Latest jobs in Malawi

Team Leader, Malawi Value Chains Project at Adam Smith International

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe
  • Salary: 00

Adam Smith International

Job description

1. Programme Background

The Malawi Trade and Investment Programme (MTIP) is a 5-year programme, funded by the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO). The £7.5m Malawi Value Chain (MVC) component is one component in the MTIP programme, which collectively aim to break Malawi’s cycle of low growth through increasing exports in selected high value export value chains. Adam Smith International (ASI) has been contracted to deliver the VC component which will focus on macadmia, mango and mining value chains. The MVC project aims to achieve this through improving productivity, quality and production in macadamia and mango, and facilitating progress in mining investments.

Other complementary MTIP components will focus on increasing access to 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 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.

Used in the market systems sense covering government policies, strategies, legislation, regulations, procedures, processes, systems and informal rules, with a focus on changes in the lower levels of these such as regulations, systems, procedures and processes.

The core team has three output-related 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 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 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.

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 Team Leader has the lead responsibility and accountability for the successful delivery of the programme in-country. The primary role of the Team Leader is to enable and support the MVC teams to design and deliver initiatives that enable MVC to deliver its overall results.

Alongside this, the Team Leader works with the Technical Director to give the MVC Project its strategic and operational direction, through high-quality technical inputs which ensure that MVC successfully meets, and wherever possible exceeds, targets and expectations in implementation phase.

MVC is a results-driven project with payment by our Client based on meeting quarterly and annual deliverables. The Team Leader is responsible for ensuring MVC meets its deliverables.

The Team Leader reports to the Project Director, based in the UK. The Team Leader works closely with the Technical Director on all technical matters and with the Programme Manager on all operational and reporting matters.

Solution-driven methodology

The Team Leader 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;
  • Adopt a facilitation role and identify improvement opportunities in close collaboration with the team, and with private and public stakeholders; and
  • Work with the team to ensure solutions are implemented, reviewed and adapted as appropriate.

Workstream Management

The Team Leader will be expected to:

  • Manage the team to develop appropriate, deliverable and high-quality work plans;
  • Engage with the range of key stakeholders to facilitate value-chain dialogue processes that yield results, including resolving conflicts, overcoming blockages and seizing opportunities;
  • Represent MVC at key fora and events, including with senior government, private sector and development partner personnel;
  • Ensure that the delivery their work plans, including the use of short term technical assistance (STTA);
  • Ensure team members are working effectively as individuals, including coaching and giving appropriate correction where necessary;
  • Ensure there is effective team-working and co-ordination;
  • Ensure spending follows programme procedures and is within overall limits;
  • Ensure that results are used to inform programme activity to deliver more impact; and
  • Identify keys risks to delivery strategy and develop mitigating actions.

Stakeholder Management

The Team Leader will be expected to:

  • Develop and manage strong and effective relationships with private sector, farmer organisation, government/public sector and development stakeholders at senior level to facilitate support and appropriate action for the target value-chains;
  • Be the primary point of contact for FCDO in-country, developing positive relationships through regular and effective communications; and
  • Identify and manage political economy issues that can support or undermine the programme.


The Team Leader will be expected to:

  • Prepare and submit monthly, quarterly and annual reports as required by ASI and FCDO;
  • Manage the development of the team’s workplans;
  • Manage the development of the value-chain strategies and action plans;
  • Prepare and deliver presentations to FCDO and key stakeholders to report on progress;
  • Ensure that key reports are prepared by the team on finance, value for money, learning and impact assessment; and
  • Ensure all reports and presentations prepared by the 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 Team Leader is expected to:

  • Ensure that the importance and role of RM is fully appreciated by all team members and integrated into the design and implementation of their work;
  • Monitor programme performance against the Logframe ensuring it is up to date and that action is taken if performance is or may fall short or the levels required; and
  • Promote a culture of adaptive learning from results, so as to improve results.


Communications and learning are key to programme delivery. The team leader is expected to:

  • Ensure that communications within the team are good so that all team members are aware of information that could impact on their work areas;
  • Ensure that communications with all relevant external parties is 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 team members adopt a learning approach to their work.

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI)

Mainstreaming GESI is essential to quality programme delivery. The Team Leader will work closely with the MVC GESI Lead to ensure that GESI is mainstreamed in all relevant activities and ways of working in adherence with the MVC GESI Strategy, FCDO guidelines, and global best practice. This includes, but is not limited to initiative design, delivery, and learning and adaptation processes.

4. Location and Duration

The position is intended to continue through MVC’s full implementation period through to April 2028. The position is full-time based in our offices in Area 15, Lilongwe.

Job requirements

5. Qualifications

The key requirements for the role are:

  • Successful team leadership experience, with at least 10 years’ experience in leadership roles, ideally in agriculture, agri-business, and/or development in Malawi;
  • Experience and in-depth knowledge of working with the private and public sectors;
  • A track record of being accountable for, and delivering, results;
  • Skills and expertise in facilitating high-level problem-solving dialogues between stakeholders – private-private and private-public;
  • Excellent relationship skills , notably with colleagues, private sector, government/public sector, development partner and farmers orgnisations;
  • Successful experience of developing and delivering work plans;
  • High-quality written and oral communications skills with colleagues and external parties, particularly external presentations and writing/editing high quality reports;
  • A high degree of motivation and energy to ensure delivery of workplans on time and to a high standard and project results;
  • Exceptionally well-organised working practices and methods; and
  • An appreciation of political economy and sensitivity around how to bring about change.

The desirable qualities for the role are:

  • Strong knowledge and skill in the design of agri-business initiatives that support improvements in productivity, quality, production, exports, and markets;
  • Knowledge and experience of exports and international markets;
  • Knowledge of macadamia, mango and/or mining;
  • ASI operates an inclusive approach to employment, with all candidates fairly considered, Malawi-based candidates strongly preferred. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply

To apply for this job please visit