Postdoctoral Scientist – Agricultural Economics; AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center

The World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) is a nonprofit, autonomous international agricultural research center with headquarters in Taiwan and regional offices around the globe.  The Center conducts research and development programs that contribute to improved incomes and diets in the developing world through increased production and consumption of nutritious and health-promoting vegetables.  For more information, please visit our website:
Through a grant from USAID, the World Vegetable Center seeks to strengthen its monitoring, evaluation, its impact studies of the Mali Horticulture Scaling project, and other related R&D thrusts in West and Central Africa – dry regions.  The incumbent would lead the refinement and development of approaches and tools based on clear impact pathways, theories of change, outcomes, and indicators of progress, while considering impact on food and nutritional security and rural livelihoods.  He/she will work closely with the Center's Project Coordinators, Program Leaders, Heads of Impact Assessment and Communication, and other scientists (economists, nutritionists, postharvest specialists, breeders, etc.), and partners in Mali and other countries in the region to ensure that proper monitoring and evaluation is carried out at outcome level.  The incumbent will be based at the Center's regional office for West and Central Africa – dry regions (WCA-dry regions) in Bamako, Mali and report to the Regional Director for WCA-dry regions.

The Job:

The Postdoctoral Scientist – Agricultural Economics will participate in the Mali Horticulture Scaling Project and other applied research projects in WCA-dry regions.  The position will entail working on issues related to project monitoring and evaluation (M&E), farm management economics, input market analysis, and consumer demand studies as well as examining how to achieve larger development gains from the best practice hub and vegetable technology immersion clusters dissemination approach being implemented in Mali and elsewhere in the sub-region.

Key Responsibilities: 

Work closely with the Project Manager of the Mali Horticulture Scaling Project and Head of Impact Assessment as well as other scientists to perform the following tasks:
  • Lead the planning and implementation of M&E and institutional learning activities to provide timely and useful information on the Mali Horticultural Scaling Project and other activities of the region, and target outputs and outcomes.  These learning-oriented M&E activities should also contribute to the broader agendas of the Center;
  • Assist in refining existing and developing new robust analytical tools for implementing, monitoring, learning and evaluation framework, including period tracking of relevant indicators of the projects;
  • Conduct field research to characterize homestead vegetable gardening within the best practice hub and vegetable technology immersion clusters, including documenting the cost-effectiveness analysis of the approach;
  • Lead and supervise baseline, socio-economic data, ex-ante and ex-post impact assessment studies, data encoding, editing and cleaning; and conduct quantitative data analysis using spreadsheets, statistical, econometric and mathematical programming models;
  • Build the M&E capacity of partner regional and national research institutions and the Center’s research assistants, promote linkages and networks;
  • Lead the documentation of impact-related success stories and publish research results in high impact peer-reviewed journals and influence change among policy makers and stakeholders to support vegetable production, marketing and consumption;
  • Develop a system for internal documentation of MEL data of the Mali Horticulture Scaling Project and other projects in WCA-dry regions by setting up and maintaining a regional database for vegetable production and consumption;
  • Performing other duties as assigned by the Regional Director for WCA-dry regions. 

The Person:

Candidates with a recent PhD degree in agricultural economics, development economics, horticultural economics, project monitoring evaluation, or a related discipline with some experience in farm management economics and project monitoring and evaluation.  Experience in guiding surveys to collect and analyze primary data and experience with participatory research approaches.  Hands-on experience in statistical and econometrics analysis of survey data using STATA and other appropriate econometric software packages, and an understanding of farming systems in the West and Central Africa, dry regions will be an advantage.  He/she must have strong communication skills in spoken and written French and English.  The candidate must be able to work with multidisciplinary teams in a multicultural and multinational environment, and be willing to travel extensively in the WCA region.

The Person:

The selection criteria for the incumbent will encompass:

  • A PhD degree in agricultural/applied economics, agribusiness, agricultural marketing, knowledge management or related fields.  Specific training related to vegetables is an added advantage.
  • A minimum of 3 years’ hands-on career experience working with government, private sector and NGO collaborators in horticultural value chains interventions preferably in the West and Central Africa region.
  • A solid and up-to-date understanding of monitoring, evaluation learning, impact assessment, and scaling-up principles and methodologies; excellent track record in developing M&E frameworks and implementing results-based performance management in agricultural research and development context.
  • Familiarity with database development, storage and management is desired.
  • Demonstrated strategic thinking and time management skills with good ability and demonstrated expertise to write, plan research, analyze data and complete timely reports.
  • Speak and write English or French fluently, with very good working knowledge of the other.
  • Familiarity in developing and using the USAID Feed the Future (FtF) performance monitoring plans, indicators and reporting procedures is an added advantage.
  • Good and/or promising record of high impact factor peer referred publications and citations.
  • Proven coordination/leadership skills, ability to work with multi-disciplinary teams with proven sensitivity to cross-cultural and gender issues and interact effectively with the Center's partners and service providers.
  • Agree to intensive local and international travel.

The Reward: 

This is an Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS) position with competitive pay and benefits. The appointment is for three years and may be extended depending on requirement, funding availability, and performance of the incumbent.  The position will be available on or before 15 January 2017.

How to Apply: 

Applicants should submit a letter of application explaining their suitability for and interest in the position along with a curriculum vitae, a recent passport size photograph, names and addresses (including telephone/fax/e-mail) of three referees, and date of availability to before 31 December 2016.
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