Strategy Officer(s), Nairobi, Kenya – Job Reference: SO11/2017
Founded in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is an African-led, African-based organization that seeks to catalyse agriculture transformation in Africa. AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the centre of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive, into farming as a business that thrives. As the sector that employs the majority of Africa’s people, nearly all of them small-scale farmers, AGRA recognizes that developing smallholder agriculture into a productive, efficient, and sustainable system is essential to ensuring food security, lifting millions out of poverty, and driving equitable growth across the continent.
AGRA is rolling out a new 5-year Strategy to catalyse and sustain an inclusive agricultural transformation in Africa to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million farmers. Under this strategy, AGRA will both directly and indirectly support activities that increase productivity and access to markets and finance at farmer level; strengthen government capacity to drive agricultural development; and champion private-sector investment in the sector.
To support effective execution of this strategy, AGRA has set up a Strategy and Analytics (S&A) Unit and is seeking to recruit 1 - 2 experienced and exceptional individuals to the position of Strategy Officer. The Strategy and Analytics Unit is responsible for three main connected and inter-related lines of service delivery: 1) Institutional strategic planning and performance management, 2) Tactical strategic and analytical support to AGRA in-country teams and 3) Strategic and analytics support to African Ministries of Agriculture.
Reporting to the Head of Strategy and Analytics, the Strategy Officers will support strategy development, execution and adaptation; performance management; and structured analytics to ensure AGRA’s interventions are grounded in a robust agriculture transformation Theory of Change and geared towards catalysing results in AGRA’s 11 focus countries and across the continent. The officers, as part of the Unit, will be responsible for complex strategy design and business analytics; project/team/contract management; client/partner relations management; and institutional engagement and mobilisation. The positions will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
- Support the process of institutional strategic planning and drive AGRA’s strategy performance management:
- Support the design of AGRA’s organizational strategy and Theory of Change for transformation.
- Develop strategic frameworks, models, tools and processes to track and critically analyse delivery of the strategy; recommend adaptive strategies based on results/evidence, lessons learnt and insights gained, in the face of changing ecosystems.
- Working closely with the Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) team, help drive better decision making and performance through the development of effective country and institutional level performance tracking tools; and critical analysis of results to tease out relevant and actionable recommendations.
- Work with key operational units to ensure strategic alignment, business efficiency, resource allocation, internal capacity building etc. are effected.
- Support in-country teams with strategic planning and roll-out, as well in-depth analytics on agriculture transformation pathways and country progress towards this goal:
- Work with Geographic Service Team (GST) / Country leads and technical teams to develop and support execution of high-impact country-level strategies and implementation plans.
- Provide analytics support to GST’s and in-country teams to support evidence-based decision making; strategic selection of initiatives; credible engagement with governments and other partners; and assessment of the progression of country agriculture transformation.
- Scope and grow AGRA’s analytics capability via partners / external service providers.
- Work with the Country Support and Policy team and GST’s to provide strategic and analytics support to African Governments through AGRA’s country support model:
- Scope and structure engagement with governments and other partners.
- Support the design of a country support package that is responsive to government needs and encompasses strategy and analytics support, institutional strengthening, implementation support and resource mobilization, to deliver on country strategies.
- Scope Terms of Reference for external advisory and analytics services; source and oversee service providers as required, to ensure quality of services provided.
- Other tasks will include:
- Design and roll-out of new strategic initiatives as identified by the Executive Management of AGRA - examples include efforts such as the refinement of a country plan for a priority country; the development of a strategy around youth in agribusiness; or the development of a Fellows Program to embed support staff within partner ministries.
- Oversee work streams and manage cross-functional teams for institutional or GST/in-country-level strategic initiatives.
- Support knowledge management and thought leadership in AGRA through identification of impactful strategic content, and support for its production and dissemination via appropriate channels.
- Support development, structuring, and occasional implementation of strategic partnerships in collaboration with the resource mobilization team, technical teams and in-country teams.
Key Qualifications and Experience
- Minimum 5 – 7 years’ experience working within a management consulting environment or managing medium-to-large projects/programs, in the broad field of strategy and/or other related areas (business efficiency, performance improvement, organisational change, business and sector intelligence, stakeholder engagement etc.).
- A Master’s degree in business administration, public policy, development economics/studies or other related field. Relevant work experience may be considered in lieu of this.
- Deep knowledge of, and experience in, strategy development, execution and review at institutional and territorial level, as well as design and roll-out of analytical frameworks, tools, processes and other documents to facilitate the strategic planning process;
- Experience in driving the annual strategic planning process for large organizations, in particular framing emergent issues and incorporating lessons learnt and key insights to strengthen the design process.
- Strong quantitative/financial knowledge, including experience creating complex models, with a demonstrated ability to extract appropriate data to convey complex information through the use of supporting tables, graphs and other visual representations.
- Demonstrated ability in structured problem solving, yet comfortable with unstructured and ambiguous situations and tasks; ability to learn new content quickly, identify connections and second-order implications and demonstrate competence with internal/external teams.
- Superior delivery and leadership capacity – can synthesize strategic intent into tangible deliverables that drive institutional progress; proactively motivates team performance and productivity.
- Experience in developing and managing strong partnerships and relationships inside and outside the organization, managing conflicts, and building consensus. Comfortably engages with senior decision makers within organization and constructively challenges colleagues, clients and stakeholders.
- Experience of end-to-end project management, including scoping and design, resourcing, risk management and quality assurance.
- Excellent oral, facilitation and written communication skills; works well in diverse teams, with efficiency and diplomacy.
- Ability to travel up to 25% - 35% domestically and internationally to engage with AGRA teams and government units in AGRA’s focus countries.
An attractive remuneration package commensurate with the responsibilities of the position will be negotiated with the successful candidate.
If you believe you are the right candidate for this position, kindly submit your application with a detailed CV (include your e-mail address and telephone contacts) to firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting the job reference number in the subject line of the application e-mail.
To be considered, applications should be received on or before 16th November 2017.
For more information on AGRA, please can visit www.agra.org
AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer
About the Organization
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is a partnership that works with governments, donors, NGOs, the private sector, and African farmers to significantly and sustainably improve the productivity and income of resource-poor farmers in Africa. Founded and initially funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, AGRA supports interventions aimed at improving seed systems, soil fertility, input and output markets, policies, and other priority sectors, with the overall objective of reducing food insecurity. AGRA aims to achieve these goals by: supporting and building capability of farmers and enterprises across the agricultural value chain; being a thought-leader on African agriculture by collecting, packaging, and disseminating knowledge; and creating strong partnerships with public, private, and donor actors to drive change within the sector. AGRA is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and has an office in Accra, Ghana.