PROGRAM/ DEPARTMENT SUMMARY:
Mercy Corps specializes in development in transitional areas. Mercy Corps has been operating in Nepal since 2005, implementing programs in food security, agriculture, market development, financial services, youth engagement, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. We take a systems-based approach in our programming, with the aim of improving the lives and potential of vulnerable individuals and communities across Nepal. Mercy Corps is implementing a five year, USAID funded, Promoting Agriculture, Health and Alternative Livelihoods (PAHAL) program, an initiative designed to achieve food security among vulnerable populations in 14 districts in the middle and high hills of far-west and mid-west Nepal.
GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY:
Mercy Corps is looking for an energetic Agriculture Director to manage a large, donor funded integrated nutrition and agriculture development project, who is willing to lead multiple partners and a large field team in the development of a sound agriculture system.
ESSENTIAL JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Lead agriculture sector activities under PAHAL (in coordination with program partners and staff) and facilitate integration within other targeted sectors.
- Develop detailed program strategy, approaches and relevant tools based on PAHAL overall strategy (theory of change, pathways, approaches) for agriculture; agribusiness; climate change adaptation; and natural resource management (NRM).
- Lead, in collaboration with the DCoP, the development of an activities plan, targets and processes on inter-dependencies of agriculture with other technical areas, primarily with agribusiness, irrigation, livestock, village savings and loans, nutrition and disaster risk reduction (DRM).
- Develop standard operating guidelines (SOG) for use of field staff and partners for each of the major interventions of agriculture (i.e. permagardens, agroforestry, animal husbandry).
- Develop strategy for hitting targets for various activities in the agriculture sector and specifically identify milestones for each year.
- Train and build the capacity of field staff and partners to ensure consistent delivery of focused agriculture interventions.
- Support M&E team in developing MIS for agriculture and identify action researches that will help to identify efficiency of agriculture implementation.
Technical Partners Coordination
- Develop scope of work and major milestones in collaboration with each respective partner to facilitate an enabling environment, including targets, program quality parameters and DIP for each partner’s activities.
- Identify and build relationships with private sector partners.
- Provide technical support to partners at the district level and across all project sectors.
- Build the capacity of agriculture partners in market system development.
- Under the leadership of the CoP, coordinate PAHAL’s linkages with the project’s three agriculture focused national partners through established systems and processes.
Technical Support Provision
- Provide and/or identify technical support and resources in agronomy, market assessments, and private sector engagement.
- Support and monitor implementation according to the strategy.
- Ensure systematic roll-out of agriculture trainings.
- Lead in identifying bottlenecks and proposing solutions.
- Lead in managing MERCY CORPS field staff, national partners, and district implementation teams through agriculture technical working groups.
- Ensure uniformity and standardization between consortium members.
- Develop systems of reporting, monitoring and targeting in consultation with the M&E team.
- Ensure synergy between various technical areas at the implementation level.
Program Quality Implementation
- Develop systems to identify and report on program quality of activities and different phases of implementation.
- Coach agriculture staff to ensure program quality programming.
- Facilitate among agriculture team a culture of excellence, setting up models of success, and achieving targets.
Innovation and Learning
- Identify and pilot innovations in agriculture and/or its linkages with irrigation, livestock, nutrition and marketing.
- Work with M&E and Social Behavior Change Specialist to develop a “learning approach” for the technical assistance provided.
- Coordinate learning within PAHAL through cross visits, exchange of staff, technical working group meetings and forums.
- Record lessons learned in the consortium and facilitate its effective use to improve program quality in coordination with the M&E and Knowledge Management and Learning Advisor.
- Facilitate development of ‘learning communities” (a model community which the technical lead may visit often with the consortium team and facilitate learning through experiences with the community).
- Contribute to the dissemination of consortium’s successes to various stakeholders.
- Represent PAHAL at National and International learning forums with respect to the technical area of focus for the consortium.
- Manage and coordinate short-term and long-term agriculture-related consultancies on behalf of the consortium.
- Chair Technical Working Group meetings and coordinate its activities.
- Manage project agriculture budget for each specific activity and ensure timely procurement of materials and services.
- Manage the performance of direct supervisees.
- Develop an annual performance plan for yourself that is linked to PAHAL agriculture’s deliverables.
- Contribute to PAHAL’s Impact Monitoring Team’s functioning.
- Contribute as required to monthly, quarterly and annual reports.
- Ensure adherence to the IEE across the program.
- Provide inputs to CoP on effective use of resources by implementing managers.
- Plan to spend 50% of time in the field and field offices.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve - we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Accountability to Beneficiaries
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: Agriculture program team members
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: PAHAL CHIEF OF PARTY
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: PAHAL DCOP, Program Advisor, PAHAL Senior Management Team, MC Nepal Director of Programs
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
- Must have a Bachelor’s degree, preferably a Master’s degree, in an agriculture or economic development related field.
- Must have a minimum of 7 years professional experience working on similar, large-scale, donor-funded agriculture development projects, preferably in Nepal; at least 5 years of progressive senior management experience on same projects.
- Must have proven experience managing large teams and coordinating effectively with multiple partners and stakeholder groups.
- Must have specific technical skills and significant experience with agriculture systems, with a good understanding of both the production and the market sides.
- Preferred experience in climate smart agriculture (CSA) and conservation agriculture (CA) approaches, including a familiarity with related initiatives in Nepal.
- Good understanding of basic nutrition requirements to be embedded within agriculture programs
- Ability to write and communicate effectively in English.
- Understanding of local structures and processes in Nepal; understanding of current agriculture related Government policies and programs is also desirable.
- Demonstrated ability to create and maintain effective working relationships with national level ministries, NGO partners, international agencies, and U.S. government agencies
- Excellent analytical and self-motivation skills; excellent advocacy and persuasion skills; able to think critically
- Demonstrated skills in capacity building, mentoring, leadership, and organizational development.
The successful Agriculture Director will combine exceptional management skills and experience with their technical sector. S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential.
The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.
LIVING CONDITIONS/ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:
The position is based in Kathmandu, Nepal and it requires up to 50%) travel to the Far and Mid-West regions of Nepal. For field positions additional you would want to add the following:
Security in Kathmandu is safe and the Advisor will be housed in a hotel near to the office. There is wide access to medical care, transportation and telecommunications.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves