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One Acre Fund Program Associate Job in Kenya

Organization Description

One Acre Fund is a start-up initiative in Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi which works with persistently hungry farm families. Instead of giving handouts to families, One Acre invests in farm families to generate a permanent gain in farm income.

Our "investment bundle" includes education, financing, inputs, and export market access. Our program is designed to be usable by the extreme poor, and generates a lasting, 100%+ gain in farm income.

We have been operating since January 2006, and we currently serve 30,000 farm families (100,000+ children). Our target is to change the lives of 50,000 families (200,000 children) within 18 more months, scaling at a 50-100% annual growth rate thereafter.

One Acre Fund is one of the most externally-validated social start-ups of 2006, winning grants from the highly competitive Echoing Green, Draper Richards and Skoll Foundations, and first place wins at the Stanford and Yale social venture competitions.


Job Description

We are seeking exceptional professionals with 2-4 years work experience, and a demonstrated long-term career interest in international development. They will serve in a career-track position that combines both field and management experience in Africa.

As a young organization, we are ready to hand over large responsibility for specific, well-defined work modules, with similar structure to an operations consulting role.

Projects will be focused on improvements to One Acre Fund’s program model – as opposed to day-to-day operations, which are operated by our country staff. The typical program associate leads three major projects, and several smaller ones.

Example projects include:
  • Operations projects. We recently started large-scale purchase and sale of bean seed. The program associate devised a protocol for purchasing seed from farmers, worked through field staff to enroll hundreds of farmers in the program, created financial protocols for payment processing, and set up a warehouse receiving/ processing operation.
  • New model configuration experiments. One Acre Fund is currently experimenting with several different program model configurations, led by a program associate. He is setting up the infrastructure to set up a fertilizer savings program with a bank, and field-trialing the program with 200 farmers in two sites, in cooperation with two of our managers.
  • Financial processes. We have a program associate who is leading up an effort to rationalize our financial processes. As a result of his work, we will now have monthly data on actual expenses vs. budget across all budget line items and five different operating units. He will gradually hand this off to two office staff that he is managing. Having this data will lead us into the next phase of the work, which is to design and implement a wide variety of cost-cutting programs.

We are looking for somebody truly extraordinary for the program associate role. This is an extremely competitive posting for a career-track role. Only 3% of applicants make it to a phone screen.

Therefore, please apply if you fit these criteria:
  • Strong work experiences. Examples include a high-level professional work experience, or some kind of successful entrepreneurial experience (e.g. starting a field program in a developing country, leading a conference, starting a business, solid Peace Corps accomplishments).
  • Leadership experience at work, or outside of work.
  • Top-performing undergraduate background (please include GPA and relevant test scores on your resume).
  • We are all stable people who are fun to be around and are passionate about our work. We are looking for others that combine strong leadership skills with a humble approach to service.
  • A willingness to commit to living in rural areas of East Africa for at least two years – this is a long-term, career-track role. The ideal candidate will have at least one year demonstrated experience working in the developing world, although this is not a strict requirement.
  • Nice to have: Kiswahili or Kinyrwandan a plus. English required, and French required in Rwanda.
  • Ability to cook/ laugh/ extraordinary patience – all desirable.
Preferred Start Date: Flexible

Compensation: Starts very modest. However, this is a career-track role eventually paying a real and livable salary for a long-term placement in developing nations.

Benefits: Health cover, immunizations, flight, room and board. 2 annual home flights provided – home trips include some speaking and fundraising duties

Career development: Quarterly management consulting-style career reviews, and significant investment in career development. Your manager will invest significant time in your career development.

Sponsor International Candidates: Yes

How to apply

Email cover letter and resume to (Subject line: Program Associate Search + name of the site that referred you)

Closing date: 31 May 2011

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