Agriculture and Livelihoods Senior Technical Advisor

Agriculture and Livelihoods Senior Technical Advisor

CRS - Catholic Relief Services

Baltimore, MD, United States

Job Summary

The STA will provide strategic leadership to the Recover segment of CRS' Pathway to Prosperity for smallholder farmers, working with other members of the Agricultural Livelihoods team to develop innovative products and services that help smallholder farmers establish the basic production assets and skills to restart or revitalize their livelihood production and initiate marketing options. The STA will strengthen the CRS Recover programming package with additional methods to support interventions at the household, community and national levels, with an emphasis on links between humanitarian and development operations. This includes training CRS and partner staff in the use and the process of skills acquisition by farmers of the best fit practices and technologies. The position involves establishing strong strategic relationships with selected international and regional research and development partners with whom to co-develop, test and evaluate innovative products and services. The STA will support CRS and partner technical staff in the field in the design, implementation and evaluation of agricultural livelihood programs that build on the CRS SMART Skills, and other services that meet the needs of highly vulnerable households. As the technical lead for Recover related approaches, the STA will represent CRS at global conferences and meetings to build the agency's reputation as a technical leader in transitioning the rural poor along a Pathway to Prosperity.

Roles and Key Responsibilities

  • Lead design and implementation of agency-wide strategies, standards, tools, and best practices in agricultural development for vulnerable farming households that effectively engage partners, donors, and governments. Ensure a cross-sectoral approach that integrates disaster risk reduction, resilience, gender and youth;
  • Lead development and advancement of agency-wide standards, policies, innovative approaches, tools, and M&E in agricultural development, including application of partnership principles;
  • Contribute to HQ, regional, and country program staff efforts to pre-position CRS for strategic growth opportunities in pre-commercial Agricultural development. Provide technical guidance in proposal development and project design with a focus on complex projects to ensure innovative programming solutions and technical excellence. Support CPs to appropriately staff project teams;
  • Lead capacity strengthening initiatives in the link between humanitarian assistance and agricultural development programming for staff and partners through ensuring development of learning agendas/curriculums, organizing and/or facilitating trainings, workshops and conferences, and mentoring and coaching staff in innovative CRS approaches and tools. Provide mentoring and coaching to TAs, as well as CP and regional staff;
  • Effectively manage talent and supervise. Manage team dynamics and staff well-being. Provide coaching, strategically tailor individual development plans, and complete performance assessment for direct reports;
  • Lead the agency knowledge management and learning agenda in agricultural recovery and development through setting conditions for collective learning that ensure the capturing, documenting, and sharing of key successes, promising practices, lessons learned, and evidence-based implementation research, internally and externally, including publications in peer reviewed journals;
  • Represent CRS at global forums, UN, Congress, and major donor forums to present CRS' work and research in agricultural recovery, resilience and links to early phase development to influence technical partner approaches, future funding opportunities, and policies. Network with relevant organizations to increase CRS' profile in Agricultural development, influence in the global Agricultural development community, and donor diversification.

Specific Technical areas

  • Linking humanitarian and development interventions: Link humanitarian response and development teams to bridge and where possible integrate disaster recovery and longer term livelihoods strengthening. This will include use of early warning methods, rapid market survey assessments, Seed Systems Strengthening Assessments (SSSA's), and other tools to guide interventions;
  • Market supportive asset transfers: Build on, upgrade, deploy and monitor the delivery of market-based asset transfer systems in development programming, involving use of cash, traditional and electronic vouchers to support areas such as basic graduation, seed fairs, DiNERs fairs, and other means of transferring production-based assets to communities through methods that have least distortion to local markets;
  • Seed Systems: Build on CRS existing leadership in this area to strengthen seed systems, including methods to evaluate seed availability in post-disaster situations, and in remote rural areas, where private sector input supply channels are weak or have failed;
  • Financial services: Work with government, community and private sector input supply and financial services to improve segmented farmers (men, women, youth), with access to basic input supplies and enable them to revitalize their production systems;
  • Environmental Assessments: Provide guidance and support to project teams working to prepare Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) and Environmental Assessment (EA) during both project design/proposal and implementation phases;
  • Knowledge management: Work with CRS technical teams to prepare and disseminate agriculture-related curricula that can be used by CRS and partner staff, as a first stop knowledge center on key agricultural methods, tools, value chain options and access to basic services.

Basic Qualifications

  • Master's Degree in agriculture or related area preferred required. PhD preferred;
  • Deep understanding and application of technical principles and concepts in agriculture with links to recover or resilience work. Good knowledge of related disciplines to ensure proper cross-sectoral approach;
  • Track record of contributing significantly to successful business development activities capturing public and/or private donor funding in agricultural development and preferably with some level of disaster risk reduction work;
  • Expertise in the development and production of curricula, tools, and other products to support agricultural development of vulnerable farmer interventions and programming. Demonstrated experience to transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through training, mentoring, and other formal and informal methods;
  • Experience with program monitoring and evaluation including development of indicators, data collection tools and methodologies, data analysis, and data presentation;
  • Demonstrated experience and skills to represent the organization at the highest levels at meetings with donors, government, international NGOs, local partners -- faith-based and civil society. Understanding of partnership principles;
  • Proficient in MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications and strong understanding of information and budget management systems and knowledge-sharing networks;
  • Minimum of ten years of work experience in agriculture with progressive responsibilities, ideally with an international NGO, with five years overseas in multiple regions as a technical advisor and/or program manager of an agricultural and/or multi-sectoral project with an agricultural or component. Experience in disaster prone areas desired;
  • Required Languages - Fluency in English. French or Swahili language skills desirable.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent relationship management skills with ability to influence and get buy-in from people not under direct supervision and to work with individuals in diverse geographical and cultural settings;
  • Excellent strategic, analytical, problem-solving and systems thinking skills with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment and decisions;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including research publications;
  • Excellent presentation, facilitation, training, mentoring, and coaching skills;
  • Proactive, resourceful and results-oriented.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Technical and/or academic publications highly desirable.

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© EuroJobsites 2019

EuroJobsites is a UK registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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