Program Support consultant At Mercy Corps

AgriFin Digital Farmer II (ADF 2) currently represents a $12 million, four-year AgriFin program working in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria, with potential to expand to other markets (Uganda, Zambia+). In partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates and Bayer Foundations, ADF 2 seeks to support the expansion of digitally-enabled services to 5 million smallholder farmers, delivered by growing ecosystems of diverse service providers and building farmer income, productivity and resilience across by 50% while reaching 40% women.

The program’s core innovations are: 1) a rapid iteration engagement model to drive innovative, client-centric product development; and 2) our work with partners to develop “bundles” of mobile-enabled services offering farmers affordable access to digital financial and market informational services. Our support programming is focused on enabling the following critical areas of innovation, that will follow an ecosystem and market facilitation approach supported through partnership activities and dissemination of evidence-based learning to ecosystem actors following a Market Systems Development (MSD) approach, with a strong gender focus:

· Climate-Smart approaches to SHF Climate Adaptation & Mitigation

· Agricultural Advisory and Smart Farming Solutions

· Gender Transformative Programming

· Appropriate Digitally-Enabled Financial Services for SHF

· Digital Platform Models Providing Market Access, Financing, Information and Resources

· Digital Channels, Logistics and Mechanization

· Use of Digital Data for Decisioning, Product Development & Risk Management.

The Program targets the core Three outcomes will contribute to the achievement of this goal:

· Outcome 1: Market actors expand, improve and continue to offer high-impact DFS products and services that are tailored to address the expressed needs of SHFs;

· Outcome 2: Farmers increase capability to access and utilize demand-driven, high impact technology-enabled financial products and services relevant to SHFs;

· Outcome 3: Ecosystems around both supplier and farmers emerge supporting provision of digital financial and informational services to SHFs that are used at scale.

Building on the AgriFin approach, partnerships and experience to date, ADF 2 will build on existing approaches and partnerships, leveraging in new programming to:

• Design, Test & Scale Digitally-Enabled Climate Smart Agriculture Solutions (dCSA) focus alongside other innovation areas: Climate change is already causing yield declines for staple crops exacerbating food insecurity on the African continent. Farmers are struggling to know more and more to know how best to manage their farms. ADF 2 will continue to maintain a focus on the original ADF I (five) focus areas of innovation i.e. (a) smart farming & ag advisory; (b) financial products & services; (c) digital markets; (d) logistics & distribution; and (e) alternative data & credit scoring leverage climatic data;

• Deliver on Digital for Women: AgriFin is committed to address the digital divide by designing products and services specifically for women farmers and women in agricultural value chains. Designing for women ensures uptake, active use and impact, while increasing agricultural productivity, inclusion, poverty reduction and climate resilience. AgriFin impact evidence on gender points forward to the importance of digitizing groups, building meaningful financial bundles that are savings-led, building farm skills, market linkages and ensuring a trusted human support role as women build decisioning power, digital access and digital literacy;

• Address Impacts of COVID-19 and Desert Locust: Recognizing the dramatic impact of COVID-19 and Desert Locust across our markets, we have seen that digital solutions are a lifeline to create safe, transparent, efficient and scalable solutions for farmers and the value chains in which they work. AgriFin has already successfully leveraged and will continue to engage existing agile programming, technology innovation and partnerships to scale services for farmers, while protecting the companies and markets serving them, working to rebuild livelihoods and food systems;

• Crack the Digital Platform Code by building on existing and developing new platform partners, continuing to leverage digital data and diverse bundles of products and partnerships. AFD II will support existing partners, including platforms like DigiFarm, KALRO, WeFarm, World Bank Million Farmer Platform, WhatsApp for Business, One Acre Fund, Vodacom, GoogleX and ATA along with new partners like Yara/IBM, Digital Green. Each of these partners have explicitly stated the need for platform and dCSA approaches;

• Support Breakthrough Models for Digital Data Sharing and Usage: Leveraging a strategic approach with AgriFin partners, including government, private sector, academics and development agencies to break down data silos and build collaborative data agendas and learning areas, leveraging closer relationships with other key think-tanks and Open-Data initiatives to shape the data opportunity in agriculture. AgriFin will develop and disseminate actionable data toolkits that can be refined directly in work with partners and available externally as a public good, continuing to push sustainable business models, open data sharing environments, farmer inclusion and research and learning around data and data sharing.

• Support Ecosystem Learning, Impact Evaluation & Reporting. Market ecosystem actors and the development community lack sufficient information, proven products and tools, and effective partnership models to successfully provide effective digitally-enabled services to farmers. AgriFin serves as a public information resource related to digitally-enabled services for smallholder farmers, share program research, tools and project engagement learning, as well as disseminate lessons learned through a dedicated website and social media.

Country Selection

In response to farmer needs and ADF program learning, Mercy Corps aims to leverage current AgriFin partnerships and learning to expand and deepen our work to address the looming food security and climate change crisis to extend high-impact, digitally-enabled services for over 5 million smallholders and the agricultural value chains they work across our existing markets in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopian and Nigeria, with expanded service support services in adjacent markets with national, regional and global partners over the next four years. As our hub markets in Kenya and Tanzania mature, ADF 2 will extend models, funders, Mercy Corps’ African footprint in 16 countries and regional partners like AGRA, CGIAR and FSD to drive growth in new and former AgriFin markets, including Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Senegal, Sudan and DRC.

Purpose of Engagement

The Consultant will work closely with the AgriFin Program, operations and finance staff and other relevant field teams to support program engagements and implementation.

Scope of work

As part of this engagement, the program support consultant will be expected to conduct the below activities:

  1. Provide support to technical teams and consultants in contracting and operations related documentation for program partner engagements including drafting of justification memos and other required documents under the direction of the respective technical team member.
  2. Support the program team with proper maintenance of all files, records and documents relating to program partnerships including scopes of work, proposals, concept notes, final consultant deliverables and MOUs.
  3. Verify partner or vendor payment documentation and populate required payment processing documentation for program partners as directed by respective technical team members.
  4. Verify that progress reports and financial reports are received from partners and vendors prior to report submission deadlines.
  5. Work closely with the operations to coordinate the compiling of documents for program related procurement and payments.
  6. Support assigned technical team members to deliver on partnership commitments and contribute to partnership development including kick off and ongoing meetings as directed by respective technical team members.
  7. Collaborate with program and operations teams on building new and/or maintaining existing templates, tools and tracking systems for ensuring smooth operations between program, operations and finance teams.
  8. Ensuring all records are organized and stored effectively for future access across teams.

Payment schedule and Deliverables

The consultant will work to produce the following deliverables, in close collaboration with the Program and Operations teams.

  1. Weekly status update on work in progress: in the form of a short email with relevant bulleted information and any related attachments for work products.
  2. Minutes of weekly technical team meetings capturing key discussion points and actions

The consultant will be asked to join in relevant AgriFin team coordination meetings to update on

Progress on work assigned and flag any issues to be addressed.

The consultants will also submit periodic invoices to AgriFin detailing progress against the scope of work and towards completion of the deliverables.

Payment will be made based on days worked with a maximum number of 20 days a month.

Consultant Skills and Experience

● A bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, finance or related field

● Minimum three years working for a bank, MNO, non-governmental organization or a reputable international or national organization preferred;

● Experience with mobile money, financial services and/or technology for development preferred;

● Excellent computer and written communication skills, including report development, writing and editing.

● Excellent verbal and presentation communication skills and a proven ability to establish and maintain interpersonal and professional relationships.

● Demonstrated experience in project management and administrative skills

● Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.

● Experience with monitoring and evaluation a plus;

● Possession of analytical and problem solving skills

● Highly pro-active and self-disciplined

Ownership/Control of Work Product/Publication

Matters relating to ownership and control of work product and publication of materials produced during the course of this engagement are addressed in the main contract agreement entered into between Mercy Corps and the consultant for performance of services for AgriFin Digital Farmer II

Task Manager/Coordination/Reporting

The consultant will report to the Deputy Program Director. All invoices and payments have final approvals from the Mercy Corps Agrifin, Program Director.

How to apply

Please refer to our website for more information.

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June 2023
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