Tuesday, August 31, 2010


EMPLOYMENT: Postdoctoral Position – Agent-Based Modeling

The Institute of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics – Chair of Land Use Economics searches for a highly qualified candidate at post-doctoral level. The position will focus on agent-based modeling of agricultural land use with special consideration of learning, group decisions and collective action. The candidate will contribute to the joint research efforts of meteorologists, soil scientists, agronomists and agricultural economists at Universität Hohenheim.

More information (pdf).

Deadline: open until filled


FELLOWSHIPS: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation International Climate Protection Fellowships

Each year, up to twenty International Climate Protection Fellowships are awarded to prospective leaders from emerging or developing countries who are working on questions of climate protection and resource conservation in academia, business, government or nongovernmental organisations. They come to Germany for a year to conduct a project dedicated to the sharing of knowledge, methods and techniques together with a host. This encourages the creation of a network in which German and foreign experts collaborate on a sustainable, international basis to combat climate change and its global consequences. The fellowships are funded under the Federal Environment Ministry’s (BMU) International Climate Protection Initiative.

More information.

Deadline: December 15, 2010


CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: 2011 Colorado Conference on Earth System Governance—Deadline Extended

Abstracts are invited for the Colorado Conference on Earth System Governance to be held 17-20 May 2011 on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. This conference is part of a global series organized by the Earth System Governance Project, a ten-year research program under the auspices of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP). The Colorado Conference on Earth System Governance is hosted jointly by the Environmental Governance Working Group and the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University along with the IHDP Earth System Governance Project.

The conference will be organized around four types of linkages that cut across the “5 As” (architecture, agency, adaptiveness, accountability, and allocation) at the core of the Earth System Governance Science Plan with the expectation that these discussions will open new and fruitful areas of research and collaboration on earth system governance. The four conference themes are:

More information.

Deadline: September 15, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010


EMPLOYMENT: Professor in Development Studies, University of Manchester School of Environment and Development

The School of Environment and Development was formed to understand, theorize and tackle the problems created by the uneven relationships between society, economy and environment. The school seeks to develop this international agenda further by appointing a Professor in Development Studies. The appointee will take a leading role in research and teaching in the area of Development Studies and strengthen IDPM's research achievement and global profile. Applicants should demonstrate an internationally-recognised record of outstanding achievement across research, teaching and policy engagement, a capacity to provide intellectual leadership and be willing to take on senior academic and research management roles.

More information.

Deadline: October 4, 2010


PUBLICATION: The Century Ahead: Searching for Sustainability

A new article, just published in a special issue on Sustainable Futures in the journal Sustainability, outlines guidelines for sustainabitiy, introduces a Quality of Development Indicator, and highlights quantitative analysis of four very different futures.

The global future lies before us as a highly uncertain and contested landscape with numerous perils along the way. This study explores possible pathways to sustainability by considering in quantitative detail four contrasting scenarios for the twenty-first century. The analysis reveals vividly the risks of conventional development approaches and the real danger of socio-ecological descent. Nonetheless, the paper underscores that a Great Transition scenario—turning toward a civilization of enhanced human well-being and environmental resilience—remains an option, and identifies a suite of strategic and value changes for getting there. A fundamental shift in the development paradigm is found to be an urgent necessity for assuring a sustainable future and, as well, a hopeful opportunity for creating a world of enriched lives, human amity, and a healthy ecosphere.

The full article is available for download (pdf).


PUBLICATION: Commerce in the Commons: A New Conception of Environmental and Natural Resource Regulation Under the Commerce Clause

For those interested in the U.S. Supreme Court's treatment of the commons, a new paper to be published in the Harvard Environmental Law Review applies Elinor Ostrom's "appropriation" analysis to resources present on privately owned lands to conclude that such "privatized commons resources" meet established Commerce Clause tests for determining the validity of federal environmental legislation in the U.S., noting that “the Court has consistently upheld federal authority to regulate zero-sum, finite resources over which rivalry of use takes place – the key characteristics of a commons.”

Scholars continue to debate the scope of Congress’s Commerce Clause authority and whether fluctuations in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Commerce Clause jurisprudence place federal environmental regulatory authority at risk. Yet when one analyzes the Supreme Court’s major Commerce Clause cases involving resource regulation since the beginning of the modern regulatory state, a surprisingly consistent theme emerges: the Court has consistently upheld federal authority to regulate zero-sum, finite resources over which rivalry of use takes place – the key characteristics of a commons. The Court’s Commerce Clause jurisprudence can be interpreted as treating these “privatized commons resources” as necessarily meeting the third test for determining the validity of federal legislation under the Commerce Clause – the “substantial effects” test. Recognizing the use of commons analysis to meet the substantial effects test is an important step, as it provides security about the continued protection of valuable natural resources, a clearer statement of the Court’s approach in environmental cases and more certainty and effectiveness in environmental and natural resources legislation. Commons analysis also answers persistent questions arising in Commerce Clause cases, including when the aggregation principle may be invoked to find substantial effects on interstate commerce, what the “object of regulation” is in environmental Commerce Clause cases, and the proper scope of federal Commerce Clause authority given constitutional federalism requirements.

A working draft of the article is available here.


PUBLICATION: Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change (IIED)

This special issue of Participatory Learning and Action focuses on recent approaches to climate change adaptation which are community-based and participatory, building on the priorities, knowledge, and capacities of local people. It discusses how community-based approaches to climate change have emerged, and the similarities and differences between CBA and other participatory development and disaster risk reduction approaches. It highlights innovative participatory methods which are developing to help communities analyse the causes and effects of climate change, integrate scientific and community knowledge of climate change, and plan adaptation measures. Whilst CBA is a relatively new field, some lessons and challenges are beginning to emerge, including how to integrate disaster risk reduction, livelihoods and climate change adaptation work, climate change knowledge gaps, issues around the type and quality of participation, and the need for policies and institutions that support CBA.

Available for download here. Also available in Arabic.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


This Week’s Posts


CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: $50,000 Award for Property Rights: Identity, Dignity & Opportunity for All

Omidyar Network and Ashoka’s Changemakers invite you to join the movement to unleash individual opportunity through property rights.

Secure rights to land can provide life-altering benefits to the poor, including economic opportunity, enhanced identity, and personal dignity. If you are a changemaker who is increasing access to property rights—for individuals or communities, in rural or urban areas, through non-profit or for-profit innovation—we want to hear from you.

We seek diverse approaches and groundbreaking models to strengthening property rights. From August 18 through November 3, 2010, you can nominate or submit a solution that helps to provide land to the landless, formalizes or documents property rights, or provides legal education to help people understand and benefit from the laws that protect their assets.

Prizes: Three winners will be selected; each will receive a cash prize of US $50,000.

More information.

Deadline: November 3, 2010

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PUBLICATION: Cooperatives for Staple Crop Marketing: Evidence from Ethiopia

New IFPRI publication:

Rural producer organizations, such as farmers’ organizations or rural cooperatives, offer a means for smallholder farmers in developing countries to sell their crops commercially. They hold particular promise for Sub-Saharan Africa, where small-scale farming is the primary livelihood but commercialization of foodcrops is very limited. Using the experience of smallholders in Ethiopia as a case study, this research monograph identifies the benefits of rural producer organizations for small farmers, as well as the conditions under which such organizations most successfully promote smallholder commercialization. The evidence from Ethiopia indicates that they do increase farmers’ profits from crop sales, but that the beneficiaries do not tend to be the poorest smallholders. Moreover, a rural producer organization’s marketing effectiveness is precarious: it can easily diminish if the number or diversity of its members increases or if it provides more nonmarketing services. The authors conclude that these organizations have a role to play in the agricultural development of Sub-Saharan Africa, but that role should be complemented by other programs that directly target the poorest farmers. Further, the effectiveness of rural producer organizations should be preserved by allowing them to follow their own agendas rather than being encouraged to take on nonmarketing activities. The assessment of rural producer organizations presented in this monograph should be a valuable resource for policymakers and researchers concerned with economic development and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The complete monograph is available as a pdf document and as a new interactive edition here.


EVENT & PUBLICATIONS: Forest Conflict Session at IUFRO World Congress hosted by RECOFTC

RECOFTC, the Center for People and Forests, is hosting the side session “Forest conflict in Asia: Burning issues and potential solutions” on 24 August at the IUFRO World Congress in Korea. The session will explore conflict drivers, impacts and management strategies, and feature eight new case studies that look at communities in conflict with outsiders.

Two publications will be launched, one an issues paper summing up the regional case-studies and a new bibliography of conflict resources. All are invited to attend, please view the brochure for more details.

The Issues paper is already available for download (in 2 parts). Conflict over forests and land in Asia: Impacts, causes, and management. Part I, Part II


FELLOWSHIP: Swiss Center for International Agriculture

The Research Fellow Partnership Programme for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources (RFPP) aims at generating development relevant knowledge, training young scientists and establishing research partnerships. The programme supports doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships as well as promoting internships. RFPP projects shall be embedded in research partnerships between a CGIAR centre (or equivalent) and a Swiss research institution.

More information.

Deadline: September 30, 2010


CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Vavilov-Frankel Fellowship

Bioversity International has announced the 2011 Call for Research Proposals for the Vavilov-Frankel Fellowship. The Vavilov-Frankel Fellowship Fund aims to encourage the conservation and use of plant genetic resources by awarding fellowships to outstanding young researchers from developing countries to carry out relevant innovative research at an advanced research institute outside their home country for a period of three months to one year. Applications accepted in English, French or Spanish.

More information.

Deadline: November 7, 2010


FELLOWSHIPS: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

The Natural Environment Research Council Fellowship scheme provides opportunities for outstanding environmental scientists to devote their time to research, develop their research careers and produce work of international importance.

More information.

Deadline: November 2, 2010


PUBLICATION: Who Engages in Water Scarcity Conflicts? A Field Experiment with Irrigators in Semi-arid Africa

Does water scarcity induce conflict? And who would engage in a water scarcity conflict? In this paper we look for evidence of the relation between water scarcity and conflictive behavior. With a framed field experiment conducted with smallholder irrigators from semi-arid Tanzania that replicates appropriation from an occasionally scarce common water flow we assess what type of water users is more inclined to react in conflictive way to scarcity. On average, water scarcity induces selfish appropriation behavior in the experiment which is regarded as conflictive in the Tanzanian irrigator communities where strong non-competition norms regulate irrigation water distribution. But not all react to water scarcity in the same way. Poor, marginalized, dissocialized irrigators with low human capital and with higher stakes are most likely to react with conflictive appropriation behavior to water scarcity. Viewed from a political ecology perspective we conclude that circumstances in Tanzania are conducive to resource scarcity conflicts. Water scarcity and water values are increasing, and water governance institutions entail exclusionary elements. Moreover, a higher likelihood to react in a conflictive way to water scarcity coincides with real economic and political inequalities which could form a basis for mobilization for more violent ways of competing for scarce resources.

MICROCON Research Working Paper 31 is available for download here (pdf).

Thursday, August 12, 2010


This Week’s Posts


CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Adaptation H2O, IDRC’s Graduate Research Awards on Climate Change and Water

Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) supports research in developing countries to promote growth and development. The result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim to bring choice and change to those who need it most. IDRC’s Climate Change and Water Program (CCW) helps developing country researchers to understand the consequences of climate change on water resources and to find ways to improve the ability of citizens and governments to adapt to the changing environment.

The purpose of CCW’s Adaptation H20 Graduate Research Awards is to build the research capacity in developing countries by providing awards to graduate students working on subjects related to climate change and water.

Number, value,and duration of awards:

More information.

Deadline: October 15, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


EMPLOYMENT: ICRAF Senior Natural Resources Management Scientist, Indonesia

The Senior Natural Resources Management Scientist will be responsible for leading the overall program in Indonesia and reports to the Southeast Asia Regional Coordinator. The position entails playing a research role, a project leader role, and an Indonesian program manager role, the specific responsibilities of which are described in greater detail in the vacancy announcement.

Deadline: August 30, 2010


EMPLOYMENT: Oxfam India Program Officer -- Gender

Oxfam India is accepting applications for the position of Program Officer – Gender.

Description: In line with Oxfam’s strategic plans and policy guidelines, to work under the leadership of the Regional Manager in planning, implementing and monitoring agreed objectives / issues with Oxfam partners, addressing issues of Ending Violence Against Women.  Participate in and contribute to the development of wider institutional strategy.

More information.

Deadline: August 20, 2010


FELLOWSHIPS: ISS MA in Development Studies, Agriculture and Rural Development

The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) located in The Hague, one of the world's leading centres of higher education and research in international development studies, has been known for its innovative and exciting MA specialization in Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD). The specialization offers an interdisciplinary, political economy perspective on agricultural and rural development problems and policies, with an emphasis on practical, critical understandings, capacities and skills required of successful professionals in the field of agricultural/rural development. Students develop a critical understanding of the key processes facing the agricultural and rural sectors and the livelihoods of rural people today, with emphasis on the agrarian political economy perspective. They will understand the interconnectedness of local, national and global levels in shaping agrarian labour regimes, paths of accumulation, smallholder-agribusiness relations and rural-urban linkages. They will gain a practical familiarity with the analysis of processes and politics of agrarian change and resource conflict and the political economy of policy making and implementation and practical skills in policy analysis. Gender, class and generational inequalities and their intersections are important cross-cutting themes.

More information about the program here. Information about Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) MA Scholarship here.

Deadline: September 1, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


CALL FOR PROPOSALS: ESF 2012 Research Conferences in Environmental Sciences

The European Science Foundation invites scientists to submit proposals for high-level research conferences to take place in 2012 within the framework of its Research Conferences Scheme in the following scientific domains:

More information.

Deadline: September 15, 2010


CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: AfricaAdapt Knowledge Sharing Innovation Fund

AfricaAdapt is launching the 2nd edition of the Knowledge Sharing Innovation Fund that promotes new ways of sharing knowledge between African communities. Poor and vulnerable communities in many African countries rarely have the opportunity to share their valuable experience and learn from others formal exchanges of knowledge on climate change adaptation.

The Knowledge Sharing Innovation Fund will offer grants of up to US$6.500 to projects that seek to overcome barriers to share knowledge with ’hard to reach’ or marginalised African communities. These barriers may be related to geographical remotness, low communication infrastructure, language, access to information and marginalisation due to gender or disability. Theatre performances, songs, radio broadcasts, visual arts, videos and comics are just a few ideas about how they could be overcome. The key is to ensure these groups can learn and share knowledge that can be usefully deployed.

More information and application instructions available on AfricaAdapt’s webiste (look on the right-hand side).

Deadline: August 20, 2010

Monday, August 09, 2010


SCHOLARSHIPS: Food Security Center, University of Hohenheim

In 2011, the Food Security Center (FSC) at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany will awards up to 29 scholarships for postdoctoral researchers and PhD students for a period of 4 to 36 months. Selection is carried out on a competitive basis and the decisions will be communicated up to December 17, 2010. Regarding the details of the different scholarship programs, the application process and the requirements, please consult FSC´s webpage. [more information]

Deadline: September 30, 2010


EMPLOYMENT: IFPRI Research Fellow/Senior Research Fellow, Senegal-based

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks a qualified candidate to serve as a Research Fellow/Senior Research Fellow in the Development Strategies and Governance (DSG) Division. The Fellow will lead and manage the consolidation and repositioning of the ReSAKSS as the leading knowledge platform for agricultural policy planning and implementation in Africa; full operationalization at country level of the monitoring and evaluation system (M&E); and adequate technical assistance for the establishment and operation of country SAKSS nodes.

ReSAKSS is a large inter-Center initiative led by International Food policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and has been established to support the implementation of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD). Three nodes have been set up in Africa at three CGIAR centers in East and Central Africa (International Livestock Research Institute or ILRI, Nairobi), West Africa (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture or IITA, Ibadan), and Southern Africa (jointly between the International Water Management Institute or IWMI and the International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Areas or ICRISAT, Pretoria).

More information.

Deadline: September 6, 2010


CALL FOR NEW MEMBERS: International Land Coalition

Every two years, the International Land Coalition launches an open call inviting interested organisations to apply for membership through a formal application. The applications received during the current period will be voted upon by ILC members at the next Assembly of Members in April 2011.

Intergovernmental organisations and civil society organisations – including farmer’s organisations, non-governmental organisations, and research institutes – that share the ILC vision and mission are encouraged to apply:

Individuals, governments, and private sector actors such as corporations are not eligible for ILC membership.

The application procedures and forms can be found here.

Deadline: November 15, 2010

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PUBLICATION: Who Owns Carbon in Rural China?

To ensure the long-term success of China's carbon sequestration programs while addressing welfare of the affected rural poor, it is essential for China to continue its reform efforts on several fronts. Most importantly, the security of farmers’ rights over forestland and trees should be bolstered and adequate compensatory regimes established for farmers affected by carbon sequestration programs. This report covers these topics in depth.

An RRI publication analyses the legal regime and practices and offers preliminary policy recommendations. Download here.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


This Week’s Posts


CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Varieties of Governance: Effective Public Service Delivery (GDN)

Global Development Network (GDN) and its regional Project Partners are issuing a call for submission of proposals for the project titled “Varieties of Governance: Effective Public Service Delivery”. This project will explore the role of formal and informal institutions, at both country and sector level, in the effectiveness (or lack of) of public service delivery in the areas of basic education, water supply and transport infrastructure (roads). The role of decentralization, functioning of specialized agencies, private sector participation, quasi-markets, community participation, and accountability to name a few, will be examined across the three sectors in ten to fifteen case-studies. Research activities will be supported and/or coordinated, with GDN, as follows:

More information.

Deadline: August 31, 2010


TRAINING: Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change

The Center for Sustainable Development is announcing the September launch of a module of four online field courses on building sustainability into adaptation projects. These courses begin by introducing basic climate change concepts, and develop as participants identify local community vulnerabilities, investigate appropriate sustainable solutions, develop full projects, launch and manage them.

Online course participants are using our courses to develop, on-the-ground projects with real communities - both individually and through cross-hemispheric student partnerships. People from 70 different countries have used these courses to develop projects in 2010.

More information.

Monday, August 02, 2010


PUBLICATION: Indigenous Participation & Rights in Mining, Climate Change & other Natural Resource Decision-making in Guyana

A new project report examines indigenous participation and rights in Guyana.

This report summarises the efforts made by the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) over the past decade (2000-2010) to improve indigenous peoples’ participation in decisions about natural resources in Guyana. These efforts were promoted as part of a joint project between the Amerindian Peoples Association, The North-South Institute (NSI) and the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), with funding from the International Development Research Centre of Canada (IDRC).

Download here (pdf).


CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Benefit-Sharing Fund

The Call for Proposals 2010 under the Benefit-sharing Fund of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which will invest more than USD 10 million in projects globally, is now opened for its biennial cycle 2010-2011. Any governmental or non-governmental organization, including genebanks and research institutions, farmers and farmers' organizations and regional and international organizations, based in countries that are Contracting Parties eligible for funding, may apply for grants.

The thematic focus is helping ensure sustainable food security by assisting farmers to adapt to climate change through a targeted set of high impact activities on the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. This focus is achieved within the agreed priorities of the Benefit-sharing Fund, namely i) information exchange, technology transfer and capacity-building; ii) managing and conserving plant genetic resources on-farm; and iii) the sustainable use of plant genetic resources.

More information.

Deadline: September 8, 2010

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PUBLICATION: Collaborative Learning in Practice

IDRC has released a new book, Collaborative Learning in Practice: Examples from Natural Resource Management in Asia.

Drawing on research and practical experiences from China, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, this book presents and analyzes novel approaches to collaborative learning and communities of practice. Case studies show how, through joint efforts with researchers and other actors, local communities address and learn from challenges in managing natural resources. They demonstrate the merits of learning strategies that use a variety of methods, that are grounded in the local context, that involve facilitators, that are monitored from the outset, and where there is a strong environment of collaboration and dynamic process management. The book shows that learning strategies that are both innovative and collaborative can lead to sounder rural development.

Collaborative Learning in Practice will be of interest to academics, researchers, and postgraduate students in development studies; practitioners and development professionals, particularly in the fields of capacity building and participatory action methodologies; as well as program managers and decision-makers in donor organizations and development agencies worldwide.

Download here. (en español)


FELLOWSHIP: Synergos Senior Fellows Network

The Syngergos Senior Fellows Network is comprised of distinguished international civil society leaders committed to collaborative efforts that address the underlying causes of poverty and inequity. Launched in 1999, the Senior Fellows program links extraordinary civil society leaders in a worldwide learning, service and action network. The network aims to strengthen the capacity and opportunities for these leaders to be catalysts and play a major role in partnerships that address the systemic causes of poverty and promote sustainable social change.

More information.

Deadline: August 31, 2010


EMPLOYMENT: 2 ILC Regional Node Coordinator Positions: Africa and Asia

The International Land Coalition (ILC) is a global alliance working to promote access to land for people who are landless or have insecure land rights. The membership of ILC is made up of inter-governmental organisations, and organisations of civil society, including NGOs, social movements, producer organisations and research institutions (www.landcoalition.org/members). The secretariat of ILC is based in Rome, and carries the responsibility to provide support to the coalition in the implementation of the strategic plan. Further information on ILC can be found at www.landcoalition.org.

At regional level, the ILC is organised in regional platforms. This provides opportunities for national and regional members to strengthen their ownership of the ILC and ensures that the actions of the ILC are more relevant to the specific regional contexts. ILC is currently accepting applications for the following 2 positions:

Deadline: August 20, 2010