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Inter Aide seeks to recruit an agricultural impact evaluation trainee – Sierra Leone

Accueil » Offres » Stage » Inter Aide seeks to recruit an agricultural impact evaluation trainee – Sierra Leone

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Affichage: 147

Date de clôture : jeudi 28 février 2019

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FonctionsEtudes, Recherche
ActivitésAgriculture, Environnement
ContratStage
Durée du contratDuration : 4 to 6 months according to academic constraints (negotiable)

Background :

Inter Aide agricultural development program is implemented since 2007 in the Northern Region of Sierra Leone, in the districts of Bombali and Karene. It aims at improving food security and farmers resilience through increase and diversification of the agricultural productions. Technical solutions are long term validated and the current challenge is the scale up of the activities in order to reach more farmers. Inter Aide SL has 2 bases : one situated in Makeni targets the district of Bombali District while the other base situated in Kamakwie operates in Karene District. From 2017 to 2020, IA SL agricultural team works with more than 1,500 direct beneficiaries and targets more than 3,000 farmers per year. With the support of AFD and in collaboration with Tero (http://www.tero.coop/en/), Inter Aide is undertaking an evaluation process of the impact of its agricultural activities.

Inter aide support to rural and agricultural development in Sierra Leone :

Inter Aide proposes a large panel of agricultural innovations to farmers :

Diffusion of new varieties and new production techniques. For rice, okra, groundnut and yam production, Inter Aide proposes to the farmer kits {varieties + simple techniques} aiming the quick multiplication of material and increase of the production.

Diversification of the production. Inter Aide is convinced that the diversification of the production is key to insure better food security and improve the resilience of small holders. Inter Aide promotes crops that are not cultivated by the farmers in the area of intervention: dry season horticulture productions (especially onion production), white yam and plantain.

Promotion of innovative processing techniques and storage techniques.Processing and storage allow farmer to have more benefit from their production. Inter Aide developed genuine palm oil transformation techniques that were unknown by the farmers of Northern Sierra Leone. Regarding onion storage Inter Aide strongly supports techniques to store in best conditions and speculate on price fluctuation.

Professionalization of Farmers’ Organisations and value chain integration.Inter Aide first concern is the sustainability of its actions. The strengthening of local farmers association is compulsory to insure good integration of the whole value chain in the daily life of the farmers. It consists in building capacities of farmers organizations so that they can provide relevant services to their members: access to loan for financing the campaign, access to quality inputs in sufficient quantity at the proper time, technical support to farmers, market information and commercialization support.

Experiments and validations of new potential technical solutions to promote to farmers. Inter Aide continuously seek for new innovations and new solutions to farmers constraints and opportunities. Today, together with the farmers, IA SL experiments innovation regarding self-production of onion seeds, fertility management solutions, nutrition approach, more opportunities of crop diversification for large scale diffusion, breeder/farmer conflict solutions, etc.

Beyond the importance that Inter Aide attaches to respond to farmers needs and constraints, the recurrent concerns are the efficiency and efficacy of its interventions. Inter Aide constantly seeks for farmers commitment and pretend to reach the maximum number of household with minimum staff, equipment and inputs. The strategy and the methodologies of intervention are based on a limited support from the organization (in time and in inputs). During the first year of intervention, diffusion strategy of validated innovations hinges on the training and capacity-building of referent farmers to relay the innovations to their fellow neighbours in the following years.

The evaluation process of inter aide aricultural programm in Sierra Leone :

Inter Aide constantly looks for improving its intervention. In the framework of a large evaluation process undertaken at IA level in 4 different countries (Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi and Sierra Leone), Inter Aide and its partner Tero would like to answer the following questions :

  1. How effective are the dissemination strategies tested, adapted, and capitalized by IA? For IA, the idea is to evaluate how far the technical innovations promoted are adapted to the small-scale farmers, and can be diffused sustainably at a low financial and technical cost. The idea is thus to see how far the farmers implement technical changes on theirs fields, and obtain positive results of them. The purpose is to analyse the project impact at the crop and plot level ;
  2. To what extent Inter Aide actions contribute to reinforce the resilience of farming families? The idea is to understand how far the combined interventions proposed by IA allow the farmers families to face better different internal or external risks. It is proposed to see the effects of the projects to maintain and strengthen productive, diversified and sustainable productive systems. The purpose is to analyse the project impact at the family or pot level ;
  3. Can the structuring of family farming be sustainable and contribute to improve the living standards of small producers in isolated context, and in which conditions? For IA, and in particular in remote contexts, local organizations are potential actors to bring sustainable services to the farmers, and to establish a dialogue and negotiation with external actors. The purpose is then to analyse the project impact in consolidating local capacities and adapted services to small farmers at the groups and organizations levels

Objectives and methodology of the internship :

The evaluation process started in 2017 and so far IA SL agricultural teams have been already able to provide quantitative data about the adoptions rates of proposed innovations by the farmers, the level of productions and the surplus generated compared to conventional practices (question 1). The support to the farmers’ organizations is also on-going and seems at first sight encouraging (question 3). Today, the main difficulties lie in measuring the impact of IA interventions on the resilience of the farmers (question 2). Indeed this entails an accurate understanding of the evolution of farmers’ practices, of the allocations of their resources, of the choices they make between the conventional and the new crop system promoted by IA according to their constraints and opportunities. Measuring the impact on resilience implies accurate data collection, iterative discussions with farmers, data processing and analysis. Unfortunately, the lack of educational background, the activities timetable and the everyday challenges of project management do not allow the team to dedicate the required time to deepen this question. Inter Aide expects the internship to answer to the evaluation question number 2.

An agrarian diagnosis approach adapted to impact evaluation should provide quantitative and qualitative information to answer question 2. With more than 10 years presence in Northern Bombali and thanks to the experience of the Sierra Leonean team, the trainee shall quickly understand the context and the background intervention and rather focus on crop system performance as well as farmer typology (regarding their capacity to adopt the new crop system) and farmers’ production systems. Besides qualitative information, Inter Aide is expecting solid data on a significant number of households and will insist for the trainee to provide accurate, quantitative and exhaustive information for a minimum of 75 families (accurate typology of farmers according to their adopting capacities, crop systems performances, integrations of crop systems at production system level, efficiency of production systems, household activity systems, treasury calendar and incomes).

Expériences / Formation du candidat :

  • Agricultural engineer or equivalent with educational background in agricultural and rural development ;
  • Educational background in agrarian diagnosis methodology, in socio-economic analysis of crop system, production system, activity system ;
  • Capacity to reason and apply a systemic approach and not to focus on particular cases and contingencies ;
  • Professional experience, some of which in developing countries would be highly appreciated ;
  • Experience in impact study appreciated.

Langues parlées :

  • Fluent English (including writing skills in English) ;
  • Fluent French speaker would be appreciated.

Qualité du candidat :

  • Field oriented, tenacity and autonomy ;
  • Able to cope with rough field conditions (heat, degraded feeder roads, basic field settlement) ;
  • Rigor, good organizational skills, analytical skills ;
  • Great interpersonal skills: calm, diplomacy, self-control, respect for values and cultural differences ;
  • Demonstrate pragmatism and ability to cope with a heavy workload ;
  • Comfortable to leave in remote areas , resistance to isolation ;
  • Off-road motorbike riding skills is a big +.

Salaire / Indemnité :

  • French Legal Internship Agreement with legal internship gratification (around 560€ per month) ;
  • Accommodation provided within IA premises and in the villages ;
  • Translator costs covered by IA ;
  • Round trip flight / Paris – Freetown ;
  • Complete social insurance + repatriation insurance.

Position to be filled by the end of March / beginning of April 2019 :

  • The selection of the files will be done as and when they are received ;
  • Applications with a CV of more than 2 pages will not be studied ;
  • Thank you for sending CV + Cover letter under ref. SL/AGRO/EVAL19 at [email protected]

 

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