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Markets and Trade Analyst

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Due Date: December 20, 2023
Markets and Trade Analyst

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Introduction

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is an integrated set of activities funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is intended to provide timely, accurate, evidence-based, and transparent food security early warning information and analysis. Created in 1985 in response to famines in East and West Africa, FEWS NET provides global coverage through a mix of presence and remote monitoring. FEWS NET’s work is implemented across several pillars by a team of partners that includes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Geological Survey, the University of California-Santa Barbara’s Climate Hazards Center, American Institutes for Research, and Chemonics International (Chemonics). Chemonics houses FEWS NET’s Early Warning Team (EWT), a team charged with integrated emergency food insecurity analysis through a Washington-based technical office and more than 20 FEWS NET offices.

Based on an in-depth understanding of local livelihoods, the EWT monitors information and data on factors that affect food security, such as weather conditions and climate, crops, pasture, markets and trade, and nutrition. The FEWS NET EWT produces regular reports, including Food Security Outlooks and Outlook Updates, emergency alerts, market and price updates, and global weather hazards analyses. FEWS NET makes reports available at www.fews.net and distributes them globally to governments, relief agencies, and other organizations engaged in humanitarian response and development programs.

The seventh phase of FEWS NET began in 2019. The work of FEWS NET EWT relies on close collaboration with international, regional, and national partners on food security data and information gathering and analysis. Major activities include joint monitoring and assessments, data exchanges, collaborative analysis and reporting, and technical capacity strengthening. FEWS NET supports local and regional food security networks to contribute to achieving the global objective of food security for all.

Position Description

FEWS NET food security analysis, early warning, and decision support for emergency food assistance rely on the monitoring and analysis of markets and prices associated with staple foods, cash crops, livestock, and labor. The markets and trade analyst supports the Washington, D.C. and project office operations for the markets and trade (M&T) sector. Key duties include preparing technical reports on market trends, contributing to the technical oversight of the project’s analytical approaches, and providing technical M&T support to FEWS NET EWT home, regional, and field offices and technical partners. The markets and trade analyst is part of a close-knit team of food security-focused technicians based in Washington, D.C.

The markets and trade analyst works within an assigned geographic and/or thematic portfolio and in close collaboration with members of home, regional, and field office technical teams to:

  • Prepare and/or provide technical oversight to M&T-focused reports and decision-support products
  • Contribute to population and expansion of FEWS NET’s data sets used for markets and trade analysis, with a focus on domains including prices, cross-border trade, production, and balance sheet data 
  • Analyze primary and secondary market data as inputs to FEWS NET EWT integrated food security analysis
  • Contribute to the development of sector-relevant analytical tools and train technical staff on the use of those tools

With oversight from the M&T advisor, the markets and trade analyst will work with the rest of the M&T team to support quality control for the M&T deliverables of the project and will help ensure that M&T-related activities and products are delivered in a timely manner

Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of the market and trade analyst in their assigned geographic and/or thematic portfolio include, but are not limited to:

  • Liaising with M&T staff and other FEWS NET EWT members to assure the timely publication of the monthly deliverables reporting on trends in staple food markets in countries the FEWS NET EWT monitors including the Monthly Price Bulletins (national and regional) and Price Watch and Annex.
  • Providing technical oversight for the production of the FEWS NET EWT’ staple food supply and market outlook reports. 
  • Liaising with FEWS NET EWT project staff and partners to facilitate timely data flows.
  • Liaising with country and regional office staff to plan monthly M&T work planning and coordination meetings that take place approximately one week prior to the Regional Office coordination call with the Home Office. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring calendar invitations are sent, agendas are circulated in advance of the meetings, and comprehensive notes and action items are documented and circulated. 
  • Providing support to field teams, the FEWS NET EWT Database Manager, the broader M&T team, and Mobile Data Transmission System subcontractors to improve data quality and integrity.
  • Liaising with the FEWS NET M&T team and data team, and the FEWS NET Data, Knowledge, and Learning Hub to enhance the functionality of various data domains, including but not limited to online and offline analytical tools.
  • Providing technical assistance and guidance to home, regional, and field office teams on market and policy analysis relevant to food insecurity early warning and associated decision support. Technical assistance to the field may be done remotely or may require domestic and/or international travel, as security and public health considerations allow.
  • Participating in regular reviews of the consistency and accuracy of price projections and other M&T-related forecasting in FEWS NET EWT analyses and assist in incorporating associated learning into sector methods, processes, and products.
  • Conducting literature reviews, analyzing data, and drafting reports on market trends and policies in support of the early warning work and in close collaboration with other members of home, regional, and field office technical teams.
  • Liaising with relevant research institutions to support market-related research relevant to food insecurity early warning analysis in FEWS NET reporting and Market Watch countries. 
  • Contributing sector-relevant content to monthly and ad-hoc decision-support products.
  • Assisting the markets and trade advisor, as needed, in implementing other M&T activities.  
    In addition to the above, senior markets and trade analysts will take on more of a leadership role and carry out the following additional illustrative tasks:
  • Leading on analysis for macroeconomic data and trends that influence food security outcomes, including but not limited to responsibility for drafting markets and trade global assumptions, providing technical support to colleagues, identifying and reviewing data sources, and developing and delivering trainings.
  • Leading on analysis for international (non-FEWS NET focus countries) staple food commodities, including but not limited to the production of the international section of the monthly Price Watch, completion of a monthly briefing for the M&T team, identifying and reviewing data sources, and oversight of international data in the FEWS NET Data Warehouse. 
  • Overseeing subcontractors as assigned, including review and approval of deliverables, and relationship management.
  • Overseeing the development of data collection tools. 
  • Leading technical trainings or otherwise providing lead technical support of sectoral relevance.
  • Delivering briefings and other high-level, public-facing decision support of sectoral relevance.
  • Under the direction of the markets and trade advisor, and in collaboration with other members of the M&T team and field offices, liaising with external partners in designing and implementing joint activities of sectoral relevance.
  • Assisting with the supervision of short-term consultants onboarded to support sectoral work.

Qualifications

  • Fluency in English required; French and/or Spanish language skills desirable 
  • Bachelor’s degree in a discipline relevant to the work of FEWS NET, such as economics, agricultural economics, agronomy, nutrition, climatology, anthropology, or social geography is required
  • At least two years of relevant experience (with PhD), four years of relevant experience (with Master’s degree), or six years of relevant experience (with Bachelor’s degree) is required. Relevant experience includes working on food security information systems, food security analysis, early warning, or other related fields; experience working with UN agencies and/or NGOs is desirable 
  • Previous experience living and working in a region or country in which FEWS NET project staff work is desirable
  • Experience building and using large databases to analyze market trends, using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods is desirable
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well with field-based, local staff via telephone and e-mail is required
  • Excellent writing, editing, and presentation skills are required
  • Excellent computer skills including Microsoft office suite are required. 
  • Database management skills and experience using Adobe Creative Suite are desirable
  • Familiarity with ESRI ArcGIS mapping and statistical software is desirable 
  • Previous experience working on USAID-funded activities is desirable

Location and Reporting

The markets and trade analyst is typically based in the Home Office in Washington D.C. and works under the supervision of the markets and trade advisor. While the preference is for the markets and trade analyst to be based in Washington D.C., applicants who do not intend to reside in D.C. are eligible to apply. The markets and trade analyst will collaborate with the Washington-based technical team, regional technical experts, and other technical project staff. The markets and trade analyst will be required to travel domestically and internationally, security conditions (including public health conditions) permitting.

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The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

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