Job Role: Director – Policy & State Capability

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Job Reference DPSC/CTE/05/2024


AGRA and its Work to Transform Agriculture

 AGRA is an African-led institution that actively supports the drive towards inclusive agricultural transformation and sustainable food systems. We do this by empowering the continent’s 33 million smallholder farming households to transform their agriculture from a struggle to survive to profitable businesses. The continent’s farmers regularly face challenges, and we aspire to provide uniquely African solutions that respond to their agricultural and environmental challenges, leading to increased harvests for reduced hunger and more income.


Working in alignment with the development priorities of our focus countries, we enable farmers to access improved and high-yielding seeds, gain knowledge on sustainable farming, and linkages to profitable markets.

In our work, we aspire to build the alliances, partnerships, and networks required to drive an inclusive agricultural transformation. We work with our partners to create an equitable youth-friendly environment that harnesses the youth dividend on the continent to drive growth and facilitate open employment opportunities for young women and men. We achieve our key objectives through a focus on the following four areas of intervention:

  1. Policy and state capability – We support governments in creating an enabling environment for private sector involvement in agricultural transformation.
  2. Seed systems – We trigger higher productivity by increasing the availability and access to improved seeds by farmers allowing them to increase their harvests for food security and better incomes.
  3. Sustainable farming – We support farmers in building resilient farming systems for sustained high yields through interventions such as mechanization and irrigation.
  4. Inclusive markets and trade – We work to increase the linkages between farmers, and other market actors for a positive, sustained cycle of commercialization and reinvestment.


Why Join Us?

 People are the heartbeat of our organization and remain the true drivers of our delivery, impact, and success.

We have cultivated a workplace that fuels Depth in Collaboration, Excellence in Execution, Constructive Engagements, and a spirit of being Increasingly Entrepreneurial; all underpinned by our cherished I-RISE Values (Integrity, Respect, Innovation, Stewardship and Equity)

We work with incredible people and partners who have roots in farming communities across the African continent combined with an inclusive, diverse, and talented workforce from over 25 nationalities. Our commitment to a call to action goes beyond ourselves as we arise to catalyze African Food Systems transformation and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

We are looking for people who are passionate about being part of a mission-driven team that is making a real difference on the continent; love to work on cutting edge Ag technologies; and able to grow their skills, expertise, and experience career growth, while enjoying very competitive compensation and benefits.

 Are you ready to embark on this exciting transformative journey with us?

 The Position

 Director – Policy & State Capability Job Reference: DPSC/CTE/05/2024

 The Director – Policy & State Capability is a senior member of the Center of Technical Expertise Division. The role holder will play an integral role in program development, strategic management of all policy, advocacy, delivery and institutional capacity strengthening activities and interventions, and monitoring of impact in these areas in all AGRA countries of operation and in its regional and continental work. The role is key in ensuring collaboration and synergy between the policy and state capability teams, and across other technical areas and program delivery areas.


Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Leads in the implementation and refining of AGRA’s policy and state capability strategy and approach.
  • Significantly strengthens AGRA’s approach to supporting governments in Africa to implement and deliver their agriculture and food systems transformation strategies.
  • Develops and rolls out AGRA’s playbook for policy and strategy formulation, delivery support to governments and continental/regional organizations, implementation of government flagship projects, institutional capacity strengthening and individual leadership development.
  • Directs interdisciplinary work and initiatives with the donor community, government, public sector, AGRA countries, multilateral organizations, and NGOs to advance government’s and the Africa Union’s agriculture and food systems transformation agenda.
  • Facilitates quality control of policy guidance products and reports on policy and state capability.
  • Directs fund-raising activities for AGRA’s programming from funding sources that specifically address African government efforts to implement their agriculture and food system transformation strategies and ensures the agreed work program activities are supported by a sustainable funding base.
  • Influences all policy, strategy development, delivery and state capability matters in AGRA in relation to policy priorities, program development and donor funding.
  • Galvanizes for strong policy and state capacity governance and thinking to strengthen AGRA’s country plans.
  • Advises, trains, mentors and guides AGRA staff and leadership on incorporating AGRA’s policy, delivery and state capability playbook within all programs and activities at AGRA, ensuring that outputs are delivered in a timely manner according to budget.
  • Advises on the development and design of proposals to ensure incorporation of the policy and state capability strategy.
  • Influences the advancement of knowledge management and thought leadership in policy and strategy, delivery and state capability activities.
  • Builds relationships and develop strategic partnerships with partner organizations, countries, multilateral organizations and NGOs, working on policy and strategy, delivery and state capability.
  • Influences grantees to develop new grant ideas around policy, strategy, delivery and state capability in achieving sustainable productivity growth according to AGRA’s strategy.
  • Represents AGRA at designated international meetings and conferences, prepare briefing materials, speaking points and make presentations.
  • Enables talent management and development of existing staff, acquiring new staff as necessary and manages team dynamics to ensure high-performance and positive employee experience.
  • Defines and drafts a guidance on the process of policy and strategy formulation and updating (based on delivery feedback loops), including policy positions, issues papers and factsheets, for a range of audiences.
  • Directs evidence-based analysis, and policy dialogue within AGRA and with relevant stakeholders on policy and state capability issues.
  • Plans and conducts project visits and provides technical guidance on policy and state capability issues during monitoring and evaluation.
  • Defines and implements effective communication strategies for policy products to maximize their value, visibility and impact within AGRA and the food security and sustainable development community.
  • Plans for convening meetings and workshops on policy, delivery and state capability issues.


Key Qualifications and Experience required:


  • A master’s degree in political sciences, public policy, management, economics or other relevant discipline. Relevant work experience may be considered in lieu of this.
  • Experience in policy implementation and delivery with governments in Africa.
  • Track record in supporting governments in Africa to accelerate the implementation of their agenda.
  • Excellent track record in intra-governmental coordination around a particular program or outcome.
  • Experience and demonstratable leadership skills, including building own team and collaborating with other teams.
  • A working knowledge of French will be an advantage.

Technical Competencies

  • Understanding of delivery and public administration.
  • Understanding of market economics and industrial economics in Africa.
  • Deep understanding of both the government and private sector policies and governance structures.
  • Experience and demonstrated capacity to communicate effectively with different counterparts (government authorities, heads of agencies, civil society, and the private sector) to align actors and build networks.
  • Experience in managing complex initiatives with proven ability to develop high impact partnerships.


Behavioral Competencies

  • Ability to drive collaboration through inclusive and agile teaming, breaking siloes, sharing information celebrating joint successes.
  • Ability to execute excellently by delivering high-quality work at speed, committing to decisions and plans, and increasing accountability to deliver impact at scale.
  • Ability to be sincerely constructive in interactions with others by demonstrating trust, sincerity, and care, in recognition of our joint purpose.
  • Ability be increasingly entrepreneurial by breaking hierarchies, embracing learning and innovation to unlock the potential of diversity and ideas.


If you believe you are the right candidate for this position, kindly submit your application with a detailed CV (including your e-mail and telephone contacts) to Please quote the job reference number in the subject line of the application e-mail.

 Applications must be received on or before 11th June, 2024. Due to the large volumes of applications, we usually receive, we will only be able to contact those candidates who are shortlisted.

 For more information on the AGRA, visit

 AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer