Regional Agricultural and Food Security Expert

Posted On:
05 Nov 2020
Closing On:
04 Dec 2020, 17:00
Duty Station:
Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Kenya with frequent travels to IGAD Member States
Three years with possibility of extension based on performance and availability of funds

Terms of Reference for Regional Agricultural and Food Security Expert to support the Intra-ACP and CONFER EU-Funded Projects

1. Background

IGAD is one of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) of the African Union. IGAD was initially created in 1986 as the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) to coordinate the efforts of the Member States in combating desertification and promoting efforts to mitigate the effects of drought. Whereas IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) is a Specialised Institution of IGAD with the mission fostering climate services and knowledge to enhance community resilience for prosperity in the Greater Horn of Africa.

The EU has recently funded two complementary projects that aim to contribute to fostering sustainable development and bolstering resilience to the impacts of climate variability and change -- the Intra-ACP Climate Services and Related Applications Support to ICPAC (Intra-ACP Climate Services) and Co-production of Climate Services for East Africa (CONFER) projects. The Intra-ACP and CONFER projects achieve the objective by addressing identified gaps and enhancing the capacity of ICPAC to improve access and use of climate information and develop improved climate services in the agriculture/food security, water and energy sectors based on co-production methods and scientific advances and mainstreaming climate services into policy and decision-making processes at regional, national and sub-national levels.

The Intra-ACP Climate Services project supports the climate information value chain with technical assistance, financial assistance, infrastructure and capacity building to improve wide access and use of climate information in the IGAD region, enable and encourage the generation and use of climate services and applications for decision making processes, and strengthen capacities of stakeholders and users in climate-sensitive sectors and their interactions with climate services providers. The Intra-ACP project has 5 result areas to achieve the specific objectives as discussed below:

i) Structured Interaction between the Users, Researchers and Climate Services Providers in IGAD Region -- to address the current limited linkages between ICPAC and beneficiary communities, strengthen the GHA Climate Outlook Forum, and enhance effective co-production processes and research to develop decision-ready products and services

ii) Provision of Climate Services at Regional and National Level is Effectively Guaranteed and Secured -- to ensure ICPAC and NMHSs in discharge their responsibility efficiently and develop decision-ready climate information, products, and services;

iii) Access to Climate Information is Improved by Strengthening Monitoring Observation and Monitoring Systems as well as Research, Modeling, and Prediction – to increase awareness and expand the reach of ICPAC and NMHSs by improving availability, uptake, and use of climate information and products to wider groups of users and decision makers;

iv) Capacity of GHA Region is Enhanced to Generate and Apply Climate Information and Products Relevant to the Particular Concerns of the Greater Horn of Africa -- to guarantee skilled manpower, equipment, infrastructure, and procedural and institutional capacity and mechanisms necessary for ICPAC, NMHSs and other stakeholders to generate and apply user relevant and improved climate information, products and services; and

v) Climate-Informed Decision-Making is Enhanced in IGAD Region and Climate Services are Mainstreamed into Policy Processes at Regional and National Levels – to enable ICPAC and NMHSs to mainstream climate services into policy processes at regional and national levels, and increase awareness and use of climate services.

CONFER follows three parallel research tracks: (i) enhance coproduction and user engagement, (ii) improve on the accuracy and local detail of numerical prediction model outputs for East Africa, with a particular focus on seasonal prediction, and (iii) develop statistical and machine learning tools to obtain a new level of seasonal forecast skill based on numerical models and high-resolution satellite data, and involve scientific experts in a large training and capacity development programmes to enhance climate information uptake in the above three focus sectors. CONFER will actively interact with a wide range of stakeholders and end-users in East Africa to enhance their ability to plan for and adapt to seasonal climate fluctuations. CONFER implements 5 technical work packages (WPs) to attain specific objectives as listed below:

i) Co-production of Climate Services to identify how stakeholders and end-users employ climate information for planning and implementation of climate adaptation, and to collaborate with them to co-produce new climate services to increase the efficacy and quality of this work;

(ii) Climate, hydrological and crop modelling to improve on the accuracy and local detail of numerical prediction model outputs for East Africa, with a particular focus on seasonal prediction;

(iii) Processing of Copernicus data to obtain a new level of seasonal forecast skill based on numerical models and high-resolution satellite data by developing statistical and machine learning tools;

(iv) Training and capacity development to organize training and build capacity for enhancing climate information uptake in the water, energy and food security sectors; and

(v) Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation to disseminate research products and solutions to wide swaths of society, ranging from the general public to policymakers in Europe and Africa

To execute the joint activities of the Intra-ACP and CONFER projects, ICPAC seeks to recruit a regional agricultural/food security expert to work on crop modeling, develop thematic agricultural products, support regional and national user interface platforms for the agricultural/food security sectors and support in the FSNWG decision-making processes on agriculture/food security and nutrition in the IGAD region.

  1. Duties and Responsibilities

The overall role of the Regional Agriculture/Food Security Expert is to provide operational support, technical guidance and advice in the management and implementation of food security, nutrition information analysis for IGAD, specialized centers and member states for decision making. The expert will work with international partners participating in the Intra-ACP and CONFER projects and will perform the following duties:

  • Support the coproduction of climate services in the agriculture and food security sector at regional and national levels and contribute to the strengthening of a regional and national user interface platforms for the sector
  • Liaise with European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) to define regional thematic priority products and develop user tailored agricultural tools to inform development and risk reduction actions in food security and nutrition programmes
  • Contribute to the development of a prototype crop yield prediction system that integrates satellite data with crop models
  • In collaboration with CONFER WP3 Lead (NORCE), monitor seasonal vegetation dynamics (phenology), land-cover changes, and crop production using the Copernicus satellites Sentinel-1 (radar) and Sentinel-2 (optical) to support assessment of the agriculture and food security situation in the region
  • In partnership with Intra-ACP and CONFER (e.g., JRC, NORCE, University of Leeds) partners, FEWS NET, and IPC, co-organise, participate and contribute to regional agriculture and food security training and joint scenario development exercises in food security forecasting;
  • Provide support in thematic and interagency Food security and nutrition assessments in Member States and coordinate the flow of information related to Early Action and contingency planning
  • Support FSNWG activities related to food security and nutrition and represent FSNWG in key strategic regional platform (e.g., GHACOF, IDDRSI etc.) as necessary.
  • Develop methodology and tools for surveys and assessments including field data collection and use of secondary information;
  • Serve as the focal person for collating and maintaining food security, and related data and information analysis;
  • Contribute to the development of agriculture and food security bulletins and technical briefs
  • Provide training to relevant IGAD and MS staff on quantitative analysis techniques and on field surveys;
  1. Required Qualifications, Experience and Skills

The applicant should possess the following:

Education requirements:

  • University degree (Master or higher) in a field of Agriculture, agricultural economics or other filed related to food security, natural, development studies, or other relevant fields with specialization in food security.

Work experience:

  • A minimum of five (5) years of practical working experience in areas related to food security with experience in quantitative analysis.

Key Skills and Competencies:

  • Good technical expertise in formulation of food security and nutrition projects, programmes, plans, strategies; resources/financing mechanism for food project and resilience, food security policies in IGAD region and Member countries
  • Experience in research, report writing, publications and high-level presentations
  • knowledge of Food Security strategies and polices
  • Good knowledge of use of computer tools and programs
  • Familiarity with IPC
  • Familiarity with IGAD Region
  • Good inter-personal skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing
  • Good technical writing skills (publications, technical reports, briefs)
  • Ability to prepare written reports in a clear, concise and meaningful manner
  • Ability to work with minimum supervision
  • Good knowledge of the IGAD region
  • Fluency in English
  1. Reporting

The Selected candidate will report to the Project Manager, Climate Diagnostics and Prediction

  1. Remuneration

Negotiable within the IGAD project salary Scale and policy

  1. Contract Duration

Three years with possibility of extension based on performance and availability of funds.

  1. Work Station

The Food Security Analyst will be based within Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Kenya with frequent travels to IGAD Member States

8.Language skills

Excellent knowledge of English and working knowledge of French would be added advantage. 

  1. How to Apply

All applications must be received in email (Hard copies will not be accepted) with subject line ‘‘Application for Regional Agricultural and Food Security Expert’’. Applications should be received by close of business on 4th December 2020. Include Cover Letter, detailed Curriculum Vitae and Scanned Copies of Certificates to the following Address: copy