Facilitation and Policy Engagement Specialist OPEN

Value Chains, Finance, & Investments (VFI) Team

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) envisions a more equitable world where forestry and landscapes enhance the environment and well-being for all. CIFOR is a non-profit, scientific institution that conducts 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. To do so, we conduct innovative research, develop partners’ capacity, and actively engage in dialogue with all stakeholders to inform policies and practices that affect forests and people. CIFOR is a CGIAR Research Center, and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Yaoundé, Cameroon; Lima, Peru; and Bonn, Germany.

CIFOR is looking for

Facilitation and Policy Engagement Specialist


This position will support the CIFOR Value Chains, Finance and Investments (VFI) Team’s ongoing public and private sector engagements around supply chain sustainability and inclusivity in Africa and Asia, as well as the CGIAR Research Consortium on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) Flagship on Sustainable Global Value Chains and Investments. The Specialist will contribute to the implementation of priorities in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia by building new local and regional partnerships, facilitating and leading multi-stakeholder policy and businesses innovation processes, and raising the visibility of research and policy engagement activities and results within relevant fora.

The Specialist will build on and further develop a research-in-development portfolio that contributes to core VFI and FTA work areas. Existing initiatives that the Specialist will contribute to include:

• Collaborative design of theories of change and action for the implementation and monitoring of jurisdictional zero deforestation programs in major oil palm producing landscapes in Indonesia. This requires targeted public and private sector engagements and facilitation of multi-stakeholder dialogues. Research into unfavorable antecedent conditions that should be accounted for and addressed through the theories of change and action will precede and inform engagements.
• Facilitating development of an integrated landscape development strategy in an ecologically significant oil palm, cocoa and rubber landscape in the Ghanaian High Forest Zone. Drawing on a combination of participatory research, farmer engagement and co-learning activities and public-private working groups, this project also seeks to identify and pilot viable intervention options that help overcome smallholder barriers to the adoption of improved (climate smart) production practices within the different sectors.
• Identifying actionable pathways that support sustainable business model innovation and scaling in the tea and coffee sectors in Tanzania. Through targeted engagements with a wide variety of relevant stakeholders and by leveraging past research results, barriers and opportunities for business model innovation will be identified and actionable solutions proposed. Subsequent piloting of solutions with select business model proponents are envisioned.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Contribute to socioeconomic baseline studies, stakeholder mapping and development of participatory/action research (methods) within FTA and VFI research themes;
  • Contribute to qualitative data analysis and development of analytical and conceptual frameworks;
  • Author technical reports, working papers, briefing notes, communication material and peer-reviewed journal articles relevant to FTA and VFI research themes.
Capacity building
  • Contribute to the development of curriculums and toolkits to support smallholder training and development activities;
  • Provide targeted technical support to stakeholders participating in engagement activities;
  • Identify and act on opportunities to raise the internal capacity of scientists within CIFOR and ICRAF to design and facilitate multi-stakeholder platforms, as well as help maintain a dynamic community of practice on the same;
  • Provide advisory support to VFI and FTA projects to raise capacity to more effectively engage strategic stakeholders and policy processes;
  • Support the supervision of partners, consultants, interns and fellows involved in the implementation of the targeted projects.
Policy-science dialogue
  • Lead the design and facilitation, where appropriate, of multi-stakeholder dialogues within existing and relevant new projects;
  • Coordinate or contribute to national and regional-level policy-science dialogues through active participation in relevant workshops, meeting and conferences;
  • Explore and develop opportunities to improve uptake of research and engagement results and lessons within the business, donor and/or public policy community;
  • Represent CIFOR as needed to maintain and expand CIFOR’s network of partners; and to represent CIFOR within strategic policy spheres.
  • Lead and contribute actively to fundraising by responding to relevant calls for proposals and mobilizing resources through donor and partner networks;
  • Strengthen existing partnerships and build new relations with potential donors.
Project management
  • Lead at least one project, ensuring timely delivery and effective management of budgets, staff and partnerships, amongst others;
  • Maintain and develop relationships with research, development and boundary partners involved in the implementation of relevant projects;
  • Develop and contribute to the preparation of donor reports and deliverables according to internal and external reporting guidelines;
  • • Manage project resources as needed following CIFOR’s procedures and regulations.


Education, knowledge and experience

  • A PhD in a relevant disciplinary field, including but not limited to human geography, anthropology, international relations, political science, development or social studies. Where ample relevant work experience has been gained (at least six years), candidates with an MSc degree will be considered;
  • Where a PhD has been obtained, a minimum of three years post-PhD professional experience within an international research organization, university or development agency working on corporate social responsibility, supply chain sustainability, rural development and/or (integrated) land use planning;
  • Significant demonstrated capabilities to design and facilitate successful multi-stakeholder processes and community engagement activities;
  • Experience engaging in and informing public policy processes in developing countries;
  • Experience developing scientific reports and policy and/or communication products;
  • Experience in proposal development/writing, partnership management and fundraising;
  • Experience with participatory and action research methods and qualitative data analysis (software) is an advantage;
  • Excellent written and spoken English, ability in other international languages is an advantage, especially French and Indonesian.

Personal Attributes and Competencies

  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • Excellent facilitation skills;
  • Management and organizational skills, experience in project coordination and management;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to interact effectively with people in a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural environment;
  • Value the sharing of information and continuous improvement in a cooperative atmosphere of constructive evaluation and learning;
  • Willingness to travel internationally as required.

Terms and Conditions

  • This is an Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS) position. CIFOR offers competitive remuneration in USD commensurate with skills and experience.
  • The appointment will be for a period of 2 years, inclusive of a 9-month probationary period, with the possibility of extension contingent upon performance, continued relevance of the position and available resources.
  • The duty station will be at CIFOR Hubs office in Nairobi, Kenya.

To apply, please visit our career site at: https://www.cifor.org/careers. To learn more about CIFOR, please visit our website at: https://www.cifor.org. CIFOR is an equal opportunity employer. Staff diversity contributes to excellence.

Application process

The application deadline is 29 Feb-2020
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.