Terms Of Reference For Confer Icpac Project Crop Modeling Assistant

Posted On:
27 Apr 2022
Closing On:
31 May 2022, 17:00
Duty Station:
Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Kenya, with frequent travels to the IGAD member states
Duration:
Two (2) years with the possibility of extension based on satisfactory performance and availability o

Terms of Reference for CONFER ICPAC Project Crop Modeling Assistant

1. Background

The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) is a specialized institution of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). ICPAC has a responsibility for the provision of timely early warning information and supporting specific sector applications to enable the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region to cope with various risks associated with extreme climate variability and change for poverty alleviation, environment management and sustainable development of member countries.

CONFER (Coproduction of Climate Services for East Africa) is a multinational collaborative European Commission (EU) funded project that aims to bolster resilience to climate impacts in East Africa by enhancing the capacity of ICPAC to develop improved climate services in the water, energy and food security sectors based on coproduction methods and advances in numerical modelling and statistics. The project 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 follows three parallel research tracks: (i) enhance coproduction and user engagement, (ii) improve 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 five technical work packages (WPs) to attain specific objectives as listed below:

i)  Coproduction 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 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.

The anticipated outcomes of CONFER can be summarized as follows:

  •   New seasonal forecasting products with enhanced skill, reliability, objectivity, and level of detail, to support ICPAC and NMHSs in providing crucial predictions;
  •   Contributions to improved food security estimates for strengthening preparedness and mitigation strategies for droughts and other climate-related emergencies;
  •   New predictions for regional planning of water and energy resources, allowing more precise planning;
  •   Enhanced exploitation of weather and climate information in the Greater Horn of Africa;
  •   Encouragement of innovative spin-off initiatives and business developments in climate
    services; and
  •   Enhanced capacity at ICPAC and NHMSs through a strong focus on training

2. Duties and Responsibilities

The incumbent will work on the overall crop modelling activities at ICPAC and support crop modeling and development under the thematic agricultural products in the IGAD region. He/She will work closely with the regional agriculture and food security expert and international partners participating in the CONFER projects and will perform the following specific duties:

  •   Support development of a prototype crop yield prediction system that integrates earth observation data with crop models, including its calibration, validation, and operationalization;
  •   Use the crop simulation model General Large-Area Model (GLAM), for annual crops to implement meteorological output from an improved climate model to analyze crop yields.
  •   Support development and operationalization of a fully integrated crop-hydrological- modelling- framework (WRF-GLAM-Hydro).
  •   Provide training support to relevant IGAD and MS staff, including developing training materials and modules on crop modeling and forecasting;
  •   Contribute to the co-production of climate services in the agriculture and food security sector at regional and national levels;
  •   Support and contribute to the development of agriculture and food security bulletins and technical briefs;
  •   Provide support to the development of project documentation and reports as required;
  •   Contribute to the development of co-produced peer-reviewed research articles;
  •   Operationalize research outcomes and test results to deliver co-produced climate
    services in food security sector;
  •   Carry out other relevant duties as required by the PI or director of ICPAC

3. Required Qualifications, Experience, and Skills

The applicant should possess the following:

Education requirements:

 At least a bachelor's degree in a field of meteorology, atmospheric science, agriculture, crop sciences, remote sensing or other closely related fields with an experience in crop yield estimation models.

Work experience:
 A minimum of three (3) years of practical experience working in the areas related to crop

modeling, crop monitoring, and crop yield forecasting.

Key Skills and Competencies:

  •   Experience working with climate datasets, agricultural data, earth observation data and/or climate model simulations
  •   Willingness to collaborate with others as part of a multidisciplinary research team
  •   Demonstrated experience and skills in statistical programming and data visualization experience with any of the following; NCL, R, Python, MATLAB, NCO, CDO, etc., with the ability to learn and adapt quickly.
  •   Knowledge of plant physiology processes and their relationship to environmental and climatic variability.
  •   Experience in using and applying GLAM and other crop yield estimation tools is an added advantage.
  •   Good technical writing skills (publications, technical reports, briefs)
  •   Excellent written and oral communication skills are desired.
  •   Familiarity with IGAD Region and ability to work in the region.
  •   Good interpersonal and teamwork skills
  •   Ability to work with minimum supervision
  •   Fluency in English


4. Reporting
 The Selected candidate will report to the CONFER-ICPAC Project Principal Investigator.
5. Remuneration

  •   The successful candidate will earn a monthly lumpsum salary at IGAD GS4-level without other benefits.
  •   Negotiable within the IGAD project salary scale and policy 3

6. Contract Duration

 Two (2) years with the possibility of extension based on satisfactory performance and availability of funds.

7. Work Station

 The Crop Modeling Assistant will be based within Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Kenya, with frequent travels to the IGAD member states.

8. Language skills

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

9. How to Apply

To apply, please submit by email only with the subject “Application for CONFER Crop Modeling Assistant” an application letter, scanned copies of certificates, curriculum vitae, and the names, email of three referees by 31 May 2022 to recruitment@igad.int with a copy to recruitments@icpac.net. IGAD is an equal opportunity employer and female applicants are encouraged to apply.