Head of Resilience, Climate & Soil Fertility Management

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Nairobi, Kenya

About the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

For nearly 10 years, AGRA’s work across 18 countries was focused on distinct problems related to seed production, soil health, and agriculture markets that were so profound and had been neglected for so long that they required a concentrated effort to resolve. Their results have been impressive. Now, they’re embarking on an ambitious and more integrated approach in select countries.
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.
AGRA is rolling out a 5-year strategy 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.
You can find further details on their website https://agra.org/

Head of  Resilience, Climate and Soil Fertility Management Role Profile

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 Vice President Program Innovation & Delivery 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 of Soil Fertility, Fertilizer Systems, Climate & Resilience is a member of the staff Management Committee (ManCo).

Key Responsibilities 

Purpose: Transform
  • 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.
Engagement: Compel
  • 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
Delivery: Define Program Cycle
  • 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.
Key Measures of Performance

The performance of this role holder will be assessed on the basis of the achievements made on:

  • Execution of interventions for soil health improvements
  • Development of balanced fertilizers
  • Adoption of improved integrated soil fertility management technology packages that promoted the use of both inorganic and organic fertilizer and agronomic practices
  • Capacity building of grantees, public and private sector to build efficient and sustainable fertilizer systems
  • Improved climate change adaptation & resilience programs
  • Effective cascade of resilience Initiatives and measurement of their impact on small holder farmers
Required Competencies
Key Competencies:
  • Strategic Orientation: focus on the big picture and overall Strategic Framework. Ability to identify and pursue strategic initiatives which provide the greatest value and sustainable impact; balances long and short-term trade-offs; communicates clearly and precisely the strategic goals and the strategies for achieving them.
  • Leadership:  Demonstrates ability to mobilize, focus, align, and build effective groups to enable them conceptualize and achieve collective objectives.  Inspires Trust and Passion in the AGRA Mission: Ability to show great drive and commitment to AGRA mission; help others understand how their daily work contributes to the AGRA's mission and inspires others to proactively meet the AGRA's strategic objectives in partnership with clients. Maintains high standards of personal integrity and provides support for professional development efforts linked to business objectives.
  • Customer and market Orientation: Demonstrates knowledge of the customers they serve, competitors, suppliers, and the regulatory environment. Provides a balanced a responsive and proactive approach to meeting client needs; encourages staff to understand client needs and concerns; ensures provision of customized services and products as appropriate; Responds promptly and effectively to client and market needs.       Adds business value based on own understanding and service of the customers and the market in which they work. 
  • Driving Results: Demonstrates drive for improvement of business results, based on well-rounded understanding of general business principles and own activities’ commercial and financial implications.
  • Planning and Organising: Devises plans of action with explicit paths and measures of accomplishment for self and/or others and allocates suitable resources so that objectives are achieved. Strong administration skills.
  • Technical Competencies for the position: Demonstrates knowledge of all own work role specific issues. This encompasses the technical skills or knowledge required to perform the essential duties as described in this Job Description. Specific technical competencies: quantitative analytical skills including use of appropriate software, results-based management systems, designing tools and strategies for data collection, analysis and production of reports; In-depth knowledge on MIS, M&E and development issues
  • Accuracy and attention to detail: High level of accuracy, attention to detail and thoroughness. Ability to maintain a timely and efficient work flow.
  • Managing Resources: Demonstrates the ability to plan and use resources (people and/or finance and/or physical assets) in accordance with AGRA guidelines and delegated accountability so that objectives are achieved in the most effective manner possible.
  • Coaching and Developing Staff: A demonstrated capacity for working effectively within multi-disciplinary teams for collective success and provide effective coaching and encourage appropriate development activities in order to support staff in identifying and meeting their training and development needs.
  • Communication and Interpersonal relations: Exceptional communication skills and ability to represent AGRA externally at high levels. Demonstrates ability to maintain lasting, healthy, and effective one-to-one working relationships with colleagues, suppliers, customers, professional peers, etc.
  • Intercultural Sensitivity and Effectiveness: Demonstrates ability to cross and bridge different racial, cultural, or business cultures. This requires and is exhibited by personal experience of international or cross-cultural business with improved achievements. 
  • Team Work: Demonstrates productive drive in working  with peers, partners, consultants and others to achieve pre-  targeted and measurable business results

Qualifications and Experience

Academic and Professional Qualifications:
  • 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
  • A sound understanding of the linkages between ecosystems, biodiversity, human well-being and climate change
  • Understanding how to improve soil fertility and improvement interventions with resilience lens
  • Fluency in English required; ability to communicate in French will be considered an advantage
Relevant Experience:
  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in agricultural development in Africa, with a focus on soil fertility, fertilizer systems, climate and resilience
  • 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.
  • Deep knowledge why fertilizer use is extremely low in Africa and what needs to be done to correct the anomaly
  • Skills in identifying limitations of national fertilizer regulatory agencies and supporting them to design and implement corrective measures.
  • 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
  • Cultural sensitivity and ability to respect and work well with people from different backgrounds and disciplines.
  • The ability to work within complex institutional environments
  • Proven ability to work as part of a team, and as part of a wider network, is essential.
  • The commitment and drive to achieve challenging goals; a problem-solving attitude is essential.
  • A self-starter with the ability to work where necessary to short deadlines

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position with the successful candidate being contracted on a three-year basis with the possibility of renewal. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. A pension plan, life and medical insurances are included in the benefits package.

Location & Work Travel:  Based in Nairobi, Kenya with frequent travel.

How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please forward a copy of your CV in Microsoft Word format, along with any relevant documentation to Arvin Santiago at at [email protected] on or before 2nd October, 2020. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service. We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application.

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by AGRA to undertake this assignment.

Application form