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Policy Analyst

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Water, Hydrology & Marine Ecology
Town/City Nairobi
Salary Range Dependent on Experience
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 14/11/2008
Company Name International Centre for Tropical Agriculture
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
International Centre for Tropical Agriculture logo
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CIAT is one of 15 not-for-profit Centers funded mainly by various countries, private foundations, international and regional organizations that make up the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). CIAT conducts socially and environmentally progressive research aimed at reducing hunger and poverty, and preserving natural resources in developing countries. The Center offers internationally competitive salary packages, is an equal opportunity employer and believes that the diversity of its staff contributes to excellence. CIAT is interested in increasing this diversity of its staff and particularly encourages applications from both women and developing country professionals. The Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute (CIAT-TSBF) of CIAT operates as an integral part of the CIAT research program and is housed at the ICRAF Campus, Nairobi, Kenya.

CIAT is seeking to fill the position of a Policy Analyst for the African Soils Information Service (ASIS) Project of CIAT-TSBF.

The ASIS Project will develop a practical, timely, cost-effective, soil health surveillance service to map soil conditions, set a baseline for monitoring changes and to provide options for improved soil management. The system will facilitate identifying areas at risk of soil degradation and corresponding preventive and rehabilitative soil management interventions based on analyses of what works, and what doesn't.

The project will build on recent advances in digital soil mapping, infrared spectroscopy, remote sensing, computational statistics and integrated soil fertility management to improve the way that soils are evaluated, mapped and monitored, while significantly reducing the costs to do so, and to disseminate innovative soil management methods such as the combination of inorganic fertilizers with organic inputs that improve crop yields while enhancing the environment. Dissemination and training will make the project's outcomes highly accessible to farm communities, public, and private extension services, national agricultural research and soil survey organizations, the fertilizer sector, project and local planners, national and regional policymakers, and scientists. The efforts in Africa are part of a wider, global effort to digitally map the world soil resources, and this project will help catalyze the global effort.

The position

The Policy Analyst will report to the CIAT-TSBF Director through the Leader of ASIS Objective 5. The aim of Objective 5 is to build capacity, serve end users, monitoring and evaluation, and management support. ASIS will interact intensively with national programs and a range of end user groups (in Tanzania, Mali, and Malawi where regional laboratories will be developed as well as Kenya and Nigeria).


Scientific responsibilities

Agricultural Policy Analyst will carry out policy analysis on issues and programs of importance to the ASIS Project. Some of the responsibilities will include:

  • Developing and recommending new or revised agricultural policy initiatives that link to ASIS Objectives and individual country policy status that relate to the work ASIS is engaged in. Specifically, the holder of the position will be expected to:
    • Review and analyze current policy on soil fertility restoration or soil productivity enhancement concerns and propose policy or action plans that ensure the maintenance of productive soils through adequate and proper use of mineral as well as organic fertilizers, investment in ecosystem services, and possible compensation to the farmers and communities for investing in ecosystem services based on local and international agreements.
    • Monitor and analyze emerging policies and science in ecosystem services (e.g., Millennium Ecosystem Assessment) and merge these with ASIS outputs for greater impact delivery.
    • Research into trade-based (e.g., certification) and policy-based incentives (e.g., tax incentives, early payment incentives, vouchers systems, payment for ecosystem services) that could be used to reward environmental stewardship for the protection of ecosystem services, agricultural production, etc. on private or communal land.
    • Research into necessary regulations or laws that prohibit or minimize the most destructive land use practices and especially those that threaten the provision of key ecosystem services, those that cause land degradation, and those that cause deterioration of soil productivity.


Outreach and communication

  • Develop and implement outreach/campaign activities that build awareness and support for judicious utilization of the soil resources, protection and promotion of biodiversity, and in particularly those species associated with the provision of key ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling in the soil, integrated pest management, carbon sequestration and decomposition of organic matter, choice of correct crop cultivars, and community ownership of any proposed intervention.
  • Work collaboratively with local, district, provincial, and national stakeholders to ensure targeted delivery of appropriate policy at different scales and for different groups of beneficiaries.
  • Initiate, scope, plan, and deliver specific outreach projects, events and initiatives, including project schedules, milestones, proposals, and budgets.
  • Identify opportunities for media and public education through print, audio, Internet as well as public forums to articulate and promote project mission, objectives as well as expectations to different categories of user groups.
  • Develop relationship with the most influential government officials responsible for implementing policies related to land and soil use, and in particular the agricultural and environmental sectors.
  • Based on a strategic assessment, attend meetings and maintain ongoing contact with other organizations active on judicious use of soil resources including AGRA and its grantees, regional African and international research bodies such as such as HarvestChoice, HarvestPlus, the CGIAR centers based in Africa, ASARECA, CORAF, SADC, AGRA, NEPAD, for policy information dissemination, sharing.
  • Integrate information and assess the significance and implications of policy suggestions, positions, and strategies to avoid conflict with any of the governments such positions may be directed at.
  • Build and maintain networks among NGOs, projects, NARS, and other opinion leader groups who share the goals and objectives of ASIS soil amelioration campaigns. Work cooperatively and collaboratively with other ASIS staff on networking and project activities to create synergy and common interest in the project.
  • Feed communications loops within ASIS with relevant information on events, discussions, and meetings.
  • Participate in briefings for decision-makers, media, and others, etc., and work effectively in meetings and committees both internally and externally with the project partners.

Administrative responsibilities

  • Contribute to discussion papers, technical reports, briefing notes, presentations, correspondence, and communication backgrounders.
  • Organize and maintain related project files.


Qualifications and experience

  • A PhD Degree in Policy or related subjects and demonstrated written and oral communication skills. Familiarity with technical writing and ability to interpret technical material for general audiences. Confident and motivating communicator.
  • Practical knowledge and understanding of legal issues, public policy development process, and socio-economic analysis.
  • Strong project management skills-can balance reactive daily tasks with planning and stewarding longer-term projects.
  • Well-developed influencing, negotiating, and sales skills; the ability to empower and motivate the public, volunteers, and others in carrying out campaign tactics.
  • Ability to manage own workload without close supervision and works independently, making decisions and solving problems on routine and complex problems.
  • Ability to work effectively in a dynamic team environment, in a flexible office environment with periods of high pressure activity.
  • Excellent networking skills, alliance-building experience.
  • Ability to work independently, under pressure and manage time effectively is essential.
  • Computer skills: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet, E-mail.
  • Candidates must clearly demonstrate how they meet the criteria above. Initial screening of applicants will be done solely on the information submitted by the candidates. Failure to fully explain your education and experience may result in your being screened out of this process.

Personal characteristics

  • Team player with personality traits that enable him/her to motivate and communicate with all levels of the professional and support staff.
  • Reputation of integrity, high intelligence, creativity, and the ability to exercise good judgment.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to establish rapport and credibility with people at all organizational levels, forming strong relationships, both internally and externally.
  • Committed to transparency and continuous improvement in a cooperative atmosphere of constructive evaluation and learning.
  • Fluency in English and Kiswahili.


Terms of employment

The contract will be for a 2-year period, renewable subject to 6 months probation period and assessment of performance. Starting date: as early as possible, after selection. CIAT offers an internationally competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with the position's responsibilities and the education and experience of the successful candidate.

Applicants should apply by e-mail, sending a cover letter summarizing their relevance to this position, a full C.V. and the names and contact information of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate's professional qualifications and work experience. Applications should be sent to the Human Resources Office at CIAT (a.l.restrepo@cgiar.org) with copies to m.sambo@cgiar.org. The reference name of the position should be clearly marked on the subject line of the e-mail message.

All applications will be acknowledged; only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Closing date for applications: 14 November 2008.

We invite you to learn more about CIAT and CIAT-TSBF by accessing our web Sites at www.ciat.cgiar.org and www.ciat.cgiar.org/tsbf_institute/index.htm, respectively.

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