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Portfolio Officer, Job Reference: RFT/PO/04/2022

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

About AGRA 

Founded in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) 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. Under its current strategy, AGRA continues to catalyze and sustain an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million farmers. AGRA will deliver through an approach that simultaneously catalyzes change at farmer level, strengthens input and output market systems and puts government at the center to enable and champion private-sector-led agricultural growth at national level. 

AGRA and the UK governments Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) initiated an Africa Food Trade and Resilience (AFTR) program in order to propel Agri-transformation through improved trade. The AFTR is a five-year program (2018 – 2023) and aims to stimulate an increase in regional food trade in sub–Saharan Africa (SSA), contributing to satisfying a growing food demand and to addressing food shortages through regional food production, processing and trade, and generating more rural jobs, climate resilience and income for farmers, and generate robust evidence on how private sector solutions can scale, with the ultimate aim of de-risking markets and mobilizing finance.

The program, which is in its third year now, has two components: (i) work with companies that source, process, and trade food in the region, to maximize investment, coordination and benefits to smallholder farmers and (ii) contribute to improve the transparency and predictability of government policies to unlock regional food trade. A lot of progress has been made so far including direct investments in structuring supply chains for food, investments around data and evidence systems as well as policy reforms aimed at improving the enabling environment for functional regional supply chains.

The program now seeks the services of an experienced Portfolio Officer to support program implementation. 

The role will be based in Nairobi, Kenya

Why AGRA? 

At AGRA we believe Agriculture is the single greatest opportunity to deliver inclusive economic growth, jobs, and health to the African continent. An alliance led by Africans with roots in farming communities across the continent combined with an inclusive and diverse workforce from 24 nationalities. Our values of (I-RISE; Integrity, Respect, Innovation, Stewardship and Equity.) espouse our commitment to a call to action to go beyond ourselves as we arise and transform Africa’s Agriculture.

When you join us, we present you with intellectually stimulating assignments and structured career advancement with 30% of open roles being filled internally through promotions and transfers, and a Leadership commitment for this ratio to increase. This is after setting you up for success with a World Class Onboarding for new hires where a bespoke induction trains on all aspects of the role that you will need to succeed. You will gain a full understanding of our lofty ambitions to transform African agriculture, and how you can contribute to an amazing employee experience.

We are looking for people who are passionate about Africa, curious and collaborative to join our innovative, growing, and multidisciplinary team.

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

The Position

Reporting to the Head of Regional Food Trade, the Portfolio Officer supports the programming, measurement and reporting component of the initiative. Key objective of position is to manage a portfolio of projects focused on product, process and system development, providing long-term delivery and project effectiveness. Providing project assurance to management for the portfolio of projects which will enable it to meet its operational and strategic objectives. The role will ensure current and future projects are delivered in line with best practice project management techniques appropriate to the type and scale of projects and delivering the identified business benefit.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

Monitoring System Development

  • Support program team in delivery against the Log-Frame, Food Trade Strategy, Policy Road Maps, and more granular elements such as the sustainability of structured relationships (repeat contracts etc.)
  • Develop or refine appropriate key performance indicators/tools/frameworks and monitor/report/ and ability to communicate to management and stakeholders.
  • In collaboration with program team and the FCDO identify key performance indicators at program level and investments made by the program for inclusion in a dashboard.

Tracking/Monitoring of Portfolio

  • Monitoring the quality of project outputs to ensure strategic objectives are met.
  • Manage dashboard and track performance indicators in collaboration with Head.
  • Compute value for money metrics and tracking for the RFT program as well as its investments through grants, consultancies, convenings and studies.
  • Prepare regular reports to AGRA and FCDO management on the performance of the program and its investments.
  • Track project milestones versus budget utilization and project life.

Advisory and Communications

  • Explore external and internal opportunities for leverage in order to support problem and high potential projects/investments based on the agreed KPIs.
  • Initiate engagements with and between different projects under the RFT portfolio and more widely within AGRA.
  • Supports the development of quarterly and annual reports and other reports, as needed, in compliance with the requirements of FCDO and other partners; as well as. 
  • Provide regular verbal and written updates and briefings on program operations, best practices, achievements, and problems to AGRA management and other program staff.
  • Distil key insights to inform decision making both for policy/strategy and for project implementation/resource management. 
  • Conducting portfolio meetings and attending project meetings where require.
  • Establishing effective working relationships with all stakeholders and ensuring effective portfolio communications.

Capacity Building

  • Provide technical assistance to program officers, grantees and assist in monitoring progress of implementation of Food Trade and Resilience Program grants.
  • Close collaboration with M&E unit and program leads to maintain an up-to-date dashboard of performance against set milestones, deliverables, and spending.
  • Representing the program where necessary.

Relevant Academic & Professional Experience

  • At least ten (10) years of experience in Monitoring and Evaluation including database development and maintenance/management.
  • Masters’ degree in Economics, Finance, Business Administration, or related field.
  • Portfolio management expertise with strong analytical capabilities.
  • Program management experience in development or related sectors.
  • Knowledge of regional food trade and market systems development and the demonstrated ability to catalyze change in addressing market challenges is an advantage.
  • Demonstrable report writing and presentation skills.
  • Experience in business analysis and strategic planning, including requirements definition and business case production.
  • Proven experience of translating business analysis, requirements definition and business case production into practical implementation.
  • Results management skills and program management.
  • Risk analysis and assessment skills and development of mitigation strategies.
  • Ability to develop sound project reports that can be understood by a wider stakeholder audience. 
  • Critical/strategic thinking, problem solving, programming and decision-making skills.
  • Ability to understand the landscape where we operate in and be able to broker or leverage new and beneficial partnerships.
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills.
  • Outstanding communication and inter-personal skills with the ability to clearly communicate with senior management.
  • High-level of IT literacy.

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)

To be considered, applications must be received on or before 3rd May,2022.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer