The Bilateral – Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade Jobs Vacancies 2018 for Rural Development Expert (Agronomist) for Realise – Jobs in Ethiopia

The Bilateral – Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade Jobs Vacancies 2018 for Rural Development Expert (Agronomist) for Realise – Jobs in Ethiopia

The Bilateral – Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade Jobs Vacancy, The Bilateral – Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade Recruitment, The Bilateral – Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade Jobs Opportunities… Jobs details below…

The Bilateral – Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade Jobs Vacancies 2018

The Bilateral Ethiopia Netherlands Effort for Food Income and Trade (BENEFIT) partnership is a portfolio of five programmes (ISSD Ethiopia, CASCAPE, ENTAG, SBN and REALISE), which is funded by the Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands through its Embassy in Addis Ababa. REALISE: ‘Realising Sustainable Agricultural Livelihood Security in Ethiopia’ is the new pragramme under BENEFIT. REALISE Programme is designed to take the achievements of CASCAPE (Capacity building for Scaling up of evidence-based best Practices in Agricultural Production’ (CASCAPE) programme and the ‘Integrated Seed Sector Development’ (ISSD) Ethiopia programme to new areas and target groups in Ethiopia.

REALISE is a three – year (2018-2022) programme that will align with the Government of Ethiopia’s (GoE) Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP). This GoE flagship programme currently reaches 8 million chronically food insecure Ethiopians with a wide array of instruments to smooth consumption, prevent asset depletion and promote livelihood diversification including uptake of improved agricultural practices. REALISE aims to take lessons learned from the Wageningen University & Research, CASCAPE and ISSD Ethiopia programmes to PSNP target woredas.

The goal of the REALISE programme is: ‘Enhanced human, organisational and institutional capacities to adapt, validate and scale best fit practices to improve the resilience of chronically food insecure households in PSNP woredas. REALISE’s goal is to be achieved through four primary outcomes:

  • Developed best fit practices that meet expressed needs and have the potential to contribute to increased productivity and resilience are available for scaling in selected PSNP Woredas;
  • Increased availability, timely delivery and use of quality seed of new, improved, and/or farmer preferred varieties through diverse channels;
  • Enhanced human, organizational and institutional capacities for matching, adapting, validating and scaling best fit practices; and
  • A conducive environment exists for the institutionalization of evidence-based system innovations.

The implementation model is based on the experiences of the CASCAPE and ISSD Ethiopia programmes in that REALISE will partner with the Regional Agricultural Research Institutes, Bureaus of Agriculture and Livestock Resources/food security offices and a number of Ethiopian Universities that will each manage so called clusters: Hawassa, Haramaya, Arsi, Bahir Dar, Woldia and Mekelle. There are two satellite Universities: Odabultum University that will collaborate with Haramaya University and Arbaminch University that will collaborate with Hawassa University. The REALISE programme will validate and scale best fit practices, will assure the availability of quality seed, will train related GoE and NGO partners in the proper scaling of the practices and will work with its partners towards the institutionalisation of evidence-based system innovations. As the REALISE programme is part of the BENEFIT portfolio of programmes, close collaboration with the sister programmes and their activities in the respective clusters is expected.

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Rural development expert- agronomy expert

The agronomy expert works as rural development expert (RDE). The expert is based in the University cluster and is supervised by the Cluster Manager. The team of the RDEs will be the front-line representatives of REALISE in the woredas. They will introduce REALISE promoted technologies and approaches that are aimed at increasing food security of small holder farmers – and more specifically PSNP clients. To this end, they will work closely as a team of experts together with their Cluster Manager and the colleagues in the other clusters. The RDEs will work closely with his/her colleagues from the CASCAPE and ISSD programmes.  The agronomy expert is mainly responsible for testing/validation activities and also seed related interventions.

Depending on the different skills and specific experiences, he/she may get additional assignments for:

  • Data management
  • Documentation
  • Climate change related issues
  • Any other theme that may be pertinent

Key responsibilities:

  • Participate in the implementation of the annual planning cycle: prepare succinct annual work plans and budgets, progress reports and annual reports;
  • Ensure a truly bottom up planning process and ensure continuous community participation in the work at hand;
  • Work with woreda staff and or NGOs and community organisations on:
  1. Recommendation mapping;
  2. Training needs assessments;
  3. Training (of trainers) in various skills related to community development, seed, agriculture (best fit practices);
  4. Innovative pilot activities;
  5. Institutionalization and scaling of best fit practices preferred by PSNP beneficiaries
  • Responsible for ensuring that men, women and youth participate in and benefit from project activities;
  • Maintain close and collaborative relations with key programme partners, including (but not limited to) the woreda level PSNP staff, the Bureau of Agriculture and Livestock Resources staff, the agricultural research partners (RARI’s and if applicable EIAR) and the collaborating NGOs;
  • Strategically position the project in the playing field in the area covered by the cluster, make sure the strategic choices of the programme are aligned with those of the partners. Make sure the programme’s results are used to accelerate discussions on pertinent policy issues in the region. Actively participate in a wide range of fora pertinent to the programme;
  • Actively participate in the REALISE programme endeavours and the BENEFIT portfolio, interact with the other CASCAPE and ISSD teams at cluster levels and contribute to joint activities;
  • Within reasonable limits, respond to pertinent technical assistance requests from other BENEFIT projects (most likely CASCAPE and ISSD);
  • Any other assignments given by the REALISE Cluster manager; and
  • Serve as an ambassador of the REALISE programme in the area covered by the cluster.
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Additional tasks and requirements

  • Conducting trials to validate agricultural technologies and practices and adjust the relevant existing best fit manuals (or prepare new ones);
  • Conduct in depth studies on rural development issues;
  • Perform participatory action research;
  • Collaborate with the recommendation domain activities;
  • Collaborate with various governmental and non-governmental research partners;
  • Contribute to the publication of papers that are the result of the above research.


Number of experts: two (2), one each for the two Universities (Haramaya and Odabultum).

Duty station: Respective University  vague

Travel:  Able to travel frequently to the project partners in the area covered by the cluster. Travel may include visits to the field under challenging circumstances.

Oversight: Not applicable.

Remuneration: Commensurate with the responsibilities based on the salary scale of BENEFIT. Benefits include participation in the pension scheme and communication allowance. The salary will be adjusted on an annual basis to the cost of living in Ethiopia.

The position of rural development expert/agronomist of the REALISE programme requires a full-time commitment of the successful candidate. No additional professional engagements will be allowed.

Job Requirements

Professional requirements:

  • A M.Sc. in agronomy;
  • At least 5+ years of professional experience in positions pertinent to the assignment;
  • Experience with research and development issues;
  • Experience in working with or within the GoE structure for agriculture, especially at woreda level;
  • Experience with bottom-up planning processes;
  • Proven experience with gender mainstreaming (not necessarily as gender expert but working in projects that mainstream gender);
  • Experience with participatory approaches and stakeholder networks;
  • Experience in the management of partnerships with a wide array of partners, including government at the woreda level, NGOs and local community organisations.
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Additional skills and qualities:

  • Excellent team player, able to bring out the best in the team members as well as collaborating with the sister programmes within the BENEFIT portfolio. Able to inspire colleagues;
  • Excellent connector to the world around REALISE, creating a strong institutional and personal professional network that will contribute to the success of REALISE;
  • Adhering to the highest standards of integrity, honesty and loyalty, and demanding the same standards from the REALISE team;
  • Affinity with and dedication to the goals of the REALISE programme: providing support to the poorest in rural Ethiopia through the introduction of more productive agriculture practices and seed;
  • Understanding and commitment to the REALISE project vision of achieving a vibrant, commercial, and pluralistic seed sector. Knowledge of seed and the Ethiopian seed sector is an advantage;
  • Able to work independently while still maintaining good contact with the REALISE cluster manager;
  • Able to express him/herself in English in speaking and writing;
  • Ability of Oromo Language is a mandatory.
  • Up to date computer skills; and
  • Proven ability to work in multidisciplinary research teams.

Specific professional requirements:

  • At least 5 years of experience in applied rural development research and development;
  • Knowledge of statistical software such as SAS, GenStat and/or other packages;
  • Knowledge of experimental designs and data analysis including on on-farm trials;
  • Knowledge of participatory approaches to research.

How to Apply

Interested candidates are invited to send a well-formulated letter of motivation of no more than one page and their up-to-date CV by within five days from the date that the application is first posted on the web site by email:

For Haramaya University REALISE send to <[email protected]> with copy to <[email protected]>;

For Odabultum University REALISE send to <[email protected]> with copy to [email protected].

Please do not attach your credentials to the application, which is required to be delivered in hardcopy only at the time of interview.  Please apply for only one position in one of the Universities.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for face-to-face interview. Short listed candidates are required to submit true copies of their academic credentials.


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