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Project Leader

  • International staff
  • Zambia

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is not-for-profit agricultural research for development organization with partners in over 100 countries. Please refer to our website for more information: www.cimmyt.org

CIMMYT is seeking a dynamic, self-motivated, and outcome-oriented professional for the position of Project Leader (Chief of Party) for the Accelerated Innovation Delivery Initiative project in Zambia and nearby countries, supported by USAID. With a focus on the maize and legume production systems of Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania, this initiative will integrate a wide range of existing partner networks at global, regional, and local levels, that will work to make technical interventions and advisory services accessible to partner countries, local Small and Medium Enterprises (e.g., agro-dealers, market actors), community organizations, and smallholder farm communities to maintain or increase food supplies in vulnerable regions despite the ongoing food, fuel, and fertilizer price crisis.

A project office will operate out of Zambia, to support partners through public-private-civil society collaborations, building on existing delivery systems and CGAIR center technical expertise (ILRI, CIAT, IMWI, World Veg, and CIMMYT). An integrated approach that is demand-driven will support a menu of technical ‘best-bet options and innovative approaches to sustainable agrifood systems development. Emphasis will be given to the sustainable intensification of agricultural production systems, the developing of agricultural service provision and value chains managed by women and youth, the strengthening of seed systems, soil fertility, and fertilizer efficiency, along with innovative extension and advisories.

The Project Leader will report to Sustainable Agrifood Systems Program Director, CIMMYT with the following responsibilities.

Specific duties:

Technical Focus

  • Oversee the implementation of the project and ensure that CIMMYT procedures are adhered to.
  • Develop the strategic direction of the project including conceptual frameworks and communication strategies in line with the principles of sustainable agrifood systems development.
  • Ensure effective coordination put in place for effective project management, through the Technical and Management Steering Committees.
  • Liaise with the donor to ensure adequate communication, coordination with other projects, timely progress reporting, and fund disbursements.
  • Develop partnerships with relevant actors including national and local authorities as well as implementing partners.
  • Support the resource mobilization strategy of CIMMYT by producing knowledge management and materials on project achievements that can be shared with resource partners, the government, and other key stakeholders.
  • Contribute to building up the associated funding base.

Specific Functions

  • Review the project budgets and prepare a procurement plan for the project in close collaboration with the relevant CIMMYT administration staff, including overseeing expenditure and staffing plans.
  • Prepare quarterly and semi-annual project progress reports, review and monitor the outputs and results of the project against agreed work plans, and to identify constraints and issues that require timely resolution and corrective actions.
  • Work with the relevant scientific and administrative staff and collaborating partners to ensure high-quality programming with periodic adjustments for improving the performance of interventions based on M&E findings and lessons learned.
  • Prepare a detailed project annual work plan in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and make necessary arrangements for the successful implementation of the work plan in a timely manner.
  • Oversee the designing and implementation of a capacity development training program that will assist in achieving project results.
  • Oversee the development of manuals, guidelines, and checklists for documenting, institutionalizing, and sustaining the outputs and results of the project.
  • Ensure coherence, synergies, and complementarities of the project with other USAID-funded projects, government, and non-government organization projects operating within the same geographic locations.
  • Identify opportunities for CIMMYT to expand its portfolio in the area of sustainable agriculture in particular increasing agricultural production through inclusive approaches, livelihood diversification, and NRM.
  • Oversee cost-benefit analysis of various key deliverables.
  • Ensure that project interventions take into account goals around inclusive development, including gender-differentiated needs of beneficiaries and accountability to affected populations’ commitments, working with gender scientists as needed.
  • Prepare the project terminal report in accordance with the USAID requirements.
  • Supervise recruitment, appraise performance, and provide guidance to the project staff.
  • Supervise the implementation of the project activities and outputs.
  • Supervise conducting of project reviews, assessments, and studies.
  • Monitor letters of the agreement signed with partner organizations.
  • Perform other duties as requested.

Required qualifications, skills, and attitudes:

  • Master’s degree in agriculture/agronomy/rural economy/rural development or related field, with post-graduate qualifications, preferred.
  • At least 10 years of relevant experience in the management of complex projects on sustainable agriculture, livelihood diversification, and natural resources management, preferably in fragile or conflict-affected states.
  • Demonstrated experience in sustainable agriculture and livelihood resilience programming.
  • Relevant work experience in complex environments and protracted crises.
  • Demonstrated ability to liaise and build partnerships with UN, NGO, and government institutions.
  • Thorough understanding of project cycle management, donor reporting requirements, and managing donor relations.
  • Experience in the management of multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Have a high degree of integrity and accountability.
  • Relevant prior experience in managing USAID-funded projects.
  • Excellent communication skills, including high-level fora and media, as well as writing and presentation skills in English.
  • Experience in working in a multi-cultural, politically sensitive environment, such as in a CGIAR, UN, or international NGO organization, working with bilateral and multilateral donors.
  • Willingness to travel frequently, both internationally as well as to rural Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania.
  • The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Negotiation and conflict resolution, Team Leadership, Teamwork, Creative and Critical Thinking, and Communication.

The position is for an initial fixed term of three (3) years, after which further employment is subject to performance and the continued availability of funds. CIMMYT’s internationally competitive salary and benefits include housing allowance, car, comprehensive health, and life insurance, assistance for children’s education, paid vacation, annual home travel airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

Candidates must apply online for IRS22168_Project Leader.

Screening and follow-up of applications will begin on Tuesday, February 21st, 2023. Applications must include a CV and a cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. For further information on the selection process, please contact Yessica Castillo, at y.castillo@cgiar.org

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

This position will remain open until filled. 

CIMMYT is an equal-opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

To apply for this job please visit cimmytrecruitment.wufoo.com.