Opportunity for Masters Students in design of learning materials for facilitators of Innovation Platforms

partnerslogo_ver2The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Masters Student to work with staff of the Capacity Development Unit of ILRI to develop and pilot test training materials for facilitators of innovation platforms. The materials will be used to develop a blended learning program comprising online lessons and face-to-face training activities. These materials will further enhance ILRI’s contribution to the capacity development and learning aspects of several of its CGIAR Research Programs (CRP) and programs.

The Blended Learning Program for Facilitators of Innovation Platforms

Solutions to the complex agricultural problems facing us today require a systems approach. Inputs need to be sought from multiple stakeholders including farmers, researchers, government, and the private sector. Interventions may target multiple points in the value chain. Innovation Platforms (sometimes known as multi-stakeholder processes, learning alliances, self-help groups, or social learning and innovation platforms) have been found to be successful vehicles for designing and implementing systemic solutions. Innovation platforms are groups of stakeholders who work together to identify research and policy interventions to address weaknesses in agricultural systems. They may then initiate scaling out activities, possibly in conjunction with development partners.

However, the facilitation of an innovation platform remains more of an art form than a science. The skill set required of a successful facilitator ranges from excellent communication and negotiation skills to an understanding of how to monitor and evaluate the unique processes inherent in platform interactions.

The course for facilitators of innovation platforms draws on the experience of multiple CGIAR partners and that of key agricultural research organisations including FARA, the BMGF, and the FAO, who have been working in this area. Recent training workshops coordinated by ILRI in Africa and the Mekong will provide a framework for the course. The task will require a thorough desk review as a base for generating teaching/learning materials consistent with internationally recognised best practice in adult learning.

Six online modules of the course have already been developed and can be reviewed on ILRIs eLearning portal at http://learning.ilri.org. These modules and the follow-up workshop component of the course were pilot tested with active IP facilitators in the Mekong in late 2015.

We seek a self-motivated student with suitable experience to implement the study.

Relevant Sectors

Capacity Development, Innovation Platforms, Online Learning,

Communications, IT, Media, Agriculture, Training, Knowledge Management

Education, Agri4D, ICT4Ag


  • Conducting a desk review of existing training and research materials from CGIAR partners
  • Produce topic summaries and draft PPTs and lesson plans
  • Designing learning materials based on adult learning principles
  • Working with instructional designer on the production of e-learning materials
  • Related tasks as assigned by the supervisor


  • Be a current student at MSc (or equivalent degree) level in Education, Communication, Agricultural Extension, Social Sciences, or other related fields.
  • Able to use this assignment to complete an academic requirement of the MSc degree.
  • Having completed course work requirements of an MSc programme in one of the above fields before starting research at ILRI is a plus.
  • Prior knowledge and experience in the disciplinary area, e.g. instructional design/ learning systems / education & training/ social science – with experience working in developing countries
  • Familiarity with aspects of livestock production, and/or agricultural systems in developing countries a plus.
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills. Facilitation, presentation, and/or publication experience a plus.

Duration: 4 months (March/April – June/July, 2016)

Location: Ethiopia (Addis Ababa) or remotely from the student’s university (negotiable) with travel to Ethiopia.

How to apply: Applicants should send a cover letter and CV explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development. The position title and reference number REF: IDS/CDU/01/2016 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

All applications to be submitted online on recruitment portal: http://ilri.simplicant.com by 22 February 2016.