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ILRI vacancy: Scientist – Climate-Smart Agriculture Scaling Specialist

Expiration date

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Company / Organization

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Scientist – Climate-smart Agriculture Scaling Specialist to support issues related to enabling environment for Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)and inclusive investments along value chains, barriers and opportunities for scaling in the region.

ILRI works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 15 CGIAR research centres dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa.

The position

The position will play a central role in the project implementation and support the entire project in all the three East African countries, working in close collaboration with SNV Netherlands Development Organization and other members of the CSA project team, which includes staff from all project partners contributing expertise to the implementation of the project, including those from Rabobank

Farmers in East Africa are affected by the changing climate. To address this challenge, the Netherlands Government funded a new project on Climate Smart Agriculture in East Africa to be implemented in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The project is implemented by the CGIAR research program Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in East Africa (CCAFS EA) that is hosted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in cooperation with SNV Netherlands Development Organization, Wageningen University and Research, Agriterra and Rabo Partnership. The project will provide an opportunity for farmers to adapt their farming activities and minimize the negative effects of climate change by adopting innovative climate-smart agriculture technologies and practices along value chains, thereby contributing to the increased availability of safe and affordable nutritious food for the growing population in the region. The project will promote market driven adoption and scaling of inclusive climate-smart business developments that will enhance resilience and adaptive capacity of farmers and other stakeholders along agricultural value chains in East Africa. The project interventions span from farm and farming systems, selected commodity value chains, agro-industries to the wider institutional environment in the region. Sound inclusive business cases for climate smart food production and climate-proof agribusiness development are among the main ways of undertaking the activities


  • Lead the value chain and climate change risk assessments on CSA business cases from the portfolios of partners;
  • Support CSA implementation through a contextual analysis in each country, identifying specific factors at national, sub-national and local levels that influence uptake of these best practices;
  • Undertake assessment of CSA capacity building gaps among national and regional extension services, farmer organizations, farmers, and other private sector stakeholders;
  • In collaboration with Rabobank and SNV, conduct needs assessment among financial service providers and support development of internal policies regarding climate risk assessments and CSA implementation;
  • Develop and implement tailored CSA training and coaching programmes at the national and regional level for extension services providers (public and private sector and NGOs etc.), farmer cooperatives, farmers, including female and young entrepreneurs on agribusiness management and climate-proofing of their businesses by working closely with SNV, Agrittera and other partners;
  • Analyse barriers to adoption and scaling of CSA technologies, including gender and youth implications, understanding the barriers to scaling, and reviewing options to address and/or overcome these;
  • Promote investment opportunities for the roll-out of proven cases of best practices to reach Climate-Smart investments at scale;
  • Analyse potential for roll-out of results-based financing for the projects’ portfolio of successful business cases;
  • Develop and disseminate evidence-based CSA knowledge products on climate-proofing selected value chains and technologies, including investments and Return on investment (ROI) scenarios;
  • Guide coordination between SMEs and financial institutions for the mobilisation of investments required for climate-proofing and de-risking of promising Climate-Smart business models;
  • Assess and adapt tools developed by partners for introducing and scaling CSA practices at on-farm level and value chain level for farmers, businesses and services providers;
  • Support monitoring through data collection and studies on opportunities for mitigation (reduction of GHG and increase of carbon sequestration) within the business cases;
  • Provide advice to financial institutions on debt funding of CS business models;
  • In collaboration with SNV and other partners gender experts, develop a gender and youth involvement strategy in scaling up CSA;
  • Organize learning and exchange visits for institutions, farmers, producer groups and private partners, including events tailored specifically to female and young farmers and entrepreneurs;
  • Organize regional and national workshops to discuss and disseminate the main findings and conclusions;
  • Sharing of CSA knowledge and experiences via value chain climate innovation platforms/ multi-stakeholder platforms – building on existing platforms/sector organizations;
  • Represent the program effectively and be front person in dealing with national and international partners, in relevant national and regional forums, committees, taskforces;
  • Co-supervision of undergraduate, graduate and post graduate students and researchers working on the project; and
  • Support resource mobilization efforts through writing proposals, and supervising support staff.


  • Preferably PhD degree in Agricultural sciences, with experience in climate change and agricultural systems research and demonstrated experience in scaling;
  • 5+ years’ experience in participatory action research, climate smart technologies and practices research and proven experience in scaling technologies and practices;
  • Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methods of agricultural research, including participatory survey techniques and ability to conduct a market, economic and financial analysis;
  • Ability to design studies, collect and analyse data on gaps in undertaking and scaling CSA;
  • Ability to synthesis and publish research results in peer reviewed journals, working papers, policy briefs and info notes, including translating these into non-scientific language for a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Excellent writing, reporting, and communication skills in English, working knowledge Kiswahili will be an advantage; and
  • Ability to travel in the region and work in remote locations.
  • Experience in using both SNV’s and CCAFS’s scaling tools and approaches (including market, finance, policy, technical);
  • Experience in working with national extension services systems, agribusiness SMEs, cooperatives, farmers, and other stakeholders on CSA, including training services;
  • Extensive experience in designing and managing large scale CSA initiatives, preferably in different countries; and
  • Experience in working with a wide range of national and international stakeholders in East Africa and in interdisciplinary teams.

Post location: The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya
Position level: The position level is 4C
Duration: 3 years with the possibility of renewal, contingent upon individual performance and continued funding.
Benefits: ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes medical insurance, life insurance and allowances for: education, housing, home leave, and annual holiday entitlement of 30 days + public holidays.


Applicants should send a cover letter and CV expressing their interest in the position, what they can bring to the role and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the director of ILRI’s People and Organizational Development. All applications to be submitted online on our recruitment portal, screening of applications will start on 31 October 2018 and continue until the position is filled.The position title and reference number, CCAFS /10/2018, should be clearly marked in the subject line of the online application.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.

More information

To find out more about ILRI, visit our website at
To find out more about working at ILRI, visit our website at

ILRI is an equal-opportunity employer.