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Agribusiness & Competitiveness Lead at Adam Smith International

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe
  • Salary: 00

Adam Smith International

Job description

1. Programme Background

The Malawi Value Chains (MVC) Project implemented by Adam Smith International is one of three components of the Malawi Trade and Investment Programme (MTIP), a 5-year FCDO-funded initiative which aims to break Malawi’s cycle of low growth through driving exports. The overall objective for MVC is to design and implement the value chain component of MTIP with the goal to increase the productivity, quality and production performance of macadamia and mango. Clusters of medium/large enterprises with high growth potential will be purposively targeted. Specific initiatives will aim to be innovative and disruptive and based on what is achievable within the political context, and what will have the greatest impact. Other complementary MTIP activities/components will focus on increasing access to patient capital, and cutting the time and costs of trade and logistics (TradeMark Africa).

2. The MVC Approach

A long list of agricultural value-chains was reviewed, screened and narrowed down for their potential to generate $10m+ of additional exports per year, with macadamia, mango and mining selected for the implementation phase.

MVC will facilitate engagement and dialogues between stakeholders of the selected value-chains that defines priorities and develops action plans to deliver commercially driven initiatives that stakeholders want to implement to improve firm-level and overall value chain performance, notably on volumes, productivity, quality, value-addition and market penetration.

The approach uses systemic thinking to address supply, demand and eco-system weakness and opportunities. It addresses rules[1] set and implemented by government and its agencies that constrain production and export growth. It is politically astute and adaptive to navigate through and around blockages to achieve its aims. MVC addresses the effective use of research, learning and communication to support change.

The core team has three out-put teams:

  1. The Agribusiness Competitiveness (AC) team engages with agribusinesses (notably estates and mid-sized (commercial) farms (MSFs) to support demand-led initiatives that improve productivity, quality, production and exports;
  2. The Rules and Enabling Environment (REE) team engages with private and public sectors to facilitate discussions and improvements in the rules that underpin how the value chains and markets operate and are constrained; and
  3. The Research, Learning and Communication (RLC) team works with other MTIP components, FCDO and relevant research bodies to undertake research to generate learning around trade, investment, productivity/quality and export markets.

In addition to the above teams, there is an internal Results Management (RM) function that helps the team to measure results and to help the team to use results to adapt initiatives. Finally, there is a Programme and Operations team that manages the finance, operational matters, logistics and value for money. There is also a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion specialist that supports the team.

The Team Leader leads the MVC team, working closely with the Programme Manager, Technical Director and Project Director, who together constitute the Senior Management Team.

The MVC team is supported by specialist short term technical experts through ASI partners Agri-Frontier and Delphy and from MVC’s wider pool of experts. MVC closely co-ordinates with TradeMark Africa, which is co-located at our offices in Area 15, Lilongwe.

MVC has developed initial initiatives for each value chain structured around production and export-related themes, broadly encompassing:

  • Improving productivity and quality through access to inputs and agronomy (Good Agricultural Practices – GAP) for estates and mid-sized farms;
  • Integrating smallholders with estates and anchor farms to increase supply and improve quality of crop available to exporters, along with improved returns to smallholders;
  • Meeting export product standards and quality requirements in priority international and regional markets;
  • Facilitating investment and access to finance for exporters, suppliers and service providers;
  • Facilitating access to international markets,
  • Improving the rules that constrain production and exports; and
  • Facilitating dialogues in the mining sector to enable progress on licencing and investment.

Improving productivity and quality through access to inputs and agronomy (Good Agricultural Practices – GAP) for estates and mid-sized farms;

  • Integrating smallholders with estates and anchor farms to increase supply and improve quality of crop available to exporters, along with improved returns to smallholders;
  • Meeting export product standards and quality requirements in priority international and regional markets;
  • Facilitating investment and access to finance for exporters, suppliers and service providers;
  • Facilitating access to international markets,
  • Improving the rules that constrain production and exports; and
  • Facilitating dialogues in the mining sector to enable progress on licencing and investment.

In the implementation phase (ongoing), MVC is:

  • Continuing to elicit and document feedback from stakeholders on opportunities, challenges, climate risks/opportunities and policy/regulatory priorities, to feed into detailed, adaptive value chain strategies;
  • Gauging private sector interest candidly and stimulate discussion on how to realise commercial returns through significantly increased exports;
  • Facilitating networking and partnerships between investors, suppliers, buyers, supporting service providers and rule makers; and
  • Providing an effective means for involving public sector / GoM in supporting and influencing value-chain exports.

A key mechanism for MVC is the use of dialogue processes for value-chain actors, including private and public stakeholders, to discuss priorities, resolve issues and set actions that the value-chain players will then implement and monitor. MVC will facilitate the development of flexible value chain strategies that are adjusted to changes in the wider market and operating environments.

For each reporting year (April-March), the team prepare an Annual Business Plan setting out the planned initiatives, along with budgets and supporting workplans. The implementation of the plans is monitored and reviewed so that these are adapted where the facts on the ground support a change during the year.

3. Scope of Work

The Agri-business & Competitiveness (AC) Lead has overall responsibility for the successful delivery of the agri-business and competitiveness (also referred to as MVC’s Output 1) activities and deliverables. The primary role of the AC Lead is to prepare and deliver the AC strategy and workplan through providing leadership and high-quality technical inputs to ensure that the targets and deliverables are met and, wherever possible, exceeded in the MVC implementation phase.

The AC Lead reports to the Team Leader and works closely with the AC Strategic Adviser, the REE, and RLC teams along with the RM team.

Solution-driven methodology

The AC Lead will be expected to:

  • Follow a solution-driven methodology with an emphasis on identifying, and leading by example, on effective ways of working with a pragmatic, adaptive and evidence informed approach; and
  • Adopt a facilitation role and identify improvement opportunities in close collaboration with the private sector and with other stakeholders.

Workstream Management

The AC Lead will be expected to:

  • Update the AC workplan/programme, ensuring timely and high-quality delivery;
  • Engage with the range of key stakeholders to stimulate interest in, and commitment to, the VC dialogues;
  • Support/facilitate dialogues that result in development and implementation of realistic initiatives and action plans for each VC;
  • Support resolution of conflicts within VCs in a constructive and practical manner;
  • Represent MVC at key fora and events;
  • Manage the delivery of external support to AC initiatives, including use of STTA;
  • Manage AC spending following the Business Process procedures and within overall limits;
  • Ensure that AC results inform project activity to deliver more impact;
  • Support other team members to work effectively as individuals and as part of the team;
  • Be effective in team-working and co-ordination;
  • Contribute to the delivery and effectiveness of the REE & RLC initiatives and action plans, to create the necessary synergies and effective delivery of the wider project; and
  • Identify keys risks to delivery of initiative sand develop mitigating actions.

Stakeholder Management

The AC Lead will be expected to:

  • Develop and manage strong and effective relationships with key stakeholders at senior level across private sector, farmer organisations, GoM and public sector, and non-government organisations/bodies to facilitate support and appropriate action for the target value chains;
  • Support the Team Leader in their engagement with FCDO in-country so as to develop positive relationships;
  • Identify and manage political economy issues that can support or undermine AC initiatives and the project more widely.

Reporting

The AC Lead will be expected to:

  • Prepare and submit monthly, quarterly and annual reports, as required by the Team Leader and Programme Manager;
  • Manage the delivery and updating of the AC team’s workplans;
  • Report the progress of initiatives and related work/action plans;
  • Prepare and deliver presentations to key stakeholders to report on progress;
  • Contribute to key reports prepared by other teams on finance, value for money, learning and impact assessment; and
  • Ensure all reports and presentations prepared by the AC team are to a high standard of clarity, accuracy, and presentation.

Knowledge management

Enable the MVC team to identify, capture and disseminate learning from their activities.

Monitoring and evaluation

Result Management (RM) is integral to the delivery of an effective programme. The AC Lead is expected to:

  • Ensure that the importance and role of RM is fully understood and integrated into the design and implementation of AC work;
  • Monitor AC performance against the logframe targets ensuring the logframe is revised where appropriate and that action is taken if performance is or may fall short or the levels required; and
  • Adopt and promote a culture of adaptive learning from results so as to improve results.

Communications

Communications and learning are key to programme delivery. The AC Lead is expected to:

  • Ensure that communications within the AC team are good so that all team members are aware of information that could impact on their work areas;
  • Ensure that communications with the REE, RLC, RM and Operations/Programme teams are good and that relevant information is communicated timely and effectively.
  • Ensure that communications with relevant external parties are good so that these parties are aware of information that is relevant to their own activities and influences these in a positive way; and
  • Ensure that the AC team follows a learning approach to their work

4. Timing and Duration

The position is intended to continue through MVC’s full implementation period (until 2028), with an initial term beginning as soon as possible through 31st March 2025. Contract extensions will be based on performance.

5. Method Of Application

Send your CV and a brief covering letter detailing your experience and fit for the role to by Friday, 22nd March 2024. Applications will be considered on rolling basis until the right candidate is identified.

Job requirements

6. Qualifications

The key requirements for the role are:

  • In-depth knowledge and experience of agri-business, ideally including productivity, quality, and production.
  • Good knowledge and experience of agri-business exports and international markets.
  • Strong skills and expertise in facilitating dialogues between stakeholders – private-private and private-public.
  • Good relationship skills covering a wider range of others, notably colleagues, agri-businesses, government, development partner and farmers (large, mid-sized and small).
  • Good knowledge and skill in the design of agri-business initiatives that support improvements in productivity, quality, production, exports, and markets.
  • Successful experience of developing and delivering work plans and reporting thereof.
  • Good knowledge and skill at making presentations to a wider range of audiences, including senior private, government and development professionals.
  • A high degree of motivation and energy to deliver initiative workplans on time and to a high standard.
  • High-quality written and oral communications skills with colleagues and external parties.
  • Well-organised working practices and methods.

To apply for this job please visit adamsmithinternational1.recruitee.com.