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Project Manager Job Vacancy

GVEP International

Position:
 Agriculture Project Manager
 
Location: Rwanda
 
Reports to: Programme Manager

Organization Background:
 GVEP International (Global Village Energy Partnership) is a UK charity seeking to reduce poverty in Africa through accelerated access to modern energy products and services. 

To do this we support the development of a broad range of micro and small businesses and project companies in the energy economy, by providing them with high-quality financial, technical and business management support services so that they can growth and deliver access to energy in of grid areas. 
 


In Rwanda, GVEP has developed a new programme which goal is to support the growth of a sustained market for off-grid renewable energy by helping the private sector to deliver access to energy to 120.000 people in rural areas, in a way that is inclusive of people living in poverty.

This programme will comprise three project components, designed and developed to respond to the country’s challenges and the government’s priorities with regards to poverty reduction and energy access in rural areas:
  • Component 1: Renewable Energy Small Projects (RESP) Development Facility: to accelerate the development of small grid-connected or isolated mini-grid RESP projects,
  • Component 2: Pico-hydro project development: to support the development of pico-hydro micro-utilities
  • Component 3: Energy and Farming: to increase productivity for small farmers through access to appropriate solar powered irrigation systems.
The programme implementation is expected to start in 2016 and in this context GVEP is seeking an agriculture specialist to lead on the Energy & Farming component of the programme. 

The Energy and farming components will be implemented in two stages: A design phase and an implementation phase. The project will consist in providing of a holistic package of interventions addressing all the barriers that may exist to smallholders’ access to appropriate solar irrigation technology and growth prospects.  

This includes mentoring, help in accessing finance, participating in value chains and other technical assistance expertise. As well as encouraging demand from farmers, the project will also simultaneously help the private sector establish supply chains for successful market introduction of the technology.
 
 
The Role:
 The Agriculture Project Manager will lead on the design and implementation phase of the Energy & Farming component, providing technical advisory on irrigation, farming and financing model / mechanism that are appropriate to the beneficiaries.
 
He/she will establish partnership with local NGOs, farmer cooperatives and government stakeholders, and will work closely with relevant actors in the agriculture value chain to ensure successful introduction of solar irrigation systems to the market and adoption by farmers in the selected parts of the country. 

He/ She will work in close collaboration with the Programme Technical Manager (PTM) who will lead and guide the project with regard to its energy component.

Key Responsibilities
  • In collaboration with the Programme Technical Manager (PTM), lead on the delivery of the project design phase that is tailored to the local farming activities’ methods, crop seasonality, needs and challenges, including:
1.    Lead on the identification of project target regions with high irrigation potential and need for irrigation improvement.
2.    Work with the relevant government agencies (RAB and REMA) to ensure alignment with their priorities , as well as to reach out to small farmers communities
3.    Build alliance and coordinate partnership with local agri-focused organisations with significant extension network to help with farmer mobilisation and buy-in during implementation phase
4.    Conduct baseline assessment/farmer needs assessment to inform project design.
5.    Supplier survey assessment: Support the PTM in identifying appropriate solar irrigation suppliers, assessing their needs and initiating engagement with them
6.    In collaboration with the project Capital Access Officer support the design of a financial mechanism that is appropriate to the needs of farmers and start engagement with financial institutions
7.    Establish partnership with other relevant stakeholders as appropriate such as farmer cooperatives
8.    In collaboration with the programme manager and the PTM produce an action plan and procurement process for the implementation phase based on the findings and recommendations provided in the design phase
  • Lead on the delivery of the project implementation phase and provide technical inputs in close collaboration with other team members , including:
1.    Lead on project mobilization and outreach to farmers. Organize, promote and manage outreach events.
2.    Support in final selection and engagement with solar irrigation suppliers (including preparation of tender documents specifying product requirements and evaluation criteria)
3.    Support in providing technical and finance assistance to solar suppliers in particular on market development activities to reach out to farmers
4.    Support in establishing and setting up a financing facility to provide access to finance to both suppliers and farmers
5.    Lead on setting up with solar irrigation suppliers and distribution agents a process to provide support to farmers before, during and after the purchasing cycle.
  •  Participate in mainstreaming gender in activities to ensure women among the target beneficiaries of the project
  • Strengthening and maintaining relations with relevant government line ministries and private sector/research institutions to coordinate the adoption of new products and/or approaches in agriculture development and marketing
  • Design a strategy to strengthen linkages with any other NGO’s, private sector and service providers or government agencies  in supporting and addressing various farmer’s needs
  • Develop project work plans and ensure timely implementation of the project activities in line with work plans and activity schedules
  • Provide support and guidance to the programmer manager to develop, review, oversee and review project strategy and activities related to the implementation of the project according to the project design, risk and challenges encountered during implementation;
  • Provide technical assistance for the design of the project’s monitoring and evaluation strategy. Support in developing M&E system to measure profitability and relevant business indicators of targeted farmers.
  • Monitor, identify and advice on challenges and risks facing the implementation of the project
  • Ensuring  the provision of quality data on a timely basis for internal project management and external reporting purposes;
  • Contribute to dissemination of good practice and lessons from the organization’s work and promote experience sharing and learning in the organization and among partners
  • Supporting project reporting and assisting programme management in other activities as and when necessary.
  • Organize and assist with management of project budgets.
  • Team management
Required skills and experience
  • Master’s degree in agricultural economics, agribusiness management or Agronomy, 
  • 3-5 years’ experience in agro-business development and management of agriculture focused projects in Rwanda.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work with private sector players (financial institutions, buyers, traders, transporters, input suppliers, processors in agriculture value chain)
  • Experience with commonly used tools for market analysis and program design such as sub-sector analysis, gross margin analysis and business planning.
  • Knowledge of agronomic principles and practices, including crops, soils and nutrients.
  • Experience in the practices, principles and operations associated with modern production agriculture and irrigation. Expertise in small scale irrigation management;
  • Experience with irrigation technologies ; Experience with solar irrigation technology a real advantage
  • Proven experience delivering agriculture focussed programme to improve livelihood and reduce poverty of smallholder farmers in Rwanda
  • Knowledge of the agriculture sector in Rwanda and its regulation and stakeholders
  • High level of computer literacy (primarily in Microsoft Office packages).
  • Excellent planning and time management skills and ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to work calmly under pressure to deliver as part of a team
  • A high level of attention to detail and accuracy in working with numbers;
  • Strong analytical ability, able to evaluate and to appraise critically quantitative and qualitative information.
  • Fluent in Local languages and English.
  • Knowledge of the energy sector and its challenges preferred
  • The position will require regular travel within remote rural areas Rwanda
Interested candidates should forward their cover letters and CVS and indicate their minimum salary requirement to recruitment@gvepinternational.org on or before 20th February, 2016. 

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. 

GVEP is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from qualified individuals regardless of race, religion, national origin or disability.

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