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Career Opportunities at AgResults Kenya

Position: Technical Operations Officer
 
Background: The AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot is a multi-year project, anticipated to run until approximately December 2018, that aims to address post-harvest losses by facilitating the development, marketing and distribution of on-farm storage solutions to smallholder farmers. 

The AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot is just one of many activities of the AgResults Initiative financed jointly by the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Agribusiness Systems International (ASI) serves as Pilot Manager for the AgResults Pilot Project in Kenya, under contract with Deloitte Consulting LLP (United States), which serves as the Secretariat for the AgResults Initiative and reports to the Steering Committee of donor representatives.
 
The pilot aims to increase the economic welfare of smallholders through improved access to enhanced storage solutions that minimize crop losses and enable smallholders to store maize longer, help catalyze a sustainable long-term market for grain storage solutions in Kenya, and test an innovative approach to engaging the private sector to serve smallholder needs, with potential future applicability to the delivery of other goods and services to smallholders.
 
A key feature of this pilot is that pull mechanisms will create incentives for target private sector manufacturers of storage technology to innovate, adapt existing on-farm storage technologies and supply them to smallholder farmers. Note that pull mechanisms overcome market failures by using results-based payments to incentivize innovation and kick-start markets.

They offer ex post payments for results defined ex ante. The pilot will offer performance-based grants to those private sector companies (“Implementers”) for storage devices sold to smallholder farmers.
 
The role of the Technical Operations Officer is to oversee the work of an independently contracted firm(s) to verify the sales that Implementers make, ensure quality of data collection of verifier firm, support preparation of all project reports, and conduct administrative tasks as requested by the Team Leader.

Purpose / Overview of Assignment:
 The Technical Operations Officer fills a pivotal role in the Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot requiring a wide range of technical, management and interpersonal skills. 

In general, the Technical Operations Officer will support Pilot planning, operations and communications among project stakeholders including maintaining the pilot work plan and reporting in the Secretariat’s project management portal. 

The Technical Operations Officer will be responsible for overseeing the Pilot Verification activities carried out by an external organization(s) contracted independently by the Secretariat.

The Technical Operations Officer will also be expected to conduct administrative activities such as inventory management, procurement and other tasks required to carry out pilot activities.

Responsibilities / Tasks:
 
Specifically, the Technical Operations Officer’s responsibilities will include the following: Project Activities:
  • Serve as Acting Team Leader when the Team Leader is absent.
  • Liaise closely and oversee the work done by the organization(s) hired for Pilot Verification services, which are anticipated to include a randomized rural household survey, two market share surveys, and two rounds of sales audits over a period of approximately three and a half years.
  • Responsibilities may include providing input, conducting spot checks and overseeing the following: sales audits and development of indicators to identify potential misreporting; fieldwork and data collection for the surveys; data cleaning, data analysis and reporting.
  • The Technical Operations Officer may also develop, in collaboration with the Verifier, any necessary templates for data collected from the Implementers.
  • Liaise with the Pilot Verifier organization(s) to ensure consistency in work plans and reporting.
  • Support analysis of LGB testing being conducted on the storage products in the Pilot, as needed
  • Support operations, particularly weekly, monthly and quarterly management reporting to the Secretariat and/or Steering Committee.
  • Provide operational support including: administrative tasks, communications & reporting, outreach and research as may be required.
  • In collaboration with the Team Leader, liaise with project stakeholders including Advisory Council members, Implementers, the Pilot Verifier organization(s), and government officials.
  • Maintain all project documentation at the Kenya country office.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor or his/her designee.
Qualifications
 
To perform the role of Technical Operations Officer successfully, an individual must be able to perform each activity described above with a high level of quality and attention to detail. 

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.
  • Minimum of five years of experience overseeing surveys and data collection, preferably in the field of agriculture or agribusiness.
  • Bachelor’s degree required in research methods, statistics, economics or other related field; master’s degree preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience and effectiveness developing and overseeing surveys, data collection, survey protocols, data cleaning, and data analysis and reporting.
  • Excellent communicating and problem solving abilities.
  • Demonstrated excellence in oral, written and reading comprehension abilities.
  • Training and/or experience with SPSS, Stata, SAS, LIMDEP or other appropriate statistics software packages.
  • Proficient with Power Point, MSProject and other Microsoft programs.

Position: Team Leader
 
Background: The AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot is a multi-year project, anticipated to run until approximately December 2018 that aims to address post-harvest losses by facilitating the development, marketing and distribution of on-farm storage solutions to smallholder farmers. 

The AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot is just one of many activities of the AgResults Initiative financed jointly by the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Agribusiness Systems International (ASI) serves as Pilot Manager for the AgResults Pilot Project in Kenya, under contract with Deloitte Consulting LLP (United States), which serves as the Secretariat for the AgResults Initiative and reports to the Steering Committee of donor representatives.
 
The pilot aims to increase the economic welfare of smallholders through improved access to enhanced storage solutions that minimize crop losses and enable smallholders to store maize longer, help catalyze a sustainable long-term market for grain storage solutions in Kenya, and test an innovative approach to engaging the private sector to serve smallholder needs, with potential future applicability to the delivery of other goods and services to smallholders.

A key feature of this pilot is that pull mechanisms will create incentives for target private sector manufacturers of storage technology to innovate, adapt existing on-farm storage devices and supply them to smallholder farmers. 

Note that pull mechanisms overcome market failures by using results-based payments to incentivize innovation and kick-start markets. They offer ex post payments for results defined ex ante. The pilot will offer performance-based grants to those private sector companies (“Implementers”) for storage
devices sold to smallholder farmers.

The role of ASI as Pilot Manager and the Team Leader as the Key Personnel is to facilitate the pilot in close collaboration with the Secretariat, serve as primary point of contact for the storage device companies (referred to as Implementers) for the Pilot, and facilitate an Advisory Council that provides guidance to the Pilot. 

It will be important for the Team Leader to avoid playing the role traditionally played of a technical advisor when implementing a push mechanism program, as the AgResults pilot is a pull mechanism that requires a hands-off, neutral facilitator role of the Team Leader.

Purpose / Overview of Assignment:
 The Team Leader will assume overall responsibility for facilitating the implementation of the AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot, in close coordination and communication with the Secretariat as our primary Client. 

This position will ensure compliance with all Client regulations and ASI policies, as well as ensure all deliverables are submitted on time and within budget. 

The team leader will be responsible for implementing and monitoring the program work plan, meeting quality work standards and ensuring that program deliverables are met on a timely basis. 

The team leader will be responsible for financial management, which includes managing the project budget to ensure all expenditures are in compliance with ASI and Client donor policies and regulations, and monitoring funds disbursal and financial record keeping. 

Furthermore, the Team Leader will oversee the administration and compliance of the pilot, which includes overseeing procurement for the program and confirming all activities are in compliance with terms stipulated in our contract with the Client as well as ASI policies and procedures.
 
Responsibilities/Tasks:
 
The Team Leader will be responsible for quality delivery of all work in the facilitation of the AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot.
 
The Team Leader, in collaboration with the remainder of the Pilot Manager team, will ensure that all deliverables and other products related to the Pilot will be clear, well thought out, complete and thoroughly checked for quality control.
 
The Team Leader will be responsible to undertake the following tasks:
 
Pilot Project Management:
  • Assume overall responsibility for the implementation of AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot
  • Implement and monitor the program work plan, meeting expectations of quality work standards and ensuring program deliverables are met on a timely basis
  • Ensure proper financial management by reviewing that expenditures are in compliance with ASI policies and Client requirements, monitoring funds disbursal, reviewing financial records and reviewing monthly financial status reports
  • Oversee the administration and compliance of the program, which includes overseeing procurement of any project resources, liaising with regional office to draw down on administration and logistical support staff as needed and confirming all activities are in compliance with donor regulations and ASI policies and procedures.
  • Draft, write and submit all program reports and deliverables
  • Supervise any consultants or contracted services (including ACDI/VOCA employees) working for the program.
Project Activities:
  • Develop an annual work plan to be submitted to the Secretariat for consideration within 30 days of the new project year.
  • Monitor and ensure the Pilot Work Plan is implemented.
  • Track, identify and inform the Secretariat in quarterly reports of all completed activities and propose necessary amendments at the end of each quarter.
  • Identify potential problems and opportunities, and recommend appropriate solutions and responses to the Secretariat before taking action.
  • Coordinate the meetings of the Advisory Council.
  • Manage and oversee the implementer application and selection process.
  • Oversee program support and ancillary activities, including but not limited to the LGB-proof testing process and, in close coordination with the Technical Advisor, oversee spot checks, communication with the testing firm, and regular reporting to the Secretariat, (and upon approval from the Secretariat, to the implementers.)
  • Coordinate dispute resolution and fraud management processes.
  • Manage annual Lessons-Learned Exercises and submit the summary of these exercises to the Secretariat on a yearly basis.
  • Ensure effective stakeholder engagement, public outreach and communications.
  • Ensure quality verbal and written reporting on Pilot operations as required.
  • Maintain neutrality in all aspects of the facilitation of the Pilot.
  • Ensure that Pilot deliverables are met on a timely basis and keep the Secretariat informed of all delays or changes to the timeline.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Contract Deliverables which Team Leader is responsible for achieving, preparing, overseeing, and/or submitting:
  • An annual high-level Work Plan in MS Project, which shall be amended quarterly if needed.
  • A detailed Work Tracker submitted as needed and agreed upon with the Secretariat.
  • Quarterly reports for every year of the agreement.
  • Quarterly submission, or as appropriate, of the data needed for tracking the Pilot indicators for the Results Framework.
  • Annual lessons learned report following the lessons learned exercise.
  • One final report at the end of the agreement after implementation is completed (due approximately Dec 7, 2018)
  • Periodic contributions to Secretariat biannual reporting in January and July.
  • All meeting minutes, submitted to the Secretariat within one week following monthly Team Meetings and within two weeks following Advisory Council meetings.
  • A report on the LGB Proof testing results of each product tested.
  • Develop and maintain a data library including but not limited to – maintenance of all project documents and key communication, implementer application and review documents and process, implementer sales records, verification results and reports, grant tracking and management, and LGB testing results.
  • Other ad hoc reports or information as requested by the Client or Supervisor or his/her designee
Qualifications
 
To perform the role of Team Leader successfully, an individual must be able to perform each activity described above with a high level of quality and attention to detail. 

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.
  • Minimum of ten years of experience working in agribusiness and with understanding of smallholder farmers particular needs and concerns.
  • Bachelor’s degree required in agriculture, international development, economics or other related field; master’s degree preferred.
  • Excellent project management, time management, verbal and written communication, and problem solving abilities.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness interacting with agro-industry stakeholders, including government, private sector and research organizations.
  • Demonstrated excellence in oral, written and reading comprehension abilities.
  • Experience with multi-media applications, including Power Point, MSProject and other Microsoft programs.
Applicants should respond via e-mail to ASIKenya@joinav.org.


Closing date for receipt of the applications will be Friday, 13th Februray 2015.

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