About One Acre Fund
One Acre Fund supplies smallholder farmers with the financing and training they need to grow their way out of hunger and poverty.
Instead of giving handouts, we invest in farmers to generate a permanent gain in farm income. We supply a complete service bundle of seeds and fertilizer, financing, training, and market facilitation—
and we deliver these services within walking distance of the over 800,000 rural farmers we serve. We measure success in our ability to make farmers more prosperous and we always put Farmers First.
One Acre Fund has a robust research program spanning all countries of operation including thousands of farmers and well over a hundred agronomic and socioeconomic trials every year.
The Data Scientist will be on the Agriculture Research Team, which works directly with each in-country research team (Innovations Teams) to identify new research opportunities and provide technical support where needed.
Adapt agronomic elements of the program to heterogeneous conditions
Work with internal and external agricultural scientists to analyze field crop yield gap drivers and develop agronomic hypotheses to be tested through on-
farm trials. This involves aggregation of weather, soil, pest and disease, and agronomic data to analyze the magnitude of various sources of yield variation in different areas of program operation
Coordinate with field teams to collect the data we need and set and execute analysis plans
External collaborations and relationship management
We will be working with external partners to develop scalable, data-driven development tools for not only One Acre Fund clients but smallholders outside of our program as well.
This may include development of a plant disease visual diagnosis app and using remote sensing to predict maize yields. It may also include working with our in-
house MIR spectroscopy lab to improve soil chemical parameter prediction models and directly predict yields from soil spectra
You will be responsible for managing much of the external-facing work related to these initiatives including interfacing with donors and researchers
Capacity building and advising
Enable and improve the analyses of other analysts both within the Agricultural Research Team and in other departments.
Serve as a teacher of teachers by building the skills of other analysts who provide analytical support within the organization.
Training topics may include questionnaire design and execution, efficient data cleaning, outlier management, model selection and interpretation, and predictive analyses
Advise on organizational decisions about data systems management
Exploration The Agricultural Research Team is an inherently exploratory team; our task is identifying new impact opportunities for in-
country research teams (Innovation Teams) to assess and scale. We anticipate that the Data Scientist will take on exploratory analyses, propose new global research programs, change the way that we approach existing analyses, and identify new avenues by which One Acre Fund can deliver data-
driven impact to smallholder farmers
5+ years of experience
In-depth knowledge of analysis and data science
MSc or PhD in a highly quantitative field such as data science, statistics, econometrics, or applied mathematics required
Sound professional or research experience applying advanced analytical methods to answer practical questions
Experience and comfort with geospatial analysis
Experience with field experiments, experimental design, missing data, survey sampling, and / or panel data
Experience with observational causal inference (e.g. regression adjustment, matching, propensity score stratification), or quasi-
experimental methods (e.g., instrumental variables, regression discontinuity, interrupted time series)
Experience managing data systems. A successful data scientist candidate can create and use efficient data storage systems for analyses
Fluency with R mandatory
A passion for impact and application of findings, not just research for the sake of research
Fluency in English required, Kiswahili and / or French encouraged
A willingness to live and work in East Africa for at least two years
Will be a plus
Experience with computer science
Knowledge of causal graphical models
Professional or research experience in agriculture and / or development