Deputy Chief of Party - FIRST Rwanda (Proposal)

  • Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 4 June 2020

Job Description

Project Description

The 5-year, USAID-funded Rwanda Facilitate Investment Required for Sustainable Export (FIRST) Activity, aims to increase agricultural exports through 1) facilitation of inclusive policy reforms using evidence-based analysis and strengthened advocacy capacity of the private sector organizations; and 2) support local actors (government and private sector) to attract, mobilize and direct public and private financing resources towards productive priority projects.

Job Summary

The Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP), will be a specialist in agriculture policy or marketing who will provide strategic leadership, management, and technical direction and support to the project team, client, and counterparts in the implementation of FIRST activities that support building the capacity of local stakeholders to develop an open, trade-friendly and resilient agricultural policy environment. The DCOP will report to the Chief of Party and supervise a team of specialists.

The position will be based in Kigali, Rwanda and is contingent upon project award to Abt Associates.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

  • Provide subject matter expertise as necessary to strengthen regional agricultural policy and support an enabling environment for agriculture exports and interrelated areas, including: value chains strengthening, competitiveness analyses, trade promotion, policy reform, and finance and investment enhancement
  • Provide strategic and technical leadership, technical support, and quality assurance to the project team, client, and country counterparts in developing open, trade-friendly and resilient national agricultural policy environment and in his/her subject areas of expertise
  • Collaborate with other FIRST Specialists and stakeholders to create and implement efforts to increase agriculture-led growth, specifically to reduce poverty and malnutrition and improve the enabling environment for private sector led investment and high value export led growth consisting of regional and international trade
  • Build capacity of local stakeholders to develop an open, trade-friendly and resilient agricultural policy environment. Includes adoption and implementation of trade supportive policies and capacity building activities that encourage the use of evidence to inform policy reform.
  • Engage private sector actors such as food processors, traders, farmers and other stakeholders such as industry and trade associations to contribute to national and regional policy dialogues initiatives through effective platforms
  • Work with public and private sector stakeholders to strengthen the competitiveness of high value exports.
  • Develop and support implementation of activities/strategies that aim to improve compliance with regional and international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards
  • Help identify capacity and infrastructure needs, and work to encourage mutual recognition of SPS protocols that will facilitate increased trade
  • Develop and support implementation of activities/strategies that encourage the adoption high value export supportive policies and common industry standards that facilitate increased export of agricultural products
  • Serve as part of the senior management team to inform and lead strategic program management in coordination with the Chief of Party and the rest of the team
  • Supervise and provide technical oversight of work conducted by FIRST technical personnel, short-term technical advisors, and subcontractors
  • Coordinate with the monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) Director and team on any subject matter related assessments and closely track progress of implementation and results
  • Liaise with relevant USAID, regional, and national-level stakeholders/counterparts to support the identification and development of effective strategies and approaches to enhance high value exports

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in agriculture, agribusiness, economics, public policy, or other relevant field
  • Minimum of 10 years relevant work experience, including in areas such as agriculture policy, value chain analyses, competitiveness, trade policy, agribusiness, regulatory reform, export and trade promotion
  • Experience in leading program technical design and implementation, including managing and supervising teams, and in building local technical capacities
  • Understanding of national and regional policy-level issues and constraints
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with inter-governmental or government representatives and other stakeholders, particularly those institutions most involved in export and investment promotion (NAEB and RDB)
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Fluency in English required
  • USAID experience preferred


Minimum Qualifications

  • (10+) years of experience and a bachelor degree OR the equivalent combination of education and experience

About the Organization

Abt Associates is a global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation; driving innovation and measurable impact for more than 50 years. What sets us apart is our evidence-based and multi-disciplinary approach to solving tough challenges in health, social and environmental policy and international development.

Specific areas we work in include:

  • Health
  • Education and workforce development
  • Climate change and the environment
  • Food security and agriculture
  • Housing and communities
  • Survey and data collection


Abt is a mission-driven company with a staff of 2,600. Our focus is on using evidence and cutting-edge methods to improve the lives and economic well-being of people worldwide.

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