Program Coordinator

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

JOB DESCRIPTION

 

Position title: Program Coordinator, Agri-food Transformation Agency Support Center (TASC)/World Food Programme (WFP)

Type of contract: Consultancy, 11 months

Location: Remote, with significant travel in Africa

ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT:

Agriculture and food systems are vital to food security, livelihoods, and development. The sector has proven to be more effective for poverty alleviation and job creation than others, and sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems can underpin economic development for many African countries. One innovative approach to spur transformational change is in the use of a Nodal Agency—successively leveraged by many Asian countries and beyond.

The nodal agency model was successfully leveraged by many Asian countries in the 1960s to 1990s to drive transformational growth and rapidly expand their economies. More recently, the nodal agency model was used successfully by the Government of Ethiopia when it established the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) in 2010.

The nodal agency model leverages key characteristics to achieve impact:

  • Operates from a “center of government” position with strong links to senior government officials including the Head of State.
  • A high level of authority, independence, and responsibility that allow it to innovate, use evidence to inform decision making, work across public and private sectors, exert influence over actors, and ultimately manage and ensure effectiveness.
  • High organizational performance that enables efficient systems to be implemented, focuses on results, and ensures learning takes place within and across institutions and programs to adapt to changing contexts and take advantage of opportunities.

TASC supports scoping, design, and development of nodal agencies when governments in Africa identify this model as an approach to transform their agriculture sector. The number of governments engaging with TASC to work on the nodal agency approach is increasing:

  1. Ethiopia: With over 10 years of continuous evolutions in implementing the nodal agency approach, the Agricultural Transformation Institute (formerly the Ethiopian ATA) serves as a key resource of learning for other countries.
  2. Sudan: TASC has completed scoping and preliminary design activities of the Sudan Agriculture and Livestock Transformation Agency (ATA) and awaiting further engagement to support establishing and implementing the organization.
  3. Togo: TASC has completed scoping and preliminary design of the Togo Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) during 2022; the Government of Togo formally created the Togo ATA in December 2022 and a Design Team has been deployed since January 2023 to operationalize the program areas of the organization.

JOB PURPOSE:

The TASC Program Coordinator will be responsible for the following areas:

  1. To provide effective senior leadership and lead the development and implementation of the TASC program
  2. Ensuring that TASC builds strong relationships with countries that express a genuine interest in implementing the nodal agency model
  3. Documenting learnings across TASC’s initiatives: 1) the development of nodal agencies from inception to operations, 2) the provision of advisory services to nodal agencies when they are operational, and 3) the building of a knowledge base that documents learnings and makes them available to countries and institutions
  4. Managing all reporting of TASC activities within WFP, donors and other relevant partners.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive, within delegated authority):

With its growing body of work, TASC seeks a Coordinator to lead country engagement, nodal agency design, and learning across the organization. Key accountabilities are:

  • Lead formulation and implementation of the overall strategy and plans of the TASC Program in alignment with the overall guidance provided by the governing Steering Group
  • Lead the engagement with national Nodal Agencies (Agricultural Transformation Agencies – ATAs) and other relevant government and non-government stakeholders in countries prioritized by the TASC Program.
  • Lead the development of effective partnerships with WFP and FAO and administrative teams at both the HQ and national level in partner countries
  • Lead strategic partnership developments for the TASC program at the central level and support the senior management of national Nodal Agencies in leveraging strong partnerships in developing national programs.
  • Identify and build productive relationships with a broad range of internal and external partners and promote the TASC Program at the global level.
  • Maintain strong systems and processes for the operations of the TASC Program by leveraging WFP’s administrative processes but also exploring other innovative solutions which enable efficiencies in country level engagements.
  • Maintain standards, guidance and processes that enable the implementation of best practices and high performance and at the same time ensuring optimal use of resources.
  • Ensure transparent and efficient management of people, and the best use of financial resources for achievement of set objectives.
  • Provide effective leadership to the TASC Program to ensure the continued development and coaching of a cohesive and high performing team.
  • Ensure TASC Program team members remain engaged and motivated during the delivery of support services to national Nodal Agencies
  • Take lead to ensure that evaluation, audit and compliance recommendations are efficiently implemented within the TASC Joint Program.
  • Develop and maintain appropriate contingency plans and activities to ensure readiness and ability to take timely and appropriate actions in the case of unforeseen circumstances in partner countries.
  • Take responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives in all areas of work, to ensure equal participation of women and men.
  • Other as required.

STANDARD MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:

Education: Master’s Degree or higher in relevant field.

Language: Fluency in English required (written and verbal); French skills (verbal) advantageous.

Experience: Fifteen or more years of senior level experience in a relevant field of work, with a background in agricultural development in Africa. A strong understanding of the Nodal Agency model with experience working at a senior level either in the Ethiopian ATA or a similar organization. Extensive experience leading multicultural teams, developing and maintaining strong partnerships, and enabling teams to learn and improve performance.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Broad knowledge of agriculture and development practices with a particular focus on leading institutional and organizational performance.
  • Leading projects and teams in Sub-Saharan Africa where contextual sensitivity and a dynamic environment underlie success
  • Ability to lead, coach, and motivate large and diverse teams and drive improving performance
  • A track record of dealing with and influencing at the highest levels within and beyond the organization
  • Ability to assimilate and analyze complex issues to develop strategies and policies
  • Excellent financial management skills and commercial acumen, with the ability to leverage external partnerships to optimize resources for WFP.
  • Detailed understanding of business principles and processes to quickly assimilate UN / WFP specific processes and systems.
  • Ability to identify key documents, synthesis and create summary documents, and distill learnings for archiving and making available to larger audiences.

All employment decisions are made on the basis of organizational needs, job requirements, merit, and individual qualifications. WFP is committed to providing an inclusive work environment free of sexual exploitation and abuse, all forms of discrimination, any kind of harassment, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. Therefore, all selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.


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