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Alwin Keil
Consultant / Senior Agricultural Economist , International non-profit
Ostfildern, Germany
I am an agricultural economist with extensive work experience in Asia and Africa. I am passionate about applied, policy relevant research and practical development work aimed at improving people’s livelihoods at scale. I am seeking a position with a governmental body, NGO or UN organization in Western Europe, preferably Germany.
Send email Contact Alwin Keil
Area of Expertise:
  • Agriculture, Livelihoods, Microfinance, Rural
  • Capacity Building, Training, Advocacy, Political
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Policy, Research, Analysis
Professional Experience:
From 2001 to 2004 I was a research fellow at the Institute of Rural Development at Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany. Apart from being engaged in my Ph.D. research (see ‘Education’ below), I taught master-level courses on investment analysis and monitoring and evaluation of development projects. After completing my Ph.D. in 2004, I became a post-doctoral fellow and project leader of IMPENSO (see ‘Education’) until the project ended in December 2005. In addition, I taught master-level courses on microeconomic theory and investment analysis and co-supervised M.Sc. students.
From 2006 to 2012 I held a position as assistant professor at the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Hohenheim, Germany. I was a subproject leader in two phases of a large interdisciplinary project in Vietnam (‘The Uplands Program’), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). I was intensely involved in proposal preparation for this and other research projects. My research focused on farm households’ risk management and technology adoption, as well as poverty and vulnerability assessment. I further developed lecture materials for an international M.Sc. program and taught courses on quantitative research methods, applied econometrics, and rural development strategies and policies. My lectures were very favorably evaluated by the international master students. I also co-supervised international Ph.D. and M.Sc. students.
From January 2013 to January 2019 I held a position as Senior Agricultural Economist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT by its Spanish acronym). Based in New Delhi, India, I was the principal CIMMYT economist in the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA), funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID (total budget 60 million USD). The overall goal of CSISA is the sustainable intensification of agriculture in the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the most important breadbasket of South Asia. I designed and implemented studies to assess the adoption and impact of productivity enhancing and labor- and fuel saving technologies, using novel methods of electronic data capture and up to 20 enumerators and research assistants. Primary topics were the use of zero-tillage in wheat, sustainable intensification pathways for fallow land, and enhancing smallholders’ income through sustainable commercial maize production. All research activities were aimed at deducing practical recommendations for enhancing impact at scale, including viable scaling mechanisms and enabling policies, and were carried out in close collaboration with other international and national research and extension partners. Further tasks comprised capacity building of project partners (electronic data capture, monitoring & evaluation, business development) and intense involvement in fund raising and strategy development, as well as regular donor interaction.
Since February 2019 I have worked for CIMMYT as a consultant, based in Germany.
In 1999 I completed a B.Sc. degree in Agriculture at Gesamthochschule Kassel/Witzenhausen in Germany, majoring in crop production in the tropics and sub-tropics. An overall grade of 1.1 (passed with distinction) earned me an award by the ‘Gustav Hacker Foundation’ as best B.Sc. graduate. I received a scholarship from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) to spend six months in the Philippines to conduct my thesis research. In affiliation with the ‘World Agroforestry Center’ (ICRAF) I investigated the adoption of vegetative erosion control measures in Mindanao among a random sample of 130 farm households.
In 2001 I completed an M.Sc. degree in Tropical Agriculture at Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany. My course work focused on production economics and socioeconomics of rural development, and the overall grade obtained was 1.0 (passed with distinction). On a DAAD scholarship and, again, in affiliation with ICRAF, I spent six months in Zambia to carry out my thesis research. Under difficult logistical conditions I conducted a survey among a random sample of 100 farm households in the Eastern Province to investigate the adoption of improved tree fallows for soil fertility replenishment and its determinants.
In 2004 I received a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Economics from Georg-August-University Göttingen. My dissertation entitled ‘The socio-economic impact of ENSO-related drought on farm households in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia’ was graded ‘summa cum laude’ and earned the ‘Josef G. Knoll Science Award’ in 2006 (German award for outstanding research on food security issues). My Ph.D. research was conducted within the interdisciplinary project ‘The Impact of ENSO on Sustainable Water Management and Local Communities at a Rainforest Margin in Indonesia’ (IMPENSO), funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It involved a 15-months stay in Indonesia to design and implement primary data collection, using both qualitative and quantitative research methods and extensive interaction with diverse stakeholders.
Available for:
  • Consulting assignments
  • Job opportunities
  • Being headhunted – make me an offer

    Years of Experience:
    15-20 years
    Highest Qualification:
    English, German
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