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Project Manager Job Vacancy

General: Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources.

Position Title: Project Manager, Kenya Smallholder Solar Irrigation Project 
 
Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Unit: Water, Energy & Infrastructure

Reports To: US-based Home Office Coordinator

Position Summary: Winrock International is seeking a full-time professional with a background in renewable energy and/or agriculture to coordinate the DuPont/Winrock Kenya Smallholder Solar Irrigation Project, to be implemented in targeted counties in Kenya.

The Project Manager will be based in DuPont’s Nairobi corporate office and will travel to field sites regularly.

The position is full-time for one year and may be extended depending on availability of funds.

The Smallholder Solar Irrigation Project is led by Winrock, in partnership with DuPont Kenya and Amiran Kenya Ltd., and supported by Chase Bank and Equity Bank.

The Project aims to increase commercial sales of photovoltaic irrigation pumps to smallholder farmers who could significantly increase their incomes in one of two ways: 

1) by eliminating the on-going cost and difficulty of acquiring petrol/diesel fuel for water pumping; or

2) by being able to convert from rain-fed to irrigated farming in areas where it is not feasible to pump water using treadle pumps.

The Project’s objectives are to:
1.    Assess solar water pumps (SWPs) currently available in Kenya and identify high-quality models suitable for a range of smallholder farmer needs;
2.    Conduct successful demonstrations of solar water pumps in target counties;
3.    Document the costs and benefits to farmers who purchase SWPs, to verify the payback time and increased revenue from improved crops;
4.    Enhance the capacity of value chain stakeholders, including farmers and farmers’ groups, borehole drillers, SWP suppliers, and USAID Feed the Future initiatives, to install, operate and maintain SWPs, and utilize the pumped water to increase production and income;
5.    Improve access to financing, in collaboration with financial institutions and DuPont, to address the barrier of the relatively high upfront cost of SWPs; and Achieve commercial sales of at least 500 SWPs to farmers targeted by the project, over a two year period.
The Kenya Smallholder Solar Irrigation Project is funded by USAID as part of the Renewable Energy Leader with Associates (RELWA) program (www.RELWA.org), which aims to scale up access to and adoption of renewable energy (RE) globally, through the provision of technical assistance and project implementation.

The RELWA shares the goals of USAID’s Powering Ag initiative (www.powering.org), which focuses on increasing farmer access to RE technologies which can improve agricultural productivity, sustainability, and income

Responsibilities:

Serve as Manager of the Kenya Smallholder Solar Irrigation Project.

Marketing and Sales of Solar Pumps and Horticultural Products
  • Establish working relationships with existing agriculture initiatives that can help the Project target farmers who could benefit from SWPs. Examples include USAID/Winrock’s Kenya Yes Youth Can Western project; the USAID Kenya Horticultural Competitiveness Project; the USAID Kenya Agriculture Value Chain Enterprises (KAVES) initiative; the One Acre Fund; ICS; and national Agricultural Training Centers.
  • Set up demonstrations of SWPs in target counties which overlap with USAID Feed the Future counties, likely to include Machakos, Makueni, and Kakamega.
Capacity Building
  • Working with Winrock’s US-based solar pumping expert, coordinate trainings for farmers, pump retailers and technicians, and greenhouse/drip kit retailers (including Amiran and SunCulture) to demonstrate how to properly size, install and use solar water pumps.
  • Train extension workers, agronomists, and managers from USAID Feed the Future projects (KAVES, YYC) and other agricultural initiatives on integrating solar irrigation into their agricultural value chain projects.
  • Coordinate trainings for micro-finance and bank officers, including Chase Bank and Equity Bank, in carrying out due diligence on loan requests for SWPs, and understanding how solar pumping might be linked with other agricultural loans.
  • Assist lenders with screening tools to identify farmers who are good candidates for purchasing a SWP.
Micro-Finance
  • Assist farmers’ groups to link farmers to sources of financing for SWPs, including Equity Bank, Chase Bank, and the four youth-managed Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) in Western Kenya, which are receiving capacity building training from the Kenya Yes Youth Can Western project.
  • Work with the USAID Financial Inclusion for Rural Enterprises (FIRM) initiative to develop SWP loan products suitable to be included under USAID DCA guarantee.
Project Management
  • Review results of initial assessments and incorporate the recommendations into a detailed workplan for the project (assessment of market demand for SWPs, and assessment of SWP availability in Kenya).
  • Coordinate communications with key project partners including DuPont, Pannar Seeds, Pioneer Seeds, Amiran, Starke Ayers, SWP suppliers, lending institutions, USAID Feed the Future staff, and farmer organizations such as the One Acre Fund.
  • Work closely with Winrock US-based technical staff and home office staff to plan work, regularly monitor project progress and results, and submit required USAID reports.
  • Identify any problems with design of the Project, partnership issues, or other implementation challenges, and recommend to the Home Office Coordinator changes needed to resolve them.
The applicant will also be required to:
  • Represent Winrock and at meetings and conferences as needed.
  • Oversee project activities to ensure smooth management and timely implementation.
  • Address and proactively identify problems and challenges.
  • Closely follow the implementation plan and monitor each deliverable.
Qualifications and Experience:
  • Excellent written and spoken English and Swahili
  • Minimum five years’ experience, including project management/rural development projects
  • The ideal candidate will have both non-profit and private sector experience working on agriculture and/or renewable energy
  • Demonstrated track record of effectively coordinating stakeholders and project partners from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences
  • Enthusiasm for networking and cooperating with other projects
  • Excellent management, communication, and organization skills
  • Strong analytic and writing skills
  • Experience in the agricultural or renewable energy field, or similar fields
  • Excellent computer skills (word-processing, spreadsheets, power-point, and databases)
  • Comfortable in high-level representational role as well as interacting with villagers
Education:
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred. 
  • Preferred disciplines include project management, agriculture, renewable energy, or rural development.
Questions for Written Response:

All candidates must prepare a written response (no more than 1 page total) to both questions below.

Please attach the response to the application.

Applications received without a response to both questions below will not be considered.

1. This Project has an ambitious target of sales of 500 SWPs, and aims to generate momentum for pump sales to continue to expand after the project is over. What do you see as the most likely barriers to reaching these goals, and how would you recommend overcoming them?

2. What do you see as the keys to maintaining a positive and results-oriented public-private partnership between Winrock, DuPont and local SWP suppliers throughout this project?

Salary & Benefits: The salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Excellent benefits.

Applications: Applicants should go to www.winrock.org to the Jobs link and submit a current resume and cover letter referencing Project Manager – Kenya SWP by January 16, 2014.


Winrock would like to graciously thank all applicants for their interest but only candidates who meet all requisite criteria and are short listed will be contacted.

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