Head of Technical and Quality Assurance Employment Opportunity - Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi)

Organisation: Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi)
Duty Station: Kampala, Uganda
Reports to: Chief Operations Officer aBi Trust
Job Ref No: TECH

About US:
The Agricultural Business Initiative (aBi), a group of registered companies namely aBi Trust and aBi Finance Ltd, is a multi-stakeholder entity co-founded in July 2010 by the Governments of Uganda and Denmark through DANIDA and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development respectively, with the objective to promote “Private sector agribusiness development to enhance wealth creation.” The development objective of the aBi Trust is building a self-sustaining export-led economy in which the benefits are shared by all Ugandans, and its immediate objective is to strengthen the competitiveness of Uganda’s agricultural and agro-processing sector. It does this through Value Chain Development (VCD) of six value chains (Coffee, Cereals, Pulses, Horticulture, Dairy and Oil Seeds) and Financial Services Development (FSD). 

aBi Finance Ltd is the investment arm of aBi that aims to enable the Trust to meet its programme activities in a sustainable manner by offering financing for agribusiness development through Lines of Credit, Agribusiness Loan Guarantees and the Construction Guarantees Fund.

Job Summary: The Head of Technical and Quality Assurance will be responsible for the leadership of the Program Quality and Learning (PQL) Unit; ensuring that aBi continuously develops new and more effective approaches to have a positive impact on sustainable growth of the agricultural sector in Uganda.

Key Duties and Responsibilities: 
1. Actively contribute to the development and implementation of aBi’s strategic and operational plans; ensuring that emerging understanding of best practise is incorporated:
  • Leads the team in understanding the constraints of Uganda’s agricultural sector and researching interventions that will have a positive impact.
  • Actively participate in strategy and policy development; ensuring that input from the organisation’s Quality and Learning activities is incorporated in the design.
  • Assist the Head of Portfolio Development and Project Managers in the design of projects that will boost the impact, profitability and sustainability of implementing partners.
  • Support the COO with the development and management of the budget for the PQL Department.
2. Lead the leadership of aBi’s Program Quality and Learning (PQL) function so that we continuously improve the impact of our interventions on the profitability of the agricultural sector:
  • Provide leadership to the PQL team; so that aBi becomes the leading centre for agricultural expertise in Uganda.
  • Facilitate the development of strategy, research agenda and work plans for the PQL department; ensuring the effectiveness and relevance of the department to the achievement of aBi’s purpose.
  • Ensure that the department is resourced with the technical expertise necessary to have impact; through a combination of recruitment and management of PQL staff, maintenance of a database of consultants, and collaborations with research institutes.
  • Develop and ensure the implementation of systems and approaches that will effectively manage aBi’s institutional knowledge.
  • Develop and ensure the implementation of aBi’s internal quality management system; ensuring that aBi staff and consultants reliably and consistently deliver best practise.
3. Act as aBi’s resource person for expertise in various agricultural value chains; building the capacity of staff and implementing partners to understand and follow best practise in relevant agricultural value chains:
  • Proactively keep abreast of best practise in relevant agricultural value chains; e.g. through personal professional development, personal research, participation in learning networks, and collaborations with research institutes etc.
  • Mobilise and manage team with expertise in relevant agricultural value chains; advising aBi management on their deployment.
  • Proactively share best practise in relevant agricultural value chains with colleagues within the PQL department, other aBi staff and stakeholders e.g. by sharing learning, giving advice etc.
  • Oversee the capacity building of staff and implementing partners in relevant agricultural value chains; including developing and running appropriate training programs, providing advice and consultancy support etc.
  • Actively participate in and convene forums on relevant agricultural value chains.
4. Work collaboratively with the Head of Portfolio Development to support Project Teams; contribute relevant agricultural value chain expertise to project design and implementation either directly or through team of staff and/or consultants:
  • Manage the development of approaches and tools that will support members of project teams and implementing partners to operate according to best practise in various agricultural value chains.
  • Support project teams with relevant agricultural value chain components of project plan development and ensure that plans adequately reflect aBi’s strategic priorities.
  • Supervise the roll out of components of relevant agricultural value chains in projects on time and to standard; including overseeing/supervising the work of team members and consultants who have been deployed.
  • As requested by colleagues in the PQL department, supervise the roll out of other areas of technical expertise and/or the implementation of cross cutting themes.
5. Contribute to the development of aBi’s Communication Plan, playing a part in implementing the plan according to personal interest and availability: Including but not limited to:
  • Actively participate in the development of the relevant agricultural value chain aspects of the influencing, advocacy and communications plan.
  • Manage the rolling out of agricultural value chain aspects of the communications plan; so that aBi is recognised as a respected voice..
  • Participate in the development of communications materials as requested by the Communications Specialist.
  • Act as a respected expert in the field of relevant agricultural value chains; making presentations at conferences and producing publications as opportunities arise.
6. Lead the Program Quality & Learning team, in a manner that empowers them to deliver aBi’s goals and objectives
  • Work in liaison with the Head of Portfolio Development to constitute a team of competent staff and consultants to participate in Project teams.
  • Ensure that each Program Quality & Learning team member is provided with clarity concerning goals and expectations for their personal role in achieving results, standards and behaviour.
  • Plan and organise the work of the PQL team so as to accomplish project goals and targets in the most cost effective manner possible.
  • Support and build the capacity of team members to enable them to give of their best e.g. by encouraging and praising good performance, coaching, training, assisting staff to prevent or resolve problems, providing resources, tools and equipment.
  • Keenly monitor and review performance and, in particular, hold team members accountable for achieving results and meeting standards; taking decisive action in the case of poor performance. 
Qualifications, Skills and Experience: 
  • The applicant for the Head of Technical/Assurance career opportunity should hold a Master’s degree in Agriculture or Agribusiness Management or Development Economics
  • Possession of a PHD in a relevant degree
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management
  • A minimum of ten to twelve years of post-graduate experience in the Agribusiness sector or Agribusiness Development
  • Previous experience of monitoring and evaluation
  • Demonstrable research experience including practical application of concepts; be able to understand and interpret research information
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Expert knowledge and skills in program planning and development
  • Proven experience in providing advisory / consultancy services
  • Knowledgeable and experienced in knowledge management and transfer
  • Proven exposure and experience in managing external expertise/ consultants
  • Previous experience in managing teams in a senior position
  • Experience and qualification in Quality Management (SPS/QMS) an added advantage
How to Apply: 
All suitably qualified and interested candidates should apply online by clicking on link below and following the instructions.

Deadline: 25th November 2016 

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