches and interventions, and will scale-up and scale-out, focusing on a more limited number of value chains, and emphasizing the development of sustained capacity that will continue to have an impact beyond the life of the project.
The goal of the project is to “contribute to enhanced income and gender equitable wealth creation for smallholders and other value-chain actors through increased and sustained market off-take of high-value livestock and irrigated crop commodities.”
The purpose of the project is to “improve competitiveness, sustainability and equity in value chains for selected high-value livestock and irrigated crop commodities in target areas of four regions of Ethiopia.”
The objectives of the project are as shown below:
1. To facilitate the identification, targeting and promotion of improved technologies and organizational and institutional innovations to develop the value chains of selected high-value livestock and irrigated crop commodities.
2. To improve the capacity of the value-chain actors and the support services at the different administrative (kebelle to national) levels to develop the selected value chains and respond to emerging challenges and opportunities.
3. To improve generation, access, flow and use of knowledge relevant to the value chains within and amongst the different administrative (kebelle to national) levels.
4. To generate knowledge through action-oriented research on, and synthesis of, lessons learned about value-chain development.
5. To facilitate the promotion and dissemination of principles and good practices for the development of value chains.
Some of the key principles that LIVES will work within include the following:
- Working directly with private and collective value-chain actors to drive innovation and uptake of improved practices, and to develop new market opportunities.
- To use a Business Development Services approach to capacity building wherever possible, thereby supporting key public and private organizations to sustainably deliver capacity services beyond the life of the project.
- Mainstreaming gender targeting in all project activities, beginning with project staff and processes, and focusing on value chains where women’s opportunities are strong.
- Using the best science available to identify, develop and target project interventions to increase likelihood of uptake and impact.
- Early development of a coherent communications and exit strategy to guide knowledge management, dissemination, advocacy and scaling up.
- Developing and leveraging linkages with other investments and initiatives to maximize positive outcomes, including the Government of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) and other donor-supported programs.
- Employing a strong monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and results-based framework for objective monitoring, reflection and redesign.
While LIVES will build on the successful approaches and methods of IPMS, it will also be distinctly different in ways designed to provide for sustained outcomes and impact, and to scale-out and scale-up results. These differences include the following:
· Targeting of ‘longer’ value chains that may operate beyond the district to region and beyond, to provide larger, more diverse and more sustained market opportunities.
· Clustering of districts in the marketing of products and accessing services, so as to capitalize on economies of scale and build market power.
· Working higher up the technology and commercialization ladder among a sub-set of producers that have the potential to achieve greater levels of productivity and marketed surplus, and so demonstrate future options.
· Focusing on a limited set of value chains to maximize impact: livestock and irrigated high-value crops.
· Limiting the training exercises that will be conducted by project staff, and instead focusing on developing sustainable Master Trainers among appropriate organizations and individuals.
· New emphasis on partnerships at regional and national levels to scale-up project outcomes, through existing coordination and planning structures.
· Specific emphasis on linking activities with other investments by the Government of Ethiopia, including new complementary initiatives by ILRI and IWMI.
Please submit your application online at: www.iwmi.org/About_IWMI/Vacancies/