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Graduate Fellowship Call for Applications

ILRI Graduate Fellowship

Call for applications: Agro-economist MSc student


Closing date: Until a suitable candidate is selected

Project: Impact assessment of Learning Alliance Nicaragua

Location: Nairobi (Kenya) and Managua (Nicaragua)

Duration: 6 months, starting as soon as possible

The International Livestock Research Institute 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

The CGIAR Research Program on Humidtropics involves several CGIAR research centres and national partners. It helps poor farm families, particularly led by women, in tropical Africa, Asia and Americas to boost their income from integrated agricultural systems’ intensification while preserving their land for future generations.

In Nicaragua, ILRI conducts work in close collaboration with the CGIAR International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

One of the tools used by Humidtropics is an overarching research-for-development (R4D) platform approach that supports learning and exchange to deliver the development outcomes outlined above.

An R4D 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 Nicaragua, a national R4D platform, called Learning Alliance Nicaragua, has been set up by various development partners to facilitate multi-stakeholder coordination and engagement for inclusive and sustainable agricultural value chains development. This national platform has been meeting for the past five years.

This graduate fellowship is meant to evaluate how the R4D platform has contributed to strengthen the organizational capacities of local stakeholders to implement agrifood value chain development programs.

ILRI is currently developing a conceptual framework to monitor and evaluate the impact of R4D 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 R4D 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 R4D platforms.

Key Responsibilities:
  • To review relevant and recent literature on marketing relationships and R4D 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 R4D 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 from the R4D 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 R4D 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.

  • 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.);
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and Spanishare requirements;
  • 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.

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 Managua, he or she will be based with and report to the Scientist, Research for Development, and the Humidtropics Central America and Caribbean action area coordinator, at CIAT Nicaragua office.

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:

Location: Nairobi (Kenya) and Managua (Nicaragua)

Closing date: 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.

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