Spark,Project Officer Irish Potato Value chain Financing (IPoVaF)

Closing date: 22 Feb 2018
The Project Officer will be responsible to provide technical support on the implementation of the Irish Potato Value chain financing (IPoVaF) project under the direct supervision of the Project Manager to ensure a successful implementation and contribute to SPARK ambitions. He/she will help to ensure that project resources and planned project activities are undertaken within logic and time frame which enable impact and direct benefit to target communities.
The key areas include access to mobile financial services, access to markets, business capacity building to the target cooperatives and Irish potato collection centers.
About the Project:
IPoVaF is a 2 years project funded by Access to Finance Rwanda and implemented by SPARK with the aims to Increase access to financial services to enhance productivity, income and job opportunities for Irish Potato smallholder farmers in Rwanda.
Project-specific objectives:
  • New and increased effective, affordable, cost-efficient and client-centric financial and informational services offered by Financial Institutions (FIs) to Irish Potato Small holder farmers (SHFs) to ensure financial inclusion for the poor
  • Enhanced market position, efficiency and managerial competencies for Irish Potato SFHs and sustained relations with other chain operators (market players)
  • Increased financial literacy, changed positive mindset towards digitalization, access and use of digital information, communication, payments, savings and credits (and potential additional services) of SHFs.
Expected outcomes of the position:
  • Project resources and activities delivered within budget and time-frame and projects delivered to the highest standards;
  • Project beneficiaries, partners’ goals and objectives successfully supported through capacity building, best practice guidance and good working relationships.
  • Mobile platform adopted by smallholder farmers and information tracked;
  • Project impact monitored and evaluated, and project learning shared with key stakeholders through accurate and effective reporting;
  • Reports and other documentation from supported Irish Potato collection centers accurately recorded and well filed both hard and soft copy;
  • Good linkages between partner work, communications and collaboration promoted through effective networking with other parts of SPARK;
  • IPOVAF project effective and efficient administrative systems and procedures, including support in collating and compiling financial reports, in accordance with SPARK and Donor’s framework.
Main tasks and responsibilities:
  • Develop operational plans as well as quarterly action plans as per the project phase;
  • Collect and enter programme data into the monitoring and evaluation system on a regular basis;
  • Coordinate capacity building trainings and work of coaches supporting the collection centres and facilitate market linkages with the formal or informal buyers;
  • Work closely with cooperatives of Irish potatoes and collection centres;
  • Ensure that smallholder farmers increase the use of digital mobile platform and financial service on daily/periodical transaction;
  • Support in creating the awareness and understanding on use and trust digital mobile platform;
  • Ensure all implemented activities represent value for money and are in line with the project budget;
  • Ensure data collection to further adapt and update the mobile platform to meet SHF needs and improve programme implementation;
  • Create and maintain good relationship with stakeholders & partners and represent the organisation in stakeholders meeting at the District level and where requested;
  • Assist in maintaining project calendar and milestones; ensuring project results are being met as per the project expected outcomes;
  • Liaise with key stakeholders, coordinating regular meetings and assist in disseminating relevant information;
  • Plan and organize field monitoring visit to the targeted cooperative and Irish potato collection centres (IPCCs);
  • Completing financial report information and MIS on quarterly basis for project progress and donor reporting;
  • Provide input for program and SPARK newsletter and other external communication;
  • To track and monitor all financial transactions such as allocations, expenses relating to the project and required documents to maintain an overview of the financial status of the coordinated projects;
  • To undertake visits to projects to monitor programme implementation, financial standards, disseminate information on development issues and analyse interventions from a gender and youth perspective;
  • Use the collective knowledge gained through programme development, monitoring and evaluation for learning and sharing;
  • Perform any other work-related task when required.
Requirements and Skills
  • More than 4 years of experience in project support in NGOs (with experience and understanding in agriculture sector, specifically in the areas of access to –mobile- finance and markets);
  • University degree in a field related to agriculture economy, agribusiness, agri financing, business information technology, international development or business administration;
  • Proven experience in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) and project management (support);
  • Good knowledge and experience of the agri (ie: Irish Potato sector) value chain development (including cooperative business capacity development / agri business development services) and rural agri financing and business environment in Rwanda;
  • Good knowledge of Business Information Technology specifically digital (cloud-based) solutions such as mobile financial and informational services platform for the rural farmers;
  • Must have experience in project and MEL reporting (including basic financial) and good organizational ability;
  • Good communication and social skills and able to work in multicultural setting;
  • Good team worker while able to work independently with own initiative;
  • Good oral and written language skills in English and Kinyarwanda;
  • Ambitious, organized and responsible;
  • High energy, pro-active and service minded
  • Hands-on attitude and willing to help out flexibly if required;
  • Willing and able to travel frequently to the target districts (Musanze, Burera, Nyabihu and Rubavu);
  • Rwandan Nationality or in possession of work permit.
SPARK Offers
  • A dynamic and exciting position in an international environment;
  • A gross monthly salary between € 1000 and € 1400 paid in RWF depending on professional experience;
  • Professional capacity building, training, exposure and networking opportunities;
  • Contract for 40 hours/week for 1 year with possibility for extension.
SPARK develops higher education and entrepreneurship to empower young, ambitious people to lead their fragile and conflict-affected societies into prosperity. SPARK is a dynamic and growing, international not-for-profit development organisation with 80+ staff members, in more than 14 offices around the world. SPARK supports refugees in the Middle-East by providing them with scholarships in universities and higher education institutions in the region. SPARK also supports young entrepreneurs in fragile states, to start or grow their own businesses.
How to apply:
For more information, please visit the SPARK website: If interested, please send your letter of motivation and your CV (in English) to up and until 22nd February 2018. Reference: Project Officer IPoVaF Rwanda. Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline will be rejected without any consideration. Please, with application send to us two references (phone number and email) which we can contact in the selection process.
For questions about the vacancy, please contact reference; Project Officer IPoVaF Rwanda or call +250 788 611 097.
Due to a large volume of applications, we cannot respond to every applicant. After the deadline for application, we will screen all applications and will invite/ inform only selected applicants for the first round of interviews. There may be a delay between the deadline and the moment we contact selected applicants.