Cocoa Value Chain Mid-Level Local Researcher and Data Collector - USAID CEADIR Activity DRC

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 21 November 2018

Job Description


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been working with farmers, private companies, and government agencies to help reduce cocoa-driven deforestation in several countries, including in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Despite recent support from development partners and the Government of the DRC, challenges remain for the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices (CSAPs), such as shade-grown cacao, that would reduce deforestation associated with the cocoa value chain, mitigate GHG emissions, strengthen resilience to climate change impacts, and support improved livelihoods for cacao farmers.

Evidence-based information about the benefits and costs of adopting CSAPs could significantly help inform development programs and projects on how to best support farmers in implementing sustainable practices, while reducing farmers’ livelihood and credit risks. In addition, a sustainable value chain analysis can provide insights on key levers of change that can affect the decisions and behavior of farmers and other members of the value chain, including firms that buy and sell cocoa. The USAID-funded Climate Economic Analysis for Development, Investment and Resilience activity (CEADIR) supports national and subnational governments, local organizations, and the private sector in prioritizing and mobilizing investment for technically robust, economically sound climate change solutions. By applying cost-benefit and co-benefit analysis in the cocoa value chain, CEADIR can help value chain stakeholders understand the potential benefits of adopting CSAPs.

CEADIR will help inform farmers, cooperatives, countries, and value chain suppliers about CSAPs that can be incorporated in the cocoa value chain to decrease financial risks and increase economic benefits, by conducting cost-benefit analyses (CBA) and co-benefit analyses for select CSAPs.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

The mid-level cocoa value chain researcher and data collector in the DRC will be responsible for coordination with locally-based partners and stakeholders to request and obtain data needed for CEADIR’s analyses in the DRC. The types of country-specific data to be collected in the DRC include data on:

  • Costs of shade-grown cacao production, including capital costs, annual costs, and labor costs
  • Impacts of good agricultural practices on cocoa yields
  • Costs and yield data from existing agricultural practices
  • Data on cocoa prices
  • Impacts of shade-grown cocoa on GHG emissions and other ecosystem services

The consultant may also do research and coordinate and communicate with partner organizations and/or stakeholder groups to obtain data from other cacao growing countries with similar agricultural practices. The consultant may also prepare and submit notes and summaries from meetings with local USAID representatives, stakeholders and partner organizations, including the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which has been implementing activities to promote shade-grown cacao in the DRC in coordination with USAID and other donors.

The consultant will provide technical and other inputs to written deliverables in coordination with the Activity team members.

Preferred Skills / Prerequisites

  • Master’s Degree in a relevant field
  • Experience related to sustainable agriculture in the DRC and/or other countries in the region, ideally including shade-grown cacao
  • Experience working with USAID and/or USAID implementing partners strongly preferred
  • Proficient written and verbal communication skills in English and in French
  • Ability to speak local languages typically spoken by cacao farmers in DRC preferred
  • Willingness to travel outside of Kinshasa


The consultant will be responsible for the following deliverables:

  • Delivery of the data needed by and available to CEADIR
  • Notes and summaries from meetings with local USAID representatives, stakeholders and partner organizations and/or trip reports from Activity team site visits
  • Technical and other inputs to written deliverables from the Activity

Schedule / Level of Effort

The consultant will have a total of 40 days of LOE. The consultant’s work will begin in late November/ early December 2018 and continue through January 2019.


The consultant shall work in collaboration with CEADIR throughout the implementation of this activity, including with:

  • Mikell O’Mealy, CEADIR Activity Manager
  • Santiago Enriquez, CEADIR Sustainable Livelihoods Specialist
  • David Cooley, CEADIR Cost-Benefit Analysis Specialist

Application Procedure

Please send applications to Mikell O’Mealy ( Be sure to include your CV and reference “CEADIR DRC Researcher Application” in the subject line.

About the Organization

Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1965, Abt Associates was built on the concept that sound information and empirical analysis are the best foundations for effective decision making. The firm blends the subject matter expertise of our staff with technical capabilities in applied research, program implementation, and data collection to shape policy, strengthen systems, measure performance, and deliver other solutions to our public and private sector clients. Examples of Abt Associates’ work include nationally recognized research, evaluation, and technical assistance to improve the efficiency of healthcare systems, the effectiveness of government housing programs, the production of food, and the measurement of public opinion. Abt’s staff of more than 2000 includes national and international experts who are known for their understanding of communities and governments worldwide, innovative research techniques, and insightful—and often groundbreaking—analyses and recommendations. Approximately 51 percent of our staff has graduate degrees; one in six has a doctorate. Our staff’s educational and professional disciplines include economics, engineering, environmental analysis, epidemiology, food security, health, housing, international development, psychology, social science, statistics, and survey methodology. Abt’s research staff is experienced with prominent statistical software packages, including SPSS, SAS, and STATA, along with qualitative software such as NVIVO and Atlas. In 2011, Abt Associates was ranked among the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 development innovators. Abt has offices in Atlanta, Ga.; Rockville, Md.; Cambridge, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Durham, N.C.; and New York City and program offices in nearly 40 countries in Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa.

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