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ILRI vacancy: ILRI Graduate Fellowship: Agro-economist (MSc student)

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. Part of the CGIAR Consortium, ILRI leads the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish (L&F), which means to increase the productivity of small-scale livestock and fish systems in sustainable ways, making meat, milk and fish more available and affordable to poor consumers across the developing world.In Tanzania, L&F focuses on supporting the country’s dairy value chains. Along with population growth and urbanization, milk demand is increasing in Tanzania and growth rates of current milk production cannot keep pace with this increasing demand. The biggest challenges of the Tanzania dairy value chain are: strengthening dairy agribusiness; growing the national dairy herd; and addressing feeds scarcity. One of the tools used by L&F is 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. In Tanzania, ILRI, working with several partners including Tanzania Dairy Board, has helped set up the Dairy Development Forum (DDF) to facilitate multi-stakeholder coordination and engagement in the dairy sector. The forum participants include key dairy stakeholders from the government, academic and research institutions, dairy development programs, membership organizations and private sector. One year after its inception the current development objective of the DDF is to continue to nurture smaller platforms nationally and regionally to address the three dairy value chain bottleneck challenges identified above.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 through focus groups and semi-structured interviews of 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 use the data collected from the innovation platforms to constitute a baseline situation of their elements of structure, conduct and performance;
  • To analyse the data collected from the innovation platforms 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 or university field report, and possibly a case study article or a scientific journal article.
Requirements:
  • Be a current student at MSc (or equivalent degree level) in agricultural economics, agrifood marketing or development studies;
  • Use this assignment to complete an academic requirement of the MSc degree (final thesis, field study report, sabbatical activity report, etc.);
  • 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;
  • Some prior international development experience is 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 Dar es Salaam, he or she will be based with and report to the ILRI country representative. 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 research-related travel.Please apply to this Agro-economist (MSc student) position online.
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