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ILRI Research Fellowship - call for applications for Agro-economist (MSc student)

Project: CGIAR-Challenge Program on Water and Food – Integrated management of rainwater for croplivestock agro-ecosystems projectLocation: Nairobi (Kenya) and Tamale (Ghana)Duration: 6 months, starting between March and April 2013General: The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI, works at the crossroads of livestock and poverty, bringing high-quality livestock science, communications and capacity building to bear on poverty reduction and sustainable development. ILRI is one of 15 Centres of the CGIAR Consortium, a global agricultural research partnership for a food-secure future. The CGIAR-Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) is a global research effort on water and food, done in river basins where 1.5 billion people live. Volta river basin lies in Burkina Faso and northern Ghana. Central development challenges identified in the Volta basin are ways to strengthen management of rainwater and small reservoirs so that they can be used equitably and for multiple purposes, including food production. The Integrated management of rainwater for crop-livestock agro-ecosystems Project (V2) intends to address the basin’s development challenges through the following development outcomes:(a) the inclusion of livestock as a significant dimension in the thinking about improved rainwater management,(b) understanding how institutions and market incentives shape the reality of interventions,(c) strengthening linkages between different value chain actors,(d) improving communication and adaptive learning,(e) taking into account gender dimensions.The V2 project uses an overarching innovation platform approach that supports learning and exchange to deliver the development outcomes outlined above. An innovation platform is a network of different stakeholders who come together to exchange knowledge and develop joint action to bring about change in livelihoods and natural resource management. ILRI is currently developing a conceptual framework to monitor and evaluate the impact of innovation platforms hypothesizing that the structure of the platform has an impact on the conduct of its participants, which in turn has an impact on the performance of the platform.The position: The Agro-economist (MSc student) will use methods from marketing analysis to identify the relationships between factors that contribute to the performance of an innovation platform in reaching selected development outcomes identified above, in order to refine and test the conceptual framework for the monitoring and evaluation of the impact of innovation platforms.Key responsibilities:
  • To review relevant and recent literature on marketing relationships and innovation platforms;
  • After having agreed with the supervisors in choosing out of the conceptual framework i) one element describing the conduct of platform participants and ii) one element describing the performance of the platform, to review relevant and recent literature from the marketing relationships literature to identify previously used questionnaire statements that characterize these two elements;
  • For each one of these two elements, to propose statements, based on the literature review, which describe the various notions encompassed by these elements;
  • To contribute in devising survey methods adapted to the local field context in order to collect data from platform stakeholders so as to test the relationships posited in a simplified model of the conceptual framework and the appropriateness of the statements proposed to characterize the two elements selected from the conceptual framework;
  • To travel to the field to test the survey instruments, implement data collection together with local project partners, and gather qualitative information from project stakeholders in the field to illustrate the conceptual framework on innovation platforms;
  • For the two elements selected, to analyse the data collected using factor analysis so as to identify a limited number of statement(s) that best encompass the two elements studied;
  • To analyse the data collected using multiple regression analyses so as to test a simplified model of the conceptual framework linking all the elements of structure, conduct and performance of the innovation platforms under study;
  • To write up research results in a format suitable for publication as an MSc Thesis, and possibly a case study article or a scientific journal article.
  • Be a current student at MSc (or equivalent degree level) in agricultural sciences, agricultural economics, agrifood marketing or development studies;
  • Having completed academic requirements of an MSc programme in one of the above fields before starting work at ILRI is a plus;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of using statistical tools and software for research, SPSS preferred; alternatively, genuine interest to learn about using statistical packages a plus;
  • A team player with excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Ability to interact effectively in a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
Terms of appointment and stipend:The successful candidate will be supervised jointly by an ILRI Agro-economist and the university supervisor. While at ILRI Headquarters in Nairobi, he or she will also have access to many other ILRI researchers so as to develop his or her research. While in Tamale, he or she will be based and report to the senior partner of the V2 Project: the Animal Research Institute. ILRI will provide a stipend of US$1,000/month to the successful candidate, economy return air ticket to Nairobi, plus travel allowance when on duty travel out of the duty locations, as well as insurance. ILRI will pay for the costs of researchrelated travel.To apply, send CV, cover letter and a letter from your university attesting your student status to: using the subject ‘IP research MSc fellowship Volta2 GhanaLocation: Nairobi (Kenya) for around four months and Tamale (Ghana) for around two months.Closing date: 7 March 2013 or until a suitable candidate is selected.ILRI is an equal opportunity employer. Suitably qualified women and citizens of developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply.Closing date: 7 March 2013 or until a suitable candidate is selected