ILRI vacancy: Head of Jameel Observatory (Closing date: 8 December 2021)

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The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a senior leader to provide overall leadership and management of Jameel Observatory at the interface of policy engagement and research. The Jameel Observatory will operate in East Africa and as such needs a strong regional presence and leadership from the region.

The Jameel Observatory is a new initiative to support the use of data and earth observation approaches to catalyze early action to avoid food crises among pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in East Africa. The Jameel Observatory brings together a consortium led by University of Edinburgh and involving Save the Children, the International Livestock Research institute, the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and Community Jameel as founding members. The vision of the Observatory is to achieve food security and reduce malnutrition, through a networked approach to improved forecasting, long-term preparedness and emergency response to climate-related food and health risks in East Africa.

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 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.

Key Responsibilities

  • Leadership and management of Jameel Observatory including:
    • Strategy development and enactment; culture, ethos and staff relations; periodic review of strategic direction and initiating course corrections in consultation with internal Governance Group and External Advisory Committee
    • Research activities and process for procuring/commissioning research
    • Communications surrounding the Observatory and its activities
    • Consortium interactions – ensuring that the Observatory capitalizes on synergies among consortium and key external partners
  • Business and financial planning and management including resource mobilization – building a long-term, financially-sustainable funding stream
  • Representation and stakeholder engagement
    • Promoting the vision of the Observatory among key actors in the food security/pastoralism space in East Africa and globally
    • Building engagement with existing actors and developing a vibrant community of practice on food security early warning in East Africa


  • Master’s Degree in Development studies, livestock related studies, Agribusiness or other relevant fields with at least 15 years experience in similar project
  • Track record in establishing, inspiring and leading successful complex partnerships in East Africa
  • Strong understanding of pastoral issues and complex environments
  • Existing network in food security/pastoralism sector in East Africa
  • Familiarity with technical aspects of pastoralism, rangeland management, and/or earth observation/data science
  • Evidence of successful people and financial management capability
  • Ability to thrive in a multi-cultural professional environment and with minimum supervision
  • Experience working with development partners
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Good interpersonal, facilitation and communication skills
  • Excellent presentation and negotiation skills
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to deliver timely high-quality deliverables.
  • Strong analytical and report writing skills

Post location: The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya

Terms of Appointment

This is position is at job level HG 20 and it is open to both national and international applicants. The position is a 3-year contract, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding. ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes; pension, medical and other insurances.

How to apply: Applicants should send a cover letter and CV expressing their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development through our recruitment portal before 08 December 2021. The position title and reference number REF:TL/11/2021 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.

To find out more about ILRI visit our websites at

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

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