Project Manager – nDi-Chuma

Website Heifer International

DESCRIPTION

Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with some form of specially-abled.

The Organization

Since 1944, Heifer International has helped more than 36 million families lift themselves out of hunger and poverty.

Our goal is to help families achieve living incomes, which will allow them to feed their families daily, educate all their children; and have proper housing, water, hygiene, and other essential resource. When many families gain this new sustainable income, it brings new opportunities for building schools, creating agricultural cooperatives, forming community savings, and funding small businesses.

Heifer Malawi contribution to the Global 10 million households target is to help 500,000 of Heifer Africa’s 6.745 million households achieve sustainable living income by 2030. Heifer Malawi’s maiden Signature Program, currently under design – will set the pace, focusing on Dairy, Beef and Banana as primary value chains and Oil Seeds, and Poultry as secondary value chains. Heifer Malawi is where it is happening now – impacting the lives of smallholder farmers.

Function

The Project Manager will play an important role in implementing the Creating Wealth in Malawi’s Groundnuts Value Chain through Digital Solutions & Investment (nDi-Chuma) Project in the Mchinji district. He /she will facilitate the improvement of income and resilience of groundnut smallholder farmers by applying digital solutions and technologies to increase farm productivity and financial inclusion. The Project Manager will lead the efficient digital agribusiness-related planning and implementation at field and stakeholder levels. The position will also ensure that the value chain actors involved with the project are using Heifer’s Values-Based Community Development model and Market Systems Development approach. This position will facilitate the one-of-a-kind participatory planning, development, coordination, implementation, and monitoring of smallholder farmer-owned agribusinesses, mobilization of the community into cooperatives, and linkages with relevant services providers in close collaboration and coordination with project staff and relevant partners and stakeholders.

Essential Character Traits

  • Team player, creative and able to think outside the box, self-driven, high integrity, accountable and good communicator.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND DELIVERABLES

A. Project Coordination and Management (35%)

  • Coordinate the mobilization of project participants into Farmer Organizations (FOs).
  • Lead capacity building of FOs in digital systems for production, financial management, business management, marketing, governance.
  • Provide support in exploring and implementing alternative business models along the value chain.
  • Develop an appropriate business training package for farmers, producer organizations.
  • Conduct training needs assessment and develop capacity building plan in social capital development, women empowerment and youth participation.
  • Identify staff, and FOs capacity gaps and design capacity building plans.
  • Managerial and organizational capacities of farmers, FOs and coops strengthened.
  • Farmers and FOs coached in monitoring and tracking business progress.
  • Production and business training package developed for farmers’ businesses within the first year of the project.
  • Capacity gaps identified, plans developed, and coaching sessions organized within six months of the project.
  • All producer groups transformed into formal FOs.

B. Increasing farming efficiencies through intensity of land labor and farm practices (35%)

  • Champion smallholder adoption of good agricultural practices and understanding of behavioral reward system.
  • Increase smallholder awareness and use of digital advisory services
  • Support development and improvement of appropriate financial products and services appropriate for increasing investment in production processes.
  • Foster the adoption of good post-harvest practices and increase the volumes of good quality groundnuts.
  • Support capacitating of cooperatives to effectively undertake their marketing functions.
  • Oversee the operation of the model farm.
  • Promotion of alternative business models.
  • Champion farmers’ awareness of land rights.
  • Support the processes of land registration using digital systems.
  • Increase in groundnut production and productivity.
  • Smallholder income from groundnut increased.
  • Increased adoption of digital services.
  • Improved functionality and value proposition of cooperatives.
  • Improved quality of groundnuts.
  • Smallholders’ land is registered.

C. Project Management and Coordination (35%)

  • Lead the processes of project planning, implementation and monitoring.
  • Champion project management to reflect Heifer Malawi’s priorities for quality, impact, scale and cost-efficiency.
  • Working with the MELs team develop an appropriate system of monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the project achieves impact and scale while documenting success and lessons learned.
  • Provide leadership and technical support to the project staff and appraise performance.
  • Control project budget and ensure compliance with Heifer’s policies, procedures and contractual requirements.
  • Build and nurture good working partnerships and linkages with NGOs, government agencies, and other relevant stakeholders in the project areas to advance the mission of Heifer.
  • Results-Based Management practices promoted
  • Written and submitted high-quality project status reports.
  • Annual Project Implementation Plans and budget developed.
  • Semester project monitoring and internal control visits conducted.
  • Project successes, innovations, and lessons learned are documented and shared with all project stakeholders.
  • Actively supported the MELs team in collecting project information.

Strengthened relationships among all stakeholders.

  • Project implemented within scope, budget, and time frame.
  • Strengthened processes, tools, and systems for effective and efficient resource management.
  • Well-managed and motivated staff.

D. Any other duties as assigned by the supervisor (5%)

  • This will be dependent on the specific duties assigned.
  • Assigned tasks promptly executed and of high quality.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, e.g. agronomy, agribusiness, agricultural economics or agricultural extension.
  2. Three years of minimum technical experience is required.

Preferred Requirements

  1. Master’s degree in agronomy, agribusiness, agricultural economics, or agricultural extension plus two years’ technical work experience.
  2. Good understanding of digital technologies and their application to farming.
  3. Ability to influence and engage effectively with the private sector, local authorities, and governmental partners.
  4. Ability to transfer private sector product and service delivery strategies to rural clientele.
  5. Excellent planning, organizational, and time management skills, ability to work well under pressure both proactively and prioritize a challenging workload
  6. Excellent skills with Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel and Word.

Most Critical Proficiencies

  1. Strong knowledge of groundnut value chai
  2. A good understanding of or openness to learn about digital technologies and systems such as blockchain, artificial intelligence.
  3. A good understanding of the agriculture sector and the enabling and commercial drivers that may be key to success.
  4. A good understanding of the farmer organizations and their roles.
  5. resources management – organizing, training and managing farmer groups.
  6. Communications and reporting, including ensuring appropriate information is collected, communicated, managed & archived effectively.
  7. Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.

Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands

  1. Include any significant physical, mental and emotional actions that are required for the job. These include traveling; time spent sitting, presenting, working independently, after hours, performing mathematical and statistical computations, etc.
  2. Ability and willingness to travel extensively and use a motorcycle.
  3. Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.

 

 

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