Consultant: Scaling Agricultural Water Management Approaches in Mali
International Water Management Institute , Mali

1 Year
0 - 0
Job Type
Job Shift
Job Category
Requires Traveling
Career Level
As mentioned in job details
Total Vacancies
1 Job
Posted on
Feb 23, 2021
Last Date
May 23, 2021

Job Description

International Water Management Institute (IWMI) seeks applications from suitably qualified candidates to undertake a short-term consultancy assignment on "Scaling Agricultural Water Management Approaches in Mali".

The consultant will work on 3 projects currently active in Mali and are managed out of Ghana (ILSSI, AR) and Ethiopia (SaWeL). The Improved Food security and nutrition in the Sahel by safeguarding wetlands through ecologically sustainable agricultural water management (SaWeL) is a Swiss Development Cooperation sponsored project working on the ground in different wetland landscapes to develop and communicate innovations that are relevant to a wide range of agricultural systems in and around Sahelian wetlands. Sawel contributes to local, national, Sahelian/African-wide goals of enhanced food security and nutrition by increasing water productivity and eco-efficiency, improving livelihoods and restoring (wetlands) ecosystem services.

The Feed the Future Innovation Laboratory for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI) is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored project led by Texas Aamp;M University (TAMU) in collaboration with IFPRI, ILRI, and the World Vegetable Centre. ILSSI addresses small scale irrigation challenges in Mali, Ghana and Ethiopia through partnering with private and public sector partners and engaging in important multi-stakeholder initiatives.

The Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING - AR) program comprises three research-for-development projects supported by the United States Agency for International Development as part of the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative. The Africa RISING West Africa (WA) project is being implemented by multi-disciplinary research teams and development partners from the public and private sectors in collaboration with farmers and community-based organizations in northern Ghana and southern Mali. Through action research and development partnerships, Africa RISING creates opportunities for smallholder farm households to move out of hunger and poverty through sustainably intensified farming systems that improve food, nutrition, and income security, particularly for women and children, and conserve or enhance the natural resource base.

Scope of Work

The consultant will work on a broad range of activities in relation to scaling agricultural water management and irrigation approaches in Mali. In particular, the consultant is expected to contribute the following specific activities under the above mentioned projects:


  • Closely collaborate with SaWeL implementation partners in Mali Caritas Switzerland and Wetlands International towards achieving the key objectives of the SaWeL project
    • 1.1 Smallholder food producers apply ESAWM to improve water productivity and reduce the ecological footprint of food production
    • 1.2 Service providers and other system actors ensure that smallholders and governments at landscape level are able to access and actively use ESAWM options and services
    • 1.3 Relevant landscape-level governmental entities have created an enabling environment towards ESAWM and wetlands management
    • 2.1 Smallholder food producers enhance food and economic security through entrepreneurial, market-oriented and agroecological farming
    • 2.2 Services providers and other system actors stimulate locally rooted, socially inclusive economic development by creating access to markers and commodity chains
    • 2.3 Relevant landscape-level governmental entities have created an enabling environment for sustainable agriculture-based inclusive economic growth
    • 3.1 National and international platforms take ownership of and actively promote ESAWM to governments in Africa and to investors use the program’s learning and experiences
    • 3.2 Relevant national government entities in Mali and Ethiopia use ESAWM framework when designing, monitoring and implementing programs for wetlands landscapes
    • 3.3 Investors include ESAWM in the design, implementation and monitoring of their investments
  • Work with implementing partners and small-holder farmers, their representatives (e.g. farmer unions, village committees and similar), NGOs, government entities, research organisations and private sector service providers to promote the uptake and scaling of ecologically sustainable agricultural water management (ESWAM) approaches, including irrigation technologies,
  • Work with service providers and other system actors to capacitate them to offer small-holder, gender and youth inclusive products and services, including financial services, that allow for more ecologically sustainable food production
  • Analyse the enabling environment, including policies and institutional arrangements, with a focus on SaWeL project areas, and identify factors that enable the adoption and scaling of inclusive and sustainable ESWAM
  • Ensure that ESWAM and irrigation approaches and technologies are gender and youth inclusive
  • Reach out to national and international entities to promote the uptake of lessons learned and best practices into policy and practice on agricultural water management, including irrigation
  • Facilitate and support to sensitization and training activities on ecologically sustainable, climate-adaptive and DRR-sensitive land management and agricultural water management practices


  • Identify scaling pathways within market and food system for irrigation of vegetable amp; seed through:
    • Analyze irrigated production vegetable value chain in Segou and Sikasso sub-basins; Explore with Mission including peri-urban Bamako (Kati)
    • Co-identify scaling pathways and options with farmers and local relevant actors for scaling of irrigation technologies and methods, and necessary services in ILSSI sites
  • Identify entry points for the improved diffusion of small-scale irrigation (Map influence networks using Net-Map)

Africa Rising:

  • Analyze the enabling environment including policies and institutional arrangements and interventions to identify factors that enable the inclusion of women and youth along irrigated vegetable value chain
  • Co-identify value chain-based scaling pathways for irrigation technologies and water solutions with farmers and other actors of vegetable value chains in the Africa RISING sites in Mali

Duration: Ten months from March to December 2021

Your application must include a copy of your curriculum vitae, a cover letter that addresses IWMI’s requirements stated above, and contact information of three professional referees who may be contacted if you are short-listed for the position.

This is a nationally hired consultant position and only candidates who are eligible to work in Mali will be considered.

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


  • A PhD or MA/MSc in social sciences (sociology, development economics, or similar) with experience in and understanding of agricultural water management and agricultural innovation systems and scaling.
  • A minimum of 5-7 years working experience post MA/MSc degree or 3 years of post-PhD experience in research for development in Mali and preferably other countries in Francophone West Africa, in areas such as scaling of development interventions, working with private sector, value chain development, and/or agriculture market systems.
  • Proven experience and ability in effectively using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods and participatory research approaches to design and conduct field research activities across a range of problems, such as:
    • agricultural value chain analysis and market study;
    • innovation scaling partnership, pathway and process;
    • gender equality and social inclusion in value chain, natural resource management and innovation scaling;
    • inclusive business model and relationship; and
    • interactive demand-driven learning for capacity building.

Knowledge amp; Experience

  • Knowledge and experience in developing and using analytical frameworks and qualitative and quantitative data analysis tools to carry out analyses on:
    • enabling environments, including formal and informal institutions;
    • innovation scaling, including systemic barriers, business model, and financial modality;
    • organization and governance of scaling partnerships; and
    • system-level analysis and impact assessment
  • Scientific competence and track record of:
    • peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals on relevant subjects, such as innovation process and partnership, scaling of development investments and/or agricultural water management;
    • communicating research findings in international conferences, other platforms and media;
    • transforming research into knowledge products for outreach and impact in Mali, and influencing wider forms of development policy and practice.

Skills amp; Abilities


  • Extensive experience and ability to engage with diverse stakeholders in Mali and/or West Africa, including:
    • engaging with businesses, governments and individuals on the topics of scaling irrigation and agricultural water management innovations;
    • facilitating and maintaining strong multi-stakeholder partnerships in agribusiness and market systems in Mali, including the private sector;
    • working collaboratively and effectively with academic and non-academic stakeholders;
    • Demonstrated success in building and maintaining strong external partnerships and alliances in complex institutional environments, including government, NGOs and the private sector.
    • applying technical, economic and institutional reasoning to innovation scaling and policy issues in a critical manner.


  • Strong record of accomplishment in research relevant to innovation and partnership, agricultural water management, including in the small-scale irrigation sector in Francophone West Africa.
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional and multicultural environment.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to explain complex issues clearly.
  • Fluent written and verbal communication skills in French and English, other languages are beneficial.


IWMI believes that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. We offer a multi-cultural, multi-colour, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary working environment. We are consciously creating an inclusive organization that reflects our global character and our commitment to gender equity. We, therefore, encourage applicants from all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, and gender identities.

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