AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center is a non-profit, autonomous international agricultural research center with headquarters in Taiwan and regional offices around the globe. AVRDC conducts research and development programmes that contribute to improved incomes and diets in the developing world through increased production and consumption of safer vegetables. For more information on AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center, please visit our website: www.avrdc.org.
The Center seeks a Socio-economist to conduct research within the context of the Humidtropics program – a CGIAR Program on integrated agricultural systems for the humid tropics. AVRDC is a key partner along with the CGIAR Centers (IITA, ILRI, ICRAF, IWMI, CIP, CIAT and Bioversity) and other advanced research institutions (Wageningen University, icipe, FARA and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) in implementing this program. The program, which is led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), is aimed at improving overall agricultural productivity, and transforming the lives of rural poor in the humid tropics region, through systems research in the framework of Integrated Agricultural Research for Development.
The Humidtropics program is implemented in four Action Areas of (i) West Africa Humid Lowlands, (ii) East and Central Africa Highlands, (iii) Central America and Caribbean, and (iv) Central Mekong. The geographical focus of the position will be in the program’s West African Humid Lowlands and East and Central Africa Highlands Action Areas (i.e., Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda). The position will be based in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The Job: The responsibilities of the Socio-economist will encompass the following:
- Coordinate research activities of AVRDC in the Humidtropics program West African Humid Lowlands and East and Central Africa Highlands Action Areas and build strong relationships with the local and international partners.
- Conduct field research to characterize agro-ecosystems of target communities in the West African Humid lowlands and East and Central Africa Highlands Areas to assess their suitability for diverse vegetable production systems.
- In collaboration with other partner institutions of the Humidtropics program, access the potential for intensive integration of vegetables into both homestead food (vegetables, trees, livestock and fisheries) and commercial farming production systems aimed at improving the livelihood and nutrition of poor households.
- Identify options for improving vegetable seed access to smallholders by seeking, building and strengthening partnerships with public and private seed sector institutions for greatest impact of improved vegetable seeds among farmers in communities located in the Humidtropics Action Areas of sub-Saharan Africa, including certifying agencies, seed trade associations, policy think tanks and regional organizations.
- Facilitate participatory trials to evaluate selected interventions in multiple locations in the West African Humid Lowlands and East and Central Africa Highlands Action Areas.
- Assist in the development of analytical tools for implementing a gender-disaggregated Monitoring & Evaluation framework for AVRDC-specific research and development activities in the humid tropics within the Humidtropics program's two focus Action Areas.
- Supervise and coordinate research activities of partners, graduate students, and consultants contracted by the Center.
- Conduct quantitative data analysis and modeling using agricultural household survey data, statistical, econometric and integrated biophysical-economic models where appropriate.
- Provide related information and assist in preparing technical and financial project reports to donors and liaise with experts and collaborators.
- Publish results in peer-reviewed journals with high impact factors and influence change among policy makers and stakeholders to support vegetable production, marketing and consumption within intensified farming systems in the humid tropics.
- Contribute to research activities in the other Action Areas of the Humidtropics program as required.
- Contribute to administrative tasks and other duties within the project and provide project management support to AVRDC’s leader for its Humidtropics program activities as required.
Applicants must have a Ph.D. degree in agricultural or development economics, horticulture with an economics background or related discipline with experiences in farm management economics and project monitoring and evaluation are desired. Candidates must have at least 5 years of relevant experience in conducting large-scale farm household surveys in horticultural production systems and good understanding of agro-ecosystems. In particular, applicants shall have strong quantitative skills in participatory multidisciplinary field research, hands-on experience in experimental design and statistics, statistical and econometric analysis of survey data, and database management with familiarity in use of standard econometric software packages is desired. A track record of relevant publications in international peer-reviewed journals and a good knowledge and understanding of farming systems in the sub-Saharan Africa region will be an advantage.
The incumbent must be able to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team in a multicultural, multinational environment, and should be able to interact effectively with partners/team members as a service provider and project leader at the Humidtropics Action Area level. Proficiency in written and oral English is required, while candidates who are fluent in French are preferred. Good partnership skills, a high degree of personal organization and ability to multi-task are strong assets.
This is an Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS) position with competitive pay and benefits. The initial appointment is for three years and may be extended depending on requirement, funding availability, and performance of the incumbent. The position will be available on or before 1 January 2014.
How to apply:
How to Apply: Applicants should submit a letter of application explaining their suitability for and interest in the position along with a curriculum vitae, a recent passport size photograph, names and addresses (including telephone/fax/e-mail) of three referees, and date of availability. Please send applications stating the job title by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org , before 15 December 2013.