Mercy Corps International Not for Profit Careers – Portfolio Director – Agriculture

Organisation: Mercy Corps
Project Name: Transforming
the Economy through Climate Smart Agriculture (NU-TEC)
Funding Source: DFID
Duty Station:  Kampala, Uganda
Tracking Code: 219243-927
About MC:
Mercy Corps is an international nor for profit organization which has
been operating in Uganda since 2006 and works to catalyze change makers within
the Ugandan private sector, civil society and government to create economically
dynamic, healthy and secure communities. Our works focus on building resilience
and enable economic growth, improve opportunities to attain better health and
nutrition, and improved governance and conflict management.  We implement programs in the northern
districts of Pader, Kitgum, Agago, Lamwo, Kaabong, Abim and Kotido with funding
from USAID, USDA, Walmart Foundation, SDC, DFID as well as other private
donations. Mercy Corps’ programs in Kitgum currently focus on economic
development, agriculture, financial services, and women’s empowerment.
About DFID NUTEC Project:
The DFID-funded Transforming the Economy through Climate Smart
Agriculture (NU-TEC) aims to develop pro poor agricultural markets in Northern
Uganda and promote inclusive growth. DFID has identified a set of market
failures that are standing in the way of way of the effective functioning of
the agricultural sector in Northern Uganda. These include input markets, land
tenure issues, storage infrastructure; access to finance; rural transport and
processing capacity. The programme intends to address these market failures by
facilitating improvements in agricultural productivity and to encourage private
sector investment in medium to large agribusiness through the application of a
market systems development approach. The programme also places a strong focus
on reforming the regulatory environment in Northern Uganda by promoting more
effective regulation and application of quality grades and standards.
Job Summary: The Portfolio
Director will steer the strategic design for transforming rural markets in
Northern Uganda through climate smart agriculture. Guided by a strategic vision
and mission for the programme outcomes, he or she will oversee and manage a
portfolio of programme interventions aiming to improve rural markets systems
and decrease the negative impacts on smallholder farmers caused by changing
weather patterns. In doing so, he/she will manage and oversee interventions
within various agricultural market systems that are considered to have the most
pro-poor growth potential for Northern Uganda.
The programme will focus in particular in the areas of access to
agricultural inputs, access to finance, post-harvest handling, and rural
transport. The Portfolio Director will as senior member of a management team
ensure strategic design and implementation of proposed interventions, including
providing oversight to the pilot interventions, development of results chains,
making sure team members’ learning is constant and progressive and performance
of market system teams is achieved. Strong private sector ethos is essential.
Key Duties and
1. Strategy and Vision:
  • Formulate a vision for NU-TEC, and ensure
    market opportunities with clear potential for pro poor growth and
    promotion of climate-smart agriculture are identified;
  • Ensure the design of the portfolio of interventions
    complies within the programme’s wider strategy; and
  • Recognise opportunities for innovative
    action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are
2. Programme Management:
  • Leverage technical expertise in business
    analysis and agricultural market systems to oversee development of sector
    strategies in close collaboration with Mercy Corps and non-Mercy Corps
    teams and individuals, both within and outwith the NU-TEC programme;
  • Ensure effective and strategic
    implementation of sector strategies by supporting the intervention
    managers in brokering deals with private sector players and representative
  • Engage with government and civil society
  • Cultivate “system” champions, and push
    knowledge flows and learning within the selected market systems;
  • Manage the development of intervention
    plans, activity plans, budgets, Scopes of Work (SoW) for external
    resources identified, and other necessary intervention management
    documents as needed;
  • Ensure that programme implementation is
    responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’
    relevant programme guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and
    strategic plan; and
  • Ensure that beneficiaries are effectively
    targeted according to established vulnerability criteria.
3. Team Management:
  • Provide leadership and guidance to
    managers and officers in developing the theory of change and results
    chains guided by market systems development framework and which provide
    the management and results framework for sector strategies;
  • Create and sustain a work environment of
    mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence;
  • Promote accountability, communicate
    expectations and provide constructive feedback;
  • Supervise, hire and orient new team
    members as necessary; and
  • Provide team members with information,
    tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
4. Finance & Compliance Management: 
  • Ensure adherence and compliance to donor and
    Mercy Corps regulations; and
  • Input to scopes of work to hire and manage
    any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy.
5. Representation:
  • Identify, build and manage collaborative
    partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local
    governments and other stakeholders where appropriate;
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall
    project targets and donor obligations are met; and
  • Support the preparation of material and
    presentations to promote the programme.
6. Security:  
  • Ensure compliance with security procedures
    and policies as determined by country leadership;
  • Proactively ensure that team members
    operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies. 
Qualifications, Skills and
  • The applicant should hold an MBA or
    equivalent Masters in Economics, Business Studies and Agribusiness
  • Ten or more years’ experience working in
    value chains or market development programmes (experience in Northern
    Uganda is a plus)
  • Good team management experience and
    experience in supervising staff
  • Prior experience in leading the
    development and managing programs in the field of private sector
  • Demonstrated experience in market system
    analysis and research, design of sector strategies, and the ability to
    broker deals and partnerships with the private sector, high level
    government actors and representative associations
  • Good knowledge and understanding of the
    political economy of the Ugandan context, particularly in Northern Uganda
  • Possess the ability to formulate results
    chains and undertake participatory research with experience in the DCED
    standard a plus
  • Excellent computer skills (minimum of MS
    word, excel and power point)
  • Excellent report writing and presentation
  • Be a team player, creative, and full of
How to Apply: 
All candidates who desire to join one of the world’s leading
Non-governmental organisations, Mercy Corps, Please Apply Online by visiting
web link below.

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