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Business Case Consultant – Deforestation / Conversion Free Cocoa

Call for applications for the position of Business Case Consultant

Posted by:                    University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Position type:                Mid- to senior-level long-term, part time consultant

Location:                      Eastern DRC, with some remote work possible

Summary of the position

Location: Combination of field work (Kinshasa and Eastern DRC) and remote work

Period of assignment: Part time, up to 9 months


Background

UCLA, through its Congo Basin Institute (CBI), recently began a collaborative partnership to promote shade-grown cocoa as a conservation tool in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  During a one-year Phase I, the project will focus on developing a business case for private sector investment in sustainable cocoa production in DRC. 

The business case will detail one or more paths to investment in DRC’s cocoa sector that protect Ituri’s biodiversity, compensates farmers adequately, and produces cocoa that meets quality, quantity, and price demands of the market. The business case will address the needs of actors at multiple levels of the value chain. It will detail opportunities, lay out investment options, address cost and quality issues, estimate timelines, assess risks, and summarize mitigation approaches. It will provide a road map for how companies that are committed to preventing deforestation can invest in cocoa in Ituri.

CBI seeks a part-time consultant to facilitate the business case development during Phase I in collaboration with experts on biodiversity, agronomy, and cocoa production in DRC.

Scope of Work

The responsibilities of the Business Case Consultant are:

  • Build on existing analyses of the cocoa supply chain and value chain in DRC, assist in identifying companies and other actors along the supply chain who are active in local, regional, and global cocoa markets and are interested in supporting sustainable cocoa from DRC.
  • Conduct interviews (group/individual) with key actors to identify key barriers and opportunities to achieving DCF (deforestation/conversion free) cocoa in Ituri.  This could include issues related to pricing and quality, agronomy and post-harvest processing, value chain performance, commodity origin and tracking, and linking commodity production to land use and production processes.  Where feasible, group meetings can be held to discuss the project goals both online and/or in person.
  • Where data gaps are identified, collate and/or collect relevant agronomy/socio-economic/biodiversity data of relevance to the cocoa supply chain in DRC to inform approaches to addressing key issues and challenges.
  • Draft a business case document that details one or more paths to investment in sustainable cocoa in DRC. The business case will address the needs of actors at multiple levels of the value chain. It will detail opportunities, lay out investment options, address cost and quality issues, estimate timelines, assess risks, and summarize mitigation approaches. It will provide a road map for how companies that are committed to preventing deforestation/biodiversity loss can invest in cocoa in Ituri, including estimates of quantity and quality of available beans. Approaches should be informed by data and intelligence generated by the project and should be responsive to feedback provided by the supply chain companies. 

CBI expects this to be a part-time consultancy that will last for approximately nine months.  Work hours will vary depending on work flow, and may range from a couple of hours a week to significantly more during convenings.

Qualifications

  • At least 7 years of relevant professional experience with private sector engagement
  • Experience with perennial commodity production in Eastern DRC; experience with cocoa preferred
  • Able to communicate with a wide variety of private sector entities, and strong existing networks in the cocoa sector
  • Prior experience analyzing business cases
  • Fluency in English and French
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills
  • Reliable, with a consistent ability to meet deadlines and deliver results
  • Consultants residing in DRC or Uganda are preferred

Application Process

To apply, please submit:

  • A resume that includes a list of exemplary projects
  • Cover letter
  • At least two references
  • A cost proposal that includes travel costs for at least three convenings in Eastern DRC

Application materials should be submitted to Patrice Tonnis at ptonnis@lifesci.ucla.edu with the subject “Cocoa business case consultant.” 

Applications received before October 20 will be given priority.

For questions, please contact ptonnis@lifesci.ucla.edu.