Scientist – Economist at International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works to improve food security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for better and more sustainable use of livestock. ILRI is a CGIAR research centre – part of a global research partnership for a food-secure future.

The position.

The scientist will work in a team from a range of disciplines and with a suite of collaborators, leading and supporting a range of empirical research projects related to the economics of rural development, livelihood resilience, risk mitigation, social protection and graduation, nutrition, and access to markets and services.

The scientist filling this position will be part of the team that developed the Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) product as they continue their agenda of testing and improving the value proposition of drought risk financing products for pastoral regions across micro- (e.g., the Index Based Livestock Insurance product), meso- (e.g., Kenya Livestock Insurance Program) and macro- (e.g., Africa Risk Capacity) scales. This agenda includes, but is not limited to, assessing the relevance of these products in new regions, improving understanding of demand for such products, integrating insurance-like products into social protection programming, and bundling insurance with complimentary goods and services.

The scientist will also work on an agenda aimed at developing low-cost approaches to data collection and dissemination in remote regions with applications for improve pastoral access to information and services, impact assessment, and crisis surveillance. This agenda includes working with stakeholders to better understand needs, developing and implementing new tools for data collection and dissemination, and partnering with implementors to integrate services and processes.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead and contribute to the design, implementation of research. The scientist will develop and implement experiments for hypothesis-testing, lead survey development and oversee its collection and manage data.
  • Lead and co-author papers for peer-reviewed publication as well as support the broader dissemination of research findings through other outreach materials.
  • Contribute to ILRI’s larger agenda by working with collaborators at ILRI, strengthening existing partnerships, and building new and innovative partnerships for research and development.
  • Supervise research associates, external collaborators and PhD and MSc students as required and related to the broader agenda.
  • Project development and management includes mobilizing resources through grant proposals, managing budget and reporting, and meeting deliverables schedules.


  • A PhD in Agricultural Economics, Development Economics, Public Policy or any related field requiring a high degree of skill in quantitative analysis.
  • At least 2 years of post-doctoral experience, 5 years of experience in a development research setting.
  • A record of publications that demonstrates strong analytical, empirical and writing skills.
  • Experience developing rigorous research designs and implementing them in rural areas of developing countries.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both in a team environment and independently to accomplish required tasks while creating a high-quality and respectful work environment; be personable, flexible, possess excellent organizational and communication skills and take pride in their work.
  • Competency in a language widely spoken in Africa other than English is highly desirable
  • Willingness to travel throughout Africa
  • Drylands experience among pastoralist populations a plus.

Post location: The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya

Terms of Appointment

This is position is at job level HG 18 and it is open to both national and international applicants. The position is a 3-year contract, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding. ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes; pension, medical and other insurances

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