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The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) – Program Manager, Excellence-in-Agronomy (EiA) Initiative and Associated Initiatives.

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Program Manager, Excellence-in-Agronomy (EiA) Initiative and associated initiatives (Ref. No: DDG-R4D/PM/EIA/06/22)

Background: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited position of Program Manager, Excellence-in-Agronomy (EiA) Initiative, and associated initiatives.

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a not-for-profit institution that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, we improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase
employment, and preserve natural resource integrity. IITA is a member of the One CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Please visit http://www.iita.org/ for more information on IITA.

Through cooperation between 10 CGIAR Centers, The Excellence in Agronomy (EiA) initiative responds to renewed public and private sector demand for scalable agronomic innovations as an engine for agricultural development through the delivery of agronomic gain in the Global South.
This will be done through four work packages, ORGANIZE (with integrative methods for demand assessment, investment, prioritization, and the formation of alliances to support change), TRANSFORM (data and knowledge into action with next-generation research approaches, algorithms, and tools for guiding strategic and tactical decision making), INNOVATE (insights
with impact-oriented science matched to demand to fill key knowledge gaps for yield, resource use efficiencies, and climate adaptation) and DELIVER (agronomy solutions for enhanced decision-making with the public, private and civil society partners). IITA is looking for a talented, creative, and dynamic Program Manager who will play a crucial role of managing operations of the EiA program.

Position Responsibilities
The Program Manager, in support of Excellence in Agronomy (EiA) and associated bilateral initiatives, will perform the following tasks:
• Oversee day-to-day operations and implementation of EiA activities and associated projects and ensure that effective operational support for program activities is in place.
• Support the Initiative and associated projects in pursuing strategic opportunities to fundraise and expand its activities by contributing to the development of concept notes, grant proposals, outreach, and visibility products.
• Assist in the review of donor agreements, amendments, and development of partner contracts/sub-grants in liaison with the Proposal Development and Administration Unit
(PDAU) and program team.
• Coordinate the development of the annual program work plans, Plan of Results, budgets and Monitoring & Evaluation plans.
• Design a framework and utilize tools that facilitate tracking the progress of activity implementation against milestones and monitoring the Initiative budget and associated projects.
• Oversee the reporting process, and where necessary assist the Program Administrator in communication on this, to ensure timely reporting to the donor.
• Contribute to knowledge management by coordinating the scheduling and production of formal and informal reports, outputs, success stories, and blogs, on all aspects of the program communication, and updating the content of relevant online platforms.
• Establish a risk mitigation plan for the EiA Initiative and associated projects.
• Build capacity of partners in the work plan and budget development and in monitoring and reporting of project progress and financial expenditures in adherence to donor and IITA’s guidelines.
• Coordinate capacity development activities for the EiA team (staff and partners).
• Support internal and donor-directed audit processes ensuring that all recommendations are fully implemented.
• Support the recruitment of key program/project staff, consultants, and students and motivate team members to attain program goals, adhere to their responsibilities and project/program milestones, and track contract renewals and payments.
• Organize and coordinate program meetings, workshops, and team-building events that promote program cohesion, and disseminate project outputs to diverse stakeholders.
• Supervise the Program Administrator and work coherently with the CAH administrative team to ensure effective support services for the EiA initiative and associated projects.
• Undertake any other program-related task assigned by the IITA Central Africa Hub (CAH) Director or as requested by the CGIAR leadership team.

Educational Qualifications and Experience
The desired candidate will have:
• An advanced degree preferably at the Ph.D. level in a relevant field (such as Agriculture, International Development, Business Management, Economics).
• At least ten years of extensive experience post advanced degree, related to Agriculture R&D, project management, or business development, preferably in developing countries.
• Proven experience in rural development project management, Agricultural R&D, and donor funding in developing countries or Africa setting.
• Program Management Certifications.

Core Competencies
• Proven skills in successful project coordination and management including oversight of any risks and issues that may arise.
• Demonstrated strong analytical and communication skills and capacity to present convincingly, discuss and negotiate with high-level country officials.
• Blend of analytical, observational, organizational, and networking skills.
• Familiarity with the policies and procedures of multilateral and bilateral institutions.
• Work experience in International or National Agricultural centers on the African continent.
• Experience with the development of policy, legal, and institutional frameworks as well as the financial and technical aspects of projects.
• Good planning and organizing capacity; and demonstrated ability to pay attention to details.
• Proficient in using Microsoft Office packages (including Excel, Word, PowerPoint) and other project management tools and software (Jira, MS Project, etc).
• Solid knowledge of financial planning, management, and reporting.

• Demonstrated success in working with multi-disciplinary teams and partnerships in multi- cultural environments.

• Experience in resource mobilization.
• Having worked as chief of party for a large development program is an added advantage.
• Fluency in both written and spoken English.

Duty Station: Nairobi, Kenya.

General information: The contract will be for an initial period of three years. IITA offers an internationally competitive remuneration package paid in U.S. Dollars.

Applications: Applications must include a covering letter which should address how the candidate’s background/experience relates to the specific duties of the position applied for, curriculum vitae, and names and addresses of three professional referees (which must include either the Head of the applicant’s current or previous organization or applicant’s direct
Supervisor/Superior at his/her present or former place of work). The application should be addressed to the Head of Human Resources. Please complete our online application form using this link: http://www.iita.org/careers.

Closing Date: 6 th August 2022

IITA is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse workforce, particularly welcoming applications from women.

While all applications will be acknowledged, please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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