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Head of Resilience, Climate and Soil Fertility Management, Nairobi, Kenya – Job Reference: RCSFM/PID/09/2020

Founded in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is an African-led African-based organization that seeks to catalyze Agriculture Transformation in Africa. AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the center 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.

Under its 5-year strategy, AGRA looks to catalyze  and sustain an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million farmers in 11 countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda). Under this strategy, AGRA will deliver through an approach that simultaneously catalyzes change at farmer level, strengthens input and output market systems and while putting government at the center to enable and champion private-sector-led agricultural growth at national level.To support this objective, AGRA is seeking to recruit the role of Head of Resilience, Climate and Soil Fertility Management.

This role will be based in Nairobi, Kenya, with frequent travel.

Role Summary

The Head of Resilience, Climate and Soil Fertility Management will be responsible for identifying and implementing high priority transformational ability to address institutional and systemic challenges around Resilience systems, climate change and soil fertility and fertilizer systems. S/he will also be in-charge of supporting AGRA mainstream climate change adaptation into its projects and programs through providing strategic advice to projects and programs on building resilience and adapting to climate change; developing frameworks, strategies and tools; providing training; developing and disseminating learning including through case studies. 

The Head Resilience, Climate and Soil Fertility Management will manage any soil related implemented projects, directing the work of the Soil fertility and fertilizer systems development knowledge centers as well as facilitating support to AGRA’s agricultural commercialization activities as pertains to issues of soil fertility and fertilizer systems. Will work with all AGRA Divisions, governments and partners to develop resilient technologies, practices and mechanisms that can withstand shocks and stresses like pests, diseases, drought, frost, floods, price volatility and civil strife impacting agricultural transformation. Will work closely with local and international environmental organizations including meteorological institutions for their support to use the climate lens in resilience and to protect environment.

This position reports to the AGRA Deputy Vice President Program Innovation & Delivery -Technical and works closely with AGRA leadership and other Program Officers to develop partnerships with national and international organizations to expand and scale-up successful programs across Africa and to manage their performance. The Head Resilience, Climate and Soil Fertility Management is a member of the staff Management Committee.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead in the development of strong and convincing Resilience, climate and soil fertility systems management policies procedures and strategies and manages implementation.
  • Leads in the creation and delivery of Resilience, Climate & Soil fertility systems strategies and programs to achieve AGRA’s overall goal and mission for agricultural transformation in Africa.
  • Drive the implementation of grants strategies to soil fertility and fertilizer systems, climate and resilience that could be brought to scale, and do so in ways that leverage public and private investments.
  • Lead and acts as a scout and tests new technologies.
  • Act as the main focal point in AGRA for providing adaptation advice to field-based projects and programs.
  • Oversee and support the development of best practice in climate change adaptation for the mainstreaming of climate adaptation into AGRA programs and the dissemination to staff.
  • Ensure that AGRA activities on adaptation contain lesson-learning and evaluation.
  • Support the development of funding opportunities for AGRA’s climate change adaptation work as part of a wider climate change fundraising program.
  • Contribute to AGRA’s internal reporting, supporter enquiries, communications and fundraising activities.
  • Ensure relevant evidence from projects and programs is integrated into AGRA’s policies, and strategic planning.
  • Advise on the design and implementation of the soil fertility, fertilizer and climate change components of AGRA’s partnership with key donors, specifically ensuring robust monitoring and evaluation indicators are fully embedded.
  • Network to develop and share latest thinking on adaptation practice, frameworks, strategies and tools.
  • Monitor and disseminate emerging best practice on soil fertility, fertilizer and climate change adaptation strategies, planning and practice and, relevant scientific research developments, particularly as they affect or address biodiversity, ecosystems and vulnerable people and their livelihoods in key ecoregions.
  • Commission research and publish reports, in consultation with other AGRA colleagues, on adaptation frameworks, strategies and tools.
  • Build relationships with environmental and development NGOs, donors and the scientific community and colleagues within AGRA.
  • Communicate results through written and verbal communication.
  • Directs and provides coaching to relevant technical and administrative staff.
  • Directs all AGRA’s soil, fertilize, climate change adaption & resilience projects and programs, assuming overall responsibility for the direction and management of the programs and projects under it and mobilizing needed financial, human or organizational resources for program execution.
  • Set standards for technical and operational excellence in the execution of AGRA Initiatives, with a focus on resilience.
  • Plans and manages the Program’s budget; obtains approvals from senior level management and monitors budget utilization against allocation.
  • Regularly reports to the VP Program Development & Innovation, and to the President on progress, challenges and constraints of the program team activities.

Academic, Professional Qualifications and Relevant Experience

  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in agricultural development in Africa, with a focus on soil fertility, fertilizer systems, climate and resilience
  • Ph.D. with emphasis in soil science or advanced degree in natural resources, climatology, environmental studies or related discipline with a sound background in biodiversity or climate change.
  • Broad understanding of the various aspects of climate change adaptation, particularly frameworks, strategies and tools for implementation.
  • At least 10 years’ field-related project and program experience with proven skills in their design, management, monitoring and evaluation and reporting.
  • Demonstrable understanding of climate change and conservation challenges in developing countries, with the ability to recognize and work with local and national level priorities to identify linkages between policy and practice.
  • Demonstrable ability to understand complex scientific issues and to communicate and apply them at project and program level.
  • Excellent presentation, communication and facilitation skills.
  • Demonstrable experience of an ability to integrate new and challenging issues into existing areas of work, including through educating, supporting and facilitating others.
  • Experience in climate change adaptation practice would be welcome, for example managing risk and uncertainty, supporting organizational change, developing community- based adaptation, or integrating climate change issues into the design, monitoring and evaluation of conservation and/or development projects and programs
  • Proven ability to work as part of a team, and as part of a wider network, is essential.
  • Fluency in English required; ability to communicate in French will be considered an advantage

An attractive remuneration package commensurate with this position’s responsibility 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 (including your e-mail address and telephone contacts to recruit@agra.org noting to quote the job reference number in the subject of your email)

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

For more information on AGRA, applicants can visit www.agra.org

AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer