PhD Governing Climate-Smart Livestock in Kenya: a global-to-local study

"Governing synergies and trade-offs with SDG2 in Kenya: a global to local study of Climate-Smart Livestock in Kenya"

Together with another PhD candidate, you will study the role of governance mechanisms for cross-level and cross-sector alignment in addressing trade-offs and creating synergies between SDGs in Climate-Smart Livestock policies and project in Kenya. This PhD project takes a global-to-local approach, taking the efforts of development actors at the global and international level as a starting point and tracing how their actions affect SDG interactions at the local level (paying close attention to policy coherence for development through mechanisms of inter-donor alignment and inter-departmental alignment).

World Bank investments in rapid intensification in the Kenyan dairy sector (SDG2), with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (SDG13), may lead to the unintended results of higher social stratification (SDG10) and/or gender inequality (SDG5). These kind of interactions between SDGs create a high risk of preferred goals being cherry-picked, trade-offs between goals being ignored, or opportunities for building synergies between goals being missed. The governance context for SDG implementation is a fragmented and multi-level governance context with many international and bilateral efforts seeking to have influence on what happens on the ground. This PhD project will focus on analysing particularly how efforts initiated from international, bilateral and regional actors can address trade-offs and enable synergies related to climate-smart livestock projects in Kenya, so that they lead to inclusive and effective SDG implementation.

We ask

  • A higher education degree equivalent to a European MSc degree
  • Academic background in policy and governance studies, political science, public administration, international relations or development studies
  • Proficiency in the English language
  • Strong academic writing skills
  • Proven track record of academic achievement in courses and thesis work
  • Experience with social scientific research methods such as interviews and document analysis
  • Affinity with climate, agriculture and livestock issues in an international development context
  • Familiarity with the case study context is and local language(s) is an advantage

We offer

  • A four year fully funded PhD position at ILRI, a leading global livestock research institute that is part of the CGIAR research network
  • Enrollment in the PhD programme of the Wageningen School of Social Sciences at Wageningen University, including PhD courses, library access and ICT services
  • Supervision by experts in the field at the Wageningen Center of Sustainability Governance
  • Three research stays of 6 months at Wageningen University, including a living allowance on top of the ILRI remuneration
  • The opportunity to develop and graduate as a researcher, supported by a vibrant international community of researchers and stakeholders linked to the “Governing SDG interactions” project

The selected PhD candidate will be appointed for a 4-year PhD position at the International Livestock Research Institute (Nairobi, Kenya) and registered for the PhD Programme at Wageningen University (The Netherlands). Supervision will be provided by Prof. Art Dewulf and Dr. Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen from the Public Administration and Policy Group at Wageningen University, and Dr. Todd Crane from the International Livestock Research Institute. As part of the position, the PhD candidate will spend about 18 months at Wageningen University.

How to apply

Applications should consist of the following: (1) A cover letter addressed to the PhD supervisors, explaining your capability and motivation for undertaking the PhD research project (maximum 2 pages); (2) A resume, including full higher education and occupational trajectory (maximum 3 pages); (3) A concept note on how you would design the research project (maximum 1 page); and (4) Certified academic certificates and transcripts.

Applications should be sent to Wageningen University at and to ILRI at

Applications need to be in by Tuesday 31 May 2022. Interviews are planned for Friday 10 June 2022. The intended starting date for the PhD position is as soon as possible.

More information

For questions on the larger “Governing SDG interactions“ project, contact Art Dewulf ( For questions on this PhD position, contact Art Dewulf (, Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen ( or Todd Crane (