Scientist, Impact Assessment - CIFOR, Bogor

The Center for International Forestry Research advances human wellbeing, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research to inform policies and practices that affect forests in developing countries. We are one of 15 centres within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, and we have offices in Asia, Africa and South America. 

CIFOR is looking for a Scientist, Impact Assessment.


CIFOR is an international research and global knowledge institution with a mission to contribute to the sustained well being of people in developing countries in the tropics. It achieves this through collaborative, strategic and applied research and by promoting the transfer and adoption of appropriate new technologies and social systems for national development.

CIFOR was established under the CGIAR system in response to global concerns about the social, environmental and economic consequences of loss and degradation of forests. It operates through a series of highly decentralized partnerships with key institutions and/or individuals throughout the developing and industrialized worlds. CIFOR is committed to building the capacities of developing country organizations and scientists by encouraging them to produce their own solutions to forest problems. The nature and duration of these partnerships is determined by the specific research problems being addressed. This research agenda is under constant review and is subject to change as CIFOR's partners recognize new opportunities and problems.  Details of CIFOR's program can be found.

Publicly funded organisations like CIFOR are under pressure to demonstrate the efficiency, effectiveness and relevance of their work. This requires having systems and methods in place to track impact. It is more difficult within the natural resources sector to quantify impacts when compared to the agricultural and other commodity sectors. While it is generally accepted that forests can contribute to reducing extreme poverty, we must also demonstrate the extent to which our work actually makes this possible. A key difficulties is that forest benefits tend to take longer to realise than agricultural commodities. Impact is often dependent on events beyond our control. However, there are quantifiable outputs and qualitative indicators of impact that can be used to demonstrate progress towards reducing poverty and other targets. In addition demonstrating impact at the project level tends to be easier than at the centre level. The challenge therefore is to find innovative ways for measuring impact in the natural resources sector and finding effective ways of communicating some impacts.

The Position

The impact assessment scientist will be supervised by the Deputy Director General and will work closely with research directors, regional coordinators. In addition, the impact assessment scientist will have professional contact with CIFOR scientists. 
The specific responsibilities for this position are:
  • Contribute to the strategic planning and prioritisation of research investments
  • Assist scientists with grant proposal development and to plan their research so as to achieve greatest possible impact.
  • Work closely with programme directors and researchers in designing projects to ensure that the right questions are asked at the design stage and to clarify impact pathways, suggest means or approaches to maximise any multiplier impacts, and conduct ex ante impact assessment
  • Design impact tracking and monitoring protocols to ensure that project/research impacts are well documented and eventually adequately assessed and ensure compliance with centre mission and project objectives
  • Contribute to the input of CIFOR to CGIAR and partner organisations impact assessment
  • Support preparation of centre documents such as the medium term plan, annual plans and impact studies.
  • Contribute to the Center's research and training on impact assessment
Key responsibilities of the position are:
Measuring impact
  • Development and testing of methods for monitoring and assessing the external uptake, influence and impact of CIFOR research
  •  Act as the focal person for the development and promotion of internal processes that support a centre-wide impact assessment framework and a rolling programme of monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment activities to strengthen CIFOR's scientific programmes and improve accountability and impact-related performance
  • Conduct specific impact case studies of major CIFOR projects and ex-post evaluation of CIFOR's overall impact
  • Identify and arrange contracts for consultants to carry out specific impact assessment studies
Providing strategic input
  • Providing input to the programmes/domain strategic direction and research investments
  • Assessment of current programmatic capacity in impact assessment, with suggestions for building capacity if required
Centre-level reporting
  • Coordinate and contribute to the development of briefing materials on CIFOR's impact including impact statements for the Internet sites, donor briefs and other products
  • Identification, design and coordination of impact assessment studies for CIFOR's contribution to the CGIAR Performance Measurement System
  • Contribute to the internal and external reviews of the Center's work
  • Represent CIFOR at relevant CGIAR and stakeholder  forums  in regards to CIFOR's programme and activities in research evaluation and impact assessment
  • Liaise with partners in other CGIAR centres and national programmes on issues relating to impact assessment and evaluation
  • Research and maintain an up-to-date bibliographic information resource on impact assessment and evaluation, and making this accessible to CIFOR staff


Minimum qualification is a PhD in impact assessment or a relevant area (e.g. forestry, micro-economics, rural development, and natural resources management).
Relevant experience
  • Between five to eight years work experience in impact assessment, including three years in a research and development institution and three years with a multidisciplinary team
  • Experience with designing impact assessment protocols, monitoring, evaluation and up-to-date knowledge of impact assessment methodologies is required
Other competencies
  • Excellent analytical and synthesis skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to effectively interact with people in a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural environment
  • Excellent written and spoken English (required)

Terms and Conditions

  • We offer a competitive remuneration in US dollars commensurate with skills and experience
  • The appointment will be for a period of 3 years with a possibility of extension contingent upon performance, continued relevance of the position and available resources
  • The duty station will be at our headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia, with  travel to cooperating countries and research sites

Application process

  • We will acknowledge all applications, but we will contact only short-listed candidates.
Please send your letter of interest and CV, including contact information for three referees to:
Human Resources Department, CIFOR

Please indicate the position and its reference number in the email subject line.
CIFOR is an equal opportunity employer.
Staff diversity contributes to excellence.