IITA-jobs

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited position of Scaling Specialist – Nigeria.

Closing Date: 25th January 2019

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a not-for-profit institution that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, we improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural resource integrity. IITA is a member of CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future.

ACAI is a 5-year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The project is structured around the delivery of appropriate and affordable technologies to sustainably improve cassava productivity in the short and long term in these countries. Working with scientists in the national systems, the private sector, and other development partners in the various countries where the project is implemented, ACAI aims to improve cassava yields, cassava root quality, cassava supply to the processing sector, and fertilizer sales and through these processes engage at least 100,000 households and create a value of at least 27 million USD within the 5-year timeframe of the project in Nigeria and Tanzania.

To achieve this objective, the project is formulated around the following six agronomy-related use cases:
(i) a site-specific fertilizer recommendation decision support tool which targets nutrient management advice based on local soil conditions and crop calendars;
(ii) a cassava fertilizer blending decision support tool which advises on appropriate fertilizer blends for cassava production based on soil fertility conditions, cost of input and potential demand;
(iii) a best planting practice decision support tool which guides farmers in choosing best-suited planting practices for cassava;
(iv) a cassava intercropping decision support tool which recommends intensification options in cassava-based intercropping systems;
(v) a cassava scheduled planting decision support tool which provides recommendations on planting and harvesting date to ensure a more continuous supply of fresh cassava roots to the processing industry; and
(vi) a decision support tool advising on best agronomic practices for high root starch content at harvest for farmers supplying the processing sector.

The project is delivering on these use cases through six major Work Streams:
(i) research on cassava growth dynamics, nutrient and water requirements and responsiveness to inputs;
(ii) development of a geo-spatial cassava agronomy information base;
(iii) production and validation of demand-driven decision support tools for cassava agronomy;
(iv) facilitation of the use of decision support tools to primary and other development initiatives;
(v) capacity development of national institutions to engage in transformative cassava agronomy Research for Development (R4D);
(vi) project governance, management, coordination, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (ME&L).

Position Responsibilities
The tasks of the Scaling Specialist, Nigeria will include:

• Develop and maintain an inventory of partner dissemination strategies and networks in Nigeria and collaborate with the ME&L team to capture relevant data to assess the effectiveness of the dissemination strategies.
• Lead and monitor the implementation of systems for validation of recommendations supplied by decision support tools and associated implementation systems integrated into the activities of primary development partners in Nigeria.
• Align tool functionality and format to the needs and dissemination strategy of these partners based on user feedback.
• Support the development and integration (into partner work plans) of a sustainability plan for the maintenance and improvement of recommendations supplied by ACAI decision support tools; support institutionalization and ‘country ownership’ to implement, manage and monitor the use of the recommendations.
• Create and manage support systems through capacity building and common interest based on partnerships to advance development of and learning from decision support systems.
• Promote the use of ACAI decision support tools (among different gender dimensions) through training events with last-mile delivery partners and extension agents, and integration of tool showcasing within partner-organized grassroot events.
• Coordinate ‘communication flows’ between Nigerian development partners and researchers to ensure development of the DSTs and their dissemination are in line with development partner needs assessment (i.e. ensure project follows a demand-driven approach).
• Support the development and use of appropriate training (and communication) materials and digital tools (in line with partner dissemination strategies) for the promotion and capacity building events.
• Promote the ACAI decision support tools beyond the project’s primary partnerships, to stakeholders within the cassava value chain in Nigeria (addressing various segments of the various chain)
• Coordinate, participate in and organize technical, planning meetings, training workshops, and consultations of experts from stakeholder and partner organizations as required in liaison with the management team.
• Develop partner briefings in collaboration with the Workstream 4 Coordinator.
• Develop partner annual workplans and assist in revision and or development of partnership agreements in collaboration with the ME&L team and other relevant project staff.
• Support the research team in organizing trainings and monitoring with partners for implementation and management of validation activities
• Participate in review and learning reflection workshops to ensure feedback from partners are integrated.
• Engage with the Project Leader, ME&L team and partners to ensure M&E is integrated in the dissemination, evaluation and validation activities to assess project results and obtain timely feedback on the tools’ formats and benefits of recommendations from different gender dimensions.
• Collaborate with Scaling Specialist in Tanzania for effective dissemination of the decision support tools across the two countries.
• Contribute to new proposals for funding.
• Supervise project staff as designated.

Educational Qualifications
The candidate should have a minimum of Master’s degree in any of this fields: Agriculture, Economics; Agribusiness; Technology Adoption or other relevant, justifiable disciplines.

Core Competencies
• Minimum of 5 years’ experience in partnership and dissemination.
• Minimum of 5 years’ experience in scaling innovations within the Research-for-Development agricultural domain in sub-Saharan Africa.
• Proven success in developing and fostering partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders (farmers, extension workers and other service providers, public and private sector entities, national programs), and demonstrated ability to collaborate well across disciplines and with key collaborative institutions and agencies.
• Excellent inter-personal skills and ability to work in multi-disciplinary and multicultural settings.
• A proven track record in successfully managing complex multi-million donor funded projects.
• Experience in rural development and or agricultural research, farming systems and value chain development in Africa.
• Demonstrated ability to participate in the writing and publication of technical documents in relation to the project goals.
• Proficiency in spoken and written English.

Duty Station: Ibadan, Nigeria.

General information: The contract will be for an initial period of two years. IITA offers internationally competitive remuneration package paid in U.S. Dollars.

Applications:
Applications must include covering letter which should address how the candidate’s background/experience relates to the specific duties of the position applied for, curriculum vitae, names and addresses of three professional referees (which must include either the Head of the applicant’s current or previous organization or applicant’s direct Supervisor/Superior at his/her present or former place of work). The application should be addressed to the Head, Human Resources Service. Please complete our online application

Agribusiness Information

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