POSITION TITLE: Research Dissemination Officer –Bundling maize seed with insurance
DURATION: Fixed Term: 1st January 2020 - 31st December 2020

Organisational setting
Wageningen UR Uganda is implementing a 4 year ISSD Plus project funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kampala. The programme aims to strengthen the development of a vibrant, pluralistic and market-oriented seed sector that is able to address key challenges that hamper the seed sector development such as seed quality assurance and availability of foundation seed. ISSD Plus project has 4 components: a) promotion of uptake of quality seed; b) enhancing the Quality Declared Seed system and support Local Seed Businesses; c) addressing bottlenecks in early generation seed and d) promotion of advanced vegetable variety/seed use. As part of promotion of uptake of quality seed, WUU is implementing two research projects exploring low adoption of quality seed by smallholder farmers.

Research project – Seed Systems Development
This project will advance seed system development in Uganda by providing realistic, evidence-based policy options that accelerate crop-specific development, production, and marketing of new varieties and quality seed to smallholder farmers across the country. Emphasis will be placed on filling three critical knowledge gaps in the country’s policy discourse on seed systems. First, the project will identify factors constraining the demand for seed and traits across a range of informal and formal seed systems and test strategies designed to relax these constraints in the field. Second, the project will analyse the productive and innovative capacity of seed providers across Uganda, including foreign firms, domestic companies, small- and medium-sized enterprises, farmer organizations, and individual farmer-entrepreneurs, and test policy and regulatory interventions to increase this capacity. Third, the project will engage with strategic decision-makers to analyse how policies, investment, and regulatory solutions that expand inclusive access to—and the benefits from—new varieties and quality seed can be implemented. Taken together, research on these three topics will provide new and salient insights to encourage growth in opportunities for farmers, entrepreneurs, and investors.

PROMO project
To enhance the scientific understanding of why farmers are not buying quality seed, but mainly use home-saved seed and re-plant grain from the local market, the PROMO project conducts research on male and female farmers’ perceived risks spectrum, economic barriers to adoption and low willingness to pay for hybrid drought tolerant maize seed and other agricultural inputs. In 2020, the project will conduct one economic experiment to measure smallholder farmers willingness to invest in hybrid drought tolerant maize varieties. The project will experiment with bundling drought tolerant maize varieties with either index insurance or other products that cover farmers’ perceived risks and find out whether this will increase investment in hybrid maize production and therefore increases demand for these varieties.

Reporting lines
The Research Officer reports to the ISSD Plus M&E manager and in close liaison with the ISSD Plus Seed Systems and Policy manager

The Research Officer will collaborate closely with the Principal Investigator of the Promo project and the MSP advisor of the Seed systems project.

Purpose of the position
The focus of this position is the dissemination of evidence based research recommendations with policy makers and private sector on how these recommendations can be taken up by them, to foster uptake of quality seed by smallholder farmers.

Key Functions
The research dissemination officer will have two main tasks

  • Support the PI to implement an economic experiment that tests tools/incentives to increase the willingness to pay for and uptake of drought tolerant maize varieties
    • Prepare and implement detailed work plan for the design, pre-test and implementation of an economic experiment to collect, analyse, and present data to evaluate performance of designed tools
    • Engage key stakeholders in the experiment and organise planning meetings
    • Make necessary logistical arrangements for pre-testing, data collection and supervision of data collection
    • Make necessary logistical arrangements for pre-testing, data collection and supervision of data collection
  • Disseminate research finding of the risk spectrum analysis and lab-in-field experiments:
    • Organise feedback meetings (one per district) for the villages that were involved in the focus group discussions
    • Prepare and implement interactive, reflective and engaging tools for these feedback meetings and document proceedings, feedback and lessons learned.
    • Make sure that the materials for sharing (e.g. ISSD briefs) are timely available
    • Organise round table meetings with MAAIF, Seed companies and other relevant stakeholders on findings from the PROMO and SSD data analysis and document lessons learned, policy lessons and follow up actions
    • Support in organising policy dialogue on ISSD related topics (e.g. EGS)
    • Prepare interactive, reflective and engaging tools for these round table meetings and document feedback and lessons learned.
    • Use social media where applicable for engagement with stakeholders
  • Other tasks
    • Liaise with the PROMO and Seed System Development projects, CCAFS, IFPRI, seed companies, Makerere University and others on agreed action plans and share progress of the research and other related information with the stakeholders whenever relevant
    • Contribute to the design and implementation of data collection tools to be used for the research project
    • Organize and provide logistic support for all research data collection activities
    • Support MSc students conducting research and internships
    • Write monthly and quarterly updates and annual reports
    • Collaborate with ISSD managers, coordinators and zonal experts in conducting activities promoting uptake of quality seed

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:
  • Hold a Master degree in Agronomy / Crop Science or Master in Agricultural Economics, with experience in the agricultural sector
  • Good understanding of seed systems and multi-stakeholder workshop facilitation.
  • Good facilitation and interpersonal skills
  • At least five years’ relevant seed related work experience
  • Technical experience in managing quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Experience in conducting agricultural related research
  • Excellent conceptual and analytical skills directly related to the work in the seed and/or maize sector, including excellent writing skills
  • Capacity to produce high quality reports
  • Computer literacy skills i.e. proficiency in word processing, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, internet use; good knowledge of STATA is an added advantage
  • Ability to work well in a multi-disciplinary team, excellent interpersonal skills, analytical and attentive to detail;
  • Experience in Data visualisation skills for purposes of information sharing
  • Willingness to travel extensively in Uganda during peak data collection times;
  • Experience in climate smart agriculture, social inclusion and gender is a strong added benefit
  • Previous experience in the Uganda seed sector is an added benefit.

Application procedure
For more information about ISSD and the position contact the Grants and Admin manager on hr@issduganda.org or through the website: www.issduganda.org

Application procedure Shortlisting will take place continuously until the position is filled. Deadline for application is until the position is filled or latest 23rd of January 2020. Interested candidates can send their application letter and CV (max. 6 pages) to hr@issduganda.org Please DO NOT attach certificates or academic qualification.

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