Kenya: Post-doc position Interdisciplinary and participatory research on Inclusive Low- Emission Development (i-LED) in East African dairy

Organization: African Centre for Technology Studies
Country: Kenya
Closing date: 02 May 2018

We are seeking highly qualified candidates for a 2.5-year post-doc position at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), Nairobi, Kenya under the Climate Resilient Economies Programme. The position is situated in a large research project ‘Inclusive Low-Emission Development (i-LED): East African dairy’, which is a collaborative initiative between Wageningen University, the Netherlands, the International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya and the African Centre for Technology Studies.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions intensity of livestock is rising on political agendas in East Africa. This research analyses institutional conditions for scaling inclusive Low-Emission Development (i-LED) interventions that account for the diversity of practices, development pathways and interests in the Kenyan and Tanzanian dairy sectors. The project engages governments, leading dairy firms, service providers, producer cooperatives, and male and female livestock keepers in science-policy dialogues to design a portfolio of context-sensitive LED approaches reducing emissions intensity while enhancing socio-economic inclusivity. The main objective is to support inclusive development of a portfolio of scalable low-emission development dairy interventions that account for the diversity of practices, development pathways and interests in the Kenyan and Tanzanian dairy sector in Kenya and Tanzania.

The post-doc research fellow will be responsible for:

  • Organizing inclusive workshops assessing the adaptability of LED-intervention strategies to local realities and stakeholders in Kenya and Tanzania;
  • convening high-level, forward-looking dialogues, which engage Kenyan and Tanzanian stakeholder in strategizing and ‘best-bet’ priority-setting;
  • Developing participatory modes of scenario modelling, which involves close collaborations with stakeholders in imagining and co-creating modalities for inclusive development in two design workshops;
  • Analysing and reflecting on these deliberative processes from the perspective of inclusive development.

The work of the post-doc research fellow will enrich and integrate on-going work from a large interdisciplinary research project funded by IFAD and CCAFS, including the development of GHG emission baselines, identification of promising LED practices and cross-scale political economy of the dairy sectors in Kenya and Tanzania. The post-doc will be primarily responsible for convening stakeholders around research findings and co-organizing stakeholder dialogues that will support the development of socio-economically inclusive LED intervention strategies. This research designs, tests and co-organizes deliberative processes catalysing and aligning the transformative capacities of private and public stakeholders in the dairy sectors in Kenya and Tanzania. The consortium partners play an important role in the design and review of the interactive process facilitated by the project.

The i-LED research project is part of an interdisciplinary Dutch Science Foundation (NWOWOTRO) funded program. This Food & Business Global Challenges Programme addresses international, regional and global challenges on food and nutrition security as a global public good. Research is carried out in consortia between Southern and Northern scientific and nonscientific stakeholders.

The post-doc position will commence in June or July 2018 depending on the swiftness of the formal admission process.


We are looking for an enthusiastic team player, with a scientific interest in interdisciplinary research, educated in the social sciences, and experienced in action-oriented research together with private sector partners, governments and organised farmers. The successful candidate must have the following qualifications:

An excellent academic record in a relevant social science discipline (PhD completed), with proven analytical skills and relevant knowledge of inclusive development, climate change and preferably dairy in Africa and a strong ambition to upgrade scientific knowledge and academic skills.

  • A completed PhD in development studies, technology and innovation studies, agricultural extension, sociology or anthropology or any other related field;
  • Interdisciplinary attitude in social sciences and an interest in institutional analysis of inclusive development;
  • Strong knowledge and skills regarding research design, and experienced in qualitative approaches to data analysis and presentation;
  • Knowledge of the East African dairy sector and Kiswahili language, while not necessary, will be a big plus.

Proven ability to collaborate with a range of societal stakeholders and facilitate dialogues and multi-stakeholder processes.

  • Engagement with private sector initiatives, the public sector and public-private partnerships;
  • Capacity to carry out independent fieldwork and organize workshops with a communicative attitude to practitioners in the dairy sectors and policy;
  • Transdisciplinary attitude and proven experiences with innovative and crafty ways in dealing with different stakeholders.
  • Participatory scenario development skills will be a major asset in this position

Demonstration of strong reflexive capacities both verbally and in writing.

  • A collaborative and team oriented attitude, with an open mind for other scientific approaches and proven interest in interactions between the natural and social sciences;
  • Experiences in sharing insights in the interface between society and sciences and preferably written reflection on action research and deliberative processes.

Strong oral and written communication skills in English, especially regarding academic writing and presentation.

Who we are

The African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) is a pioneering development research think tank on harnessing applications of science, technology and innovation policies for sustainable development in Africa. ACTS is an Intergovernmental organization founded in 1988 to pursue policy-oriented research towards strengthening the capacity of African countries and institutions to harness science and technology for sustainable development. ACTS envisions a sustainable economic, social and environmental future for Africa, through science, technology and innovation.

The Knowledge, Technology and Innovation group at Wageningen University & Research aspires to be ‘the place to be’ for engaged international scholars and students who are passionate about understanding and influencing the complex relations between knowledge, new and emerging technology, social processes and materiality. Through our work, we seek to enhance reflexivity in science, and contribute towards making processes of technical and social innovation more responsible, responsive and democratic. Our research aims to achieve impact, particularly in relation to global challenges, such as food security, poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, and climate change. Wageningen University & Research delivers a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That’s our focus – each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society – such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don’t do this alone. Every day, 6,500 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of the 15 CGIAR research centres dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa.

What we offer

Terms of contract: 2.5 years renewable annually based on performance and subject to availability of funds.

Remuneration: competitive remuneration reviewable based on performance.

Supervisor: Reporting to Head of Climate Resilient Economies Programme at ACTS. The supervision is done in close coordination with the project partners at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and the International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya.

How to apply:

Applications should be submitted via email to the Human Resource Manager, ACTS at Please indicate clearly the title of the position ” i-LED post-doc”on the subject of your application email. Your application should include the following information:

  1. An application letter explaining your motivation and aptitude for the position.
  2. A detailed CV including personal details (name, contact details, age, gender), academic training, work experience and a list of publications. Please also include language skills ,computing and (academic) software skills and knowledge of research for development (R4D)
  3. Scanned copies of academic certificates (bachelors and masters) and associated lists of marks/qualifications for courses followed.
  4. A writing sample (published/or in press) of recent academic/scientific writing.
  5. Names and contact details (email address) of three references.
  6. A short vision document indicating how you would like to approach the research (1,000 words maximum; see annex 1).

Applications must be received by 2nd May 2018 at 17.00 hours Central European daylight saving time.

Further process and timeline

Selected candidates will be invited for interviews, which will be conducted in Nairobi on May.

The successful applicant will be informed in May.

Annex 1: Format for proposed research outline

Please explain in 1000 words maximum (excluding references) how you would approach this interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary research for which you apply. Your outline will include the working title of your project, a brief sketch of the theoretical perspective, the research problem and research question; a short outline of the methodological approach; and a description of the expected scientific significance and development impact of the research you propose.

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