Scientist: Value Chain Impact Assessment Modeler

International Livestock Research Institute
West Africa (country to be determined)
Full time Staff

The International Livestock Research (ILRI) Institute seeks to recruit a scientist with a background in value chain modelling and system dynamics tools to support the development and implementation of robust ex-ante impact assessment protocols.

ILRI works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 15 CGIAR research centres dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa.

The Position

The Policies, Institutions, and Livelihoods (PIL) program at ILRI anticipates funding for an upcoming project that will generate data and evidence to identify and quantify the returns to sustainable public and private investments in the livestock sector that take gender and other social considerations into account. While many types of technological interventions associated with breeding, genetics, feeding, vaccines, or animal health exist to support the livestock sector, their returns will be context-specific and depend not only on their relative attractiveness at the production side of the value chain, but also by other value chain actors downstream and their demand from consumers and from various other dimensions of technological and service delivery uptake (social, gender, environment). Through the development of a suite of readily deployable sector-level and value-chain models, indicators and monitoring tools, and means for their institutionalization at country and regional levels, this project will provide the necessary infrastructure to both support local, national, and regional livestock decision making in policy spheres, while contributing to the design of suitable technological and policy packages across different research programs at ILRI.


To use system dynamics modelling techniques to construct ex-ante impact assessment models of livestock value chains in an interdisciplinary team of social science and biosciences researchers

  • Synthesize existing modeling platforms used for quantitative livestock value chain analysis into a standardized, generic platform for rapid deployment of impact assessments of livestock value chains using system dynamics tools;
  • Develop new system dynamics-based modules to address issues of gender, value chain finance, institutional arrangements and business models, disease spread, and land use and integrate within the developed common value chain modelling platform;
  • Pilot test new models and modules through a combination of primary and secondary data collection and the use of participatory processes to engage stakeholders in model building and data collection;
  • Collaborate closely with research partners in planning and carrying out research;


  • A relevant PhD qualification involving applied empirical modelling of natural systems, including agricultural/livestock economics, system dynamics, or geography, is required
  • At least 3-5 years of experience in the development and application of system dynamics models in the context of agricultural/livestock value chains and/or natural systems;
  • Expert knowledge of system dynamics techniques and software (Stella and/or Vensim), including the development of web-based interfaces for dissemination;
  • Experience in conducting both qualitative and quantitative value chain assessments of agriculture/livestock in developing countries, including survey design and administration, value chain analysis, and quantitative scenario testing through system modeling techniques;
  • Expert application of participatory approaches to develop system dynamics models of agricultural/livestock value chains, including the use of group or mediated model building techniques with agricultural/livestock value chain stakeholders in developing countries;
  • A record of publication in high-quality, peer-reviewed international journals;
  • Hands-on field experience in the developing world, particularly in difficult environments;
  • Willingness to work in different countries throughout Africa and Asia.

Experience (preferred):

  • A working knowledge (or better) of French and/or Arabic highly desirable, or local languages to support fieldwork in Africa and Asia;
  • Knowledge of R and/or Python.

Post location: The position will be based in West Africa (country to be determined)

Position level: The position level is HG 18.

Duration: 3 years with the possibility of renewal, contingent upon individual performance and continued funding.

Benefits: ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes 15% Pension, Medical insurance, Life insurance and allowances for: Education, Housing, Relocation, Home leave, Annual holiday entitlement of 30 days + public holidays.

How to apply: Applicants should send a cover letter and CV explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development through our recruitment portal on or before 13 September 2019. 

The position title and reference number SO/ CCAFS /03/2019 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.

To find out more about ILRI visit our websites at

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

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Closing date: 
13th September 2019