Consultant Position: Country Chapter Lead Author (Co-Author)



Job Description

The consultant will be a co-author of a chapter focusing on a given country, and the likely impact of climate change on agriculture in that country, based on results from 3 types of models: crop models used with climate models; a partial equilibrium global economic model (IMPACT); and a global computable general equilibrium model (MIRAGE).

The modeling and interpretation will be done within the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). A Research Fellow from IFPRI will write a draft chapter (in English) presenting those results.  The consultant will be responsible for adding to the chapter and interacting with the Research Fellow in completing the chapter.


The countries subjects of this research are: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Colombia, Brazil and Peru.

  • Write the introduction to the chapter (3 to 6 single-spaced typed pages), which will include
  1. Description of relevant geographic and agroclimatic information (e.g., Brazil would include several paragraphs about important areas such as the Amazon forest, the cerrado, the Pantanal, the semi-arid northeast, etc.)
  2. Climate trends already experienced in the country (if any)
  3. Government organization and activities in support of climate change adaptation or mitigation (any agencies; relevant treaties signed; laws made)
  • In the section on agriculture drafted by the Research Fellow based on FAO data, add to it areas not covered, and change as necessary areas that were covered (in conjunction with the Research Fellow), paying special attention to
  1. Plans and programs of the government which would have caused any of the notable changes in agricultural trends, or any proposed or actual government plans that would modify them significantly in the future
  2. In countries in which forest area is significant, add forestry statistics, including deforestation and afforestation / reforestation.
  3. In countries in which livestock is a significant part of the sector, add information on production systems (at least small-holder vs. commercial)
  • In the section on climate models, add any relevant information on regional climate models that the government uses or have been used by regional or international organizations
  • In the section on crop models, add any relevant information on crop models that have been done by other organizations.  If the modeling efforts are more than 5 years old, consult with the IFPRI Research Fellow first.
  • The consultant will incorporate a literature review in the chapter in appropriate places that will highlight previous studies on the impact of climate change on agriculture in that country.
  • Throughout the paper, especially in the modeling sections, make necessary corrections in usage of regional names and add more commentary if it seems appropriate (new commentary in these section is NOT required).
  • In conjunction with the IFPRI Research Fellow, write 1 to 3 single-spaced typed pages for a chapter conclusion.
  • Attend any inception, intermediate, or final writers’ workshops being held (there is probably only going to be one of these), with travel expenses covered by the project.
  • Work in a collegial fashion with other co-authors, the regional editors, and all collaborators and donors.

Desired qualifications

The successful applicant will have the following qualifications

  • A master’s degree or Ph.D. in economics, public policy, an agricultural science, or an environmental science.
  • At least five years of experience in government service; as a professor or teacher in university; or as a researcher in a relevant organization.
  • A publication record proving knowledge in writing about climate change impacts on agriculture.


Inception workshops or introduction to the IFPRI research fellow via electronic communication will take place depending on the country between January and March 2015.  After that, the consultant would have three months to complete a draft of the chapter.  Then, two months after that, the consultant will finalize the chapter, taking into consideration comments from the regional editors.  This means that some consultants will finish as early as June 2015, while others will finish by August 2015.

Application deadline: January 23, 2014

To submit an application and for further information, please contact Deissy Martinez Barón, (email address in the attached PDF file) with “Application for Country Chapter Lead Author” in subject. Please attach your CV in English and specify the country you are interested in.

Agricultural finance specialist: climate change, agriculture and food security

Three girls take me to their family survival gardens in Ghana

Three girls take me to their family survival gardens in Ghana

Closing date for applications: 23rd of January, 2015 or until a suitable candidate is identified.

The complex, dynamic relationships among climate change, agriculture and the food security of poor households necessitate urgent transformation of food systems – major changes in farming practices and localities, landscape management, food storage and distribution, and consumption choices.

We are seeking a qualified candidate who will play a crucial role in strengthening partnerships and developing synergies between CCAFS’ Climate Smart Agricultural Practices Flagship and the World Bank’s work in this area. The scope of work to be delivered by the WB-CCAFS liaison person will contribute to achieveing a goal of “millions farmers, including women and marginalised groups that are resilient and food secure despite a variable and changing climate, through wide scale adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture options”.

He/she will also contribute to facilitate appropriate operational linkages and contribute to the implementation of the third of these key products:

  1. Improved technologies, practices and portfolios for climate-smart agriculture that meet the needs of farmers;
  2. Methods and approaches for equitable local adaptation planning and governance, including transformative options;
  3. Innovative incentives (including finance) and mechanisms for scaling up and out that address the needs of farmers, including women and marginalised groups

The flagship work will include a focus on “climate-smart villages” where integrated approaches to climate variability and change are tested in a participatory manner. Over 30 have been established in CCAFS phase 1, but additional sites are envisaged, especially where connected to major development initiatives. All learning sites are linked to strategies for scaling up and out.

Key objectives for the position

  • Provide an operational link between CCAFS and the WorldBank team, and ensure coordination on work related to Climate Smart Agriculture
  • Explore opportunities to robustly test innovative finance mechanisms for incentivizing CSA activities on the ground

Key duties and accountability

  • Promote use of CCAFS research in World Bank operations
  • Identify and promote opportunities for CCAFS to engage further with the World Bank and contribute to CSA related initiatives of the WorldBank in CCAFS regions
  • Identify a range of innovative finance options for incentivizing CSA, and match to opportunities for robust testing and evaluation within WorldBank initiatives, or within context of CCAFS Climate Smart Villages
  • Liaise between CCAFS researchers and relevant CSA stakeholders to foster outcomes and impact from CCAFS research
  • Develop policy briefs and synergy reports on innovative finance instruments for incentivizing CSA adoption

The candidate shall have the following competencies, skills and experience

  • At least 3 years relevant experience, preferably with Masters level studies in finance, economics international development or related field
  • Knowledge of climate related issues and agricultural challenges
  • Solid technical knowledge of financial instruments in the development sector
  • Experience in research design, write-up and synergizing results
  • Excellent networking skills, ability to engage with broad range of stakeholders and strong communications capacity

Terms of employment

The position is globally recruited and will be based at the Work Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C. Contractually the position will be managed by CIAT. The contract will be for an initial 2 year period, subject to a probation period of six (6) months, renewable depending on performance and funding. The candidate will report jointly to Marc Sadler (World Bank Advisor) and Andy Jarvis (Flagship leader of Climate Smart Agriculture for CCAFS). CIAT offers a multicultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits; we believe that the diversity of staff contributes to excellence.


Applicants are invited to send a CV and cover letter illustrating their suitability for the above position against the listed qualifications, competencies, skills together with a detailed curriculum vitae, including names and addresses of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. All correspondence should be addressed to the CIAT Talent Management Division to Andrea Linares ( Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


The International Center for Tropical Agriculture – CIAT, is one of the 15 not-for-profit Centers funded by various countries, private foundations, international and regional organizations that make up the CGIAR global partnership. The CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), is a strategic research partnership between CGIAR and Future Earth, the global environmental change community. The goal of the program is to promote a food-secure world through the provision of science-based efforts that support sustainable agriculture and enhance livelihoods while adapting to climate change and conserving natural resources and environmental services. Led by CIAT, CCAFS is a unique partnership involving the 15 CGIAR centres and research, government, academic, civil society and private sector actors, and uses science and action to test and model solutions to agricultural challenges in a context of climate variability and uncertainty. It currently works in 5 target regions: East and West Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and Latin America. For more information

CCAFS’s theory of change involves work with partners on three inter-dependent areas: Generating evidence from action research, (b) effecting policy and institutional change to support Climate- smart Agriculture (CSA), and (c) rolling out CSA. The programme is currently planning its second implementation phase which involves a significant shift towards a Results-Based Management system that focuses on the achievement of development outcomes. It will generate equitable and gender-sensitive technologies, practices, and institutional and policy options related, from 2015 on, to four Flagships: FS1: Climate‐smart agricultural practices; FS2: Climate information services and climate-informed safety nets; FS3: Low‐emissions agricultural development and FS 4: Policies and institutions for climate-resilient food systems.

Don’t give in or give up when you are searching for your next job?

Beauty of the clouds and Sun

This post was originally published via LinkedIn, but it reposted here for my folks who visit my WordPress blog.

The job search is one of the most difficult process that we seem to underestimate, yet it could be a much easiest process, if we plan it well in advance. The following are few tips for those in the process of searching for a position that not only pays the bills, but one that we have the passion and love to do and these tips are from someone who is also searching. So, here you go, we are in the same rocky boat floating in an ocean with others furious and competitive job hunters about to encounter potential employers looking for someone like you. As a job searcher, you are an independent business entrepreneur marketing your skills, experiences and values for the next job out there. To the potential employer, you are a customer selling a product (your economic values) to enhance their business plan to increase their human capital. So, be positive, assertive, energetic, organize, on time with communications, respectful, and most of all professional.

At some point, we all search for job and with the right mental attitude and positive mindset, we will eventually land that job, which could make a difference in our lives and that of our families, the new organization we see ourselves working at, people with whom we will be working with and communities or clients we will be serving.

So, if these tips speak into your heart as you continue to search for that one meaningful job, that not only pays the bills, but makes you happy, remember that you are special and you have no photocopy out there. So, don’t give up, remain positive, work harder, take a break from the job search process, refresh on something you like (swimming, running, biking, etc), talk with others and share ideas, and it might surprise you how much you could improve your prospect of landing that awesome job. I hope you enjoy this piece because it is from the heart.

1. Re-exam why you need a job and where do you want to be in the next 5-10 years.

Most of us sometime makes this mistake. If asked why do you need a job, well the straight answer to that question would be to be able to make money and support my family. That is true and there is nothing else that needs to be said about that because that is the simplest answer. However, is having a job much more than making money? Yes. If life was a straight path (like what learned in a geometry class), we would all be working at the jobs of our dreams and that would be an ideal world, which is rarely possible. However, it isn’t always the case. Re-examing your options in your next job search is crucial to landing that job you always dreamed for and one that you feel satisfy. This also involves examining the organizations posting a position that interests you before applying. From what you read out there, is that where you would like to work? Even though the information posted online may not always portray the day-to-day working environment, at almost all cases, those information depict a general picture of the organization posting the job that you are interested in and could assist you make the right career choice.

Once the information posted, which include general information of the organization, vision/mission/values and the job descriptions are aligned with your goals, where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years at such organization? This could be a little hard to mentally conceptualize, but drafting a simple plan could assist you define your objectives and facilitate the process to make the right choice for your next job.

2. Remember, others are searching, so be patient

Remember that you are not alone out there searching for a job. I experienced this first hand few years back when I applied for a position in 2012 at a nonprofit organization within the Boston area. I was selected for an in-person interview by the Director of the nonprofit and during the interview, he asked me what was going on at Clark University? I asked him what do you mean if you could be a little specific and there he said, “well, many of our applicants for this position are from Clark University.” I told him well, it seems like Clark University knew what employers wanted out there and prepared their graduate students for the job market so that they could be employed once they complete their studies and I am fortunate to be one of those applicants. That question opened up a mutual discussion for the position with the Director of that nonprofit and one of his colleagues. Even though I did not make it to the next level of the hiring process, I learned one lesson from that experience, that you are not alone searching for a job because someone you know in your program at university, a neighbor, a friend, etc could be equally searching for a job and viola could have also applied for the position you found on Idealist. So, be patient and market yourself well with respect, dignity and with a positive mindset.

3. Developed a job tracking system before you attempt to search for a job

Initially, I would create a folder on my desktop/laptop with various sub-folders entitle cover letters, job postings, resumes, cv, reference lists, salary history, etc to be able to track submitted applications and cover letters for positions applied to. However, this approach is less effective because you are not able to visualize and track submitted applications based on dates of submittals, applications deadlines, application status to assist you easily facilitate follow-ups and prevent you from just relying on email notifications of your job status or browsing through tons of emails for an application you submitted 2-4 weeks ago to determine if the deadline has expired. This leads me to the next solid point in the job search process that I was hinted to consider by a friend, which is to create a job tracking system by simply using Microsoft Excel or Access. Excel is much easier to use and flexible than Access. But there are now many platforms that you could use out there. Use whatever you feel easier to use and cost-effective. If you are using Excel, it is crucial that you have an Excel Workbook created and labelled “Job Tracking System” and create individual spreadsheets, which highlights specific tracking aspects of the job search process. The below list are just few suggestions with sub-categories for each column in the spreadsheet:

a). Jobs Applied to Tracking System (Sheet 1) [position, organization, contact person/title, email, phone, fax, mailing address, organization website, how did you hear about the job, application deadline, date applied, date application received, Application Status, salary, Follow-up date, Response, Date Replied, Key word task

b). Interviews Tracking System (Sheet 2) [Position applied to, organization, contact person/title, date of interview, interview mode, Time of Interview, Place of Interview, Date thank you sent, Next Step

c). Professional Networking Tracking System (Sheet 3) [Acquaintance name/title, company name, phone number, email, mailing address, date contacted, comments, lead name/title, company, phone number, email, address, comments

d). Career website Tracking System (Sheet 4) [Website visited, date visited, username/ID, password, Resume posted (Y/N), date resume posted, position applied to, date applied, cover letter posted (Y/N), date cover letter posted,

It is essential that you keep track of your job search because it keeps you organize and up to speed where you have submitted your credentials for your next job. Besides, it is mentally a good practice because when you eventually get a job, these organizational skills could benefit you well and demonstrate your professional ability to document, track and manage important project related documents especially when your job has to do with communicating with multiple stakeholders with diverse interests, expectations, deadlines and resources.

4. Don’t give in to jobs that require that you don’t need any specific skill to perform expected outcomes and deliverables

First and foremost, there are lots of employers out there that would attempt to convince you because they might think you are desperately in need of a job by offering you some ridiculously nonsensical offers that a potential position is available at their company that doesn’t requires specific specialize skills. So, the fact that the job doesn’t requires specific skills to perform the anticipated deliverables and outcomes means the hiring managers and or organizations don’t even know what they need and they are just casting their nests out there to capture floating souls.

I am sure there is a reason for your job search and with a little more patience, could land a job that you will be happy to use your skills and experiences and even learn from others. So, don’t waste your time on those useless offers because those offering don’t even know what they want from individuals they are seeking to employ. It is better to know what is expected of my potential, if hired for a job, than going to the job without knowing what is expected of me.

5. Professionally network with friends, colleagues with whom you went to school with, former organizations, and participate in professional events

Professional networking is a crucial recipe for quick recommendations for a potential position or career opportunity. Half the job search battle is won, if you network appropriately and professionally with those you knew at school, worked with in the past or met at professional events. This is why keeping a “professional networking tracking system” is essential because you keep in touch with people you knew in the past. Jobs are occupy by people and people make connections, your next job could be a result of those you networked with in the past, networking with now and may network with in the future through professional associations and connections. Always build a professional network and sustain it.

6. Create a paperless professional portfolio

In this digital world, paperless professional portfolios seem to be widespread. However, it is very important that you are VERY careful of what you post because I can’t tell you how many “Mr./Ms.Mrs. Anonymous” on LinkedIn or other professional and social media would be checking out your pages for any information and some of those searches could be conducted by the lenses of recruiters, hiring managers and your current employers. So, build your professional portfolio such that you are presented professionally at all times.

7. Brand yourself

Branding yourself is important because it depicts that you are a professional, which could tell potential employers a story about what you are able and capable of doing with your skills, if offer a position that would require using them. Branding yourself could be as simple as formatting your resume, CV, cover and thank you letters in a way that it distinguishes yours from other potential candidates. It could be just adding few formatting features in Microsoft Office or other platforms to your resume, CV, cover letters, etc; such that, they look professional when open via email for the first time or during those 5 seconds deciding moments when yours get to be considered.

I hope these tips were helpful. Good luck and Happy New Year as we approach these last few days of 2014.

2014 in Review: Thanks to Everyone who visited, shared their thoughts and ideas. Happy New Year!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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