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Ag Tech Advisor at Tony Blair Institute (TBI)

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe, Malawi
  • Applications have closed
  • Salary: 000

Tony Blair Institute (TBI)

Job Introduction

Are you excited by the prospect of transforming developing and emerging nations through the application of technology? Do you have experience of consulting or working in the tech sector and driving systemic and transformative change in agriculture in emerging or developing countries?  If so, we want to hear from you.

Scaling up its support to multiple governments across Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, TBI is collaborating with governments to accelerate reforms and progress, through better delivery support, technology and private sector engagement (value chain and investment facilitation). Enabled by a dynamic external partner as part of the Tomorrow Partnership, the main objective in this strategically important role is to support the Government of Malawi to improve efficiencies and output across its agriculture sector, through the use of technology.

The Tomorrow Partnership is the Tony Blair Institute’s work with political leaders and governments to bring tech and digital solutions to their biggest challenges, because we believe tomorrow will belong to those who responsibly harness the power of technology for the good of all people, and to leave no one behind.

Through The Tomorrow Partnership, we broker strategic partnerships between governments and leading tech organisations and innovators to help foster environments that enable tech to deliver practical change in people’s lives.

TBI has been working closely with the Government of Malawi since 2021 in support of the President’s priorities, focused on job creation, food security and wealth creation. In the agriculture sector, TBI is adopting a sector-wide approach, combining agri delivery support, agri technology support and agri investment support to accelerate the government’s ambitions. As the Agtech Advisor, you will play a central role in delivering this support, working closely with public and private partners to deploy digital and technological solutions that enable the delivery of the government’s agriculture transformation agenda.

This role will be on a one-year contract with possibility of extension.

Key Responsibilities

Successful delivery of the role will include:

  • Develop and deploy a comprehensive agtech offering in Malawi, securing agreement from the Government on an ambitious, impact-oriented strategy
  • Design and deliver the Tech for Development Malawi agriculture programme – created and staffed with engaged and results-oriented people
  • Establish effective and trusted relationships with senior counterparts in government, such as Ministers and Special Advisors, as well as key stakeholders across the private sector
  • Deliver tangible results in the sector, including deployment of solutions to enable the government of Malawi to drive forward its agriculture transformation agenda, including collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture on improved data collection and utilisation efforts
  • Thought leadership recognised in country/regionally/globally and contribution to TBI’s broader Tech for Development global offer

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­The Agtech Advisor will be responsible for:

  • Representing TBI, our core beliefs and our value proposition
  • Engaging key senior government counterparts on the national vision, priorities, and challenges across the sector, and assessing entry points where TBI’s Tomorrow Partnership programming adds strategic value to the Government’s agriculture objectives
  • Assessing short and long term feasibility of agtech opportunities, taking into account considerations including infrastructure, skills, policy and regulatory frameworks, funding and other enabling factors
  • Aligned with the TBI’s Tech leadership team and the Malawi Head of Tech, developing clear action plans for TBI to support implementation of identified agtech opportunities, with clearly articulated timeframes, milestones and outputs
  • Provide technical expertise to Agtech initiatives, overseeing delivery of individual workstreams, leveraging skills and expertise from across the organisation, and delivering in coordination with TBI’s wider agriculture offering.
  • Build strong relationships with senior public sector stakeholders, maintaining an in-depth understanding of current trends across the agtech ecosystem, identifying opportunities for collaboration
  • Develop relationships with actors across the broader tech ecosystem, including private sector and development partners. Identify partnership opportunities with stakeholders with capacity to support product/solution development, infrastructure establishment or enabling factors around scoped agtech opportunities
  • Support the Head of Tech with the recruitment of required technical and programme management expertise to support agtech delivery
  • Regularly inform TBI country-level and central TBI Tech colleagues of progress through reporting and engagement sessions, and proactively escalate issues for further support as needed
  • Thought leadership recognised in country/regionally/globally and contribution to TBI’s Tomorrow Partnership global offer and playbook
Person Specification

The successful candidate must demonstrate a good understanding of the agriculture ecosystem and tech/digital space in Sub-Saharan Africa countries. Prior work in Malawi is highly desirable. Additional skills and competencies required include:

  • Significant years of relevant experience, ideally including experience in AgTech implementation with governments
  • Experience working with government on public reform programmes or investment projects
  • Prior experience working on programmes/projects in emerging markets, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa is highly desirable
  • Ability to present information in a concise, insightful and structured manner, in written and oral form
  • Problem-solving and analytical skills, including sound knowledge of data analysis, strategic planning, and project management practices
  • Experience in development and/or implementation of risk management/matrix frameworks
  • Ability to coordinate with multi-disciplinary advisors
  • High quality communication, drafting and presentational skills
  • Excellent relationship building and management skills, including the ability to navigate complex political environments
  • Fluency in English (oral and written)
About The Institute

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. We exist to equip political leaders and governments to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies. We work hard, every day, to make a difference. When governments work well they are able to create economic and social change in a way that promotes fairness, social justice and opportunity. We work relentlessly to support leader and governments with the challenges they face. Giving them practical solutions and actionable insights, that once implemented, can be transformative for their people

We do this within two connected divisions:

 Government Advisory 

Our Government Advisory teams work directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It works with a variety of partners and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia.

 Policy Futures 

Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas:

  • Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics;
  • Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution; and
  • Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world.

As an organisation, the core beliefs we all embrace are:

  • Open and Progressive: you’ll believe in the value of teamwork
  • Bold and Pragmatic: you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity
  • Optimistic Changemaker: you’ll be focused on results

TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work.  It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you\’re successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.