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Social Scientist, Climate Change: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Jobs in Kenya

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) is part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and generates science-based knowledge about the complex role that trees play in agricultural landscapes.

ICRAF uses its research to ensure that policies and practices benefit the poor and the environment. Our vision is an 'agroforestry transformation' in the developing world—a massive increase in the use of trees on landscapes by smallholder rural households to ensure security in food, nutrition, income, health, shelter and energy, and a regenerated environment.

Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) conducts research in 23 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

CCAFS is an ambitious new 10-year program that is attempting to bring together climate scientists from ESSP (Earth System Science Partnership) and climate and agriculture experts from the 15 CGIAR centres and make the research matter for resource-poor smallholder families in S. Asia, West Africa and East Africa (

ICRAF is hosting the research leader of Theme 3: Enhancing engagement and communication for decision-making: Linking knowledge with Action. Research within CCAFS theme 3 will involve the identification of key actors, their information needs and the institutional and decision-making context for uptake of the knowledge generated by CCAFS partnerships.

It will develop guidelines and tools and refine approaches that enhance researcher-stakeholder interaction and the uptake of scientific outputs of CCAFS and others. CCAFS works closely with ICRAF’s Global Research Project on Climate Change (GRP5).

ICRAF’s GRP5 works on issues related to climate change mitigation and adaptation in the context of smallholder land use and development.

Key areas to contribute to are:

vulnerability assessment;

adaptation measures and raising adaptive capacity; and

research on governance and institutions in the context of rewards for environmental services.

The Position:

We are looking for someone who will help build research synergies between CCAFS and GRP5 and enhance the likelihood that our science links with actions that help to sustainably alleviate poverty.

The social scientist will have room for developing his/her own area of research related to climate adaptation and mitigation within a poverty/livelihoods lens. There will be ample opportunities to work with diverse research and practitioner partners across the 3 target regions.

With communication and engagement identified as critical to success, we are looking for someone with strong communication skills and willing to learn new partnership building and team performance-enhancing skills (e.g. use of wikis, google docs, blogs, etc.).

Social Scientist, Climate Change – ICRAF and CCAFS, will be based at ICRAF in Nairobi.

Anticipated time allocation to CCAFS: 80%; GRP 5: 20%.

Duties and Responsibilities will include:

  • Conduct research for the CG Challenge Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and ICRAF’s global research program No.5 (GRP 5) - Improving the ability of farmers, ecosystems and governments to cope with climate change;
  • Provide scientific input into CCAFS Theme 3 Research Theme – Enhancing engagement and communication for decision-making , in terms of planning, implementing and monitoring the Theme research agenda;
  • Assist the CCAFS Theme 3 Leader in research strategy development and implementation, partnership building and management activities; research and survey design and oversight; and recruiting and managing consultancies.
  • Provide scientific input and proposal and partnership development support for GRP5.


  • PhD in any social science field, with at least 5 years experience in agricultural and poverty/livelihood-related field work in a developing world context.
  • Experience in climate-related adaptation or mitigation research would be an advantage, as would French language skills.
  • Experience in developing research proposals and research and survey design and implementation will be important as will a solid publications record in international journals.
  • A demonstrated ability to work with diverse teams.
  • Experience in linking qualitative (e.g. participatory) and quantitative approaches to livelihoods and poverty analyses would be extremely helpful.on

C6 - Internationally Recruited Staff Benefits

  • Basic salary
  • COLA (Nairobi rate 29%*65% of basic salary)
  • Dental
  • Retirement Fund (@15% of basic)
  • Education allowance (x 4 dependants)
  • Medical & Life Insurances
  • Housing allowance
  • Security allowance
  • Vehicle Allowance
  • Home leave to designated homebase for staff & dependants annually
  • Professional Association Fees
  • Separation payment (after 2 year contract)
  • Recruitment/Separation
  • Moving/Repatriation allowance
  • Assignment/Relocation Grant
  • Travel appointment/separation
  • Pre-employment/separation Medical Examination

Terms of Offer

ICRAF is an equal opportunity employer offering an internationally competitive salary (Start Point of USD 48,036 pa, negotiable.) and benefits package, and a collegial working environment.

The appointment will be for an initial period of three (3) years with nine (9) months probation period, with potential for extension and renewable subject to assessment of performance and availability of funds.

ICRAF offers a collegial and gender-sensitive working environment, believes that staff diversity promotes excellence, and strongly encourages applications from qualified women.

Applicants are invited to send a cover letter illustrating their suitability for the above position against the listed qualifications/competencies/skills and a detailed curriculum vitae, with names and addresses of three referees (including telephone, fax numbers and email address).

All correspondence should be addressed to the Human Resources Unit, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), P.O. Box 30677, Nairobi, Kenya; Tel +254 20 7224000; Fax +254 20 7224001; OR via email: icrafhru @

Applicants should indicate “Application for a Social Scientist, Climate Change” on their application letters OR email submissions.

Applications will be considered until 15th March 2010 or until the position is filled.

Only short-listed applicants meeting the above requirements will be contacted.

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