Program Manager II - Agriculture Program Manager

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Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
South Sudan
Apply by 9 November 2012
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 9 October 2012

Job Description

Date: October 2012

Position Title: Program Manager II - Agriculture Program Manager

Department: Jonglei Food Security Program (JFSP)

Location: Bor, Jonglei State, South Sudan

Band: D

FLSA: Exempt

Reports To: Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Program Team Leader (JFSP)


CRS is the lead in a consortium implementing a USAID funded program in livelihoods and food security until June 2014 in eight counties of Jonglei State, South Sudan. The Jonglei Food Security Program (JFSP) supports communities to identify and undertake a range of activities in soil and water conservation to support community resilience to natural shocks that impact on food security, to support expanded food production by pastoralists and agro-pastoralists and to strengthen community capacity to access markets. The agriculture PM will lead the agriculture sector focusing on improving production and productivity in cultivation by farmer producer groups to address chronic food insecurity in the program sites. The post is located in the Program Operations Coordination Unit (POCU) in Bor, the state capital of Jonglei.

Primary Responsibility

The main objective of the JFSP in agriculture is to stimulate behavior change in farmer producer groups on a range of farming technologies (land preparation, cultivation, using new crop varieties, harvesting, post harvest technologies and seed storage and selection etc) which will increase food production and contribute to self sufficiency. The post will develop, execute and coordinate agronomic and farming system activities to enhance sustainable seed system, improved crop production, farmer based demonstration, farmer field school, irrigation agronomy and soil management and harvest and post harvest technologies so as to stimulate behavior change in farmer producer groups and achieve JFSP’s objective of food security. S/he is responsible for providing accurate and timely information on major issues, achievements and challenges as well as sound recommendations to all partners, producer groups and extension staff. S/he will provide overall technical supervision, training and mentoring to the government agricultural extension agents who have been seconded to work with JFSP. The post holder will coordinate closely with the other program managers, especially on the institutional strengthening and capacity building of producer groups.

As a member in the senior program management team in JFSP, the post holder will work closely with the program team with the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of agriculture and cultivation, specifically farming and improved agronomic practices with producer groups. S/he will provide consortium partner’s agriculture staff and extension agents with technical guidance and supervision.


Program Management

  • Oversee regular activities of agriculture strategic objective in JFSP based in four 8 counties.
  • Take lead role in planning of agronomic, farming, and extension program activities in the 8 counties with producer groups and set quality performance targets ensuring adherence to technical standards, best practices in behavior change for producer groups and donor guidelines.
  • Ensure that CRS staff and partners receive the necessary training and technical assistance, in accordance with the JFSP’s developmental objectives, especially through the adaptation and adoption of Farmer Field Schools (FFS), producer group based demonstrations, and local farming systems to move beneficiaries from reliance on relief towards self-sufficiency.
  • Undertake periodic review of agricultural strategies and activities of the JFSP program, with support from the Program Manager II – Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Program Team Leader for Jonglei Food Security Program (JFSP) and other sectors.
  • Participate in FS cluster monthly coordination meetings at State level representing the JFSP CP.
  • Ensure program compliance with donor guidelines, regulations and cooperative agreement.
  • Provide leadership to and mentoring for field extension and agriculture staff and partner agronomists
  • Supervise CRS agriculture and extension staff to ensure efficient and quality implementation of project activities. Mentor and coach staff, assisting them to develop performance and development plans in line with the CRS/SS Performance Management System.
  • Work closely with project staff to develop annual, quarterly, and monthly work plans and achieve identified targets.
  • Proactively seek and promote appropriate training opportunities for staff.

Agricultural extension, agronomy and farming system

  • Provide overall strategic guidance on agronomic, irrigation, farming system, seed system and demonstration practices to achieve the intended food security objectives
  • Guiding agriculture project officers and extension staff in their efforts to multiply quality seeds following field and seed standards
  • Lead comprehensive seed system assessment in the operational areas of the state and design context specific and evidence based recommendation for demonstration and multiplication
  • Develop framework and protocol for the producer group demonstration and sustainable long term direction for the farmers to stand by themselves
  • Lead and provide technical support to the producer groups’ demonstration and state farm multiplication activities
  • Provide evidence based recommendation to the farmers, of desired crop characteristics like drought tolerant, high yielding seeds, disease resistance, adaptation to soils and nutritional value.
  • Coordinate and undertake study on mapping of soil characteristics and classify it on the basis of geographic location and livelihood zones, properties landscape position for recommending improved crop production.
  • Create strong linkage and closely work with research, JGMUST and MAF on improved demonstration and outreach program to support the farmers on their field
  • Regularly assess and determine the training needs for direct reporting staff and organize training and guidance to the seconded agricultural extension staff on farming systems and extension approaches
  • Develop appropriate sustainable community based seed transfer and revolving system putting producer group as center of the program
  • Introduce an appropriate set of post harvest management technologies and conduct action research on its socio-cultural acceptability and cost effectiveness.

Environmental compliance, integration and gender mainstreaming

  • Insure the integration of the agronomic and farming activities with other JFSP programs like livestock, agro-enterprise, DRR, FFA and SILC
  • Ensure over 40% participation of women and gender mainstreaming in all activities
  • Insure the agronomic and farming system activities does not create environmental impact and produce IEE and ESR reports on regular basis
  • Monitor and advise the farmers on insect, weed & disease, soil moisture status in environmentally friendly manner
  • Provide guideline and monitor the proper irrigation practices in rainy and dry season including water harvesting and efficient use of water.
  • Introduce bio-intensive farming technologies in selected operational areas including key-hole garden, vegetables and fruits

M&E learning, coordination and communication

  • Develop strategy for documenting and communicating demonstration outputs for wider audience through field days, publications and trainings.
  • Work with field extension staff and extension officers to compile and collect field agronomic data to produce narrative and financial quarterly, semi-annual, and yearly donor reports, as well as others, as required.
  • Compile data and generate quality, accurate narrative and financial reports quarterly and final reports, as well as project or grant closure reports
  • Coordinate with the other sectors and partners in sequencing support and execution of program activities.
  • Coordinate the development of strategies, guidelines, formats and tools for the implementation, monitoring and internal evaluation of the farming activities
  • Coordinate with the field area coordinators (FAC) to ensure that targeted households, where appropriate, benefit from agriculture and agronomic and demonstration training.
  • Develop, review and monitor quarterly and annual budgets and facilitate cash forecasting, in compliance with audit principles and CRS’s financial management guidelines, in conjunction with the JFSP Program Manager II – Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Program Team Leader for Jonglei Food Security Program (JFSP) and other sectors.
  • Document meetings and trip reports providing timely circulation of resulting information/outcomes.

Program Manager Competencies

These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each program Manager to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

  • · Sets clear goals and manages toward them
  • · Collaborates effectively with staff and stakeholders
  • · Manages financial resources with integrity
  • · Applies program quality standards to project design and organizational learning

Emergency Competencies

These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each staff working in emergencies to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

  • · Communicates strategically under pressure
  • · Manages stress and complexity
  • · Actively promotes safety and security
  • · Manages and implements high-quality emergency programs

Key working relationships:

  • · Internal: COP; DCOP; DRR Program Team Leader, other sector technical team leaders , managers and field office coordinators, CRS South Sudan Country Representative, Ag & Environment Technical Advisors
  • · External: Jonglei State government ministries and lower level administration officials and community leaders, local and US Catholic agencies, USAID mission, other funding agencies, local/international NGO offices, UN agencies, and the US Agency for International Development/ Office of Food for Peace.

Qualifications and experience:

§ Graduate degree from a recognized university in a agronomy, plant and soil science, farming system related field;

§ Demonstrated experience in practical farmer based agronomic practices

§ Sound management skills, including a minimum of three years project management experience in an international post- conflict setting, preferably in Africa;

§ Demonstrated ability to work closely and effectively with government structures in a developing country context;

§ 10 years experience with participatory extension approaches and farming system

§ Skill in a diversity of partnerships, NGOs, research and government

§ Knowledge of agriculture and rural development policy environment

§ Strong cross-cultural skills and a demonstrated ability to influence change without direct authority, and to work successfully with farmers and professionals

§ Experience working on farm demonstration, trial and seed multiplication

§ Demonstrated experience in seed system and agronomic research

§ Professional working experience in South Sudan, especially in Jonglei, would be an advantage.

Personal/Professional Skills:

§ Strong leadership and teamwork skills

§ Excellent written and oral communication skills

§ Vision, and ability to think strategically and innovatively

§ Ability to explain advanced topics simply and clearly

§ Strong survey and research skills

§ Ability to respond practically to challenging situations and tolerate basic field conditions in remote sites

§ Good listening ability and strong interpersonal skills, and ability to be diplomatic when the situation demands

Physical Requirements/Environment:

Normal conditions akin to office environment; based in a developing country; willingness and ability to travel extensively, up to 40% of time.

Responsibilities of Position:

Staff capacity and technical program assessments; strategy development and leadership; Partnership development and operations research with technical organizations and CRS program staff; Capacity building and mentoring

Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skills, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.