Photo: Rainforest, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Credits: Ninara via Wikimedia Commons
Call for consultancy services:
Strengthening capacity of African forestry stakeholders for technical writing and publishing scientific papers
Since 2011, AFF, through a grant from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), has been implementing a project titled “African forests, people and climate change” that is in its third phase. The overall objective of the project is to enhance the role of African forests in assisting people adapt to the effects of climate change in various landscapes in ways that will improve livelihoods, sustain biodiversity, and secure the quality of the environment, as well as to strengthen the capacity of Africa’s forests to adapt to climate change and to contribute to mitigation efforts. This current third phase (2018- 2022) of the project is guided by the following four specific objectives: (i) strengthening the capacity of African forestry stakeholders in adopting best practices that integrate both adaptation and mitigation options in response to the impacts of climate change and variability to biophysical and social systems in different landscapes; (ii) enhancing national forest governance by strengthening the capacity of African stakeholders to respond to the Paris Agreement and related global climate change policies and initiatives related to forestry; (iii) promoting entrepreneurship opportunities and technologically efficient means of value addition in African forestry, including those related to climate change that enhance livelihoods, national incomes and employment; and (iv) strengthen AFF’s institutional capacity in creation and sharing of relevant forest and tree-based knowledge and information for improved decision making. Through these objectives, the project is expected to contribute to six of the seven AFF’s Programmatic Areas listed above.
Another ongoing project at AFF is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and is entitled “Strengthening management and use of forest ecosystems for sustainable development in Africa”. The overall goal of this project is “to generate and share knowledge and information through partnerships in ways that provide inputs into policy and decision-making options and capacity building, for improved forest management that better addresses poverty eradication and environmental protection in Africa”.
The abovementioned projects have in the last two years implemented a number of activities undertaken by a transdisciplinary team of about 40 African experts and 20 postgraduate students yearly. This work has produced a great number of outputs in form of writings and of varying quality. These products are regularly strengthened by AFF Secretariat staff and a number of reviewers and editors to make them of a high quality and with good potential for impact, at various levels and in various fields. In the process of producing these products by the contracted experts and postgraduate students, it became very clear that the capacity for scientific writing in many of our countries is still wanting. Therefore, to ensure that the continent produces knowledge products that remain continuously of high-quality standard, there is need to strengthen the capacity of AFF stakeholders on technical writing skills needed in knowledge generation value chain i.e., from initial concept development stage up to publication of research results.
Capturing the readers’ attention and enticing them to start thinking critically about a topic or an issue is the primary objective of any writing, particularly technical / scientific ones like those AFF produces. Scientific writing is predicated on the rigors of scientific inquiry, so it must reflect the same precision as that demanded in the research process. Good (technical / scientific) writing is an essential skill every writer should be proficient in as it will determine the success and effectiveness of his / her writing. For AFF ‘s work to have the desired impact the quality of knowledge products generated is important; hence the need to build the capacity of its stakeholders, especially those involved in generating it knowledge products.
Such capacity building is in line with the AFF Programmatic Area no. 6 and directly contributing to objectives 4 and 5 of the SDC and Sida funded projects respectively on strengthening the institutional capacity of AFF and by extension that of its stakeholders. In this respect, AFF seeks to recruit four experts to facilitate two training workshops on “Technical writing and publishing scientific papers”, two each for the training for Anglophone and francophone African forestry stakeholders.
3. PURPOSE OF THE WORK
The purpose of this assignment is to strengthen the capacity of African forestry stakeholders on technical writing and publishing scientifically sound knowledge products.
4. SPECIFIC TASKS
The specific tasks are to:
- Prepare, in collaboration with the AFF Secretariat, a detailed concept note to guide the training, including the programme for a training workshop on “strengthening capacity of African forestry stakeholders on technical writing and publishing scientific papers”;
- Develop clear and detailed training materials on (a) technical writing and (b) preparing and publishing scientific papers;
- Conduct a 4 days’ training in the form of a write-shop (i.e., mixing theory and practice);
- Guide the trainees on individual action plans for production of scientific documents. This will, include finalization and publication process of a draft knowledge product each participant will be required to bring to the training workshop;
- Prepare a report on the proceedings of the training.
5. EXPECTED DELIVERABLES
- Concept note and programme of the training;
- Training materials (PowerPoint presentations, etc.) on “technical writing” and on “preparing and publishing scientific papers”, including a guide for developing action plans for producing scientific documents.
- A training workshop report
- A report on the task.
6. QUALIFICATIONS, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- Have a PhD in forestry, environment, natural resources management, climate change or related areas;
- Show good records of publications in reputable journals, including development of didactic materials in relevant fields (see above);
- Demonstrate experience as member of editorial board of scientific journals or as reviewer;
- Demonstrate experience in conducting similar training, i.e., on technical writing and publishing scientific papers
- Good computer skills, particularly in data analysis and reporting, will be an added advantage.
- Have good written and oral communication skills in English for training for Anglophone stakeholders and French for the training for Francophone stakeholders.
7. DURATION OF ASSIGNMENT
The tasks in the terms of reference (ToRs) are for 4 days’ workshop and 6 days for preparation and reporting, making a total of 10 days’ workload, commencing as soon as possible (for the preparation). During the preparation and reporting phases, the recruited expert shall work from his/her location in close collaboration with relevant staff at AFF secretariat. The training will be conducted as a face-to-face workshop from 18 -21 April 2022 for the Anglophone and from 30 May- 02 June for Francophone African forestry stakeholders.
8. HOW TO APPLY
Each application should contain the following:
- Cover letter stating how you meet the above qualifications and experience requirements;
- Up to date curriculum vitae.
- Proof of experience in conducting training on “technical writing and publishing scientific papers”;
- A short technical proposal of 3 pages (maximum) demonstrating how the tasks outlined in section 4 of this call will be achieved within the specified period; this should include, at minimum, a training syllabus and a general overview of the proceedings during the days of the training.
All these should be submitted as email with attachment, indicating in the subject line: “Consultancy No 02-4.2.2. “STRENGHTENING CAPACITY OF AFRICAN FORESTRY STAKEHOLDERS ON TECHNICAL WRITING AND PUBLISHING SCIENTIFIC PAPERS”. The mail should be addressed to Professor Marie Louise Avana-Tientcheu through M.Avana@cgiar.org, Dr Djibril S. Dayamba (D.Dayamba@cgiar.org) and Dr Daud Jones Kachamba (D.Kachamba@cgiar.org), and with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be considered until 5th March, 2022.
For more information and to download the Terms of Reference, click on the following links