The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is offering a research fellowship as a part of the “Enhancing the value of ecosystem services in pastoral systems” research program. The program has already worked with stakeholders at the two research sites to identify preferred management options for rangeland natural resources, and is now starting work to model the possible impacts of these options on ecosystem services.
ILRI works with partners worldwide to enhance the roles that livestock play in food security and poverty alleviation, principally in Africa and Asia. The outcomes of these research partnerships help people in developing countries keep their farm animals’ alive and productive, increase and sustain their livestock and farm productivity, find profitable markets for their animal products, and reduce the risk of livestock-related diseases. http://www.ilri.org
ILRI is a not-for-profit institution with a staff of about 700 and in 2016, an operating budget of about USD 83 million. A member of the CGIAR Consortium working for a food-secure future, ILRI has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, a principal campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and offices in other countries in East, West and Southern Africa and in South, Southeast and East Asia. http://www.cgiar.org
Rangeland resources are numerous but the ecosystems are fragile requiring appropriate management strategies to ensure sustainable productivity. ILRI’s research program on “Enhancing the value of ecosystem services in pastoral systems” will conduct an analysis of available practices, of their potential impacts on water, biodiversity and forage, and of the potential tradeoffs among them could help to identify best bet practices. The ecosystem services provided by rangelands tend to be grossly undervalued by policymakers and other decision-makers, and the potential economic contribution of management of those services underestimated. Economic valuation of the contribution of effective rangeland management to livestock productivity is one strategy for helping such stakeholders understand the importance of these ecosystem services and their potential contribution to economic development. Incorporating such analyses into local and watershed-level decision-making could improve decision-making and management to enhance ecosystem services from rangelands. Furthermore, this screening will contribute substantially to the knowledge of pastoral livelihoods and ecosystems in Africa, and the diverse interactions between human uses and the natural environment.
Activities that are a part of the overall research program include:
- implement an ecosystem services inventory in rangeland areas in the Tana River County, Kenya, and Yatenga Province, Burkina Faso;
- identify changes in their distribution over a twenty year period;
- identify the best practices that can enhance delivery of these ecosystems and the factors that are influencing their implementation;
- use scenario analysis to assess the potential of different practices for improving livelihoods and restoring degraded lands in the study areas. The program will also investigate interactions of ecosystem services related to forage and to water in extensive livestock systems.
Tasks will include:
- The fellow will investigate approaches to economic valuation of the effects of some of these preferred management options on pasture resources and ultimately on livestock productivity. The fellow’s research will aim to strike a balance that results in reliable and valid research results while also producing analyses useful for policymakers in a timely way.
- The fellow will work closely with the ecologists and modelers in the research program, adding an economic layer of analysis to the modeling and scenario work. The fellow will also produce a report that presents his/her analysis.
- This fellowship will be ideal for a Masters student thesis research. PhD students can also be considered, provided the required deadlines can be met.
Requirements and Qualifications
The ideal candidate should:
- Be currently enrolled in a Masters or PhD program in a recognized university in Economics, Agricultural Economics, Environmental Economics or a related discipline.
- Expect to complete all required coursework no later than 31 July 2016.
- Be prepared to begin work on the project no later than 15 September 2016.
- Have no health or other restrictions that would prevent them from carrying our field research in rural African settings.
- Fluency in spoken English, and excellent English language writing skills. Fluency in French will be an added advantage, but is not required.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Duration: Six months
Terms of appointment:
The successful applicant will receive a monthly stipend equivalent to USD 1,500 per month for up to six months, as well as end-of-fellowship honorarium of USD 2,000 upon delivery of the final report. The fellow will be based at ILRI’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The fellowship will also involve field trips to the Kenyan and Burkinabe research sites. ILRI will provide travel and field research expenses as necessary.
How to Apply
Interested applicants should submit the following documents;
- A cover letter describing the candidate’s interests in and qualifications for carrying out the research, referring to his/her CV as necessary, and highlighting any relevant qualifications.
- A CV including three references with contact information
- An academic writing sample (course paper, master’s thesis chapter, etc.)
The above materials will be evaluated and a select number of candidates will be invited for an interview and be asked to submit letters of support from referees, and academic transcripts.
All applications to be submitted online on our recruitment portal through our recruitment portal http://ilri.simplicant.com/ on or before 15 June 2016.
We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.
ILRI is an equal opportunity employer. Suitably qualified women and citizens of developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply.