The Animal Production and Health Division (NSA) promotes and facilitates the sustainable development of the livestock sector, integrating scientific, technical expertise and policy advice. It hosts technical networks in areas of animal genetics, feed and pastoralism, among others. It provides analysis and technical assistance, and facilitates policy dialogue (incl. intergovernmental bodies).
The consultancy is located in the Animal Production and Genetics Branch (NSAG). The Unit generates information and manages knowledge, facilitates the development and implementation of innovative solutions and provides technical expertise to improve productivity, efficiency and resilience of livestock production. The activities of the Unit cover all production systems, from pastoralism to industrial, including crop-livestock integrated systems; and aim to enhance their sustainability.
Under the direct supervision of the NSAG Animal Production Officer, and in close consultation and collaboration with relevant colleagues in FAO HQ and decentralized offices and partners, the incumbent will support NSAG’s work related to data collection for the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS).
Population size is a valuable indicator of a breed’s risk of extinction, which is used for the computation of SDG Indicator 2.5.2. Breed-based censuses and to a certain extent herdbooks for pedigree registration are accurate tools for monitoring breed population sizes, but are generally costly, require important logistic and governance capacities, and are not available for most breed populations in developing countries and for many breeds in developed countries, especially for certain species.
Estimating population size by sampling and/or other approaches is a relatively inexpensive approach that, when properly applied, still yields reasonably accurate results. FAO has already developed some methods for estimating population sizes of breeds and tested them in several countries. However, these methods are not appropriate in all circumstances, and further innovation is needed. Methods for estimating colony numbers are also needed to monitor the diversity of managed honey bees. The technical focus is on developing low-cost and cost-effective methods for estimating the size of breed populations in livestock species and the number of bee-colonies.
Tasks and responsibilities
• Provide a literature and technical review of methods on estimation of breed population sizes including the one developed by FAO based on stratified-sampling considering the desired precision of estimates, the degree of accuracy and related costs.
• Participate in one mission to FAO HQ to meet relevant colleagues and partners.
• Develop a structured questionnaire that helps to collect information on implementation constraints, challenges experienced, and solutions found related to collection/estimation of breed population size data. This should be based on the literature review developed under the first bullet.
• Conduct structured interviews (online or onsite) to gather information on implementation constraints, challenges experienced, and solutions found related to collection/estimation of breed population size data.
• Based on the literature review and through the analysis of the information collected through the task above, prepare a document presenting alternative methods to estimate population sizes of breeds and the number of bee colonies for monitoring purpose, describing prerequisites for implementation and costs in relation to precision and degree of accuracy of the estimates.
• Draft a step-by-step guide on the implementation of selected alternative low-cost methods in the field.
• Assist in identifying countries and Service Providers for testing the proposed methods in the field.
• Perform other duties as required.
CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING
• University degree in statistics, mathematics, economics, agricultural economics, or a related field with training in statistics.
• Five years of relevant field experience in statistical surveys and censuses.
• For Consultants: working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian. For PSAs: working knowledge of English.
FAO Core Competencies
• Results Focus
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
• Extent and relevance of knowledge and experience in census and survey methodology.
• Extent and relevance of experience in designing, planning and managing large-scale surveys and/or censuses.
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in low and middle-income countries.
• Extent and relevance of experience in the preparation, editing and revision of technical/scientific/project documents;
• Extent and relevance of knowledge and experience in software used for processing and analysing census/survey data;
• Extent of experience in providing support to countries for technical assistance in statistics;
• Demonstrated capacity to write technical content in English;
• Excellent communication and inter-personal skills;
• Familiarity with the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS) and the SDG indicators under SDG target 2.5 is an asset.