Senior Agriculture Researcher at Nathan Associates. The USAID Liberia Economic Policy Dialogue Activity (LEPDA) is a four-year program that aims to foster economic growth and employment in Liberia by supporting the Government on key policy reforms, building Government capacity for policy reform, and engaging Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the policy process.
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LEPDA is currently conducting a research study to present and analyze models of agricultural concessions and other models of agricultural commercialization. The term ‘Agricultural concessions’ refers to an agreement in which the Liberian government leases land away to a foreign commercial entity in the agriculture sector in exchange for the payment of fees and royalties. The foreign entity has the right to explore and extract natural resources from that land, e.g. rubber and palm oil. Agricultural concessions are one of the most important parts of the Liberian economy.
The overall goal of the study is to identify how the structure of these models influences their overall performance (e.g., in terms of fiscal, economic, social, and/or environmental benefits). This analysis will be used to provide technical guidance to the Government, concessionaires, and other stakeholders on how to strengthen the structure and management of agricultural concessions It will aim to enable policy dialogue among the Government of Liberia (GOL), concessionaires, and other stakeholders on the structure and management of agricultural concessions, and will also assist USAID in designing its next phase of agricultural programming.
As part of this research, LEPDA will develop a case study on an agricultural commercialization scheme in Ghana in the rubber sector. LEPDA is therefore seeking to recruit a Senior Agriculture Researcher on a short-term basis to conduct the research and implement the data collection for the case study.
Objective and Reporting Structure
The Senior Agriculture Researcher will implement the data collection for the case study of an agricultural commercialization scheme in the Rubber sector in Ghana. The assignment will involve travel to the site of the selected commercialization scheme to conduct interviews and other data collection activities.
This assignment will be remotely managed by a team outside Ghana. The Senior Agriculture Researcher will work directly with the LEPDA Economic Policy Expert based in Liberia, and liaise with the Canada-based LEPDA Lead Consultant/Senior Technical Expert on the study. The Senior Agriculture Researcher will assist LEPDA in collecting data for the case study and providing evidence-based recommendations that support concession policy and management to develop alternative frameworks for investment in the agriculture sector.
- Develop adequate understanding of the objectives of the study, the intended respondents, and the study tools.
- Attend training on research protocols and data collection tools.
- Assist in pretesting and finalization of data collection tools.
- Develop a detailed schedule/work plan for the data collection process, including provisional list of key respondents, including concession managers and workers, farmers, community members, government officials, medical and teaching professionals, representatives of cooperatives and growers’ associations, etc. The list of respondents should include appropriate representation of women.
- Travel to the location of the case study.
- Adjust and/or finalize the list of key respondents based on conditions on the ground.
- Collect qualitative and quantitative data through structured interviews and focus group discussions with the selected respondents and service providers, using pre-developed questionnaires, interview guides, and provided technology.
- Collect employment, income, sales, revenue or production data that might be made available by the operations to be monitored or assessed.
- Ensure that gender guidelines are applied in data collection and that targets for women’s participation in data collection are achieved.
- Ensure that data quality is maintained at the highest possible level by:
- Closely following the guide/survey tools used for the specific data collection.
- Checking forms for accuracy, completeness, and consistency immediately following data collection.
- Maintain regular and effective communication with both Economic Policy Expert and Lead Consultant/Senior Technical Expert, including updates on progress in the field and seeking guidance on the way forward when necessary.
- Provide a written report for each data collection exercise covering (1) narrative of activities, (2) key themes, and (3) data quality issues, commenting upon the validity of the responses, any constraints, and any potential biases observed.
- Participate in debriefing sessions to discuss the data collected and accompanying narratives.
- Transcribe any data collected through audio recordings and other qualitative data.
- Submit a complete copy of all data collected in the format specified.
- Prepare brief final report summarizing all work done.
The Researcher will need the experience to be able to identify suitable interviewees and to be able to engage with senior government officials and concessions management. The Researcher will also require the technical skills needed ensure data quality and provide high quality briefs to the LEPDA team.
- Undergraduate degree, Master’s degree relevant to the topic is a plus.
- Minimum 7 years total work experience in a relevant field, e.g. agricultural research, agri-business, rural development, business development.
- Previous experience working on issues related to agricultural commercialization in Ghana, experience with rubber sector a strong plus.
- Previous experience of remote management projects a strong plus.
- Previous experience in the implementation of research projects related to the study topic areas.
- Previous experience administering Questionnaires, Key Informant Interviews or Focus Group Discussions.
- Established knowledge of, and relationships with, key actors in the rubber sector in Ghana, including agribusiness and Government agencies, a strong plus.
- Fluency in written and spoken English.
Application Procedures : How To Apply
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