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

"Governing synergies and trade-offs with SDG2 in Kenya: a local to global 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 local-to-global approach, starting from the actions of local and national actors, to trace how their role in governing SDG interactions shapes, and is shaped by, international actors (paying relatively more attention to the mechanisms of donor–recipient alignment and public–private alignment).

For Kenya, the focus is on livestock (SDG2) and its interactions with climate change (SDG13), reduced inequalities (SDG10), and gender equality (SDG5). The livestock sector, especially dairy, is central to food security (SDG2) and figures heavily in Kenya’s investments in climate action (SDG13). Because poorer households and women are less well positioned to benefit from rapid intensification and commercialisation, the latter is likely to have adverse relationships with reduced inequalities (SDG 10) and gender equality (SDG 5). This PhD project will involve identifying synergies and trade-offs between SDG2 and other SDGs through engaging with actors in on-the-ground climate-smart livestock projects. By linking these synergies and trade-offs to actors, projects and policies, their origin, the way they are (not) addressed and the relevant mechanisms of cross-sector and cross-level alignment can be studied.

We ask

  • A higher education degree equivalent to a European MSc degree
  • Academic background in policy and governance studies, development studies, anthropology, human geography or related discipline
  • 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 from the Public Administration and Policy Group at Wageningen University, and Dr. Todd Crane from the International Livestock Research Institute.

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.

If you apply for more than one of the PhD positions, please indicate this clearly in your cover letter.

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

Applications need to be in by Friday 28 January 2022. Interviews are planned for Wednesday Thursday 23 February 2022. The intended starting date for the PhD position is 1 June 2022.

More information

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