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Programme Specialist Job Vacancy


GSMA mFarmer initiative, Mobile Agriculture Programme Specialist 

Based in London, UK or Nairobi, Kenya: Fixed term Contract

Please note - to apply for this role you must have had demonstrable experience in applying the use of IT/mobile communications that improve the impact of agriculture value chain projects - actual experience of this must be in your CV.

GSMA: The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Congress.

GSMA Development Fund: The GSMA Development Fund Exists to accelerate economic, social and environmental development through the use of mobile technology. We believe that providing tangible, accessible mobile services to people in developing countries is invaluable to society and can help improve people’s lives. The Development Fund leverages the industry expertise of the GSMA and its members, as well as the development expertise of international agencies and non-profit organisations to accelerate mobile services.

Together with our partners we incubate and replicate new mobile services in communities where they can make a positive difference.

GSMA mAgri Programme and mFarmer Initiative: The GSMA Development Fund’s mAgri Programme works to catalyse the deployment of mobile solutions that benefit the agricultural sector. These solutions are designed to address the problems of low yield, income and the value chain inefficiencies that beset the world’s poorest farmers.

The mFarmer Initiative was launched in 2011 in partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID.

The scope of the initiative is to facilitate the creation and scaling of modern agriculture solutions that bridge the information gap and increase the yield and income of rural small-holders.

The mFarmer initiative achieves its aims by working closely with mobile network operators (GSMA members) and other public and private sector agriculture organisations who are implementing agricultural services.

To foster innovation and accelerate deployments – the mFarmer initiative will award challenge funds, technical assistance and an electronic content database to circa 4-6 projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and India.

The GSMA mAgri team will work closely on the ground with these projects to ensure their success.

The mAgri team will also work to raise advocacy for agriculture value added services more broadly within the industry, by ensuring that key industry developments, learnings and best practices are appropriately packaged and shared; and convene the industry in order to better understand and resolve key issues facing agriculture VAS initiatives.

For more information, visit http://gsmworld.com/mfarmer

Responsibilities The GSMA mAgri Programme seeks an experienced agriculture consultant to work closely with the Director and other key advisors to oversee and implement the mFarmer projects in line with donor and GSMA strategy.

The consultant will be the agriculture SME for the GSMA mAgri team. They are required to work acros s a number of projects and projects teams with multiple priorities. It will be a complex and continuously changing environment across many cultures.

The incumbent must possess a unique blend of agriculture and a business appreciation; a big-picture vision, and the drive to make that vision a reality. They should enjoy spending time in the market to understand needs, and find innovative solutions for the broader market.

Main Accountabilities: 

Technical Assistance (60%) – to work directly with 4-6 mFarmer services and provide agricultural consultancy to guide new innovative approaches to use mobile to deliver in demand information to farmers.

They will oversee the design and implementation of market needs assessments, agriculture content plans and gender plans with each service provider. The consultant will support service providers to ensure the agricultural service is designed and implemented to provide a high-quality of service and impact to farmers; and can be scaleable and sustainable.

They will develop and manage key stakeholders relationships critical for the programme’s success, including agriculture and farmer’s institutes, mobile phone operators, and donor agencies. They will work with potential agriculture partners to market the mFarmer initiative and its benefits.

Best practice and knowledge sharing (20%) – through product and service development with mFarmer services the consultant will refine best case practices and tools for wider publication and use in future programme development.

This could be in the form of writing case studies and online reports and conducting knowledge sharing sessions via working groups, webinars and workshops (in collaboration with the other mAgri team members).

The consultant will develop knowledge sharing plans with other key donor agriculture partners to learn and share lessons from other key initiatives. The consultant will be the agriculture evangelist to the industry for the mAgri programme and represent GSMA and the GSMA mAgri programme and mFarmer Initiative to donors, governments and other key stakeholders.

Programme and project monitoring (20%) – to oversee the initiative’s monitoring and evaluation function. Deliver project reports to donors and partners including USAID and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The best candidate for this position matches this profile: 

  • Advanced degree in agriculture science, agribusiness, agriculture economics, or an equivalent related field.
  • Solid experience of working on complex agriculture projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and/or South Asia.
  • Experience managing and implementing donor projects (experience with USAID program management preferred)
  • Demonstrated knowledge on approaches to use information and communications technology that improve the impact of agriculture value chain projects. This must be in your CV.
  • M&E skills and experience
  • Experience of working on gender initiatives preferred
  • Knowledge of donor reporting systems and requirements, including programmatic and financial reporting
  • Proactive consultant who can creatively identify opportunities and suggest ways of improving existing processes
  • Strong interpersonal skills and highly professional - comfortable interacting with internal and external stakeholders, including C level executives
  • Proven ability to influence cross-functional and cross-organisational teams without formal authority
  • Excellent team player, able to work in fast-paced, deadline-driven environment
  • Must be able to travel 30-40% of the time including global travel
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
The GSMA is able to provide suitably motivated candidates with a first class working environment, access to all of the key decision makers in one of the planet’s largest and most progressive industry’s and the context to keep a curious mind engaged. 

Many of our alumni have now taken key roles in the development of the industry.

This position is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the GSMA.

How to apply: 

Please email your CV to rwilliams@gsm.org, clearly showing that you have had demonstrable experience in applying the use of IT/mobile communications that improve the impact of agriculture value chain projects - actual experience of this must be in your CV.

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