Farmer Decision Making Specialist

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The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is not-for-profit agricultural research for development organization with partners in over 100 countries. Please refer to our website for more information:

CIMMYT is looking for an innovative, highly self-motivated, and results-oriented Post- Doctoral Scientist to work on and implement a research portfolio within the Sustainable Agri-food Systems (SAS) program focusing on the role of networking, and farmer feedback systems enabled by digital applications for strengthening farmer agency in support of scaling sustainable soil health innovations and climate-response solutions in smallholder farming systems.

The successful candidate should have strong skills in developing digital solutions relevant to smallholder farmers with a strong focus on fostering farmer feedback and agency through facilitated knowledge sharing, self-learning, and capacity strengthening for soil health, sustainable intensification, and climate adaptation.

Reporting to the research group leader for Science for Scaling and Impact Pathways the position will be based in Lusaka or one of CIMMYT’s Southern Africa locations with global assignments beyond the region of initial assignment depending on program and Center needs.

Specific duties:

  • Working with a team of multidisciplinary scientists (agronomists, economists, crop, and soil scientists as well as communication experts), translate scientific information on soil health and fertilizer management into digital and farmer-useable formats.
  • Using the principles of human-centered design, ensure that the scientific recommendations are codified into appropriate use cases relevant to smallholder farmers.
  • Innovate a robust feedback system to enable farmers to communicate their needs, views, and ratings of new innovations. Additionally, codify such feedback into useful data to facilitate bidirectional learning with extensionists, researchers, and decisionmakers.
  • Work with social scientists to test, challenge, and clarify the common behavioral assumptions for the successful integration of digital solutions into smallholder systems and other enablers and impediments to the scaling of digital technologies.
  • Similarly identify how digital solutions can drive the scaling of knowledge-intensive innovations such as soil health practices, fertilizer use and agronomy, cereal-legume integration, and production solutions that foster climate adaptation.
  • Integrate risk-aware design into identified digital use cases to enable more realistic extension recommendations for smallholder farmers in the areas of soil health, natural resources management, and complimentary genetic and mechanical innovations.

Required qualifications, skills, and attitudes:

  • Minimum MSc (Ph.D. is desirable) in data/computer sciences, mathematics, or operations research.
  • A good understanding of the role of digital solutions for development generally (or agricultural development in particular).
  • Demonstrated experience or interest in working in the global south.
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to interface with rural communities such as village leaders, extension staff, and others.
  • Ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural environment as a member of a diverse work team.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • The selected candidate should exhibit the following competencies: Client Orientation, Negotiation, and Conflict Resolution, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Teamwork, and Communication.

The position is for an initial fixed term of three (3) years, after which further employment is subject to performance and the continued availability of funds. CIMMYT’s internationally competitive salary and benefits include housing allowance, car, comprehensive health, and life insurance, assistance for children’s education, paid vacation, annual home travel airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

Candidates must apply online for IRS22157_ Farmer Decision Making Specialist.

Screening and follow-up of applications will begin on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022. Applications must include a CV and a cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. For further information on the selection process, please contact Yessica Castillo, at

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

This position will remain open until filled.

 CIMMYT is an equal-opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

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