Food Security and Resilience Team Lead – USAID Africa Trade and Investment Program
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Position: Food Security and Resilience Team Lead
Project: USAID Africa Trade and Investment Program
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
The USAID Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) program is an innovative, five-year, flexible buy-in mechanism that covers the entire Africa continent and is jointly managed by the USAID Africa Bureau, Middle East Bureau, and Africa Regional Missions. It was designed to mobilize enterprise-driven solutions that increase trade and investment in Africa, including North and Sub-Saharan Africa. It strengthens Africa’s markets by developing new trade and investment relationships, particularly between the United States and African continent. It also works to achieve development outcomes across all sectors.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the impacts are already being felt on the African continent. USAID has intensified its commitment to support Africa’s response. Food shortages and supply chain disruptions have caused unprecedented increases in food prices. This rampant inflation, coupled with climate-related shocks and the longer-term impacts of the global pandemic, is expected to have devastating effects on food security across the continent. In response to these pressing needs and in line with Prosper Africa goals to drive investment across the African continent, the USAID Africa Trade and Investment program is building rapidly deployed private sector-led partnerships and innovative trade and investment solutions to bolster African food resilience.
Specifically, USAID seeks to address the following overarching challenges and impacts caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine:
- Sharply higher food and fertilizer prices, which are putting significant pressure on households—especially the poorest.
- Higher fuel prices are placing fiscal constraints on importers and exporters of key commodities
- Slowed economic growth as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic is being further exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine.
In support of USAID’s objectives, ATI is exploring and deploying innovative private-sector solutions that improve food security and resilience across the continent in the very short term as well as laying a foundation for addressing chronic and severe food insecurity going forward.
The Food Security and Resilience (FSR) Team Lead serves as ATI’s designated person providing leadership for the overall management of the fast-paced, high-profile ATI Food Security and Resilience work that will be activated with the Ukraine Supplemental funding that comes into the ATI buy-in mechanism. This position will manage all the people and processes associated with the urgent delivery of food security and resilience programming while being a fully integrated member of the ATI team delivering the broader program of trade and investment through market-led solutions. The overall goal of the FSR Team Lead is to ensure rapid activation of the Ukraine Supplemental funding aimed at deploying market led solutions for urgent relief across the continent while maintaining close coordination with the mainstream ATI buy-in programming where relevant. The FSR Team Lead is responsible for the overall management of all relevant client relationships, design of the food security activities, financial and program management, and close liaison and integration with the ATI team on their ongoing non-Ukraine funded work. The FSR Team Lead will also ensure full and timely reporting to USAID Washington and individual buy-in Missions on ATI’s progress and quality of performance in meeting the activity undertakings of the FSR work. Under the guidance and overall technical direction of ATI’s Chief of Party (COP), the FSR Team Lead provides oversight of activities, including supervision of the program field staff, ensuring appropriate activity design, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation, and compliance with USAID rules and regulations. The FSR Team Lead also works closely with the part-time FSR Coordinator based in Washington, D.C., and the ATI communication team to ensure that there is full and timely communication and relationship engagement with USAID and the USG as needed.
KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The FSR Team Lead is responsible for:
- Management, oversight, and reporting of the overall performance by ATI in meeting the objectives of the Ukraine Supplemental funding that is committed to ATI by Missions and Washington Bureaus, Offices as well as by Prosper Africa.
- Close daily coordination with ATI COP, DCOP, CFO, and the Senior Technical Directors, to ensure a fully integrated response that leverages ATIs trade, investment, and private sector expertise.
- Put in place and manage a rapid activation process that urgently deploys funding in an approach that is integrated with ATI existing processes for design, procurement of grant activities, sub-contracts and consultants to ensure the quality and compliance of the activities to be implemented.
- Direct supervision of all FSR activity management staff responsible for overseeing the ensuring appropriate grant design, ensuring that procedures are fully compliant with all USAID rules and regulations including grant design, procurement and management.
- Making key decisions and solving problems in short time frames while ensuring operational and program integrity. Overall program direction is provided by ATI COP and DCOP, in close consultation with the Senior Technical Leadership of ATI.
- Serving as part of the ATI Leadership Team, and ensuring activities under this portfolio are integrated into the rest of the project
- In conjunction with ATI Senior Leadership, establish effective partnerships with other U.S. Government agencies, African local entities partners, nongovernmental organizations, and a wide variety of other stakeholders.
- Financial and program management, oversight, and reporting of progress and quality of performance in meeting the activity undertakings in this program.
- Working closely with the CFO on the management of the overall Ukraine Supplemental budget and each individual buy-in.
- Contributing to the design and implementation of the M&E system at the activity and program levels and for ensuring that all programming is properly monitored and evaluated.
- Develop familiarity with and maintain daily usage of the ATI systems for financial management, partner management, dashboards, databases, and filing systems and ultimately responsible for ensuring that the relevant staff use, maintain, and upload in a timely manner all data required while ensuring its consistency and completeness.
- Supervise and mentor the Food Security and Resilience Team.
- Be a representative for the Ukraine Supplemental work and capture learning and successes as well as opportunities and effectively communicate those in large public settings, as well as with senior government officials while working closely with the FSR Coordinator based in Washington, D.C.
- Ensure that all managerial, administrative, and financial procedures comply with USAID policies and procedures.
- The FSR Team Lead will report to ATI Deputy Chief of Party.
- Graduate degree in economics, agricultural economics, or related field, and 15+ years of relevant work experience in food security and resilience and private sector engagement.
- In-depth understanding of the agrifood systems in Africa
- Familiarity with USAID’s food security priorities, initiatives and approaches
- Able and willing to work in a rapid pace/extremely demanding environment, and able to multitask.
- Experience engaging the private sector, corporations, and other strategic business stakeholders.
- Experience with grant and subcontract management. budgeting; financial management (tracking, reporting, and accounting); and procurement.
- Experience with activity design, development, and implementation.
- Complete fluency in written and oral English.
- Excellent writing and presentation skills.
Highly Desired Qualifications:
The following are highly desired but not required:
- USAID buy-in mechanism experience
- Demonstrated experience and knowledge in establishing systems and overseeing program start-up under limited time constraints.
- Experience with programs that provide quick delivery of assistance in response to emerging windows of opportunity.
- Experience with remote management across multiple countries