CIFOR Job Vacancy: Scientist, Sustainable Investments and Value Chains - Bogor, Indonesian

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Scientist, Sustainable Investments and Value Chains (Ref. No. 1634) Value Chains, Finance & Investments Team
Bogor, Indonesia

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a nonprofit, global research organizationdedicated to advancing human well-being, environmental conservation and equity.

We conduct research that enables more informed and equitable decision-making about the use and management of tropical and sub-tropical forest landscapes. We help policy makers and practitioners shape effective policy, improve the management of tropical forests and address the needs and perspectives of people who depend on forests for their livelihoods. Our multidisciplinary approach considers the underlying drivers of deforestation and degradation, which often lie outside the forestry sector: forces such as agriculture, infrastructure development, trade and investment policies and law enforcement.

CIFOR is looking for a

Scientist, Sustainable Investments and Value Chains


The primary responsibility of the Scientist is to contribute to the development and implementation of a vigorous and globally relevant research agenda focused on examining the effectiveness of public and private governance arrangements, supply chain interventions, and business and investment models for sustainable supply of commodities and smallholders’ livelihoods. Efforts should be dedicated to comparing the social and environmental outcomes across different interventions (e.g. zero deforestation, certification standards, moratoria, fire-free villages), and the potential to promote uptake or to scale them up to transition more effectively to low-carbon agricultural development with greater social inclusion and equity, under options that enhance social conditions and the empowerment of women. These efforts will contribute to promoting investments that safeguard the rights of local populations, including marginalized groups such as smallholders, women and indigenous people.

This is an international position, but with emphasis in Southeast Asia, in the following areas:

  • Evaluating the performance of public and private arrangements and interventions in the supply chains, finance systems, investment models and partnerships to promote sustainable supply of commodities and inclusive business models, and identifying options to improve their effectiveness
  • Assessing the differential outcomes and trade-offs from agricultural and forestry investments under different business models and identifying their potential to create shared value and deliver improved social, economic and environmental benefits, with explicit gender considerations
  • Identifying and examining the potential of emerging innovative approaches, strategies and systems that support the achievement of private sector commitments to sustainability, including hybrid governance systems, improvements in certification systems and jurisdictional approaches.
During the first year of the assignment, much of the research will be conducted under projects that examine the implications of palm oil expansion, prospects for development of the bioeconomy sector and corporate commitments to sustainability in Indonesia. The Scientist should contribute to expand this work to other countries in Southeast Asia. In addition to undertaking research, the Scientist will support learning platforms and processes, and contribute to policy engagement with private and public actors and initiatives. He/she will be a member of CIFOR’s Value Chain, Finance and Investments (VFI) team, report to the Team Leader and work in close collaboration with other members of the team. This work will link to Flagship 3 on “Sustainable Global Value Chains and Investments” under the Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) Research Program in collaboration with other institutional partners.

Summary of responsibilities
  • Lead the development of research that contributes to assessing the social and environmental performance of public and private arrangements and interventions. Specifically, research is targeted at the supply chains, finance systems, investment models and partnerships that seek to promote the sustainable supply of commodities, smallholder livelihoods and inclusive and gender-responsive business models. In this way, identify options to improve their effectiveness and scalability.
  • Contribute to the identification of promising policy approaches, governance arrangements, and investment and business models, in the context of broader public–private–people partnerships to foster investments in sustainable and inclusive commodity supply, and options for scaling up.
  • Write and supervise the development of publications and other scientific communications related to research priorities and policy engagement activities in collaboration with partner organizations.
Capacity development

  • Contribute to the development of capacity-building strategies involving partner organizations from the private and public sectors, and improve linkages with existing and planned VFI activities.
  • Contribute to and engage with capacity development initiatives at the individual, project and team levels.
  • Supervise students and mentor junior researchers and scientists involved in related topics.

Policy–science dialogue

  • Strengthen and enhance global and country-specific partnerships with relevant partners from government and the private sector on sustainable and inclusive value chains.
  • Develop and implement a strategy for policy engagement with relevant public and private actors across various levels in order to facilitate the uptake of research results.
  • Work with other CIFOR scientists and partners to foster policy engagement, supporting a community of practice that assesses the effectiveness of public–private interventions on policy supply, as a platform to promulgate key research insights and accelerate their implementation.
  • Contribute to knowledge dissemination activities targeted at private and public decision-makers through workshops, conferences, blogs, policy briefs and other forms of social media.

Fund raising

  • Contribute actively to fund raising undertaken by the Value Chain, Finance and Investments (VFI) team under the guidance and support of the VFI Team Leader.
  • Details of duties, assignments and objectives will be further discussed and laid out in the staff member’s annual performance contract.

Education, knowledge and experience

  • Candidates with a PhD from a relevant disciplinary background are encouraged to apply, including economics, finance, geography, and agricultural and environmental sciences at least 5 years of relevant experience related to sustainability processes in the public and private sectors, with experience in research and project management analytical capacity and knowledge of research methods for impact assessment and evaluating public–private interactions in shaping environmental and social policies experience in qualitative and quantitative research, and spatial and statistics analysis research experience on multiple commodities in Southeast Asia is an advantage excellent written and spoken English; the ability to write and communicate in other languages is an advantage. Good ability to write and speak in Indonesian is a plus.

Personal attributes and competencies

  • Management and organizational skills, experience in project coordination and management excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to effectively interact with people in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment excellent facilitation and team-building capacity values the sharing of information and continuous improvement in a cooperative atmosphere of constructive evaluation and learning.

Terms and conditions

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

Application process
The application deadline is 15 January 2017.

We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.