Malawi: Chief of Party/Country Director

Organization: Land O’Lakes International Development
Country: Malawi
Closing date: 28 Apr 2017

Chief of Party/Country Director

Malawi Strengthening Inclusive Markets for Agriculture (MSIKA)

Lilongwe, Malawi


Land O’Lakes International Development is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening agriculture from farm-to-folk, helping businesses grow, and linking farmers to markets. Since our start in 1981, we have been leveraging nearly 100 years of expertise in dairy, animal nutrition, crop inputs and agricultural insights from our close affiliate, Land O’Lakes, Inc., a farmer-owned agribusiness committed to fulfilling its purpose of feeding human progress.

Our team is made up of nearly 350 employees who are committed to market-led approaches, and passionate about collaborating locally to create lasting inclusive economic growth. By unlocking the potential of agriculture for the last 36 years, the lives of more than 3 million people have been transformed through nearly 300 programs in more than 80 countries.

Our Practice Area Management team provides technical leadership to our overall strategy, and the design and implementation of projects. This group of dynamic, forward-thinking people are at the heart of everything we do.

Project Description:

Malawi Strengthening Inclusive Markets for Agriculture (MSIKA) is a five-year value chain and private sector development project that will focus on increasing agricultural productivity in the fruit and vegetable sector by: increasing the availability of improved inputs, improving infrastructure to support on-farm production, facilitating access to finance, and training farmers on improved agricultural techniques and technologies, as well as farm management. It will also expand trade of agricultural products in the fruit and vegetable sector by: improving quality of postproduction agricultural products, training producers and processors on improved post-production processes, facilitating improved linkages between buyers and sellers, improving market and trade infrastructure, and facilitating improved management of buyer/seller groups.

Position Summary and Primary Responsibilities:

The Chief of Party (COP) will provide strategic vision, overall leadership and technical direction to the project, ensuring achievement of project deliverables. The COP will be the primary liaison with USAID and will manage project staff and implementing partners to ensure proper reporting, financial management, and compliance. The COP is expected to coordinate with government and other stakeholders to ensure that activities complement ongoing initiatives and adhere to country and global standards. The position will be based in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Primary responsibilities of the position include but are not limited to the following:

· Provide strategic leadership to the design and implementation of the project activities and oversees program planning, monitoring, reporting and evaluation

· Oversee project finances, planning, administration, compliance, reporting, and monitoring and evaluation;

· Ensure successful project implementation and achievement of results on time and within budget;

· Manage relationship with implementing partners (TechnoServe, Opportunity International and Michigan State University);

  • Ensure optimal use of human, financial, and physical resources to successfully meet project milestones, objectives, deliverables and targets;
  • Oversee and coordinate the successful completion of planning and budgeting requirements of the project;
  • Ensure mechanisms are in place to monitor the implementation of projects, including progress toward achieving objectives and targets with high-quality and on-time performance;
  • Ensure timely, high-quality and complete submission of work plans, quarterly and annual reports, financial reports, and any other reports required by the donor;
  • Ensure that all activities are undertaken in full compliance with Land O’Lakes’ standard operating procedures, and donor policies and regulations, and national policies and laws;
  • Ensure documentation and dissemination of findings, impact, innovations, and lessons learned;
  • Represent project both internally and externally to other donors, stakeholders, implementing partners and government counterparts;
  • Ensure gender concerns are integrated into programming; encourage gender-sensitive working environment, guaranteeing equal opportunities and treatment to both men and women;
  • Implement gender mainstreaming approach: identify and use opportunities for improving gender equality in the project;
  • Promote sustainability of project activities with effective networking, linkages to other programs, capacity building of project staff, and institutional strengthening of implementing partners and community-based organizations;
  • Create a collaborative organizational culture and facilitate exchange of knowledge for cross-organizational learning;
  • Encourage learning and knowledge sharing as an essential part of doing business and ensure employees own their own learning;
  • Ensure important decisions are recorded, and easily available for retrieval thus making it employees’ responsibility to share the learning; and
  • Ensure tools for learning, such as blogs, articles, social media, brochures, coaching, training, etc. are in place. Encourage employees’ enrollment in relevant social networks and communities of practice.

Reporting & Supervision:

The Chief of Party reports to the Regional program Director and supervises, mentors and develops technical leads and the Deputy Chief of Party – Operations.

Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in international development, business administration, economics, social sciences, agriculture, or a closely related field is required.
  • 10 + years’ experience designing, implementing and managing large, complex projects involving multiple partners, in/for developing countries, of which at least five years has been spent in the position of CoP, Deputy CoP or a similar role of a large development program of equivalent size and scope.
  • Strong leadership, communication and interpersonal skills, including proven ability to develop and communicate a common vision among diverse partners and lead a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Strong leadership qualities and depth and breadth of technical and management expertise in agriculture programming.
  • Experience in systems strengthening, capacity building, service delivery, and quality improvement is highly desirable.
  • At least two years of experience living or working in a developing country required;
  • Demonstrated ability to create and maintain effective working relations with host country government personnel, stakeholders, NGO partners, and international donor agencies.
  • Strong interpersonal, writing and oral presentation skills in English.
  • Ability to work independently and manage a high volume work flow
  • Relevant computer software skills (including, at a minimum, the standard applications in MS Office).

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  • Experience living and working in Malawi is preferred;
  • Management experience of a USG contract or cooperative agreement is preferred;
  • Sense of humor is preferred.

How to apply:

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