VACANCY NOTICE : A Young International Professional, jointly appointed by ECDPM and IFPRI

The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) are partnering to jointly recruit a young African professional for one year. The selected candidate will join our joint analysis and dialogue facilitation activities around food security policy and investment processes in West Africa, working for 6 months at the ECDPM’s Food Security programme in Maastricht and 6 months at the IFPRI Office in Dakar.

The position at ECDPM

The overall aim of the ECDPM’s Food Security programme  is to strengthen the capacity of public and private actors in Africa to manage and contribute to regional agricultural and food security policy processes, and to assist development partners to adopt coherent and effective approaches that foster thriving agricultural markets and promote food security. The Programme supports the development of efficient and inclusive regional markets that are conducive to improved food security conditions, through policy-oriented research, facilitation of policy dialogue and partnership with African stakeholders. Our activities build on existing initiatives for supporting regional integration and are undertaken in collaboration with African partners at the different levels involved in regional agricultural market development, such as intermediary private sector organisations, the African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and Regional Farmers Organizations. The Food Security programme focuses on topics linked to:

  • Regional and local markets for agriculture transformation and food security in Africa
  • Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) implementation
  • Policy coherence for Food Security
  • The role of local and foreign investors in PPPs for regional value chain development

The posting of the selected candidate at ECDPM for 6 months (in Maastricht, Netherlands) will be in the context of the recently launched ECDPM’s Young International Professionals Programme (YIPP), a scheme for the ‘circulation of talent’ at ECDPM to be implemented in collaboration with partner institutes and peer organisations. The specific objectives of the YIPP are the following:

  1. To build capacity among talented young professionals from Africa in the area of policy and practice in international cooperation;
  2. To create and expand an ECDPM alumni network;
  3. To stimulate longer-term exposure to ECDPM’s activities for staff members of partner institutes and peer organisations in Africa, and beyond;
  4. To stimulate joint activities with partner and peer institutes.

ECDPM is a think-and-do-tank specialised on policy processes in Europe and Africa and EU-African relations. It has long-standing experience with different types of partnerships in Europe and African countries. These include governmental as well as non-governmental organisations at the local, national, regional and global levels. The objectives of ECDPM’s partnership approach include the sharing of experiences among partners, the strengthening of capacities and improvement of quality and impact of the work of partners, in a long-term relationship. ECDPM is a European institute committed to work with African countries and aims to reflect this in its staff establishment. The YIPP aims to contribute to this in a practical and effective manner, with long-term impact, including on our own sensitivity and cultural awareness vis-á-vis our stakeholders in Africa and beyond.

The position at IFPRI

IFPRI has a long history of strong engagement in Africa and today it invests about 50 percent of its programmatic budget in work on Africa.  To better meet research needs and achieve greater impact on the ground, IFPRI launched country project offices and regional offices for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESAO) and West and Central Africa (WCAO).

The WCAO, headquartered in Dakar, Senegal, helps to strengthen IFPRI’s position as a major contributor to food policy research, capacity strengthening and policy dialogue within West and Central Africa. The Office supports countries with the implementation of the CAADP and actively works with the AUC, ECOWAS and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and individual countries to provide evidence-based agricultural policy solutions.

The posting of the selected candidate at WCAO for 6 months will be in the context of:

  • IFPRI’s Technical Support to ECOWAS. To inform the implementation of ECOWAS’ Regional Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP), WCAO is conducting research centered on five strategic policy areas: i) simulating the economy-wide impacts of ECOWAS’ policy on increasing rice production and achieving rice self-sufficiency by 2025; ii) analyzing the economic impacts of implementing the ECOWAS common external tariff (CET), iii) examining the economic impacts of removing non-tariff barriers to cross border trade, iv) analyzing best practices for implementing ECOWAS’ Food Reserve Policy; and v) and piloting the first ever regional agriculture joint sector review to foster mutual accountability at the regional level.
  • IFPRI’s African Growth and Development Policy (AGRODEP) Modeling Consortium. In collaboration with the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division, the WCAO is operationalizing the AGRODEP Modeling Consortium, launched in 2011.  AGRODEP seeks to enable African experts to take a leading role in the study of strategic development issues facing Africa. It does so by providing its more than 140 African members with free access to cutting-edge economic modeling and research tools, data, mentoring, and training as well as opportunities to apply for competitive research grants.

The objectives and advantages of this Young Professional position.

The selected candidate will work with ECDPM and IFPRI as junior researcher, will participate in writing papers, reports and other publications, and will be involved in policy dialogue and partnership building activities. His/her areas of focus are expected to be:

–        in the context of the regional CAADP processes in Western Africa and the initiatives to remove barriers to intra-regional agricultural trade and investment, our efforts to strengthen awareness, knowledge and dialogue around the political economy of trade policy, trade corridors and regional food value chains. With the aim of increasing evidence on the benefits (or lack thereof) of regional agricultural markets integration and on the distribution of corridor development impacts, our objective is in particular to ‘bridge’ the policy processes (and key stakeholders) around corridor development plans, implementation of the CET and of ECOWAP, and to improve the coordination of regional-level donors’ assistance.

–        (if time allows) the assessment of Policy Coherence for Development for Food Security in Burkina Faso, focusing on the effects of European policies on the performance of the agricultural sector and agro-food value chains and on their derived effects on food security conditions in Burkina.

We believe this programme will provide the young professional from Africa with the possibility to develop specialist knowledge, expertise and experience he/she cannot acquire otherwise. In particular, by working both at ECDPM and IFPRI, it is expected that the young professional will complement the policy-oriented research and dialogue facilitation training and exposure to key policy processes in Africa and Europe while at ECDPM, with the technical training and exposure to key dataset and quantitative research methods gained within AGRODEP while at WCAO. Moreover, he/she will follow the same stream of work for 6 months at ECDPM and then 6 months at IFPRI, thus making this experience a solid and coherent professional milestone, while contributing to the enhancement of the partnership between ECPDM and IFPRI.

The Young Professional profile

We are looking for candidates with at least one year’s relevant work experience and recent postgraduate qualification in agricultural economics, international economics, development studies or other related social science and a keen interest in the area of food security in developing countries, rural economic development, regional integration processes in Africa and the political economy of economic reforms and agricultural development.The candidate will be a diligent researcher, an excellent and proven writer in English and have the ability to work in French (fluency in French would be considered a distinct advantage).

ECDPM and IFPRI offer lively and attractive working environments, space for autonomy and personal growth, and ample opportunity for participating in exciting emerging areas of policy development for international cooperation.

Since the position is regarded as an extended traineeship aimed at providing initial working experience in the international arena for development policy, the gross monthly salary will be based on the research assistant wage scale. The appointment also provides a generous package of leave and other benefits such as pension scheme and training budget.

Applicants should fill in the application form that can also be found on Applications should be submitted electronically to the email address, to the attention of Mrs. Karen Gielen, Corporate Officer Human Resources as soon as possible (deadline 9 September 2015). Please enter: “Application for Young International Professional: ECDPM/IFPRI” in the subject line. Late applications and applications without an application-form (i.e. just a CV) will not be taken into consideration.