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Research Position in Ghana: Economics of Human Waste in Agriculture

Published on Dec 26 2010 // Africa, Postdoctoral, Scholarships in Ghana

Postdoctoral position at International Water Management Institute Accra, Ghana for International Applicants

Study Subject:Economics of Human Waste in Agriculture

If you have recently completed your PhD in Economics or Sanitation and have a sound understanding of both, then this could be just the assignment for you. Based at IWMI”s West Africa Office in Accra, Ghana, you will analyze business opportunities for enterprise development related to resource recovery from human waste, be it in agriculture or other sectors, and then form policy recommendations to enhance livelihoods in the rural/urban interface.

You will:

  • provide economic and institutional analysis for projects that explore, for example:
    • sustainability indicators of low-cost wastewater treatment options across Africa
    • Agricultural reuse-oriented approaches into the sanitation sector to recover nutrients, water and energy from waste streams whilst improving environmental sanitation in Ghana
    • Role of small and micro-enterprises that specialize in waste reuse in Ghana, Vietnam and Uganda
    • How to enhance the success of private ventures in solid and liquid waste collection and reuse
  • study national agricultural and sanitation policies and regulations examining relevant economic, organizational, institutional and financial issues to inform policymakers through the development and application of economic decision tools/models for recovery of nutrients, organic matter, energy and water from waste streams
  • liaise with public officials on the awareness and implementation of public policies
  • contribute to ideas on linking agriculture and sanitation to enhance food security and business opportunities in West Africa through the reuse of waste resources, emphasizing cost recovery along the sanitation chain
  • prepare scientific reports and articles for peer-reviewed journals

You must possess:

  • a recent PhD in agricultural or natural resources, economics or environmental or civil engineering
  • a good understanding of agriculture, microeconomics and enterprise development

You must know about:

  • sanitation challenges in developing countries: solid waste, fecal sludge and wastewater management (with on-site sanitation systems)
  • technical feasibility and social/economic opportunities/trade-offs in managing/reusing options for wastewater/fecal sludge
  • computer-based, business process modeling tools for scenario building
  • economic and institutional analysis across public and private sectors in the sanitation sector or agricultural interface (demonstrated in reports, dissertation or journal articles)
  • engineering and microeconomics analytical tools, especially market analysis

You must have:

  • excellent written and spoken English
  • ability to establish priorities, plan, organize and monitor own work in an interdisciplinary and multiple task environment
  • strong interpersonal skills to maintain effective relationships in multicultural environments with respect for diversity
  • ability to work in interdisciplinary teams and with local and international partners

It would be useful if you:

  • had some previous working experience in developing countries
  • can speak and write in French
  • have skills in business optimization analysis and relevant computer software

IWMI postdoctoral contracts are for two years and are generally non-renewable. IWMI salaries are competitive with those of similar international institutions and offer a range of benefits including housing and utilities allowance, vehicle allowance, education allowance, annual home leave, health insurance package and shipping assistance.

The International Water Management Institute ( is a non-profit, scientific organization engaged in research and capacity building activities for developing countries. Our mission is to overcome poverty through better management of land and water resources. Working with diverse partners and supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (, IWMI seeks to translate its research findings into actionable recommendations for policymakers, resource managers and poor rural communities. IWMI is based in Sri Lanka and has regional offices in 12 countries in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

IWMI is an equal opportunity employer and is keen to further diversify its staff in terms of both gender and nationality.

Please submit your application on-line at:

Scholarship Application Deadline: 31 January 2011


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