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Analyzing power dynamics in innovation platforms for natural resource management

Nile Basin Development Challenge: Project News -

 ILRI/Alfred Ombati)

Skilful facilitation is needed to overcome difficult power relationships (photo credit: ILRI/Alfred Ombati)

Innovation systems thinking is increasingly influencing approaches to sustainable agricultural development in developing world contexts. This represents a shift away from technology transfer towards recognition that agricultural change entails complex interactions among multiple actors and a range of technical, social and institutional factors.

One option for practically applying innovation systems thinking involves the establishment of innovation platforms (IPs). Such platforms are designed to bring together a variety of different stakeholders to exchange knowledge and resources and take action to solve common problems. Yet relatively little is known about how IPs operate in practice, particularly how power dynamics influence platform processes.

This paper focuses on a research-for-development project in the Ethiopian highlands which established three IPs for improved natural resource management. The ‘power cube’ is used to retrospectively analyse the spaces, forms and levels of power within these platforms and the impact on platform processes and resulting interventions. The overall aim is to highlight the importance of power issues in order to better assess the strengths and limitations of IPs as a model for inclusive innovation.

Findings suggest that while IPs may achieve some short-term success in creating spaces for wider participation in decision-making processes, they may be significantly influenced by forms of power which may not always be visible or easily challenged.

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ILRI to host the food safety in dairy development – Stakeholder Consultation Workshop East Africa

Latest ILRI announcements -

The Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP), hosted by the World Bank, will be holding an East Africa Stakeholder Consultation Workshop at ILRI Campus, Nairobi, 3-4 November 2014. The workshop will serve as a platform to discuss challenges and opportunities to leverage food safety in the rapidly evolving dairy industries in East African Countries.

More details and agenda for the workshop can be read here .

Places are limited, but if you are interested to attend please send an email to GFSP @ gfsp@worldbank.org with your name and departmental affiliation.

Silvia Alonso | Postdoctoral scientist

Email: s.alonso@cgiar.org



Successful Volta and Niger Focal Region Expressions of Interest

CRP 5: Program news -

We are pleased to announce that, after a rigorous review of the 50 Expressions of Interests (EOIs) that were submitted for the WLE Volta and Niger Focal Region research-for-development program, we have completed the selection of finalists who will be invited to a writeshop. Details of the writeshop will be announced on Monday, October 20th.

Successful candidates will be contacted in the upcoming days. If they do not receive an email by Thursday, October 23, please email the WLE Global Research Coordinator – Nathanial Matthews at: n.matthews [at] cgiar.org

Supporting investment decisions in water and land management across the rural-urban continuum in the Volta – Niger focal region led by International Water Management Institute (IWMI

Enhancing sustainable ecosystems services for smallholder farmers in the Northern and Afram plains regions of Ghana through an integrated BHUNGROO based research program led by Conservation Alliance International

Realising the full biomass potential of mixed livestock-crop systems in rapidly changing Sahelian agro-ecological landscapes led by International Livestock Research Institute

Giving ‘latecomers’ a head start: Reorienting agricultural water management interventions to improve livelihoods of women and youths led by Ghana Irrigation Development Authority

Improving livelihoods in landscapes in the Volta Basin through strengthening farmer-led approaches to ecosystem-based management led by International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Managing water infrastructure for equity and ecosystems led by CIRAD (Centre de coopération Internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement)

The post Successful Volta and Niger Focal Region Expressions of Interest appeared first on Water, Land and Ecosystems.

CIP Vacancy: Project Assistant – (Closing date: 30 October 2014)

Jobs -

The International Potato Center – Ethiopia (CIP) seeks to recruit a Project Assistant to its Ethiopia Office which is based in Addis Ababa.

The Center: The International Potato Centre (CIP) is an international non-profit agricultural research organization with a global mandate to conduct research on potatoes, sweet potatoes, Andean root and tuber crops, and sustainable management of natural resources. CIP’s vision is to contribute from its areas of expertise to the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in particular those goals that relate to poverty, hunger, child and maternal mortality, and sustainable development. CIP has its headquarters in Lima, Peru with staff and activities in locations across Africa, Asia and Latin America. CIP is a member of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, a network of 15 research centers mostly located in the developing world and supported by more than 60 donor members.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Assists the Project Coordinator in managing and overseeing the implementation of project activities including procurement and logistics;
  • Studies and document adoption & dissemination processes of new technologies with emphasis on nutritional behaviour changes;
  • Establishes strong collaborative links and communication channels with partners and project stakeholders;
  • In consultation and with guidance from CIP’s Value Chain and Impact Assessment Specialist (VC/IA), strengthen/streamline potato and sweetpotato seed and ware value chains and identify opportunities for value addition;
  • Develops and implement strategies to strengthen business skills of Farmer Cooperatives and seek opportunities for increased private sector involvement;
  • Documents and publishes research findings;
  • Provides and arranges training of staff of public and private partner institutions;
  • Contributes to the development of new project ideas and proposals;
  • Performs other assignments related to project objectives.


  • MSc in Development Economics/Environmental Economics/Social Sciences.

Work Experience:

  • At least 2 years in a research for development context, of which at least 1 year in working in international research/development or similar organizations;
  • Experience in value chain analyses and impact assessment is required;
  • Project management experience is a plus. Competencies and Skills:


  • Expertise in quantitative and qualitative socio-economic assessment methodologies and Result Based Management methodologies,
  • Driving license is a plus.


Duty Station: Addis Ababa

Grade: 3A

Minimum Base: Birr 27, 556 (Negotiable, depending on experience, skill and salary history of the candidate)

Terms of appointment:  This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) position, initial appointment is fixed term for 1 year with the possibility of renewal, contingent upon individual performance and the availability of funding. The ILRI remuneration package for nationally recruited staff in Ethiopia includes very competitive salary and benefits such as life and medical insurance, offshore pension plan, etc.

The ILRI campus is set in a secure, attractive campus on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. Dining and sports facilities are located on site. 

Applications: Applicants should provide a cover letter and curriculum vitae; names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to be included in the curriculum vitae. The position and reference number: REF: A/058/14 should be clearly indicated in the subject line of the cover letter. All applications to be submitted online on our recruitment portal: http://ilri.simplicant.com/ on or before 30 October 2014. We do not encourage CVs and credentials to be mailed to our postal address.

To find more about CIP, visit our Website at http://www.cip.cgiar.org

Suitably qualified women are particularly encouraged to apply.

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ILRI Vacancy: Capacity Development Associate – (Closing date: 29 October 2014)

Jobs -

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Capacity Development Associate who will be a member of the Capacity Development team based at the ILRI campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

General: ILRI works to enhance the roles livestock play in pathways out of poverty in developing countries. ILRI is a member of the CGIAR Consortium, a global research partnership of 15 centres working with many partners for a food-secure future, see: www.cgiar.org.  ILRI has two main campuses in Kenya (headquarters) and in Ethiopia, with other offices located in other regions of Africa (Mali, Mozambique, and Nigeria) as well as in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka), Southeast Asia (Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam) and East Asia (China).  Learn more here: www.ilri.org.

Key duties & responsibilities:

The assignment “Capacity Development Associate for the Small Ruminant’s value chain in Ethiopia” involves working closely with ICARDA’s value chain coordinator in Ethiopia and ILRI’s Global Capacity Development Specialist based in Kenya, research leaders and research-for-development partners to promote LAF activities (‘more milk, meat and fish, by and for the poor’) through a range of capacity development activities, including:

  • Supporting the mapping, identification and assessment of potential capacity development service providers at the national and local level to co-deliver activities to strengthen innovation (uptake) capacities, and to encourage small and medium sized enterprise development;
  • Refining (organizational) Capacity assessment methodology, piloting and conducting assessments with key partner organizations in five (5) Ethiopian regions, leading to the design of sustainable capacity development strategies and the creation of (learning, training) interventions based on in-depth training needs assessments methodologies;
  • Following up and assisting in the development of a gender capacity development strategy including for (and with) specific organizations;
  • Supporting the implementation of multi stakeholder platforms, including support in setting up and facilitation and documentation of progress of such platforms, and contribution to related research activities.Responsibilities:


  • Supports the program researchers with the identification of capacity development service providers, conduct of capacity assessment and developing of capacity development strategies and activities;
  • Works with Capacity Development, Gender Specialists and program scientists to develop and apply tools and methods for an ongoing assessment of program capacity development needs, as well as the impact of capacity development interventions on the overall program objectives;
  • Helps to develop in-depth training needs assessments methodologies, prepare blended-learning training materials based on proven adult learning techniques (including ADDIE, Rapid Course Development, and Adult Learning Theory), using appropriate design, content and technologies adapted to the context of actors in the five project sites;
  • Supports partners in setting up and facilitating multiple stakeholder platforms, as well as in the delivery of materials as needed (including assistance in coordinating and organizing training sessions, and delivering training programs as needed);
  • Contributes to research activities around capacity development topics;
  • Develops partnerships with selected capacity development actors to achieve the program objectives;
  • Supports the development, testing and monitoring of sustainable capacity development strategies for various regions where LAF operates;
  • Helps document and disseminate learning insights gained, and develops “stories from the field” for communication and outreach purposes and contributes to preparation of research reports, briefs and other products/materials for website content and publication;
  • Any other related task as assigned by the ICARDA’s value chain coordinator in Ethiopia and ILRI’s Global Capacity Development Specialist based in Kenya.

Position Level, Location and Terms of appointment: This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) for a fixed term one year contract period, with the possibility of extension. The position will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  There will be a brief induction period at ILRI’s headquarters in Nairobi prior to taking up the post at the duty station.  In addition, level 3B, minimum base salary will be Birr 34,128 (Negotiable, depending on experience, skill and salary history of the candidate). ILRI offers medical insurance for staff and dependents, life insurance, pension at 12.5% employer’s contribution, annual holiday entitlement of 30 days+ public holidays within ILRI’s National Recruited Staff Scheme.


  • Advanced degree or Master’s degree in Organizational Development, Sustainable Development, Gender, Social Development or other relevant field or a relevant first degree plus a relevant post graduate professional qualification in organizational development, institutional change, rural development, sustainable development;
  • At least five years of experience conducting capacity assessments with and for organizations in developing countries, designing strategies, and undertaking Capacity Development initiatives, especially training oriented;
  • Proven knowledge about different training methodologies and tools; she/he has experience with facilitating trainings at the national and local levels and has experience with adult learning, engagement skills, curriculum development competences;
  • A proven skill-set in the development of learning courses, dissemination of learning products, training and technical assistance materials, needs assessments, and other capacity development products;
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills;
  • Experience as trainer-facilitator; strong facilitation and presentation skills;
  • Familiarity with rural agricultural value chain development and approaches, preferably on livestock production in developing countries;
  • Excellent judgment, strategic thinking and the ability to manage risk and competing priorities and meet deadlines;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude and demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexity;
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and/or publication experience a plus.

Applications: Applicants should provide a cover letter and curriculum vitae; names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to be included in the curriculum vitae. The position and reference number: REF: A/059/14 should be clearly indicated in the subject line of the cover letter. All applications to be submitted online on our recruitment portal: http://ilri.simplicant.com on or before 29 October 2014.


To find out more about ILRI visit our website at http://www.ilri.org

To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at http://www.ilri.org/ilricrowd/


Suitably qualified women are particularly encouraged to apply.


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