Project/Consultancy Title: Livestock Trade Matters Lead Researcher
Project Location(s): Home-based, Kenya
LOE: Up to 44 FTE days from 02 January through 30 June 2023
Application closing date: Friday 30 December 2022, 23.59. Please apply early - applications considered on a rolling basis.
Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a
better world is possible. At Mercy Corps, we aim to be on the cutting
edge of developing more efficient, effective paths to social impact at
scale. We believe that solutions - to even the most “sticky” problems -
are within reach, be that at the community level or the global level.
Our years of experience have taught us that often, to break through on a
particularly tough challenge, we have to be bold in our thinking and
disrupt, we have to innovate, to achieve a lasting and transformative
solution. For solutions to advance along a pathway to scale, data,
research, and evidence are needed at key stages. Mercy Corps is
committed to generating and using evidence to understand and improve our
impact, and to enhance the humanitarian and development community’s
ability to address the world’s most complex challenges.
part of this commitment, Mercy Corps is a member of the Supporting
Pastoralism & Agriculture in Recurrent & Protracted Crises
(SPARC) consortium led by Cowater International in partnership with the
Overseas Development Institute and the International Livestock Research
Institute. SPARC is a six-year (2020-2026) initiative funded by FCDO.
The goal is to generate and promote the application of evidence on what
works to strengthen the resilience of agricultural and pastoral
livelihoods in fragile, drylands contexts in Sub-Saharan Africa and the
Middle East. The program aims to advance research on livelihoods,
agriculture and pastoralism that can be used by FCDO and other agencies
to guide decisions on programs and policies to support livelihoods
resilience in the drylands. Through research and evidence, SPARC will
develop knowledge to enhance the ability of FCDO, the donor community,
NGOs, local and national governments and other stakeholders to assist
pastoralists, agro-pastoralists and farmers in the context of conflict,
climate change, and other shocks and stressors.
Purpose / Project Description:
Corps, in partnership with ODI, is conducting the Livestock Trade
Matters study to investigate selected marketing chains in Kenya and
Mali. Drawing on existing information, and — initially — qualitative
enquiry; the study will address two overarching questions.
How do marketing chains function? What are the costs and benefits from
marketing livestock; and how are these distributed between and amongst
herders, traders and other intermediaries?
How can severe losses that arise when droughts, including delayed or
irregular rains, hit the rangelands and herders offload stock onto
over-supplied markets be mitigated? How can other threats, such as bans
on marketing for veterinary reasons or Covid/pandemic-type closures, be
research will take place in two phases. The first will establish
provisional understandings of marketing in selected chains, and to
identify key issues for further, more detailed studies — which
constitute the second phase. In the second phase, methods will be more
formal and will involve quantitative methods to complement qualitative
insights. This contract may be extended and the SOW may be revised to
integrate additional tasks or responsibilities under Phase II of the
Mercy Corps seeks one Kenya-based researcher to:
1) Draft literature summary based on available grey and white literature
Collaborate with other research leads to identify specific marketing
chains including point of origin geographies for greater targeting of
3) Identifying and interview relevant experts to inform study design
4) Co-design and conduct a qualitative study of livestock trade in Kenya.
5) Co-design and conduct a gross margin analysis of livestock trading along 2-3 dominant Kenyan trade corridors.
The Consultant will:
● Share relevant literature per predetermined criteria and document
● Review and summarize literature per analysis criteria
● Participate in study working group meetings to share and discuss analysis findings and set plan for next steps.
Participate in roundtable discussions set up by SPARC research leads
and external stakeholders (e.g. FCDO, Pastres, USAID, etc)
● Input into contact database and populate with relevant experts and potential key informants
● Develop key informant interview guides and conduct key informant interviews as needed.
Maintain detailed interview notes electronically. Share digital notes
with the study team for review and uploading into SPARC’s OSF platform.
● Analyze qualitative and quantitative data.
● Review draft reports
● Co-design Phase II studies based on Phase I findings
The Consultant will produce the following items per timelines outlined in the Timeframe table:
● Literature review summary report
● Study design summary report (3-5 pages max)
● Blog (draft) for SPARC web-site. Blog topic will be co-developed with study team
● Phase I summary report
Timeframe / Schedule:
- Literature review initial draft 20 January 2023
- Literature review final report 8 February 2023
- Study design summary report + draft
- tools 17 February 2023
- Draft Blog article 01 April 2023 (or 2 weeks prior to end of contract if terminating early)
- Phase I summary report (format TBD) 10 June 2023
The Consultant will report to:
Carmen Jaquez, Senior Advisor, Livestock & Agriculture; Livestock Trade Matters study co-lead
The Consultant will work closely with:
- Study research leads & assistants
- Steve Wiggins, ODI
- Boukary Barry, ODI consultant
- TBD Research Assistant, Mercy Corps consultant
- Ellen Reid, Mercy Corps Senior Coordinator for Research and Learning
Desired & required qualifications:
● Based in Kenya with ability to travel to remote communities and markets across the northern ASAL areas within Kenya required.
○ Must be willing and able to travel throughout northeastern counties and into rural areas.
● Excellent English language (verbal and written) required.
○ Experience producing peer reviewed published literature preferred.
Demonstrated experience leading livestock market assessments or studies
in the Horn of Africa; leading livestock market assessments in Kenya
● Experience designing qualitative and quantitative socio-economic studies in the Horn of Africa
Demonstrated experience developing focus group discussion guides, key
informant interview guides, and financial and economic data collection
tools and protocols required.
○ Facilitation of focus group discussions experience preferred
Demonstrated social networks into livestock trade across some/all of
the Kenya live animal trade corridors required.Interest and passion for
livestock marketing, inclusive market systems, smallholder-led market
and willingness to check own assumptions, explore under-represented
viewpoints and commitment to moving beyond rote regurgitation of general
● MSc in
agricultural economics/economics, business, entrepreneurship, livestock,
and/or applied economics, evaluation or socio-economic research.
Fluent (verbal) Kiswahili required with additional working knowledge
(conversational) of languages spoken within pastoralists groups (e.g.
Somali, Borana, Gabra, Rendille, Turkana, Masaai) preferred.