World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Jobs vacancies in Nairobi Kenya 2012

Social Scientist – CCAFS Linking Knowledge with Action

Location:  Nairobi, Kenya

Employer: CCAFS

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 10-year programme that began in 2010 and is attempting to bring together climate scientists from the Global Change Research Community and agriculture and food security researchers from the 15 CGIAR centres, to make the research relevant for resource-poor smallholder families in South Asia, West Africa and East Africa (

ICRAF is hosting the research leader of Theme 4.1: Linking Knowledge with Action. Activities within CCAFS’s Linking K with A research theme involves identifying key communication, engagement/partnership and capacity strengthening strategies, tools and approaches that enhance the likelihood that the wide range of knowledge generated by this complex programme leads to actions that help sustainably increase food security.
It develops guidelines and tools and refines 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) that focuses on issues related to climate change mitigation and adaptation in the context of smallholder land use and development.

The Position

The Social Scientist will work with diverse research and practitioner partners across the three target regions.

With communication and engagement identified as critical to success, we are looking for someone with strong communication skills, who is willing to design and test new partnership building and team performance-enhancing approaches (e.g. developing joint theories of change and other co-produced research outputs with a range of partners, use of wikis, google docs, blogs, etc).
Experience within the context of international development (food security, poverty reduction, natural resource management) is required.
This position will involve helping to manage CCAFS-led partner research primarily in East Africa, West Africa, and Asia (NGOs, NARS, government agencies, universities and other partners).

This person should be comfortable working at the interface of highly diverse disciplines, sectors and methods.

This is a relatively new research area that has been described as a ‘multi-dimensional, multi-purpose, multi-stakeholder, multi-discourse space’ that differs from traditional research approaches.
Experience with projects or programmes aimed at linking science with policy, or experience with outcome mapping/impact pathways/theory of change approaches, would be extremely helpful.

Social Scientist, Linking Knowledge with Action – CCAFS, will be based at ICRAF in Nairobi, and supervised by CCAFS Theme 4.1 Research Leader.

The position will involve travel to CCAFS sites/regions (likely less than 25-30% of total time). Within the CCAFS Program Structure, this position is given the title ‘Science Officer’.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Provide scientific input and conduct research for CCAFS’s Theme 4.1 Research Theme – Linking Knowledge with Action, in terms of planning, implementing and monitoring the research agenda;

2. Assist the CCAFS Theme 4.1 Leader in:

  • Supporting CCAFS and partners leverage funding, develop research proposals and activities;
  • Supporting CCAFS research activities;
  • Developing new partnerships and contracts and helping partners develop proposals;
  • Recruiting and managing consultancies and partnerships;
  • Assisting partners in developing communication products and publishing in various media, including writing and editing working papers, research reports, briefs, blogs and journal articles;
  • Assisting in organizing international workshops and training events.

1. Masters or higher degree with at least 5 years experience within an international development context in any social science field, with preference towards political science, anthropology, human geography, or other relevant fields (as we are seeking skills to complement the leader who is an economist).

2. Solid experience (at least 2-3 years) in agricultural/NRM and poverty/livelihood-related fieldwork in a developing world context, particularly in Africa.

3. Experience in linking knowledge with action (research into use, science into policy)-related research and approaches (outcome mapping, impact pathways, theory of change, etc.) would be an advantage.

4. Evidence of excellent writing, synthesis and communication skills and a solid publications record in international journals will be very important.

5. Experience in developing research proposals, and research/survey design and implementation, will be extremely helpful.

Terms of Offer

ICRAF is an equal opportunity employer offering an internationally competitive salary and benefits 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 renewal, 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:

Applicants should indicate “Application for Social Scientist-CCAFS Linking Knowledge with Action” on their application letters OR email submissions.

Applications will be considered until 28th September 2012 or until the position is filled.

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

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