Friday, October 3, 2014

Policy Innovation Officer: Full-time job with One Acre Fund in East Africa

Private-sector style career development in a growing social enterprise

An excellent career development opportunity

Industry:                    Nonprofit/International Development
Function:                   Policy Innovation and Implementation
Employer:                  One Acre Fund
Job Title:                    Policy Innovation Officer
Job Location:             Bahir Dar, Ethiopia or Rubengera, Rwanda, and Zomba, Malawi (other
rural postings possible)
Duration:       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 that we serve.

Job DescriptionOne Acre Fund believes that policy is all about implementation. No matter how good or bad the policy, its execution on the ground is what changes lives.

To help craft policies, which work on the ground, we are starting a new Government Services unit which is working together with regional and national partners to support government-led policy initiatives in agriculture. Following the lead of host governments, we support them with field implementation that changes the lives of millions of people. Our long-term goal is to help government to transform the agricultural ecosystems of whole countries. These projects generally utilize our existing field expertise in farm input distribution, rural mass marketing, and scalable training programs.

For these initiatives, we need both skilled Government Relations staff (see, for example, our Africa Government Officer posting) and also entrepreneurial field staff based in rural areas to focus on implementation.
  • Regional and National Strategy Design: The Policy Innovation Officer will work with other One Acre Fund staff and high-level government officials to develop ideas to improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers and the efficiency of the agricultural sector.
  • Program Implementation: The Policy Innovation Officer will roll out region-wide and eventually nationwide programs. Examples of past projects include a farm input system that delivers seed and fertilizer to several hundred thousand farm families; farm input marketing programs for similar numbers; and training support for 10,000+ extension agents.
  • Team Management: The Policy Innovation Officer will screen, hire, and develop a staff of 30-150 full-time country national staff, depending on the project, to support scaled implementation.
  • Innovation Trials: The Policy Innovation Officer will conduct an ambitious slate of trials within several districts, in order to discover new and effective mechanisms for promoting mass agricultural training—and to identify promising interventions One Acre Fund could scale-up across its entire network of smallholder farmers.
  • Collaboration with Key Officials: The Policy Innovation Officer will update high-level officials in the ministry of agriculture on a regular basis. The Policy Innovation Officer will also collaborate with important leaders at partner institutions.

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.

To start up and build this new team, we are seeking exceptional professionals with 2 to 5+ years of work experience. We are looking for truly extraordinary candidates who will help governments achieve the next levels of impact. Only 3% of applicants make it to a phone screen. Candidates who fit the following criteria are strongly encouraged to apply:
  • Strong operational work experiences. We are looking for strong leaders with direct operating experience, ideally of an entrepreneurial and unstructured nature.
  • Intelligence, creativity, and a desire to make things work. We need people to develop creative ideas to improve the quality of government services, who can then get out to the field and figure out how to make these ideas work in practice.
  • Leadership experiences at work, or outside of work.
  • Top-performing undergraduate background (please include GPA and test scores on your resume).
  • Humility and personal stability. We are looking for passionate professionals who combine strong leadership skills with good humor, patience, and a humble approach to service.
  • A willingness to commit to living in 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—high levels of proficiency with PowerPoint, Excel and other software programs.
  • Language: Ethiopia—English required, Amharic desirable; Rwanda—English and French required.

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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