Chief of Party - FtF Southern Africa Seed Trade Project

Lusaka, Zambia
Apply by 2 November 2017
Senior-level , Long-term consulting assignment
Posted on 3 October 2017

Job Description

Project Background:

The Feed the Future Southern Africa Seed Trade Project (the Seed Trade Project) facilitates seed trade across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region by providing technical assistance in the implementation of seed variety testing, registration and release, seed certification and quality assurance, and quarantine and phytosanitary measures for seed. The Seed Trade Project supports activities in Feed the Future focus and aligned countries in the SADC region, including Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

It is necessary to inform activities with: 1) the current status of efforts by the government ministries and agencies of member-states to domesticate the SADC Harmonized Seed Regulations (HSR); 2) the current activities and thinking of seed companies and national seed associations to use the SADC varietal registration and seed certification scheme in their business operations in SADC countries; 3) the status of SADC member-state domestication of SADC harmonization and seed company plans to use the SADC varietal registration and seed certification scheme; 4) the presence and programs of other donor and organizational initiatives that are currently working to harmonize seed regulations, build capacities of public seed certification agencies, public phytosanitary inspection and quarantine for seed pests and diseases, private seed inspection and certification services, and improved customs handling and reporting of seed traded across SADC borders.


The Chief of Party (COP) will be responsible for the technical leadership and management of the regional project from headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia. S/he will serve as the lead interlocutor between USAID and the Seed Trade project team. S/he will work closely with government partners and project staff to identify key issues, develop recommendations, and test solutions. The COP will manage efforts to collaborate with a broad set of stakeholders, including government representatives, civil society, the private sector, and other donors.

Responsibilities and Key Tasks:


  • Provide overall leadership, management and technical direction of the entire program to ensure an integrated vision and successful achievement of Seed Trade objectives;
  • Identify issues and risks related to program implementation and suggest appropriate program adjustments;
  • Serve as principal liaison with donors, Southern African Governments and seed industry organizations; the SADC Secretariat; Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN); and the SADC Seed Centre and relevant international and SADC Member State agencies on technical implementation activities and program communications;
  • Oversee the participatory planning process to produce a strategic work plan for project deliverables; lead development of work plans for project activities;
  • Determine technical resource requirements to implement the Seed Variety Testing, Registration and Release, and Seed Certification and Quality Assurance systems;
  • Provide technical assistance for the implementation and management of the administrative model adopted by the regional seed sector stakeholders for Seed Variety Testing, Registration and Release, and Seed Certification and Quality Assurance;
  • Develop human and institutional capacities at regional and Member States levels for implementing the SADC HSR sustainably;
  • Provide technical assistance to Feed the Future focal countries to acquire required accreditations to facilitate implementation of the SADC HSR.
  • Actively participate in development and implementation of the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Plan and M&E Plan;
  • Submit timely, high quality project deliverables to USAID and DAI; and
  • Responsible for annual work planning development process, implementation of workplan activities, and delivery of annual targets.


  • Oversee all financial and administrative matters for the contract;
  • Work closely with DAI’s Home Office team and raise any risks or concerns with DAI’s Home Office in a timely manner;
  • Meet project financial goals reflected in quarterly corporate forecast budgets;
  • Oversee multiple activities simultaneously, including hiring, training, mentoring, and supervising local personnel;
  • Build the capacity of local staff in both technical and managerial skills;
  • Ensure compliance with local labor law, USAID policies, and DAI policies and procedures; and
  • Represent Seed Trade, USAID, and DAI at public conferences, forums, and events.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Manage, lead, and oversee all expatriate/third-country national, cooperating country national, and regional staff and subcontractors in achieving project results.

Place of Performance and Reporting:

The Chief of Party will be based in Zambia and will report to the DAI Home Office Project Team Director.


  • At least 10 years of expertise in establishing, managing and/or operating programs in the agricultural sector is required;
  • Demonstrated experience working with senior host-country counterparts in national and regional agricultural development activities with substantial experience in the seed sector with private for-profit, public, and/or nonprofit organizations;
  • At least 5 years of progressive management experience on donor-funded programs;
  • Working familiarity with the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), USAID Feed the Future, U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), GIZ, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and World Bank programs;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the SADC and Member State policy and institutions related to agricultural development, seed markets, regional trade, and regional and national agricultural and food security policies, with experience working in Southern Africa required;
  • Strong understanding of the political economy of agricultural development in the region, including SADC institutions and their linkages to seed sector development and the seed regulations harmonization agenda;
  • Clear understanding of the US Government’s assistance in addressing hunger, malnutrition and poverty and how various agencies collaborate in programming, including the roles of regional and bilateral missions;
  • Fluency in English to include excellent written and oral communications skills and proven ability to facilitate regional collaborative efforts; and
  • Advanced degree in agricultural sciences, business administration, or related field.

About the Organization

DAI works at the cutting edge of international development, combining technical excellence, professional project management, and exceptional customer service to solve our clients’ most complex problems. Since 1970, DAI has worked in 150 developing and transition countries, providing comprehensive development solutions in areas including crisis mitigation and stability operations, democratic governance and public sector management, agriculture and agribusiness, private sector development and financial services, economics and trade, HIV/AIDS, avian influenza control, water and natural resources management, and energy and climate change. Clients include international development agencies, international lending institutions, private corporations and philanthropies, and host-country governments.

Similar Jobs