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Strategic Advisor - Agriculture

Careers Site Advertising End Date:
13 Sep 2019
About Tony Blair Institute for Global Change:
At the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change we are dedicated to making globalisation work for the many, not the few. We do this by helping countries, their people and their governments, address some of the most difficult challenges in the world today – beginning with those where we think we can break new ground, offering leaders new thinking and new approaches. Our staff – over 200 of them, based all over the world – are working on some of the most intractable problems, providing policy and strategy in support of a vision of globalisation which improves the well-being of people: economically, politically, and socially. 
Focus of the Role:
Our focus is on tackling the big challenges which hold such a vision of globalisation back:
 
  • Poor governance which stops the benefits of globalisation being shared because countries cannot build the institutional strength and resilience to transform their situation and deliver for their people
  • Extremism which stops the co-existence and cultural open-mindedness essential for social integration
  • Conflict which entrenches sectarianism and paralyses progress, particularly in the Middle East
  • Western politics which is in urgent need of a new agenda to provide radical but sensible answers to the new challenges presented by globalisation, technology, and the rise of a new false populism.

Our Governance work supports the governments and leaders of fragile, developing, and emerging states to enhance their effectiveness. We are focused on helping governments and leaders make their vision for the development of their country a reality. We work in the centre of government and key line ministries and our work is shaped by national priorities.

In Kenya, TBI’s embedded advisors focus on delivery, which is a specialised approach to designing, managing, and monitoring the implementation of government priorities that are intended to have a significant effect on development outcomes and is an anchor function of the Centre of Government. It supports the systems and structures that channel the leader’s authority throughout the rest of government, reinforces their priorities, and gets them the right information at the right time to drive progress.

Known as “the gateway to East Africa,” Kenya is the largest and most diversified economy in East Africa. With a population of nearly 50 million, Kenya boasts a young, ambitious, entrepreneurial and well-educated workforce eager to contribute to the advancement of the nation. Following significant economic, political and structural reforms, Kenya has recently graduated from low-income country status. The government now aims to make Kenya a globally competitive and prosperous country with a high quality of life by 2030. To accomplish this, the President has advanced his Big Four Agenda which is a large-scale transformation program that aims to improve the lives of all Kenyans, focusing on Food Security (Agriculture), Manufacturing, Affordable Housing and Universal Health Coverage.

As a key driver of the economy, the agriculture sector is central to the Kenyan Government’s Big 4 Development Agenda. The agriculture pillar of this agenda aims to attain 100% food and nutritional security for all Kenyans by 2022. Relative to this goal, significant progress has been made notably through a number of large-scale irrigation projects that have improved the reliability of water supply and resulting crop yield. However, despite progress towards achieving food security for all Kenyans, real agricultural value-added has declined to 2006 levels.

In support of this agenda, TBI is seeking Strategic Advisor, Agriculture, working with private and public sector counterparts to support the government’s priority food security and agriculture sector initiatives. The Advisor will be a member of a new and growing TBI team in Kenya providing embedded support at the centre of government.

Specific duties include:

  • Support the implementation of the Agriculture Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) and the Big 4 Food Security Agenda in Kenya, including through improved domestication in counties
  • Support coordination, mutual accountability and delivery capability. Improving coordination, prioritisation and delivery by the Ministry (Agriculture Transformation Office); advise on structures, systems and skills needed for delivery; support coordination across the ministry and GoK
  • Support the development of systems and frameworks to track and measure outputs, outcomes and impact of ASTGS
  • Work alongside government counterparts and stakeholders to develop value chain analyses, provide implementation support specifically for crop production and provide linkages to value chain actors including value-adding local and international agro-processors
  • Identify, recommend and facilitate public/private partnerships and/or global development alliances that support the Government of Kenya’s Food Security pillar of the Big 4 agenda
  • Provide support to efforts by TBI to promote and facilitate investment in agribusiness
  • Support counterparts in mapping, engaging and managing key stakeholders, including foreign and domestic investors, development partners and various Government institutions
  • Facilitate capacity building workshops and role-model a mindset of continual learning and improvement within the ATO and the Ministry of Agriculture and across the Government
  • Facilitate joint reviews and problem-solving sessions with relevant stakeholders to identify barriers to delivery, support in resolving and escalating vital issues as appropriate to the concerned
Additional TBI responsibilities:
 
  • Maintain active dialogue with international donor partners, local organisations, and various Government of Kenya offices in the agriculture sector, building contacts to facilitate TBI programmes
  • Contribute to TBI-Kenya fundraising and new business development
  • Support the Country Head and Senior Advisor(s) by participating in and collaborating with other TBI projects through knowledge sharing and thought leadership
  • Support the Country Head and other team members with strategy development and reporting
 
What We Look For in Our People:
The successful candidate will thrive in an environment where the importance of personal initiative coupled with teamwork is critical. Above all she/he will build effective relationships, win trust, and help shape and influence change in government. With a strong knowledge of delivery principles and processes, she/he will have a grounding in project and programme management, capacity development and policy reform. Desired qualifications and competencies include:
 
  • Ideally 5-10 years of experience working on programmes/projects related to agriculture transformation in emerging markets, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and/or similar contexts, including but not limited to issues related to international trade, private investment, commercial agriculture, market linkages and value chain development
  • Experience in investor mobilisation and business case development
  • Knowledge of institutional development and organisational management, including process and system design and capacity development
  • Strong leadership skills with demonstrated success in building institutional capacity; a proven ability to mentor, coach, and build capacity of national counterparts
  • Excellent in building and managing effective relationships, including the ability to navigate complex political environments
  • Ability to work under pressure and to lead and coordinate with multi-disciplinary advisors
  • Ability to present information in a concise, insightful and structured manner, both in written and oral form
  • Strong analytical skills, including sound knowledge of data analysis, strategic planning, and project management tools
  • A Master’s degree in agriculture economics, public policy, economics, development or other relevant fields
  • Experience working in Kenya or East Africa is preferred
  • Fluency in English required. Fluency in Swahili an advantage (oral and written)

Above all, we are looking for individuals with high levels of enthusiasm, resilience, a can-do attitude and ability to consistently achieve results in a fast-paced environment.

 

VALUES EXPECT OUR ADVISORS TO SHARE WITH US:

  • COURAGE… because to tackle global challenges, we must innovate and take smart risks
  • COLLABORATION… because when we work together and with external partners, we can overcome even the largest problems
  • COMPASSION … because our work is ultimately about improving people’s lives

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