Program Officer/Research Fellow (2 Positions)

About ICED

The International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) is an international non-profit organization that aims to provide, inspire, and support thought and practice leadership in evaluation in the Global South. Its vision is a sustainable, resilient development in Africa that leads to human dignity and well-being, flourishing societies and communities, and a planet that is a thriving home for all. Its mission is to provide advance Monitoring and Evaluation theory and practice in support of sustained and resilient development in countries and regions in Africa. ICED cultivates leadership in the Global South in conceptualizing and practicing evaluations that translate into innovations and advances in both theory and practice in support of development.

ICED is a “think-and-do-tank” that is rooted in practical realities and experiences across cultures and contexts. It therefore fills an important niche in the global evaluation architecture. With its operating headquarters in Nairobi-Kenya, offices in Accra-Ghana and Maryland-USA, a satellite office in Mozambique, staff presence in Uganda and Benin, and a range of emerging international alliances and partnerships, it is the first international organization based in Africa that focuses explicitly on research and innovation in evaluation for development.

ICED is leading in the implementation of research projects on selected legumes in selected developing countries in East, West, Central and Southern Africa from 2024 to 2027 for the Legume Systems Innovation Lab. The projects will focus on nutrient-dense staple crops that have multifunctional roles in smallholder farm systems in these developing countries, including food and nutrition security, generating needed income, and contributing to the sustainability of farm systems.

About the Program

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Legume Systems Research (also known as Legume Systems Innovation Lab) is a ten-year research and capacity building program (2018–2028) funded by USAID that focuses on legume systems in Central America, West Africa, Southern Africa, and the Great Lakes Region. Cowpea and Common Bean are the focal crops of the Legume Systems Innovation Lab. The countries of the geographic focus areas with projects in FY2024 are Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, DR Congo, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Liberia, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia. Building upon the scientific advances and technological achievements of the Bean/Cowpea and Dry Grain Pulses CRSPs and the Feed the Future Legume Innovation Lab, the program responds to the agricultural development priorities and objectives set forth in the 2022-2026 Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS) and the related Global Food Security Strategy Research Strategy. The program is managed by Michigan State University.

The Legume Systems Innovation Lab is strategically positioned to fully support and contribute to GFSS strategic objectives through research and capacity development. The strength of the Legume Systems Innovation Lab’s research strategy lies in its innovative and vibrant research, technology dissemination, and capacity-building strategies that not only build upon the technical advances achieved during earlier Feed the Future legume research investments but its ongoing commitment to exploiting opportunities to make substantial new technological gains to improve the cropping and market systems for legumes in developing countries.

Scope of Work for the Program Managers

ICED is seeking to recruit 2 Program Managers, who will manage the West Africa Regional Hub (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria & Senegal) and the East, Central & Southern Regional Hub (Burundi, DR Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania & Zambia). The Program Managers will primarily be based in our West and East Africa offices respectively (Accra & Nairobi), coordinating the program on the ground, networking, monitoring & evaluating the projects, and disseminating information for the hub and its partners. The managers will represent ICED as part of the Management Entity of the Legume Systems Innovation Lab, ensuring localization of goals and engaging local leadership in planning (technical and strategic), administrative, and M&E activities. They will have the following key roles and tasks:

1. Initial Regional Stakeholder Convening: The Program Managers will be responsible for organizing and coordinating an initial Regional Stakeholder Convening (RSC), which will be aimed at identifying gaps in legume systems in the region(s). The locally led selection and prioritization of needs from the RSCs will inform the technical content of the sub-award solicitation for competitively bid sub-awards.

2. Organizing the annual Regional Stakeholder Convening: The Program Managers will play a central role in coordinating the logistics for these meetings, collecting results and writing the annual stakeholder reports.

3. Capacity Strengthening and Implementation of the Management Entity Activities: The Program Managers will be responsible for identifying opportunities to strengthen the capacity of individuals, institutions, and systems in the legume systems of the focus regions. They will also work with the Management Entity to ensure adherence to administrative requirements in: Sub-award Project Management, Financial Administration, Reporting & Approvals.

4. Collective System Level Indicator Data and Report Out on the Data: The Program Managers be responsible for identifying data sources and collecting system level data for the region. This system level data will be reported to the RSC at their annual event and will be included in the annual report of the region.

5. Report to Global Lab Convening: In the second and fourth year, the Program Managers will participate in the Legume Systems Innovation Lab Global Convening and report out on regional progress, hear reports from other regions, and develop coordination with other regions to address topics of common concern.

6. Representing the Innovation Lab Regionally: The Program Managers will attend meetings as assigned, to represent the Legume Systems Innovation Lab, on behalf of the Management Entity. Such events may involve scientific conferences, or meetings with USAID Missions, local governments, universities, or organizations.

7. Organizing Meetings in the Region(s): The Program Manager will organize all other events and visits to the region(s), and coordinate logistics for such meetings, including but not limited to: Multi-stakeholder Platform, Global Convenings/Annual Meetings. They will also coordinate the logistics of the Management Entity and other stakeholders’ site visits.

8. Final Report Writing: The Program Managers will be responsible for writing the reports on each of the regional stakeholder conferences that will include the report out on system level indicators, progress toward regional goals, and an analysis of the contribution of each research project toward the achievement of those goals.

Qualification & Competencies

  • A PhD Fellow/post-graduate degree in Crop Science, Agricultural Economics or a closely related field.
  • 3 to 5 years of experience working in the Agriculture sector (preferably legumes), overseeing multi-stakeholder initiatives, outreach programs and value chain initiatives.
  • Strong technical knowledge of approached and best practices, preferably within the legumes landscape of East, West, Central and Southern Africa.
  • Familiarity with and specific experience in market-based approaches and/or value chains, with an additional lens on women and youth for sustainable agricultural innovation systems.
  • Experience convening learning events such as roundtables discussions, webinars and conferences.
  • Hands-on experience in strategy delivery, with strong facilitation and capacity building skills.
  • Quality focused approach, including excellent analytical and writing skills.
  • Experience in training by use of innovative digital information sharing tools and platforms.
  • Strong communication and influencing skills with practical experience of building relationships remotely and leading collaborative processes virtually.
  • Team player, strong interpersonal skills, able to working in multi-cultural environments but also able to work independently.
  • Proficiency in oral and written English language. Proficiency in French is also strongly desired for West Africa Applicants.
  • Willingness and ability to travel within the program region(s).

Other Competencies we value in a candidate:

Integrity, focus/result-oriented, professionalism, technical expertise, good communication skills and commitment to ICED’s mission.

Terms of Appointment

A Full-time position, offering a competitive salary and benefits commensurate with qualifications and experience. An annual contract will be issued and renewed based on satisfactory performance.

How to Apply

If you meet the profile outlined above, we invite you to apply for this position by submitting your CV (3 pages max) and Cover letter (1 page max) to info@iced-eval.org with the subject “Application: Program Manager” by 9th February, 2024.