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Project Management Specialist -Sustainable and Resilient Food Value Chains

Nairobi (Kenya)

Background

In line with its Private Sector and Foundation Strategy, UNDP is becoming increasingly well positioned to support innovative approaches of inclusive market and business development, engaging with the private sector and other stakeholders to improve opportunities for the poor to participate in markets as producers, employees, or consumers.

With Africa being a major focus of UNDP’s work, a strategic, regional Private Sector and Inclusive Market Development for Poverty Reduction in Africa project, the “African Facility for Inclusive Markets” (AFIM), operated from November 2010 to 2014. AFIM is now part of the Regional Bureau for Africa’s Regional Programme Document (RPD) and regional private sector development and engagement initiatives are implemented by the UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa (RSCA), based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Within its efforts to enhance regional institutional capacity under activity result 3.1.1, UNDP has engaged the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to make food value chains more environmentally sustainable and resilient in Sub-Saharan Africa. This includes a study on the topic, in collaboration with the GEF, and an engagement in the context of GEF’s Food Security Integrated Approach Pilot (IAP-FS) in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). A Sustainable and Resilient Food Value Chains Expert is sought for the implementation of the latter.

The IAP-FS project is funded by the GEF from 2018 to 2022 (5 years) and seeks to tackle major drivers of environmental degradation by advancing a holistic and integrated approach to enhancing agricultural productivity in smallholder systems where food insecurity is directly tied to agriculture. Through the IAP-FS project, the GEF is seeking to promote the sustainable and resilient management of natural capital - land, soil, water, vegetation and genetic resources using a value chain approach - as a priority in food security transformation of smallholder agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa countries.

The IAP-FS Regional Hub Child Project supports the IAP-FS through cross-cutting capacity building, knowledge services and coordination. IFAD is the lead implementing agency for the Regional Hub Child Project with responsible parties including UNDP, FAO, UNEP and Conservation International. The Regional Hub has four components:

  • Component 1: Create and/or strengthen integrated institutional frameworks and mechanisms
  • Component 2: Scaling up of integrated approaches
  • Component 3: Monitoring and assessment of global environmental benefits and agro-ecosystem resilience
  • Component 4: Coordination, reporting and general management functions across IAP projects for Programmatic impact, visibility and coherence

UNDP will contribute to “Component 2: Scaling up of integrated approaches”, through a ''greening the value chain'' approach, which will foster sustainable and resilient food value chains at large. UNDP’s efforts within the GEF IAP-FS Regional Hub Child Project will be led by RSCA Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development (IGSD) Cluster, Private Sector Unit. UNDP partners with AGRA for the implementation of the component.

The Sustainable and Resilient Food Value Chains Expert will be engaged in the implementation of the project’s Component 2 and thereby work closely with UNDP RSCA’s IGSD and GEF Cluster as well as with AGRA. The expert will be a member of the UNDP IGSD Cluster and form part of the GEF IAP-FS Regional Hub Child Project Programme Coordination Unit (PCU), which operationally manages the Hub Project and encompasses members of all involved key parties. She / he will be based at the ICRAF Headquarter in Nairobi, Kenya, where the PCU is hosted. The expert will coordinate inputs from AGRA, and UNDP RSCA Private Sector and GEF Clusters. She / he will also work with key partners and stakeholders.

The Sustainable and Resilient Food Value Chains Expert will be under the overall guidance of the IGSD Africa Team Leader and direct supervision of the Regional Private Sector Special Advisor.

Duties and Responsibilities

1)     Supports the development and delivery of a training programme on how to integrate sustainably and resilience aspects in food crop value chains and assists with knowledge products

  • Provides substantive inputs to the development and delivery of a training programme.
  • Supports the delivery of the training programme to the 12 participating countries and relevant RECs and other regional actors.

2)     Engages in proposal selection for catalytic grants, and prepares and delivers the Project Facilitation Platforms (PFP)

  • Develops calls for proposals and key criteria to shortlist proposals addressing resilience, sustainability, value chain approaches, production and marketing solutions of selected regional staple food.
  • Supports the shortlisting of proposal to be presented at a multi-stakeholder regional PFP.
  • Leads on the mobilization of the regional multi-stakeholder platforms and on the preparations and delivery of the Project Facilitation Platforms (PFP).

3)     Provides technical support to the project promoters selected and carries-out monitoring and evaluation, respectively, during and at the end of the grant cycle

  • Leads on the monitoring and complementary technical backstopping to the 3 projects selected for support, in each sub-region.

4)     Supports countries on national staple food value chain approaches and relevant value chain initiatives

  • Supports the development, technical assistance provision, and field implementation of sustainability and resilience aspects in national staple food value chain approaches, based on country demand and additional country budget.
  • Assists in new programme development relevant value chain initiatives of the 12 participating countries.

5)     Contributes to knowledge development tools; leads on planning, monitoring and reporting for relevant Component 2 outcomes; and facilitates collaboration

  • Contributes to the preparation of the draft toolkit on sustainable and resilience value chains.
  • Takes the technical lead on financial management of the project and carries out annual planning and reporting for relevant Component 2 outcomes, in close coordination with the PCU and AGRA.
  • Closely monitors the work of AGRA and provides quality assurance over it.
  • Identifies collaborative opportunities with other GEF IAP implementing partners and pursues related resource mobilisation opportunities with GEF and other relevant partners.

Competencies

Core

Innovation Ability to make new and useful ideas work.

Leadership Ability to persuade others to follow.

People Management Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.

Communication Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.

Delivery Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.

Technical/Functional

Private sector and pro-poor market development Knowledge of private sector and pro-poor market development, in particular of agriculture value chain approaches, including regarding regional private sector companies and financial institutions, especially in the agro-food industry.

Environmental sustainability and resilience issues in agriculture value chains

Knowledge of environmental sustainability and resilience issues in agriculture value chains including proven private sector companies’ models and related investments, and expertise in integrating environmental and resilience aspects in food value chains.

Analytical aptitude, communication and presentation skills

Networking

Networking skills to engage with both internal and external partners, and capacity to communicate fluently with different stakeholders.

Project management skills

Attitude and approach

Positive, constructive attitude and consistently approaches work with energy.

Integrity

Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards.

Computer proficiency

Full command of Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and common internet applications.

Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • Master’s Degree (or equivalent) in environmental studies, climate change, agriculture and rural development, agricultural economics, agro-ecological production systems, natural resources management, food security, or related field is required.

Experience

  • A minimum of five (5) years of relevant progressive experience is required.
  • Progressive experience in food value chains, especially in relation to supporting the adoption of environmentally sustainable and resilient practices in food production is required.
  • Experience working with African agricultural value chains as well as public and private sector agribusiness sector institutions is desirable.
  • Hands on work experience in project development and delivery in developing countries in general and Africa in particular is desirable.
  • Facilitation and training experience in the agribusiness field is desirable.

Language Requirements

  • Excellent knowledge of English, including the ability to write reports clearly and concisely, and to set out a coherent argument in presentations and group interactions, is required.
  • Working knowledge of French is an asset.

Disclaimer

Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Nairobi (Kenya)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Poverty Reduction
    • Environment
    • Nutrition
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-24

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