International Consultant - Innovation Agricultural Systems

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The International Potato Center (CIP) is seeking a national consultant with experience on Agricultural Innovation Systems to support the implementation of the EU-funded project “DeSIRA – Climate-smart innovations to improve productivity, profitability, and sustainability of agriculture and food systems in Malawi through multidisciplinary research”.

In this 5-year research project CIP, CIAT, CIMMYT, ICRAF, ICRISAT, IITA, IFPRI and WorldFish in collaboration with European Institutions and National partners conduct on-station, on-farm, agronomic and socio-economic research. The integrated research topics cover cereals, legumes, root and tuber crops, fodder and fruit trees and fish. Research topics include tree-crop-livestock, agriculture-aquaculture systems, soil fertility, integrated pest and disease management strategies and post-harvest management technologies. The national consultant will contribute to the establishment of Innovation Platforms (IPs) in three districts and facilitation of workshops using multiple stakeholder approaches and participatory research and extension approaches. The national consultant will be working with technical and scientific backstopping from an international innovation systems scientist.


The consultant will contribute to the following objectives:

  • To support IP members in analyzing smallholder farming systems characteristics, production constraints, crop priorities, local institutions, and gender dynamics in the intervention communities.
  • To identify key stakeholders and build capacity to engage in innovation systems in the target districts. This may include DAESS, existing innovation platforms, governmental institutions, NGOs, agro-dealers, processors, financial institutions, among others.
  • To engage IP members in a process of joint participatory planning, evaluation, learning and capacity building between smallholder farmers and other stakeholders in the district agricultural innovation system to understand perceptions and determinants of adoption of integrated technologies.
  • To continually innovate and redesign the approaches to ensure that CGIAR integrated technologies respond to farmers needs and contribute to the expected farming system outcomes.
  • To capture important lessons and share policy briefs and dissemination events to higher level policy makers in the National Agricultural Innovation Systems


  • Provide input in the development of an action plan for the innovation systems approach for the period July 2021 – October 2022.
  • Conduct a stakeholder mapping exercise in the three districts to identify strategic entry points for the formation of district level IPs.
  • Report of district stakeholders, proposed IP members and target farmer communities.Reports on co-facilitated or facilitated IP workshops in three districts (1. Establishment of IPs, 2. Pre-season planning, 3. Mid-season evaluation, 4. Post-harvest evaluation, 5. Review and planning for next season).
  • Final report describing contributions to key IP objectives, contributions to seminars, workshops, and development/finetuning of action plans for period beyond December 2022.

Qualifications/special skills

  • MSc degree in Agronomy, Agricultural Innovation Systems, International Development, or related field
  • Demonstrated experience in innovation systems, participatory research and extension approaches, multi-stakeholder approaches
  • At least 5 years of post-MSc work experience in agricultural research for development, preferably in Africa
  • Experience working in CGIAR consortium projects would be an asset.

Expected duration and conditions:

  • This consultancy contract is for 76 days for the period between 1 July 2021 and 31 October 2022.
  • The payment is a fixed and consolidated fee based on a daily rate.


Application Process:
Applicants should apply online through our CIP’s Job Opportunities website (, including a full C.V with the names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable of the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. Screening of applications will begin on May 31, 2021 and will continue until the post is filled. All applications will be acknowledged, however only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

This consultancy WILL  have contact with children and vulnerable adults.

Learn more about CIP by accessing our web site at
CIP is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified women and professionals from developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply.

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