IFPRI-Abuja Research Internship Program

As part of the USAID-supported, Global Food Security Response project, IFPRI, through the USAID MARKETS program is assisting the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources in developing a strategic analysis and knowledge support system in Nigeria.  A critical aspect of the program is the building of country-wide capacity in the demand and supply of evidence-based policy formulation and implementation.

The objective of the summer intern program is to provide opportunities for four energetic and hard-working graduate students to learn the working of the research process through a six-week attachment with IFPRI’s office in Nigeria. The location for the above internship is in Abuja and the duration is 6 weeks. All applicants must have work authorization for Nigeria. All applications must be received by June 9, 2010. The internship is expected to begin on July 14, 2010. The intern will be required to provide his/her own computer for conducting the analysis and writing up the research.

Duties and Responsibilities: The potential graduate student will undertake a short study on one of the followings: •

  1. Encouraging youth’s involvement in agriculture (production and processing): The study will review the issue of youth employment in agriculture in Nigeria and the factors underlying their drift out of agriculture into non-farm activities and to the urban areas. This will largely be based on a review of the literature on the topic, use of data sources such as household surveys, and interview representatives of farmer organization and relevant stakeholders.
  2.  How cooperatives can be used to improve marketing and traceability of agricultural commodities: This study will be based on a literature review of the evolution of cooperatives in Nigeria, with an assessment of what impact they have had in the past. The literature review will trace the advantages of the cooperatives as an instrument to support market systems in undeveloped environments. A case study will be conducted, which will focus on how the institution is being used to improve marketing and traceability issues.
  3. Alternative energy sources for agricultural production and processing activities: The study will largely be based on a literature review of existing sources of energy in Nigeria. The focus would be to explore other potential energy sources which could help alleviate the rural economy’s energy deficiencies. Reference to international comparative case studies such as in countries like India, China, and Brazil would be undertaken to illustrate the prospects and possibilities for the rural environment in Nigeria. Selected focus group discussion could be held with farmer groups and operators of cottage industry for an understanding of constraints to alternative energy sources.
  4. Review of the workings of private advocacy groups in agriculture: Private advocacy groups are becoming important in the agricultural sector in recent years. The study will attempt to assess the numbers of these groups, their objectives and functions, and how they sustain themselves. The study will employ simple survey questionnaires to members of these advocacy groups to elicit their views on their expectations on key agricultural policy issues. The study will compare the relevance of advocacy groups in agriculture relative to other advocacy groups such as the labor unions.

Outputs: The intern is expected to prepare a draft concept paper, which outlines the approach to be adopted, the expected outputs, and time required for completion, and submit a complete dpolicy brief of approximately 3-4 pages, following a reviewed by the Program Coordinator and the Program Leader about a week before completion.

Required Skills  (1) PhD student in Economics, Agricultural Economics, International development, or related field Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel (2) Strong English writing skills (3) Familiarity with statistical software packages such as STATA or SPSS and internet-based systems. (4) Self motivated, innovative spirit and excellent interpersonal and team skills and the ability to work with colleagues from diverse cultures, (5) Experience in conducting literature reviews and surveys (6) Familiarity with one of the research topics mentioned above

Remuneration : The intern will receive a stipend of N 81,000 to cover cost while residing in Abuja for the period of the internship. If travel is required, the intern will receive sufficient funds to cover his/her travel needs

Application: To apply, visit http://www.ifpri.org/careers and select “Intern-Abuja.” Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, detailed curriculum vitae, letter of recommendation from faculty member, and writing sample. If you have technical difficulties and cannot access the online application form or have questions about the form, please send an email with your question to ifprijobs@cgiar.org. All applications must be received by June 9, 2010.