Technical Advisor for Markets and Agricultural Livelihoods

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 25 July 2019

Job Description

Job Summary:

Agricultural Livelihoods, a Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Signature Programming Area, is placing emphasis on market linkages and improved market-based data management. This position will directly support key elements of the Uganda Country Program’s (CP) new agricultural strategy, by providing market-based support to existing and new programs across the CP’s agricultural project portfolio, with a focus on developing, strengthening, and scaling out market-based tools and initiatives in food security and value chain programming. The Markets and Agricultural Livelihoods TA will provide leadership within the CP team design and lead new project proposals and business development activities related to market and agricultural livelihoods. He/She will provide methods, tools, and training to achieve market-oriented approaches that support farm families build skills and increase the productivity and diversity of their farms, laying the foundation for subsequent more active engagement with markets. This position will also support CRS’ expanding role as a leading agency in value chain development with a focus on scaling out market-based tools to enhance the ability of our field staff to collect market and business-related data to enhance our agro-enterprise activities.

As a TA for Markets and Agricultural Livelihoods, you will provide technical advice, guidance, and support to a range of program design and implementation issues with a focus on larger projects in the area of Markets and Agricultural Livelihoods in line with CRS program quality principles and standards, donor guidelines, and industry best practices to regional and CP teams to advance the delivery of high-quality programming to the poor and vulnerable. Your technical knowledge, advice and guidance will contribute to determining how effective, adaptive and innovative CRS’ Markets and Agricultural Livelihoods programming is across the globe.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of agency-wide strategies (with a focus on the build and grow components of the Pathway to Prosperity), standards, tools, and best practices in Markets and Agricultural Livelihoods that effectively engage partners, donors and governments. Help ensure a cross-sectoral approach integrating gender, protection mainstreaming, and disaster risk reduction.
  • Lead business development strategies and proposals to position CRS Uganda as a leader in markets and agricultural livelihoods. Contribute to CP efforts to pre-position CRS for growth opportunities in Markets and Agricultural Livelihoods. Lead or contribute to the development of the technical design for large and/or complex proposals, including defining appropriate monitoring systems and indicators. Advise project teams on integrating donor strategies, priorities and technical requirements into CRS’ approach.
  • Provide technical solutions to CP teams, remotely and on-site, for strategic planning and how to best apply program design and implementation standards, best practices, partnership principles, tools, and M&E, ensuring high-quality implementation.
  • Establish and deliver an innovative methods tool box that helps our partners to support smallholder farmers develop their skills in market linkage and business skills.
  • Support CRS and partner technical staff in the field in the design, implementation and evaluation of agricultural programs that incorporate the suite of products and services developed in-house and selected best fit practices from other agencies.
  • Strengthen staff capacity in value chain and deliver a value chain tool kit that includes methodologies to help CRS staff and partners standardize our approach towards market linkage and strengthen capacity in value chain programming.
  • Provide technical leadership to CRS country program in the development and implementation of humanitarian assistance, including cash, voucher, in-kind distributions or other market support interventions.
  • Conduct seed system security assessments (SSSA) or other agricultural livelihoods/needs assessments, and design appropriate programs.
  • Contribute to capacity strengthening initiatives in Markets and Agricultural Livelihoods programming for staff and partners through helping develop learning and training strategies and agendas/curriculums, conducting trainings and workshops, and mentoring and coaching to CP staff.
  • Contribute to knowledge management and learning through collecting and analyzing program data, evaluating strategic projects, assisting with measuring program impact, capturing and sharing lessons learned and best practices, and research and internal reports.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with donors, peer organizations, research and other institutions. Participate in forums in the area of Markets and Agricultural Livelihoods to collect and share best practices and promote CRS’ work.

Value chain analysis and development support

  • Provide strategic and technical support to analysis and development of CRS Uganda’s priority agricultural value chain commodities.
  • Provide support to agriculture programming teams in value chain assessment tools in terms of training and application, including on-farm productivity, gross margin analysis, value chain competitiveness and living income for target value chains.

Market-focused Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

  • Work with MEAL to provide support to developing and operationalizing online monitoring and evaluation systems as basis for performance monitoring in market-oriented interventions.
  • Provide both office and field support to ongoing efforts to develop a suite of mobile data application and learning tools to help link farmers to markets and support both data gathering systems and knowledge sharing mechanisms that underpin the new Uganda CP agricultural strategy.
  • Support learning methods and associated data from market-based interventions to strengthen existing and new initiatives in agricultural development including regional learning alliances.

Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:

Education and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in International Agricultural Development or a development related field, such as agricultural economics, agriculture, international development, agro-enterprise or agribusiness management required.
  • Minimum of five years relevant international working experience in an advisory or management role with progressive responsibilities, ideally with an international NGO, with minimum of three years working for programming interventions in Markets and Agricultural Livelihoods.
  • Previous experience providing technical assistance and developing successful proposals for external donor funding is required.
  • Demonstrated application of technical principles and concepts in Markets and Agricultural Livelihoods, including cash and market-based programming, and microfinance. General knowledge of other related disciplines to ensure proper cross-sectoral approach.
  • Experience in business development, project design and proposal development in Markets and Agricultural Livelihoods, including technical writing.
  • Experience in mentoring, coaching, facilitation and training applying adult learning principles and practices.
  • Experience with program monitoring and evaluation, including applying data collection tools and methodologies, data analysis, and data presentation.
  • Experience and skills in networking and relations with donors, peer organizations, and faith-based and civil society partners. Understanding of partnership principles.
  • Proficient in MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information and budget management systems, knowledge-sharing networks.

Personal Skills

  • Excellent relationship management skills with ability to influence and get buy-in from people not under direct supervision and to work with individuals in diverse geographical and cultural settings.
  • Strong strategic, analytical, problem-solving and systems thinking skills with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong presentation, facilitation, training, mentoring, and coaching skills.
  • Proactive, resourceful and results-oriented.

Required/Desired Foreign Language – Advanced or native fluency in written and oral English required.

Travel Required – 25% for in country field office support.

Key Working Relationships:

Supervisory: None.

Internal: CP Programming and Management Quality staff, Deputy Head of Programming, PIQA’s HQ team and the global Agricultural RTA network, to support an expanding number of partners from the public and private sector.

External: Collaborate with other NGOs, research institutes, development networks, government and other partners.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff):

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

  • Integrity
  • Continuous Improvement & Innovation
  • Builds Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Strategic Mindset
  • Accountability & Stewardship

NOTE: Applications will be accepted until this position is filled.

About the Organization

Catholic Relief Services was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. Our mission is to assist the poor and disadvantaged, leveraging the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to alleviate human suffering, promote development of all people, and to foster charity and justice throughout the world. Working through local offices and an extensive network of partners, CRS operates on five continents and in 98 countries. We aid the poor by first providing direct assistance where needed, then encouraging people to help with their own development. Together, these approaches foster secure, productive, just communities that enable people to realize their potential. As the official international relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community, CRS is also committed to educating the people of the United States to fulfill their moral responsibilities toward our global brothers and sisters by helping the poor, working to remove the causes of poverty, and promoting social justice.

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