Cluster Manager/coordinator

Vacancy Announcement
The Bilateral Ethiopia - Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade
Category: Agriculture and Natural Resources sciences, and proven know-how of socio-
economic aspects of rural development
Location: Haramaya, Bahir Dar, Addis Ababa, Hawassa, Mekele, Woldia
Career Level: Senior Level (5+ years’ experience)
Employment Type: Addis Ababa: Full time
Other clusters: 80%
Salary: Based on the Scale of BENEFIT for Cluster Managers (scale 10)
The Bilateral Ethiopia Netherlands Effort for Food Income and Trade (BENEFIT) partnership isa portfolio
of four programmes (ISSD Ethiopia, CASCAPE, ENTAG and SBN), which is funded by the Government of
the Kingdom of Netherlands through its Embassy in Addis Ababa. BENEFIT was invited to develop a new
programme so as to take the achievements of CASCAPE (Capacity building for Scaling up of evidence-
based best Practices in Agricultural Production’ (CASCAPE) programme and the ‘Integrated Seed Sector
Development’ (ISSD) Ethiopia programme to new areas and target groups in Ethiopia. This new BENEFIT
programme is REALISE: ‘Realising Sustainable Agricultural Livelihood Security in Ethiopia’ which will be
operational starting from January 2018.
REALISE is a three - year programme that will align with the Government of Ethiopia’s (GoE) Productive
Safety Net Programme (PSNP).This GoE flagship programme currently reaches 8 million chronically food
insecure Ethiopians with a wide array of instruments to smooth consumption, prevent asset depletion
and promote livelihood diversification including uptake of improved agricultural practices. REALISE aims
to take lessons learned from the Wageningen University & Research CASCAPE and ISSD Ethiopia
programmes to PSNP target woredas.
Thegoal of the REALISE programme is: ‘Enhanced human, organisational and institutional capacities to
adapt, validate and scale best fit practices to improve the resilience of chronically food insecure
households in PSNP woredas. REALISE’s goal is to be achieved through four primary outcomes:
1. Developed best fit practices that meet expressed needs and have the potential to contribute to
increased productivity and resilience are available for scaling in selected PSNP Woredas;
2. Increased availability, timely delivery and use of quality seed of new, improved, and/or farmer
preferred varieties through diverse channels;
3. Enhanced human, organizational and institutional capacities for matching, adapting, validating and
scaling best fit practices; and
4. A conducive environment exists for the institutionalisation of evidence based system innovations.
The implementation model is based on the experiences of the CASCAPE and ISSD Ethiopia programmes
in that REALISE will partner with the Regional Agricultural Research Institutes and a number of Ethiopian
Universities that will each manage so called clusters: Hawassa, Haramaya, Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar,
Woldia and Mekelle. The REALISE programme will validate and scale best fit practices, will assure the
availability of quality seed, will train related GoE and NGO partners in theproper scaling of the practices
and will work with its partners towards the institutionalisation of evidence based system innovations. As
the REALISE programme is part of the BENEFIT portfolio of programmes, close collaboration with the
sister programmes and their activities in the respective clusters is expected.
The Cluster Manager
The Cluster Manager (PM) of REALISE will have the overall responsibility of launching and managing the
REALISE programme and a cluster. To this end, s/he will work closely with the Programme Manager and
his team based at the BENEFIT office in Addis Ababa. The Cluster Manager will be the key responsible
person for the implementation of the Programme in the cluster. S/he will confer with the Programme
Manager on the responsibilities below.
Key responsibilities:
1. Oversight and implementation of the annual planning cycle: work with the local team to develop
succinct annual work plans and budgets, progress reports and annual reports. Responsible for
the timely submission of reports from the cluster;
2. Responsible for monitoring and evaluation for the respective university cluster;
3. Responsible for ensuring that both men and women and youth participate in and benefit from
project activities.
4. Oversight of the budget, including assuring the timely transfer of resources from the BENEFIT
office to the cluster, monitoring of budget depletion, and timely alignment of the budget with
operational realities;
5. Hire, supervise and timely appraise programme staff at the cluster, make sure that staff are
adequately deployed and respond to needs in the cluster, and that they contribute to the
ongoing capacity building needs of the programme.
6. Provide technical and managerial oversight of the implementation of the programme at the level
of the cluster;
7. Maintain close and collaborative relations with key programme partners, including (nut not
limited to) the regional PSNP technical committee, the regional Ministry of Agriculture and
Natural Resources, the agricultural research partners (RARI’s and if applicable EIAR) and the
collaborating NGOs;
8. Strategically position the project in the playing field in the area covered by the cluster, make
sure the strategic choices of the programmeare aligned with those of partners. Make sure the
programme’s results are used to accelerate discussions on pertinent policy issues in the region.
Actively participate in a wide range of fora pertinent to the programme;
9. Actively participate in the REALISE programme endeavours and BENEFIT portfolio, interact with
the other cluster managers and contribute to joint activities;
10. Within reasonable limits, respond to pertinent technical assistance requests from other BENEFIT
or Wageningen University & Research programmes and projects;
11. Any other assignments given by REALISE programme manager; and
12. Serve as an ambassador of the REALISE programme in the area covered by the cluster.
Professional requirements:
1. A PhD in a field relevant to the programme, preferably Agriculture and Natural Resources
sciences, and proven know-how of socio-economic aspects of rural development;
2. At least 5+years of professional experience in positions pertinent to the assignment;
3. Experience with research and development issues;
4. Proven management experience, with at least 5 years of management experience supervising a
team of academically trained professionals, ideally in an international setting; and
5. Experience in the management of partnerships with a wide array of partners, including
government at the regional level and regional agricultural research institutes, universities, the
private sector, national and international NGOs and local community organisations.
Additional skills and qualities:
1. Excellent team player, able to bring out the best in the team members supervised as well as
collaborating with the sister programmes within the BENEFIT portfolio. Able to inspire staff and
delegate responsibility;
2. Excellent connector to the world around REALISE, creating a strong institutional and personal
professional network that will contribute to the success of REALISE;
3. Adhering to the highest standards of integrity, honesty and loyalty, and demanding the same
standards from the REALISE team.Leading by example;
4. Affinity with and dedication to the goals of the REALISE programme: providing support to the
poorest in rural Ethiopia through the introduction of more productive agriculture practices and
5. Understanding and commitment to the REALISE project vision of achieving a vibrant,
commercial, and pluralistic seed sector.Knowledge of seed and the Ethiopian seed sector is an
6. Able to work independently while still maintaining good contact with the REALISE programme
manager and coordinator when needed;
7. Able to express him/herself in English in speaking and writing at the highest professional
standard; and
8. Up to date computer skills;
9. Maintain close relations with the cluster University and the cluster senior advisors;
10. Proven ability to handle large amounts of data and the analysis thereof;
11. Strong communication skills and a good command of local languages as well as English; and
12. Proven ability to work in multidisciplinary research teams.
Duty station: University
Travel: Able to travel frequently to the project partners in the area covered by the cluster. Some
international travel is included in the job. Travel may include visits to the field under challenging
Oversight: Directly managing a team of about 4 – 8 staff.
Remuneration: Commensurate with the responsibilities based on the slary scale of BENEFIT. Benefits
include participation in the pension scheme and communication allowance. The salary will be adjusted on
an annual basis to the cost of living in Ethiopia.