USAID GHG Program Jobs – Agronomist at Mercy Corps

Job Title:    Agronomist
Organisation: Mercy Corps
Project
Name:
Growth, Health and Governance (GHG) Program
Funding
Source:
USAID
Duty
Station:
Uganda
About
US:
Mercy Corps
is an international non-profit organization which implements high-quality,
analytical development work in very difficult places. We have been operating in
Uganda since 2006 and currently implement development programs in the Acholi
and Karamoja sub-regions of Uganda with funding from USAID, EC, SDC, and USDA.
We were recently awarded a market-development focused 5-year USAID/Food for
Peace-funded program working in the northern half of Karamoja.
About
USAID GHG Program:
The project,
called the Northern Karamoja Growth, Health and Governance (GHG) program, aims
to support the immediate needs of program beneficiaries while promoting
long-term development by spurring systemic improvements in key economic sectors
of northern Karamoja.
Job
Summary:
The Agronomist
will work to improve the economic future and quality of life of the GHG program
beneficiaries. The ability of the Agronomist to drive the implementation of
effective agricultural extension services and the adoption of improved
agronomic practices will be the position’s first and primary success factors.
The second will be the degree to which that person promotes and captures
learning with her/his team, institutionalizing activity reviews, identifying
and evaluating preconceptions and promoting a culture of inquisition. The third
success factor will be the degree to which that person successfully incorporates
gender into program activities, not just by meeting gender beneficiary targets,
but also be innovatively considering the specific needs of women farmers and
their constraints to farming (time, land, money, etc.). The Agronomist manages
the implementation of several agriculture-related project activities, such as
agricultural extension services and training, seed multiplication,
demonstration plot establishment and management, liaising with key stakeholders
including National Agricultural Research Organizations (NARO) or ZARDI, local
government production department, agro-input dealers, and other GHG program
staff. In addition, work involves considerable monitoring and assessing
agricultural conditions and results.
Key Duties and Responsibilities: 
1.
Program:
·        
In
charge of developing messages, structures and systems to continually improve
GHG’s Agricultural Extension Services to improve the productivity of poor
farmers and help them turn that productivity into improved food security and
livelihoods. Focus is on crop production, vegetable gardening and post-harvest
handling.
·        
Directly
supervise and provide leadership to GHG’s Agricultural Extension Workers
(estimated between 12 and 22) to ensure effective use of resources and
successful targeting of services to the Districts’ most vulnerable farmers.
·        
Act
as the primary liaison and coordinator between GHG and NabuZARDI to tap
NabuZardi’s experience, knowledge and materials for the benefit of Northern
Karamoja farmers.
·        
Identify
technologies, practices, tools, equipment, varieties and partners that have the
greatest potential to improve the agricultural productivity of Northern
Karamoja and food security of the area’s most vulnerable, and engage/introduce
them into GHG.
·        
Manage
the implementation of quality demonstration plots, seed multiplication plots,
and possibly nurseries that may be supported by GHG.
·        
Work
closely with other GHG teams and partners, including but not limited to:
Livestock, Financial Access, Urban Development, Maternal and Child Health,
KAPDA, AWOTID.
·        
Incorporate
gender into program activities, not just by meeting gender beneficiary targets,
but also be innovatively considering the specific needs of women farmers and
their constraints to farming (time, land, money, etc.)
·        
Participate
in the development of work plans, program reviews, assessments, monitoring
activities, learning and evaluations.
·        
Provide
data in support of team submission of timely weekly, monthly, and quarterly
reports that will be indicative of program progress during implementation.
·        
Assist
with overall implementation of agriculture activities; develop future follow-on
activity and anything additional as required.
2.
Monitoring and Evaluation:
·        
Create
a dynamic program environment that promotes inquiry;
·        
Take
primary responsibility for sector-focused data gathering;
·        
Establish
procedures and guidelines to monitor and evaluate the progress and impact of
economic development support work including setting and measuring benchmarks
along results chains;
·        
Keenly
analyze project implementation strategies to identify constraints to program
success and provide timely recommendations;
·        
Work
in close collaboration with Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Information
Officers (MALIO) to ensure accurate and timely flow of information from the
field into database and for preparation of communication reports
3.
Other:
·        
Conduct
himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring
credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission;
·        
Perform
any other duties as assigned.
Qualifications, Skills and
Experience: 
·        
The
ideal candidate for the USAID Project vacancy should hold a B.Sc. in agronomy
or related field.
·        
At
least five years’ management experience with extension services, agricultural
productivity programming, farmer training and mobilization, activities with
women, and similar relevant activities.
·        
The
applicant must be a proven leader who can effectively manage other staff and
work within a team, work independently, and take initiative.
·        
The
successful candidate will also have excellent English language verbal and
written communication skills; proficiency in Ng’akarimojong or Leb Thur is also
preferable.
·        
Candidate
must be willing and able to extensively travel throughout the program area
(Northern Karamoja)
·        
Hold
a valid motorbike riding license
How
to Apply:
All suitably
qualified and interested Ugandan candidates should send their applications
including a cover letter clearly stating the salary requirements, updated CV
(with three professional referees), and copies of academic
qualifications/certificates to the HR/Admin Manager, Kampala Head Office on 4th
Floor Embassy Plaza, Plot 1188-1190 Ggaba Road. The E-mail applications with
cover letter should be sent to: mcjobs@ug.mercycorps.org
Deadline:  17th July 2015

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