Current Hiring Practices and Trends in the Development Sector
- BY David Mackenzie
Duties and Accountabilities:
• IFC is recruiting an Operations Officer with experience in agribusiness, particularly within the private sector.
• The Operations Officer will have day to day responsibility for delivering the PNG Agribusiness project aiming to create market opportunities for women and men farmers in fresh produce, cocoa, and coffee.
• S/he will be largely responsible for overseeing development of product supply chains and linkages between farmers and the market place. Business development (client acquisition) and client contract negotiation, logically framing project design, and implementing client-driven and results-oriented activities within the project timeframe and budget are other key objectives.
• The Operations Officer will also develop new agribusiness advisory projects related to IFC investment clients or potential investment clients in other countries in the Pacific, and, where appropriate, provide advice and support to other IFC agribusiness activities in and beyond the Pacific
• The Operations Officer will work closely with the regional agribusiness specialists, the gender advisor, IFC client relationship managers, including investment officers, country managers and resident representatives, as well as with other regional business line managers and global specialists to ensure a successful initiative.
Specific duties and accountabilities include, but are not limited to:
Advisory design and delivery:
• Oversee implementation of the PNG Agribusiness Project, including recruitment of additional advisory clients for the fresh produce component, and maintaining relationships with project clients, building commitment to the project and ensuring that client needs are met.
• Take initiative as opportunities to improve the project arise; propose appropriate solutions and pro-actively manage challenges to delivery.
• Conduct at least bi-annual reporting against project milestones and assessment of results, lessons, challenges, and risks/risk management, refocusing activities as required to meet project and program targets in coordination with other IFC stakeholders including the global and regional product specialists.
• Drive efforts to scope out and design new agribusiness advisory projects in the Pacific region, likely most immediately in Fiji. Draw on global and regional expertise and lessons learned to ensure program design reflects best practice and includes credible and achievable project targets and timelines.
• Travel as necessary within PNG, within the Pacific region and occasionally beyond the region.
• Provide insight and guidance to clients in a specific subject matter (fresh produce supply chain development, horticulture development, coffee or cocoa, etc.).
Communications and Reporting:
• Represent IFC to stakeholders at multiple levels (eg to donor partners, at industry thematic seminars). This will include participating in regular donor partner meetings on project progress and gender.
• Work with Communications Officer and Regional Gender Specialist to develop communications and influencing strategy to promote the project and related agenda of improving women’s economic empowerment in agriculture.
• Manage the communications and reporting required by IFC and donor partners according to IFC standards and guidelines.
• Maintain excellent relationships with donor partners active in agribusiness initiatives, including governments of New Zealand and Australia.
Budget and Financial Management:
• Take responsibility for day to day budget oversight; report on financial performance according to plan.
• Ensure that the IFC pricing policy for advisory services is applied.
• Control expenditures according to IFC policies and guidelines and within own approval thresholds while achieving maximum results.
• Keep abreast of industry changes to ensure that IFC advisory services continuously benefit from emerging best practices. Ensure that international good practices are included in developing and implementing the project.
• Develop specific reference materials and other tools according to the project plan for use by lead firms, farmer cooperatives, and other IFC staff.
• Systematically consolidate and analyze lessons learned from project implementation experience and share with team members and colleagues across the region
• The candidate should have expertise in agribusiness and supply chain development in the Pacific, and demonstrated experience in working directly with the private sector, including in providing advisory services to corporate clients.
• S/he should have experience in managing complex projects and integrating work of other often multi-disciplinary professional staff.
• S/he should have sufficient background in gender-responsive programming and climate-smart agriculture.
• S/he must be able to interact with clients, government officials, farmers, cooperatives and staff from other organizations with confidence.
• Master's degree in a field related to the position (economics, business, agriculture, etc.) with 8 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
• Experience in fresh produce required and experience in at least one of the following desired: oil palm production, coffee, cocoa, livestock/poultry production or marketing, sustainability, certification.
• Work experience in an emerging market environment and able to demonstrate a strong commercial awareness and hands on approach. Experience in Papua New Guinea is desirable.
• Strong theoretical base in gender and agribusiness subject area, combining a broad grasp of relevant theory and principles and ability to translate theory into practical applications in the context of IFC Advisory projects.
• Ability to participate in multi-disciplinary teams
• Ability to communicate ideas clearly, articulate issues and recommend solutions
• Excellent communication skills in English, including ability to write clear, succinct reports; proficiency in Pidgin or any Pacific language a plus.
• Willingness to travel regularly within Papua New Guinea and Pacific Islands