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Full-time Senior Food Security Specialist at IITA

07.15.2013 · Posted in General Jobs

Location: Dar es Salaam

Job Title: Senior Food Security Specialist (Ref: DDG-R4D/SFSS/07/13)

Background: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the position of Senior Food Security Specialist.

IITA is an international non-profit research-for-development (R4D) organization created in 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and supported primarily by the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Our R4D is anchored on the development needs of sub-Saharan Africa. We develop agricultural solutions with our partners to tackle hunger and poverty by reducing producer and consumer risks, enhancing crop quality and productivity, and generating wealth from agriculture. We have more than 100 internationally recruited scientists from about 35 countries and 900 nationally recruited staff based in various stations across Africa. Please visit for more information on IITA.

IITA has aligned all its research programs to the new CGIAR Research Programs, namely those on 1) integrated systems for humid tropics, 2) policies, institutions and markets, 3) maize, 4) roots, tubers and banana, 5) grain legumes, 6) agriculture for nutrition and health 7) water, land and ecosystems,8) climate change, agriculture and food security and 9) genebank. IITA is one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions to hunger, malnutrition and poverty. It is committed to meeting key development challenges toward: 1) improving the livelihoods of those who are especially poor and vulnerable in places where improved agricultural, food security, food safety and nutrition practices can make a difference and 2) achieving large scale, environmentally sustainable, increases in quality, supply and access to adequately nutritious foods at affordable prices for poor consumers in developing countries.

A unique opportunity has arisen for gifted individuals to contribute to the mission of IITA within the Research for Development (R4D) Directorate.

This is a specialist across the disciplines of agriculture, development economics and the public health in which the person will contribute to ongoing and anticipated agriculture, food security, food safety and health & nutrition activities across the four geographical hubs of IITA in Africa: Western, Central, Eastern and Southern. Each of these hubs has a pivotal role in the household, community and national food security of the region. Dietary diversity, food quality and food safety, in tandem with improved agricultural production and processing practices impacting upon food security and nutrition, will be addressed in order to reduce poverty and vulnerability. Through the delivery of a more diverse and nutritious food supply, improved agricultural practices and improved quality of staple foods, IITA seeks to improve agricultural systems, increase the availability and economic accessibility of a safer and more abundant food supply and reduce poverty, hunger and malnutrition within populations served by its four regional hubs in Africa. This position reports to the IITA Director of Eastern Africa Hub, assisted by the IITA Leader of CRP Agriculture for Nutrition and Health.

The Senior Food Security Specialist will be responsible for:

Providing leadership for the design, implementation and reporting of the Center’s investment in research to improve household, community and national food security.
Designing and managing activities to improve dietary diversity, food safety, and agricultural practices among African farmers to support these.
Collaborating with IITA staff to develop and manage activities for reducing mycotoxins and other plant pathogens impacting on human and animal health, and the economic welfare of the agriculture sector.
Developing collaborative research proposals and fund-raising.
Helping to design and carry out rigorous evaluations to document the impacts of interventions on poverty, gender equity, food safety, food security, dietary diversity, nutrition, health and economic outcomes.
Supporting and building on IITA’s current agriculture, gender, food security and nutrition focused research and further strengthening the capacity of IITA and its partners to include food security, gender, economic growth and nutritional dimensions in our work
Facilitating exchange of knowledge and scaling up of best practice approaches in agriculture and food security linkages using appropriate media, including but not limited to policy briefs, conference reports, scientific papers, etc.
Fostering strong partnerships with African regional economic organizations, the donor community, public and private sector entities and civil society organizations needed to design, collaborate and implement research on food security in Africa.
Leading IITA staff directly focused on policy and institutional aspects of food security and food & feed safety research.
Serve as the Eastern Africa Hub focal point for CGIAR wide engagement and partnership on food security, food safety and nutrition research.
Any additional activity in relation with this position as assigned by the immediate supervisor

Educational Qualifications and Experience:

A PhD degree in one of the following disciplines: Agricultural, Agricultural Economics, Public Health Nutrition, or a related field.
10-15 years of relevant field experience, including at least 5 years in Africa, on agricultural production and agro processing activities, public health, nutrition, food security and food safety in both research and development assistance programs.

Core Competencies:

Familiarity with the “Scaling Up Nutrition” (SUN) and “Feed the Future” (FTF) initiatives in Africa, and their linkages to IITA research programs.
A strong grounding in the epidemiology of nutritional deficiencies and dietary-linked diseases of public health significance in Africa and their linkages to the agriculture sector.
Knowledge of the economic and health outcomes related to mycotoxins in human and animal health, and best practices related to agriculture, agroprocessing and nutrition practices to address these.
Established reputation among the research, donor and nongovernmental organization (NGO) communities
Familiarity and experience with the different stages of the project/program cycle: pre-project analyses, design, implementation, supervision, monitoring and evaluation, adoption of lessons learned to ongoing activities and dissemination of findings.
Demonstrated quality of judgment and the ability to think strategically, assessing and responding to new challenges in development
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to lead and work in multidisciplinary teams as well as develop close and effective working relationships with partners from different sectors and backgrounds.
Strong partnerships with other research and development institutions in agriculture, economic growth, poverty reduction, and nutrition.
Strong management skills, deployed in a multicultural setting.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and the ability to present coherent and convincing strategic analysis.
Demonstrated experience in fund raising and proposal writing.

Duty station: This is a global position based at the IITA Research for Development Directorate’s (R4D) East Africa Hub in Dar es Salam, Tanzania, with collaborative working relationships with the R4D West, Central and Sothern Regional Hubs

General information: Initial appointment is for three years. IITA offers a competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars, a non-discriminatory policy and provides an innovative work environment.

Applications: Applications including a cover letter of 300 words describing why you are an ideal candidate and what you would bring to the role, a current curriculum vitae, and names and contacts (telephone, fax, and e-mail addresses) of three professional referees who are familiar with your qualifications and work experience, should be addressed to the Head, Human Resources Service. Please complete our online application form using this link:

Closing Date: 22nd July 2013

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