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Friday, January 30, 2015

AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot Technical Operations Officer Job in Kenya

Position: Technical Operations Officer
Background: The AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot is a multi-year project, anticipated to run until approximately December 2018, that aims to address post-harvest losses by facilitating the development, marketing and distribution of on-farm storage solutions to smallholder farmers. 
The AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot is just one of many activities of the AgResults Initiative financed jointly by the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 
Agribusiness Systems International (ASI) serves as Pilot Manager for the AgResults Pilot Project in Kenya, under contract with Deloitte Consulting LLP (United States), which serves as the Secretariat for the AgResults Initiative and reports to the Steering Committee of donor representatives.
The pilot aims to increase the economic welfare of smallholders through improved access to enhanced storage solutions that minimize crop losses and enable smallholders to store maize longer, help catalyze a sustainable long-term market for grain storage solutions in Kenya, and test an innovative approach to engaging the private sector to serve smallholder needs, with potential future applicability to the delivery of other goods and services to smallholders.

A key feature of this pilot is that pull mechanisms will create incentives for target private sector manufacturers of storage technology to innovate, adapt existing on-farm storage technologies and supply them to smallholder farmers. Note that pull mechanisms overcome market failures by using results-based payments to incentivize innovation and kick-start markets.
They offer ex post payments for results defined ex ante. The pilot will offer performance-based grants to those private sector companies (“Implementers”) for storage devices sold to smallholder farmers.
The role of the Technical Operations Officer is to oversee the work of an independently contracted firm(s) to verify the sales that Implementers make, ensure quality of data collection of verifier firm, support preparation of all project reports, and conduct administrative tasks as requested by the Team Leader.

Purpose / Overview of Assignment: The Technical Operations Officer fills a pivotal role in the Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot requiring a wide range of technical, management and interpersonal skills. 
In general, the Technical Operations Officer will support Pilot planning, operations and communications among project stakeholders including maintaining the pilot work plan and reporting in the Secretariat’s project management portal. 
The Technical Operations Officer will be responsible for overseeing the Pilot Verification activities carried out by an external organization(s) contracted independently by the Secretariat.

The Technical Operations Officer will also be expected to conduct administrative activities such as inventory management, procurement and other tasks required to carry out pilot activities.

Responsibilities / Tasks:
Specifically, the Technical Operations Officer’s responsibilities will include the following: Project Activities:
  • Serve as Acting Team Leader when the Team Leader is absent.
  • Liaise closely and oversee the work done by the organization(s) hired for Pilot Verification services, which are anticipated to include a randomized rural household survey, two market share surveys, and two rounds of sales audits over a period of approximately three and a half years.
  • Responsibilities may include providing input, conducting spot checks and overseeing the following: sales audits and development of indicators to identify potential misreporting; fieldwork and data collection for the surveys; data cleaning, data analysis and reporting.
  • The Technical Operations Officer may also develop, in collaboration with the Verifier, any necessary templates for data collected from the Implementers.
  • Liaise with the Pilot Verifier organization(s) to ensure consistency in work plans and reporting.
  • Support analysis of LGB testing being conducted on the storage products in the Pilot, as needed
  • Support operations, particularly weekly, monthly and quarterly management reporting to the Secretariat and/or Steering Committee.
  • Provide operational support including: administrative tasks, communications & reporting, outreach and research as may be required.
  • In collaboration with the Team Leader, liaise with project stakeholders including Advisory Council members, Implementers, the Pilot Verifier organization(s), and government officials.
  • Maintain all project documentation at the Kenya country office.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor or his/her designee.
To perform the role of Technical Operations Officer successfully, an individual must be able to perform each activity described above with a high level of quality and attention to detail. 
The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.
  • Minimum of five years of experience overseeing surveys and data collection, preferably in the field of agriculture or agribusiness.
  • Bachelor’s degree required in research methods, statistics, economics or other related field; master’s degree preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience and effectiveness developing and overseeing surveys, data collection, survey protocols, data cleaning, and data analysis and reporting.
  • Excellent communicating and problem solving abilities.
  • Demonstrated excellence in oral, written and reading comprehension abilities.
  • Training and/or experience with SPSS, Stata, SAS, LIMDEP or other appropriate statistics software packages.
  • Proficient with Power Point, MSProject and other Microsoft programs.
Applicants should respond via e-mail to

Closing date for receipt of the applications will be Friday, 13th February 2015.

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