Research Associate Restoration Policy Accelerator Job Vacancy in Nairobi, Kenya - World Resources Institute

Position Title: Research Associate Restoration Policy Accelerator

This position can be based in Nairobi, Kenya or Kigali, Rwanda and existing work authorization is required.

About the Program:

The Global Restoration Initiative (GRI) is part of the Forests Program at WRI and works to inspire, enable and mobilize action to restore economic and ecological vitality to degraded farms, forests, grasslands, mangroves, and peatland around the globe. Following commitments by governments to restore more than 210 million hectares of degraded land worldwide, the initiative is now focused on mobilizing private and public sector finance and reporting on action. In Africa, GRI works to support the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), an effort to bring 100 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands in Africa under restoration by 2030. GRI’s work in AFR100 is also a key component of the Vital Landscapes, one of the pillars of WRI Africa Strategy.

This position will support GRI’s Policy Accelerator program, a peer-to-peer, capacity-building program for policymakers looking to improve the implementation of existing policies or design new policies or regulations to promote the implementation of landscape restoration. Landscape restoration practices include assisted natural regeneration, reforestation, Agroforestry, silvopastures, low carbon agriculture, regenerative agriculture and conservation. The capacity building program comprises 4 phases that aim to develop capacities around designing and implementing innovative policy instruments to support landscape restoration in priority geographies for the GRI. The main objective is to unite policy innovators and better understand what factors help and hinder their policies to reach implementation or their intended objective. The Accelerator also brings together leading practitioners, economists, and experts in their fields to demystify specific incentives (e.g. carbon tax program, Forest Incentives, Payment for Ecosystem Services) in support of policy innovators’ needs. Support could include access to analyses, mentors, and knowledge networks that enhance policy innovators’ abilities to advocate for cost-effective policies that support restoration on forests and agricultural lands in their respective countries.

Job Highlight:

World Resources Institute seeks a Research Associate to support its Policy Accelerator program in Africa, and to support WRI Africa’s expanding work on food security under the AFR100 and Vital Landscapes Initiatives. You will focus on supporting the Policy Accelerator planning, coordinating, and communications with country focal points and mentors in Africa. You will ideally bring knowledge of policies in the region that support landscape restoration, with particular focus on implementation of actions by farmers and landholders.

The position will report to WRI Africa’s AFR100 Manager for day-to-day tasks and work closely with WRI’s Senior Associate leading the Policy Accelerator program. This position will also work closely with WRI Africa’s Director of Vital Landscapes and with WRI’s Food and Land Use Coalition team.

What you will do:

Policy & Engagement (50%)

  • Support the planning and implementation of national and regional Policy Accelerators in Africa (in-person and virtual workshops)
  • Work with WRI country leads to engage with government officials to understand their policy challenges and systemic constraints impeding changes; build their capacity to design, capitalize, and implement good restoration policies
  • Support the identification of restoration policy bottlenecks in collaboration with government officials and policymakers
  • Nurture and grow a network of policymakers to support implementation of landscape restoration policies
  • Coordinate Policy Accelerator efforts in Africa with other regions (e.g., Latin America and India)
  • Facilitate exchanges of experience on policy instruments for landscape restoration among policymakers participating in the program
  • Support cross-institutional collaboration with participants from each country; unite them towards a common goal and bottleneck to be addressed in the Policy Accelerator program
  • Engage with Policy Accelerator participants to maximize peer-to-peer learning and support.

Research & Knowledge (50%)

  • Conduct research and analysis on existing restoration policies and incentives (through the interaction with the Global Restoration Initiative) and regionally (by working directly with the AFR100 team), particularly as they relate to agriculture and food security
  • Integrate the latest research on addressing food security in Africa into the AFR100 Initiative strategy and workplan
  • Work with WRI’s monitoring leads to identify potential uses of WRI’s existing landscape restoration monitoring tools in policy analysis
  • Present complex information in a clear and concise manner and communicate research findings to research and non-research-focused audiences such as governments and the private sector
  • Support the drafting of reports and peer-review manuscripts, case studies, outreach materials, presentations, and blogs
  • Provide strategic advice to inform and develop team strategy Other duties may be assigned.

What you will need:

Education: Master’s degree in Environmental Policy, Agriculture, Forestry or related field


  • 6+ years of relevant full-time work experience
  • Familiarity with environmental policy analysis and social impact measurements
  • Previous experience managing research projects and contributing to peer-reviewed publications
  • Experience facilitating communication within a team and external stakeholders
  • Past experience managing multiple projects with varying deadlines
  • Ability to work within an internationally dispersed team.

Languages: You will be comfortable working in English. Skills in French or Portuguese is highly desirable. Requirements: You will need existing right to work in either Kenya or Rwanda.

What we offer:

  • A competitive salary
  • Access to the WRI global network with the opportunity to exchange with and learn from passionate colleagues working at the cutting edge of their fields across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US
  • The chance to have an impact and to develop your career within a mission driven organization with access to varied learning and training opportunities
  • A workplace that strives to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work
  • The opportunity to join and get involved in different working groups and affinity groups to shape the future of WRI
  • Long-term commitment to hybrid working model with flexible working hours.
  • Generous leave days that increase with tenure.

About Us:

Founded in 1982, World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean. WRI has a global staff of over 1,800 people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps, and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business, and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

Our mission and values:

WRI’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. Our values are shared ideals that bind us together: Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, Independence, Respect.

Our culture:

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices. We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, Afro-descendants, and Indigenous people to apply. Recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality, WRI has also been awarded EDGE certification.

Our team in Human Resources carefully reviews all applications.

How to apply

How to Apply:

Please send a resume, as well as a cover letter detailing how you would approach this work by 14 August 2022.