Friday, October 3, 2014

Innovations Transfer Associate: Full-time job with One Acre Fund in East Africa

Wanted: Dedicated associate to focus on sharing knowledge across borders, coordinating and implementing cross-country projects, and liaising with peer organizations to discover best practices.

Job Location:
This position involves significant travel, spending roughly 70% of time in rural Kenya and 30% of time in rural Rwanda (or vice-versa) with occasional short trips (1-2 weeks) in additional rural environments.

Minimum 2 years commitment, full-time job.

Organization Description
Most of the world’s poor are farmers, representing the largest and most uniform group of poor people in the world.  One Acre Fund is a growing NGO in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania that is innovating a new way of helping farm families to achieve their full potential.  Instead of giving handouts, One Acre Fund invests in farmers to generate a permanent gain in farm income.  We provide farmers with a “market bundle” that includes education, finance, seed and fertilizer, and market access.  Our program is proven impactful – every year, we weigh thousands of harvests and measure 50-100% average gain in farm income per acre.  We have laser-like focus on generating better lives for the people we serve.

Job Description
The Innovations Transfer Associate will have two main responsibilities:
1)     Identifying projects, processes, and initiatives that are working well in one place and transferring them to another.
2)     Coordinating cross-country roll out of new projects, processes or initiatives.  This could include things like: rolling out a new inventory management system, piloting or executing new agricultural innovations, and systematizing and expanding best practices within departments.
In order to be effective, this person will need to
  • Become intimately familiar with our processes for both field and support departments.
  • Provide analysis of various systems and spearhead cross-country coordination projects. 
  • Provide diplomatic leadership between stakeholders within the company on joint projects and tasks.
  • Research best practices from similar companies and organizations.
  • Create manuals and online training tools to help sync up and standardize international policies where appropriate.
  • Serve as a shared knowledge center for our teams throughout Africa and the US to both store best practices and access standardized materials.
  • Work with our program staffers in Africa to create organization-wide knowledge sharing procedures.

Project Examples
  • Strategic Staffing
    • As we grow, we have a lot to learn from peer organizations and institutions in terms of our strategic growth, particularly around hiring.  We also want to provide our Country Directors with more tools to make decisions around in-country hiring.
    • The Innovations Transfer department is helping to support this need by:
      • Rolling out standardized pay-grades, salary structures, and coding across countries.
      • Creating analysis tools of current in-country staffing structures.
      • Researching the organization charts of companies with similar profiles and identifying areas for streamlining HQs across our operations.
      • Developing comprehensive staffing systems working with country directors, human resources, and general partners.
      • Logistics Software Integration
        • One of our Core Competencies is providing an effective delivery system for rural farmers to move literally tens of thousands of metric tons of farm inputs to within a few kilometers of our clients’ homes.  As we grow, we have an increasing need for a more nuanced data tracking system.
        • The Innovations Transfer department is leading the coordination and implementation of this system by:
          • Re-designing and streamlining the inventory tracking processes
          • Building out the tracking tools and trainings for all levels of staff involved in the process
          • Participating in reconciliation in preparation for data migration into the new system
          • Acting as the information hub between countries
          • Rolling out new software to house all the data and liaise with other departments

Career Growth and Development
One Acre Fund invests in building management and leadership skills.  Your manager will invest significant time in your career development.  We provide constant, actionable feedback delivered through mentorship and through regular management consulting-style career reviews.  We also have regular one-on-one meetings, where we listen to and discuss career goals, and work collaboratively to craft roles that each person can be passionate about.  Because of our rapid growth, we constantly have new high-level roles opening up and opportunities in many functions.  This results in fast career growth for our staff.

We are seeking exceptional professionals with 2 to 5+ years of work experience, and a demonstrated long-term passion for international development.  Candidates who fit the following criteria are encouraged to apply:
  • Strong work experiences.  Examples include a demanding professional work experience, or successful entrepreneurial experience (i.e. high level consulting assignments, starting a field program in a developing country, leading a conference, starting a business).
  • Leadership experience at work or outside of work.
  • Top-performing undergraduate background (include GPA and test scores on your resume).
  • Humility.  We are looking for passionate professionals that combine strong leadership skills with good humor, patience, and a humble approach to service to join our growing family of leaders.
  • A willingness to commit to living in rural areas of East Africa for at least two years – this is a long-term, career-track role.  The ideal candidate will have at least one year demonstrated experience working in the developing world, although this is not a strict requirement.
  • Professional/technical skills – prior experience working in the field of knowledge management is desirable, but not required; strong technical skills required.  Looking for a “systems” thinker with a passion for building simple but effective processes.
  • Ability to cook/laugh – desirable.
  • Language: English required; French highly desirable; regional languages a plus (Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, etc.)

Preferred Start Date

Starts modest.  However, this is a career-track role with fast raises for performance, paying a meaningful salary for long-term placement in developing nations.

Health insurance, immunizations, flight, room and board.

Sponsor International Candidates

To Apply
Complete this form.  You will be prompted to submit your CV and cover letter.  You may also be asked to submit work samples for some positions.  Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), please submit a copy of your Description of Service (DOS) in the appropriate section.

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