MSc Graduate Fellowship –Evaluation of FEAST Learning Materials

ILRI MSc Graduate Fellowship –Evaluation of FEAST learning materials – Kenya
Ref: IDS/CDU/03/2016
The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit an MSc graduate fellow to work closely with ILRI researchers to design and implement an evaluation of the impact of enhanced (blended) learning materials on learning outcomes. The MSc Fellow will gain first-hand experience in an organization undertaking cutting-edge development research. S/he will work closely with ILRI/CGIAR researchers and partner universities staff to:  design the evaluation; run pilot exercise; refine study design; check and analyze data; and – time permitting – participate in the writing and dissemination of the results.
ILRI works with partners worldwide to enhance the roles that livestock play in food security and poverty alleviation, principally in Africa and Asia. The outcomes of these research partnerships help people in developing countries keep their farm animals’ alive and productive, increase and sustain their livestock and farm productivity, find profitable markets for their animal products, and reduce the risk of livestock-related diseases. www.ilri.org
ILRI is a not-for-profit institution with a staff of about 700 and in 2016, an operating budget of about USD 83 million. A member of the CGIAR Consortium working for a food-secure future, ILRI has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, a principal campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and offices in other countries in East, West and Southern Africa and in South, Southeast and East Asia. www.cgiar.org
The Position
The Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) is a simple, participatory approach to introducing feed interventions which ensures that the right conversation takes place between feed experts and livestock keepers to develop better feeding strategies. FEAST was initially developed as collaboration between ILRI and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
The tool has evolved over the past 7 years and has been improved extensively through use in real situations across the developing world. The tool has attracted a lot of interest and is being used in over a dozen countries.
To enhance the effectiveness of FEAST as a method for introducing promising feed interventions, a series of training materials were produced by ILRI and partners . These materials include 12 training modules (complete with detailed lesson plans), 60 videos, 5 scenario-based interactive exercises and over 200 review and assessment questions.  These materials were recently made available publically on http://learning.ilri.org/course/detail/1 and on a dedicated ‘offline player’ for regions without good internet connectivity.
We are now looking to evaluate the effectiveness of the new materials, through a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) that will compare old versus new materials, and delivered through feeds subject matter experts versus non-experts.  We envisage running the trial with university partners in Kenya, but there may be opportunities to additionally test it in the field with some projects implementing FEAST as part of their overall work.
Tasks will include:
  • Design a methodology to test the effectiveness of the FEAST materials.
  • Refine study protocols.
  • Implement the research plan.
  • Quality control, data cleaning and analysis.
  • Based on data collected and analyzed, support the production of a report documenting the changes in knowledge, attitudes and practices of training participants.
  • Familiarity with research design and particularly the design of randomized evaluations.
  • Working knowledge of Stata (or other data analysis software) and Excel, Stata programming skills a plus.
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Flexible, self-motivating, and able to solve unexpected problems.
  • Strong quantitative and data analysis skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Strong track record of delivering results
  • Be a current student at MSc (or equivalent degree level) in economics, social sciences, public policy, education, business administration, or other related fields.
  • Familiarity with aspects of livestock production, and/or agricultural systems in developing countries a plus.
Project: Evaluation of Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) learning materials.
Duration: 4-6 months (commencing around May to July 2016)
Terms of appointment and stipend:
The successful candidate will be supervised jointly by an ILRI scientist and the fellow’s university supervisor, and will have the opportunity to interact with scientists from other universities, CGIAR centres, and NGOs, to further develop her/his research programme.
ILRI will provide the fellow a monthly stipend of US$1000 to support personal expenses. Additionally, ILRI will meet the costs of research related travel, as well as medical insurance.
Location: Kenya (Nairobi)
How to apply:  Interested applicants should submit the following documents;
  • Curriculum Vitae including three references with contact information.
  • A cover letter describing the candidate’s interests in and qualifications for carrying out the research, referring to the candidate’s Curriculum Vitae as fitting, and highlighting any particularly relevant qualifications to the Director, People and Organizational Development. The position title and reference number: IDS/CDU/03/2016 should be clearly indicated in the subject line of the cover letter.
All applications to be submitted online on our recruitment portal: http://ilri.simplicant.com , by 15 April 2016.
We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.
To find out more about ILRI visit our websites at http://www.ilri.org
To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at http://www.ilri.org/ilricrowd/
ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.    
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