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Consultant for the Assessment of a Project in Bioenergy Production on Degraded Land in Indonesia

Reference number: 2031
Job Status: Inactive
Job Category: Consultancy
Duty Station: Home-based
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The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) envision a more equitable world where forestry and landscapes enhance the environment and well-being for all. CIFOR-ICRAF are non-profit, scientific institutions that conduct research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscape management around the world. Using a global, multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve human well-being, protect the environment, and increase equity. Our work focuses on innovative research, developing partners’ capacity, and actively engaging in dialogue with all stakeholders to inform policies and practices that affect forests and people. Our work spans the globe, with expertise in the ‘global South’. Founded in 1993 and 1978 respectively, CIFOR-ICRAF began merging on January 1, 2019. They are members of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources.

CIFOR-ICRAF is looking for a

Consultant for the Assessment of a Project in Bioenergy Production on Degraded Land in Indonesia


Sustainable development is not possible without the provision of sustainably produced energy. Thus, the development and use of renewable energy are essential parts of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (i.e. SDG 7 [Affordable and Clean Energy], SDG 13 [Climate Action]) and the UN Paris Agreement on climate change. As the most versatile form of renewable energy, bioenergy holds much promise. Its production from degraded lands could help meet global energy demand, while converting degraded land to productive landscapes. Modern, efficient and sustainable forms of bioenergy production can play a key role in combating climate change, while providing social, economic and environmental benefits to rural communities. However, the expansion of plantations primarily for bioenergy purposes has been controversial in many parts of the world. In Indonesia, for example, competition between food production and environmental degradation is associated with large-scale monocultures of energy crops such as oil palm to produce biodiesel.

Indonesia’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) outline the country’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gases and its focus on expanding use of clean and renewable energy. The government of Indonesia set a target to increase biodiesel and bioethanol consumption up to 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of total energy consumption by 2025 (Presidential Regulation No. 12/2015) to manage the rapid growth in energy demand. The country focuses on a wide range of approaches, such as increasing the efficiency of energy production and energy use, reducing waste and shifting to non-fossil sources of energy. Among these alternatives, if designed well, biomass production can provide solutions that are renewable, sustainable and diverse. For this reason, the government of Indonesia has ambitious plans to expand dedicated bioenergy plantations in the form of trees or other crops. However, bioenergy crops must be chosen carefully to suit the requirements of local people and the environment. Rural communities and investors generally prefer trees that can be grown on degraded and marginal lands with relatively high productivity and multiple uses.

Since October 2015, CIFOR, with the financial support of the South Korean National Institute of Forest Science (NIFOS) and the technical support of key partners , has been implementing a project to identify the potential for sustainable biomass production on degraded and marginal land. The project is aimed primarily at producing energy, supporting rural livelihoods and rehabilitating degraded land. It employs a combination of approaches, including literature review and synthesis, spatial analysis, participatory research methods, field-based action research on tree/crop performance and laboratory/chemical analysis. In acknowledging the potential for food-energy-environment conflicts, CIFOR considers only situations involving degraded and/or abandoned land for biomass production. The results help inform and shape key development policy processes such as the Sustainable Bioenergy Program in various provinces in Indonesia such as Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and South Sumatra. Project sites have been selected in:

  1. Buntoi, Pulang Pisau, Central Kalimantan
  2. Kalampangan, Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan
  3. Hutan Pendidikan dan Penelitian Bukit Soeharto, Kutai Kartanegara East Kalimantan
  4. Perigi Talang Nangka, Ogan Komering Illir, South Sumatra
  5. Giriwono, Wonogiri, Central Java.

Duties and responsibilities

Objectives of the assignment
To demonstrate how the project has addressed bioenergy production in degraded land and to assess its achievements, CIFOR wants to conduct a “Story of Change” (SoC). It will look at selected project plots and beneficiary communities in Central and East Kalimantan, as well as in Sumatra. CIFOR’s Research-to-Impact (RTI) team uses SoC as an M&E tool to assess and illustrate how research and engagement activities facilitated change toward the overarching project goals, and to highlight relevant unanticipated results. SoCs also strive to identify (expectable) impact beyond the project, acknowledging that such impact can be supported by the research and engagement activities of previous or parallel projects. The SoC related to the bioenergy project will eventually be published as an eight-page CIFOR Infobrief and disseminated to an internal and external audience.

This SoC will be prepared along the project-specific Theory of Change (ToC) and address the following main questions: Did the research and engagement achieve intended outcomes, and can long-term impacts be expected? What lessons were learned about the project so far?

Summary of responsibilities
The preparation of this SoC consists of the following steps: (1) develop a project-specific ToC retrospectively based on project documentation and interviews of key respondents; (2) prepare and conduct data collection in selected sites; and (3) conduct data analysis and draft a SoC describing key achievements in the selected sites.

The RTI team is seeking one experienced researcher based in Jabotabek region (preferably in Bogor) to lead the assessment and data collection in the following locations:
  1. Buntoi, Pulang Pisau, Central Kalimantan
  2. Kalampangan, Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan
  3. Hutan Pendidikan dan Penelitian Bukit Soeharto, Kutai Kartanegara East Kalimantan
  4. Perigiri, Ogan Komering Illir, South Sumatra.

In each selected site, the consultant is expected to meet and interview partner universities, local private actors, local authorities and farmers’ communities involved in the project.

Education, knowledge and experience

  • The assignment will be conducted by one consultant with the following expertise and capacities:
  • Master’s degree in social sciences, including exposure to qualitative research methods
  • At least three years of experience in collecting qualitative data
  • Experience working with qualitative data to address research questions in a structured way
  • Experience developing project-level ToCs and M&E systems
  • Fluent in spoken and written English, and local languages as relevant
  • Excellent inter-personal skills.CIFOR prefers candidates with evaluation experience, and strong technical knowledge of issues related to bioenergy and sustainable landscape issues.

Terms and conditions

  • This is a Part-time Consultancy position.
  • Duration of assignment is 6 weeks.
  • Work location: Home-based and site visits in South Sumatra (Perigiri, Ogan Komering Illir), Central Kalimantan (Buntoi, Pulang Pisau) and East Kalimantan (Bukit Soeharto).


    To apply, please visit our career site at:

    To learn more about CIFOR, please visit our website at:

    CIFOR is an equal opportunity employer. Staff diversity contributes to excellence.

Application process

The application deadline is 14 Oct-2020
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.

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