CONFER-ICPAC User Engagement Expert

Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

Nairobi, , KE


The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) is a specialized institution of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). ICPAC has a responsibility for the provision of timely early warning information and supporting specific sector applications to enable the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region cope with various risks associated with extreme climate variability and change for poverty alleviation, environment management and sustainable development of member countries.

CONFER (Co-production of Climate Services for East Africa) is a multinational collaborative European Commission (EU) funded project that aims to bolster resilience to climate impacts in East Africa by enhancing the capacity of ICPAC to develop improved climate services in the water, energy and food security sectors based on co-production methods and advances in numerical modelling and statistics. The project will actively interact with a wide range of stakeholders and end-users in East Africa to enhance their ability to plan for and adapt to seasonal climate fluctuations. CONFER follows three parallel research tracks: (i) enhance coproduction and user engagement, (ii) improve on the accuracy and local detail of numerical prediction model outputs for East Africa, with a particular focus on seasonal prediction, and (iii)  develop statistical and machine learning tools to obtain a new level of seasonal forecast skill based on numerical models and high-resolution satellite data, and involve scientific experts in a large training and capacity development programmes to enhance climate information uptake in the above three focus sectors.

 CONFER implements 5 technical work packages (WPs) to attain specific objectives as listed below:

  1. i) Co-production of Climate Services to identify how stakeholders and end-users employ climate information for planning and implementation of climate adaptation, and to collaborate with them to co-produce new climate services to increase the efficacy and quality of this work;

(ii) Climate, hydrological and crop modelling to improve on the accuracy and local detail of numerical prediction model outputs for East Africa, with a particular focus on seasonal prediction;

(iii) Processing of Copernicus data to obtain a new level of seasonal forecast skill based on numerical models and high-resolution satellite data by developing statistical and machine learning tools;

(iv) Training and capacity development to organize training and build capacity for enhancing climate information uptake in the water, energy and food security sectors; and

(v) Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation to disseminate research products and solutions to wide swaths of society, ranging from the general public to policymakers in Europe and Africa

 The anticipated outcomes of CONFER can be summarized as follows:

  • New seasonal forecasting products with enhanced skill, reliability, objectivity and level of detail, to support ICPAC and NMHSs in providing crucial predictions
  • Contributions to improved food security estimates for enhancing preparedness and mitigation strategies for droughts and other climate-related emergencies
  • New predictions for regional planning of water and energy resources, allowing more precise planning
  • Enhanced exploitation of weather and climate information in the Greater Horn of Africa
  • Encouragement of innovative spin-off initiatives and business developments in climate services
  • Enhanced capacity at ICPAC and NHMSs through a strong focus on training

As the main beneficiary of CONFER, ICPAC is expected to (i) operationalize research outcomes and test results to deliver co-produced climate services in food security, water, and energy sectors; (ii) lead in the engagement of key stakeholders and practitioners and developing  a state-of-the-art coproduction methodology in WP1 (Co-production of Climate Services); (iii) co-lead in the integration of dynamical and statistical climate forecast production systems in WP2 (Climate, Hydrology and Crop Modeling); (iv) contribute to and participate in WP3 (Processing of Copernicus data) in the design and development of tailored applications and products; (v) participate in WP4 (Training and capacity development) to support capacity needs assessment and training; (vi) co-lead in the design of communication and dissemination strategy, exploitation strategy and support of policies in WP5 (Communication, Dissemination, and Exploitation) to expand the reach, uptake and use of climate information and products in decision making; and (vii) ensure efficient administrative and financial management, perform monitoring and evaluation, and communication and interaction for project implementation at ICPAC in WP6 (Project management – Africa Activities). 

In Coproduction of Climate Services Work Package (WP1), CONFER will develop a mixed-mode coproduction approach with engagement of interdisciplinary team of scientists, stakeholders, and end-users to co-develop climate services for decision-making in energy, water and food security sectors in East Africa. The mixed mode approach includes a mapping mode for describing and analysing the socio-cultural contexts of the stakeholders to draw and integrate different knowledge systems of existing climate services uses, exchange mechanisms, decision-making practices, barriers, etc., to facilitate understanding and adapting to climate in the water, energy and agriculture sectors. In the collaborative process of enhancing existing climate services and producing new ones, the making mode engages some of the stakeholders and end-users encountered in the mapping phase, adopting a number of guiding principles and methodological approaches including deliberation, reflexivity, fit, flexibility, inclusivity, and resources. These would help better integration of aspects relevant to the stakeholders and end-users engaged in the process, challenge established assumptions and values, identify adjustments that may be required in terms of the scope and framing of the co-production work as well as building trust and credibility of the process and support participatory valuations, facilitate a continuous and participatory reflexivity of the process of knowledge co-production, create the convergence of the different values and normative commitments at play from those involved in the co-production process. In the third measuring mode of coproduction, CONFER assesses the quality of the climate services enhanced and/or produced and their potential transferability to other end-users in the region, and is conceptually framed by post-normal science, an approach for appraising the quality of science for policy where issues are uncertain, contentious and have high stakes in giving practical effect to ‘extended peer review’ in climate knowledge co-production, primarily through creating a stakeholder group.

The project will build on progress already made in delivering user-led services within ICPAC under the SCIPEA (Strengthening Climate Information Partnerships – East Africa, a project in the WISER programme) and W2-SIP (WISER Phase 2 Support to ICPAC) projects, including service development teams, co-production and the GHACOFs. For implementation of CONFER work packages at ICPAC, we seek to recruit a User Engagement Expert to work on coproduction activities in WP1 and support related activities linking WP1 with other work packages.


The incumbent will work in the design and implementation of a mixed-mode coproduction approach as described above. The incumbent will:

  1. Lead WP1 activities at ICPAC;
  2. Coordinate coproduction research and development and conduct scoping of knowledge and climate services in the region;
  • Conduct mapping of stakeholders in water, food security/agriculture, and energy sectors
  1. Enhance existing products and feedback channels and facilitate the co-production of new climate services
  2. Provide inputs to other CONFER work packages to support the development of decision relevant products;
  3. In consultation with other projects and institutions contributing to WP1, work to implement ICPAC Co-production guide;
  • Explore the potential usability of climate services in other organizations;
  • Institutionalize engagement of users in design, development, delivery and evaluation of climate services;
  1. Facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement roundtables and cross-learning at GHACOFs and other events;
  2. Facilitate dialogue between users and providers to match climate information products with users’ decision-making needs;
  3. Improve and stimulate use of Climate Information by users and support the design of user centred, decision driven and timely products
  • Providing effective solutions to visualize probabilistic information;
  • Increase efficiency and effectiveness of climate services delivered by ICPAC; and
  • Carry out other relevant duties as required by the PI or director of ICPAC

Required Qualification

  • Master’s degree in social sciences or meteorology;
  • Training in co-production, user engagement, or facilitation.

 Required Experience

  • At least 3 years of experience working in coproduction of climate services and users’ engagement;
  • Experience with the following is preferred;
  • Human centred design
  • Design thinking and innovation
  • Climate and Environment

 Language Skills

Excellent knowledge of English and working knowledge of French would be added advantage. 

Duration of Assignment

The assignment is for 42 months subject to performance and availability of funds.

 Reporting Line

The Project User Engagement Expert will report to CONFER-ICPAC Project Principal Investigator.


The successful candidate will earn a monthly lump sum salary at IGAD P3-level without any other benefits.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit by email only with the subject ‘‘Application for CONFER User Engagement Expert’’ a letter of interest and a statement of research, curriculum vitae, and the names, addresses (mailing and email addresses) of three references by 28 August 2020 to [email protected] with a copy to [email protected].

Work Station

ICPAC Headquarters located within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area in Kenya. Missions to IGAD member states might be necessary.





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