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Social scientist, climate change

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

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 (www.ccafs.cgiar.org). 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: a) vulnerability assessment; b) adaptation measures and raising adaptive capacity; and c) 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:
1. 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;
2. 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;
3. 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.
4. Provide scientific input and proposal and partnership development support for GRP5.

1. 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.
2. Experience in climate-related adaptation or mitigation research would be an advantage, as would French language skills.
3. Experience in developing research proposals and research and survey design and implementation will be important as will a solid publications record in international journals.
4. A demonstrated ability to work with diverse teams.
5. Experience in linking qualitative (e.g. participatory) and quantitative approaches to livelihoods and poverty analyses would be extremely helpful.

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  • Additional location info Nairobi
  • Closing Date 15 Mar 2010

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