Theme Leader – Land Health Decisions, Nairobi 303 views

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Job Category

Internationally Recruited Staff

Terms of offer

This position is remunerated on International Terms. The appointment will be for an initial period three (3) years renewable, subject to a nine (9) months’ probation period.

Job Description

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

1. Strategic leadership

i. Lead research of global value that will result in the generation of new knowledge, methods, policies and capacity focusing on Soils, Land Health and supporting and enhancing ICRAF’s strategic leadership in this field.

i. Formulate, facilitate, resource and nurture research related to Soils and Land Health that links and contributes to the achievement of ICRAF’s strategic goals, the CIFOR-ICRAF Value Proposition and the CGIAR’s strategic results framework.

ii. Support the identification and realization of the key strategic research outcomes likely to deliver impact relevant to ICRAF Regions in consultation with Themes and Research Support Units, aiming for more integrative and impactful outcomes.

iii. Support the formulation of research proposals and strategies for CIFOR-ICRAF.

iv. Formulate global and regional agendas through:

· Articulation and preparation of strategic documents;

· Co-authorship of papers in peer reviewed journals;

· Synthesis and review of papers across sub-themes of the ICRAF Themes and CIFOR Teams; and

· Supporting communication efforts in popular media.

v. Prepare and regularly review the Theme’s institutional strategic plan and contribute to similar activities for other science domains and Regions.

2. Research management and reporting

i. Set, monitor and submit reports on milestones and key performance indicators for the Theme and support the timely and impactful delivery of ICRAF’s commitments under various CGIAR programmes and bilateral agreements.

ii. Work with various units to ensure the use of the most appropriate methods, approaches and tools in research and research related activities conducted at CIFOR-ICRAF.

iii. In close collaboration with the Directorate for Innovation and Impact, specifically GeoScience Laboratory, Impact Acceleration and Learning unit, Knowledge Management Unit and Capacity Development Unit, facilitate and enhance the Soils Theme’s use and impact of research and document and measure the resultant impact.

iv. Ensure high quality, timely reporting of results on all projects (bilateral and CRP) following CIFOR-ICRAF’s Performance Management System.

v. Establish systematic approaches for project staff to work with the GeoScience Laboratory, Knowledge Management Unit, Communications Unit and other relevant units to: generate, collate, archive and provide data, information and knowledge relevant to the work of the Theme, recognising IPR responsibilities and issues.

vi. Facilitate quality capacity development within the Theme’s research activities through individual and group learning in close cooperation with Capacity Development Unit.

3. People Management

i. Work closely with team members to set the Theme’s annual and quarterly deliverables including the outputs and publication targets for individual scientists.

ii. Mentor, monitor and evaluate the performance of team members with the aim of striving for continuous improvement of all individuals as well as the teams they are engaged in.

iii. Build and lead a strong global scientific team of regional and HQ based professionals to conceptualise, implement and deliver research results paying key attention to gender, diversity and skill dimensions.

iv. Mentor and guide young and newly recruited scientists to optimize availability and cross-regional balance in scientific capacity for the domain.

4. Financial management

i. Guide the preparation and update of annual programmes of work, budgets and relevant CGIAR Research Programmes.

ii. Manage the Theme’s budget including restricted grant and CRP allocations to ensure financial viability and adequate operational diversification of the domain.

5. Other Duties

i. Initiate and participate in developing, implementing and evaluating strategic management plans, budgets and business process improvement programmes aimed at improving organisational effectiveness.

ii. Implement strategies for creating a culture based on transparency, integrity, accountability to ensure that programme activities are undertaken on sound management principles and set standards, policies and procedures.

iii. Participate in the recruitment and selection of staff in order to ensure that the candidates selected have the required job competencies and are provided with orientation and induction programme necessary for effective job performance.

iv. Review incidents of violations against organisational policy and handle employee disputes and take appropriate action in line with approved policies, procedures and regulations.

v. Conduct training needs assessment, design and implement training programmes aimed at equipping staff with appropriate job competencies in order to improve delivery of high-quality services.

vi. Plan, monitor and evaluate staff performance against their key performance indicators and implement development action plans aimed at building the capacity of individuals and multi-disciplinary teams.

vii. Identify and take action to mitigate potential risks within own work area.


  • PhD in agricultural/natural resources economics, social science, business management or related discipline.
  • Fifteen (15) years’ or more of relevant experience, ten (10) years of which must be at senior management level working with multidisciplinary teams.


  • Strong publications record, including peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Research experience in developing countries.
  • Formulate systems to monitor and evaluate outputs and creating a results-oriented environment.
  • Ability to establish organization-wide plans for employees to enable them meet organizational needs.
  • Seasoned in networking internationally, establish and maintain collaborative relationships with various external organization regionally and internationally.
  • Ability to plan for change and implement organization-wide change programmes balancing between risk and opportunity.
  • Ability to establish plans on the use of infrastructure and other organizational and unit resources.
  • Adept in setting standards for learning and development.

Job Summary

The position holder will lead research within the respective ‘Soils’ Theme at ICRAF and will be responsible for conceptualizing and developing research with other constituent teams at CIFOR-ICRAF. In addition, the incumbent will be responsible for collaboration within multi-organizational CGIAR Research Programmes and will carry out scalable, cutting-edge research for development in close cooperation with CIFOR-ICRAF’s partners.

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