MWB Agriculture and Rural Development Advisor

CDC Development Solutions
Apply by 9 April 2013
Internship , Short-term contract assignment
Posted on 6 April 2013

Job Description

MBAs Without Borders

Nine Month Assignment


Rajsamand, Rajasthan, India

Duration and Dates

9-month assignment: March – November 2013


Proficiency in Hindi and English; Mewari preferred

Position Background

Through its MBAs Without Borders (MWB) program CDC Development Solutions is looking to fill the position of an Agriculture and Rural Development Expert for a 9-month assignment in Rajasthan, India. The MWB Advisor will, in consultation with CDS and project staff, assist with the implementation of a market study and baseline data survey in the target district, and lead the design of an increased market access and linkages strategy for the program’s subsequent year.

Organizational Background

Since 1990 CDC Development Solutions has matched talented and experienced MBA graduates with skill-based pro-bono assignments in emerging markets around the world. Over this time over 1,000 highly skilled MBAs have strengthened and supported more than 4,000 enterprises, entrepreneurs, governments, and NGOs.

MBAs Without Borders (MWB) Advisors, utilize their business acumen and skills to provide pro bono consulting services to promote growth, entrepreneurship, and economic development around the world.

MBAs Without Borders assignments are not salaried, however, CDS will provide a stipend of $1200 for the duration of the project. CDS also ensures that MWB Advisors are fully supported during their assignment. Through the program and its partners the MWB program provides the following benefits to MWB Advisors:

  • A generous, $1200 stipend to cover meals and incidentals
  • Housing
  • Travel and transportation
  • Health and evacuation insurance

In addition to logistical and administrative support provided by CDS, MWB Advisors are also able to draw upon the experience of CDS’ team, consultants, and former MWB Advisors to support their work. As a volunteer program, the MWB program meets the criteria accepted by most financial institutions to allow for deferment of student loans for participants during their assignment.

Project Background:

In August of 2012, the John Deere Foundation funded the first phase of a 5-year community development program designed to improve the livelihoods of three villages in rural Rajasthan India. This first phase, led by CDS, was the execution of a Community Needs Assessment in the three target villages to better understand the needs, challenges and opportunities with respect to the program’s three main focus areas: agriculture & food security, education, and infrastructure.

The results of this Assessment showed significant areas for improvement and tremendous potential for sustainable and equitable growth in these villages. The second phase of this program, to start in January 2013, will be a full-scale 5-year development program funded by the John Deere Foundation designed to address those needs and opportunities identified during Phase One, and to support the program’s overall goals to: increase agricultural productivity and reduce drudgery, foster sustainable development and efficient management of water and solid waste, facilitate market linkages and strengthen agricultural value chain , support children to attend and stay in school and perform at grade level, and decrease out-migration in the villages through various non-agricultural livelihoods support and trainings.

Project Assignment:

For this assignment, you will be expected to work in close collaboration with project staff in Rajsamand India, reporting directly to the Project Director, on all aspects of this scope of work. You will also work closely with former assessment participants from CDS and John Deere based in the U.S. and India. Given CDS’ highly team-oriented culture, a commitment to communication and teamwork is a primary expectation. The assignment will commence a three-day orientation in the U.S. and a local orientation upon arrival in Rajsamand.

Activity 1: Baseline Data Collection and Market Study - 75% LOE

During the first six months of the assignment, the MWB Advisor, in collaboration with project staff, will assist in conducting a baseline data survey in the three target villages to build on existing data collected during the initial assessment and determine quantitative program tracking indicators that will serve as the foundation of the program’s 5-year monitoring and evaluation plan.

The MWB Advisor will also assist in conducting a market study in the three villages and surrounding area to determine the best agricultural value chain(s) for development, with specific focus on post-harvest markets and facilities, identify existing and/or potential village networks and/or associations, and find solutions for appropriate inter-market transportation.

Activity 2: Facilitation of Market Linkages and Farmer Networks - 15% LOE

Upon completion of the market study in Year One, CDS will begin working in the villages to establish strong market chains with guaranteed pricing and quality production, and implement a continuous information dissemination process so that producers are more aware of market standards and pricings, as well as the availability and appropriateness of input varieties.

Following the first 6 months of the assignment and analysis of the market study, the MWB Advisor will work with project staff to begin preparing for the implementation of the market linkages activity in Year Two. Preparatory work will include the design of an activity work plan, assemblage of seminar and training topics to be offered at the local farmer information resource center, identification of existing and potential village networks or associations, and coordination with outside suppliers and co-operations/associations in outside markets.

Activity 3: Other Project Activities - 10% LOE

Other project activities include establishing farmer demonstration plots, and soil and water quality testing which may require a small portion of the MWB Advisor’s time; however these activities will receive lower priority than those listed above.

Profile of Candidate

Given the challenging and “uncharted” nature of this integrated community development program, CDS is looking for someone who is flexible and able to work in a fast-paced environment. The MWB Advisor will be an extremely high-quality individual with strong and relevant academic and work experience with a passion for sustainable rural development.

  • Masters in Business Administration
  • 2-5 years of experience in research design (both quantitative and qualitative), questionnaire development, data analysis and report writingExtensive knowledge of rural development, poverty analysis, and/or small-scale agriculture
  • Proven experience in market research and analysis, particularly pertaining to trade and access to rural markets, rural finance, and small-holder farming populations
  • Knowledge of advanced statistical techniques and market research analytical tools including SPSS, Excel and other data manipulation tools
  • Strong organizational, interpersonal and negotiations skills, particularly in cross-cultural contexts; patientSelf-motivated, takes initiative, and is a team player
  • Ability to work under pressure and manage and prioritize several tasks simultaneously and effectively
  • Strong project management skills, with emphasis on process and evaluation
  • Excellent proficiency in Hindi and English required; Mewari preferred

To apply, please send the following documents to lkienzle(at) by January 31, 2012. Applications without these three items will be considered incomplete:

  • Cover Letter describing:
    • Why you want to join MBAs Without Borders
    • How the program will help you meet your career goals
    • Your background in agriculture
    • Curriculum Vitae/Resume
    • 3 Professional References

Please use the following subject line in your email: “Application for MWB- Agriculture and Rural Development Expert- India.”

About the Organization

CDC Development Solutions (CDS), a Washington, DC based non-profit organization has more than a decade of experience designing and implementing supplier development programs around the globe, using our local content development methodology to maximize economic opportunities for small and medium size businesses in emerging markets through access to the global supply chain.

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