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ICRISAT seeks an application for the position of ‘Senior Scientist- Science and Data Lead SERVIR WA – Digital Agriculture’ to support activities of Global Research Program on Resilient Farm and Food Systems (GRP-RF&FS) on natural resource management. This position will be based at Niamey, West Africa and will report to Global Research Program Director, Resilient Farm and Food Systems

ICRISAT is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. Covering 6.5 million square kilometers of land in 55 countries, the semi- arid or dryland tropics has over 2 billion people and 644 million of these are the poorest of the poor. ICRISAT and its partners help empower these disadvantaged populations to overcome poverty, hunger and a degraded environment through better agricultural production systems.

ICRISAT is headquartered at Patancheru near Hyderabad, India, with two regional hubs and eight country offices in sub-Saharan Africa. ICRISAT envisions a prosperous, food-secure and resilient dryland tropics. Its mission is to reduce poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation in the dryland tropics. ICRISAT conducts research on its mandate crops of chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut, sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet in the arid and semi-arid tropics. The Institute focuses its work on the drylands and in protecting the environment. Tropical dryland areas are usually seen as resource-poor and perennially beset by shocks such as drought, thereby trapping dryland communities in poverty and hunger and making them dependent on external aid. Please visit –


Service Design and Delivery:

  • Coordinate the program’s scientific and technical aspects of the service design and delivery activities in line with SERVIR-West Africa’s Theory of Change, Strategic Approach and Intermediate Goals.
  • The SDL will chair the SERVIR West Africa Technical Committee (TC) which consists of the Technical Area and Cross-cutting Area Leads (and co-Leads), along with subject matter experts (SMEs), the Chief of Party and the User Engagement Lead.
  • The TC oversees the technical guidance of the project and reports on the potential problems, risks and proposed solutions dealing with technical aspects. The TC is responsible for (i) establishing the project strategy and planning for technical developments, (ii) monitoring the compliance of the technical work with the objectives and schedule, (iii) reviewing the results (reports, deliverables, prototypes, etc.) pertaining to the development of services, and (iv) forwarding the results for discussion in the General Assembly.
  • Provide scientific and technical leadership to the Program across the thematic areas, drawing from the SERVIR Planning Toolkit
  • Help organize the PMU to implement the activities set out in the program’s work plan for service design and delivery, to ensure that service delivery progresses in a timely manner
  • Communicate with the program’s Service Leads, who are responsible for supervising individual service design and delivery, to provide scientific back-stopping, track program timelines, identify resourcing needs and maintain information quality and control
  • Participate in the user consultation activities and provide technical support to the PMU for the development of user needs assessments, including stakeholder mapping and service idea generation
  • Supervise the program’s Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) implementation, including maintenance of metadata catalogues, ensure data standards and data sharing agreements with consortium members.
  • Develop user-driven geospatial information including data, tools, applications, and models, in collaboration with colleagues in the PMU
  • Deliver capacity building to Consortium partners including training workshops, technical assistance and planning support, in collaboration with colleagues in the PMU
  • Implement a data sharing and open data strategy for the Consortium
  • Support the integration of a gender and social inclusion (GESI) lens into all service design and delivery, in coordination with the support of the program’s GESI Lead.
  • Facilitate dialogue on technical matters between the PMU and the NASA science team, including the Service Coordination Office (SCO) and Applied Sciences Team (AST ), the latter in coordination with the various project co-investigators across the SERVIR West Africa consortium;
  • Organize the hub to actively participate to the regular thematic calls related to the SERVIR service areas;
  • Organize the hub to have a Tensor Flow working group taking into account the reality of the hub and to better cover the needs from the various communities of practice
  • Contribute technically and scientifically to the attendance of the hub to the science hub exchanges under the lead of NASA/SCO;
  • Coordinate technical interactions with NASA including communication and participation in all SERVIR-West Africa activities, such as user needs assessment and service design and delivery


  •  The following responsibilities will be jointly held with colleagues in the PMU and will involve day- to-day coordination with the Project Director, User Engagement Lead and MEL/Knowledge Management/Communications Coordinator.
  • Represent SERVIR West Africa with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in the region, including the ability to travel regionally and internationally as required;
  • Build and manage strong and productive partnerships with NASA, USAID, Consortium members , other SERVIR hubs and other partners to facilitate learning and knowledge exchange across the project partnership
  • Participate in regular review meetings with NASA and USAID to communicate the Program’s outputs, outcomes and impact
  • Promote the Program with stakeholders, the donor community, and the general public in target countries, in line with the program plans.


  • Comply with USAID and Program requirements including attendance at meetings, development of project deliverables, reports and plans, and respond to ad hoc information requests
  • Prepare the service design and delivery sections of the annual workplan and quarterly performance reports under the supervision of the Chief of Party and in coordination with the other members of the PMU
  • Take into consideration inputs and recommendations from the GESI
  • Ensure that the Program fulfils the scientific and technical stipulations of the Program’s Cooperative Agreement with USAID, with support from the PMU
  • Coordinate with the User Engagement Lead to deliver services with Consortium
  • Support the MEL Coordinator in their responsibilities to monitor, evaluate and learn from program activities, outputs and outcomes as well as maintaining current entries to the USAID Development Data Library.


Key requirements:

  • PhD in GIS, Remote Sensing, Geography, Agronomy, Natural Resource Management, Hydrology, Climatology or other field relevant to this position with 10 years field experience.
  • Ten years of resident long-term relevant senior work expertise in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in the Sahel and West Africa.
  • Programming expertise in Google Earth Engine, TensorFlow, JavaScript, R, Python, HTML and SQL; Strong and demonstrated written, presentation and verbal communication skills in English and French.