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Consultant - Technical Advisement of Agriculture, Market Systems Development and Employee Engagement

Project Location Details: Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand (Potential to be based in Bangkok with travel (up to 75%)

Background:

Mercy Corps is an international NGO operating in over 40 countries with the mission to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people to build secure, productive and just communities. In February 2017, in partnership with a local Thai organization, Mercy Corps began implementing a three-year agriculture development program that is working to improve the incomes of smallholder rice farmers in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. The program focuses on enhancing smallholder productivity, building the capacity of farmer organizations to better serve their members and promoting good financial practices at the farm level.  

Position Description:

The “Technical Advisor – Agriculture and Market Development” consultancy is throughout the course of one year, with the possibility for renewal, that will be responsible for ensuring that the program’s interventions and overall approach are technically sound and integrate Mercy Corps’ approach to agriculture and market systems development. The Technical Advisor will be imbedded within our local partner organization and work closely with our local partner’s team to ensure that the program is able to reach its targets and deliverables. S/he will also work closely with our private sector partner to build out an employee engagement strategy and lead its roll-out within the program.

Consultant Activities Objectives:

  • Work closely with both the Mercy Corps Program Manager and our local partner’s Project Manager in planning and implementation of the program’s activities;
  • Review Mercy Corps’ approach to agriculture and market systems development in order to lead the integration of these approaches in the program;
  • Actively support and monitor partner staff to integrate new approaches into project implementation.
  • Establish and maintain exceptional relationships with Mercy Corps’ private sector partners;
  • Prepare and submit periodic workplans and activity reports to Mercy Corps’ Program Manager;
  • Constantly seek, analyze and share information to build a detailed understanding of the situations and systems in which the program operates. Actively document and share learnings to program stakeholders;   
  • Communicate with and mobilize farmers and market actors to participate in the program. This requires the ability to effectively message the project to actors at various levels of the system, ensuring information is tailored to the specific actor;
  • Conduct assessments that analyze the market systems of Ubon Ratchathani in order to understand the opportunities that exist in the system, see emerging patterns of behavior and uncover root causes to underperformance of agriculture production;
  • Leverage existing actors to conduct practical workshops or trainings where needed for market actors or producers. Where no actor exists, use technical expertise to design practical workshops or trainings and, wherever possible, innovate on a sustainable and business-driven mechanism to deliver training and disseminate information on farming practices and farming as a business;
  • Take an active role in supporting the monitoring, evaluation and learning agenda of the program, incorporating monitoring and evaluation into everyday field activities so that the required data and learning from the field is captured and contributes to an iterative approach to measuring the impact of the program;
  • Support local partner in carrying out field implementation and ensure that activities correspond with program strategy;
  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps, our local partner and our private sector partner;
  • Other activities as assigned.

Consultant Deliverables:

The consultant’s deliverables will be developed over time based on needs of the program and in collaboration with Mercy Corps’ Program Manager, but may include some or all of the following:

  • Lead program re-design workshop.
  • Developing and leading capacity building workshop for local partner and relevant stakeholders
  • Producing quarterly reports capturing the program’s technical approach, lessons learned challenges and success.
  • Adapting or creating new business models that expand access to mechanization to smallholder farmers.
  • Hold monthly partnership calls to review program’s technical approach and employee engagement activities.
  • Co-design employee engagement strategy and corresponding activities with private sector and local partner.
  • Other deliverables as assigned

Timeframe: 

This consultancy is a one-year agreement, with an anticipated start date of September 1, 2017. This agreement, depending on funding, may be renewed for subsequent years. The consultant will be expected to maintain a work schedule that is flexible with program teams.

The Consultant will report to:

Mercy Corps’ Program Manager

The Consultant will work closely with:

Local partner project staff including Project Manager, Project Officers, and Project Assistant, among others. Additionally, the consultant will work closely with our private sector partner,

Knowledge and Experience:

  • University degree, preferably graduate level, in Agriculture, Agribusiness, or related degree.
  • Minimum three to 5 years private sector experience and/or experience with development agencies in the agribusiness sector required.
  • Ideal candidate would have extensive experience in rice production, ideally in the targeted geographic area of the program.
  • Experience working with agriculture equipment distributors and understands their business model is an advantage.
  • Experience working with farmer organizations, particular rice cooperatives.
  • Excellent analytical and quantitative skills with experience conducting assessments and lead writing reports.
  • Passion for working in agriculture with demonstrated flexibility, creativity and enthusiasm for continual learning and adapting within a dynamic and often self-directed working environment.
  • Must be outgoing with exceptional inter-personal skills and ability to adapt socially and culturally to suit the needs of differing stakeholders.
  • Willingness to spend much of the time in the field working closely with program target groups.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Must be proficient in both English and Thai Language. Strong preference for professional fluency in Thai Language.

To Apply

Please send your CV and cover letter to amanoogian@mercycorps.org, or visit https://app.jobvite.com/Jobvite/job.aspx?j=oVRN5fwo&b=nZU4WBwZ to apply online.  

Contact : amanoogian@mercycorps.org

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