Title: Regional Technology Innovation Advisor
Reports to: Global Coffee Director
Location: Kigali, Rwanda
Travel: up to 25% travel (10% local and 15% international)
I. BACKGROUND INFORMATION
TechnoServe works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. We are a nonprofit organization that develops business solutions to poverty by linking people to information, capital and markets. With more than four decades of proven results, we believe in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.
II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
TechnoServe has established a portfolio of innovative technology related programs and platforms that create an impact throughout a variety of coffee supply chain actors in East Africa. These platforms perform a range of functions, from creating the ability for working capital lenders in Rwanda to better monitor coffee washing station working capital loans, to providing washing station managers themselves the tools needed to improve the operational efficiencies and quality of the coffee they produce- all with the ultimate goal of contributing to lift smallholder farmers out of poverty worldwide.
Projects within the coffee innovation portfolio include:
- Scaling of TechnoServe’s SMS Bookkeeping Platform in Rwanda
- The piloting of an innovative, light-touch coffee wet mill management support tool in Ethiopia designed to help wet mill managers increase the quality, operating efficiency, and transparency of their wet mills.
- The management and expansion of a bespoke Traceability Platform to track and trace coffee purchases in Kenya and Ethiopia back to program supported CWSs.
- The continued refinement of a harvest season support model for cooperatives in Ethiopia in partnership with international small to medium size coffee roasters.
- The implementation of TechnoServe’s East Africa Management Information System (MIS) within East Africa coffee projects, including the design and development of new system features as necessary.
- The continued development and a refinement of a short to mid-term Innovation Strategy within the East Africa coffee practice, including prioritization of new Innovation related activities to pursue throughout 2018 (and subsequent years) in line with the identified strategy.
In the future, TechnoServe intends to continue to build and refine the existing coffee innovation portfolio, with the long-term goal of leading to increased smallholder farmer incomes for 5 million smallholder farmers (about 50% of the world’s smallholder coffee farmers). The following main priorities have been identified: 1) Improving the ability of rural coffee businesses to make sound, data-driven financial and processing decisions 2) Provide information to improve the marketing and sales of coffee 3) Improve the governance of cooperatives and provide efficient; and 4) Integrate transparent mobile-payment mechanisms.
III. POSITION DESCRIPTION
The Coffee Innovations Manager will manage all initiatives falling within the coffee innovation portfolio. Management activities will include work planning, budgeting, and leading internal / donor facing reporting for all activities.
The Manager will also lead ICT platform development and management activities for all technology platforms falling within the coffee innovation portfolio. Platform development and management activities include the leading design, development, testing, and implementation of the new platform features, while also ensuring suitable maintenance is provided to support ongoing platform delivery over time.
The Manager will simultaneously support the East Africa regional coffee program team in developing their overarching innovations strategy, including continuously identifying new technologies to pilot within the East Africa regional programs to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the program implementation model. The Manager will work in concert with the Global Coffee Director and the East Africa Coffee Leadership team and will be involved in sales and fundraising activities.
Specifically, the manager will be involved in the following number of main activities:
Program Management / Operations
- Manage the overall Access to Finance for the Coffee Sector program in Rwanda in partnership with Access to Finance Rwanda, including work planning, budgets, and internal / donor financing reporting.
- Manage the Virtual Business Advisor development and pilot work stream in Ethiopia in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including work planning, budgets, and worsktream-level internal / donor facing reporting.
- Manage the implementation of the internal Salesforce-based PIMA Regional MIS Platform to new East Africa regional coffee country programs, including Uganda, Zimbabwe, and DR Congo.
- Manage the overall Coffee Partner Initiative program in Ethiopia in partnership with Peet’s Coffee & Tea, including management of sub-grantees, work planning, budgets, and internal / donor facing reporting.
- Manage the IT contractors for all associated ICT development platforms, including coffeetransparency.com, the Nespresso Traceability Platform, and regional salesforce MIS System.
- Continuously develop partnerships with large working capital lenders in Rwanda, and carry out and support fundraising/ sales activities for coffeetransparency.com as driven by platform sustainability strategy.
- Maintain good relationships with all internal and external users of developed ICT Platforms, including coffeetransparency.com, the Virtual Business Advisor, the Nespresso Traceability Platform, and PIMA Regional MIS system.
ICT Platform Development
- Manage the design, development, testing, regional implementation and evaluation of new ICT features within the PIMA Regional MIS System; continuously evaluate and update roadmap for new feature development based on regional needs.
- Manage the design, development, testing, implementation, and evaluation of the Cashless Wet Mill mobile money payment system within Rwanda as a part of the Access to Finance for the Coffee Sector Program.
- Manage the design, development, testing, implementation, and evaluation of a Traceability System for Nespresso in Ethiopia; manage new feature development and refinement for the existing Traceability System in Kenya.
- Manage the design, development, testing, pilot, and evaluation of the Virtual Business Advisor mobile application based platform in Ethiopia; identify manage future iterations of development based on pilot learnings.
- Manage the design, development, testing, and implementation of a new green sales tracking feature within the SMS Bookkeeping Platform; identify and manage the development and future implementation of additional SMS Bookkeeping Platform features as needed.
Innovations Strategy and Business Development
- Develop a long-term sustainability strategy for the coffeetransparency.com platform – integrating market innovations and new ideas.
- Develop a mid-term East Africa coffee regional Innovation strategies, including receiving buy in from regional coffee leadership team members.
- Identify opportunities to pilot new, existing technologies with East Africa coffee regional programs to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the program implementation model
- Identify and liaise with ICT4D donors and fund managers to identify new innovation-based funding opportunities.
- Integrate East Africa team innovations within Latin America Regional Coffee Programs
- Develop external knowledge materials and represent the program to key partners and the interested community.
- Develop internal knowledge materials; support internal knowledge sharing activities and the development of broader TechnoServe innovations frameworks and initiatives.
- Other activities assigned by the Global Coffee Director.
IV. SKILLS REQUIRED
- Degree in Finance, Business Administration or other relevant field
- At least five years relevant IT project management and delivery experience, including systems development, implementation, operations, maintenance, and support activities, within a relevant field (e.g., Access to Finance, Micro-Finance, Farmer Outreach, Mobile-Payments)
- Experience developing organization-level digital strategies and business cases for technology investment
- Experience in the coffee sector within East Africa
- Experience living and working in sub-Saharan Africa (East Africa experience preferred)
- Experience leading and managing multicultural teams, preferably some experience with managing remotely (e.g. field-based teams)
- Strong market orientation, entrepreneurial and innovative thinker
- Proven communication, presentation and writing skills
- Proven ability to work independently, delivering high-quality end products
- Previous successful experience mentoring and building capacity of staff
- High proficiency in PowerPoint and Excel
- Verbal and written fluency in English; Spanish an additional advantage
V. SUCCESS FACTORS
Competency is a combination of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) directly related to successful performance on the job.
Core Competencies include:
- Integrity and honesty: Is widely trusted; seen as a direct, truthful individual; presents truthful information in an appropriate and helpful manner; keeps confidences; admits mistakes; does not misrepresent himself or herself for personal gain.
- Team Work/ Relationships: Works co-operatively and flexibly with other members of the team with a full understanding of the role to be played as a team member and/or leader, to achieve a common goal. Ability to build and maintain effective relationships and networks.
- Learning attitude: Proactively takes advantage of opportunities to learn. Actively identifies new areas for learning; applies and shares new knowledge and skill appropriately.
- Demonstrates an understanding and appreciation for diversity and supports diversity efforts. Interacts effectively with and inclusively with people of all races, cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, religions, ages, and genders.
- Expresses ideas effectively in individual and group situations. Listens effectively; shares information, ideas and arguments; adjusts terminology, language and communication modes to the needs of the audience; ensures accurate understanding; acts in a way that facilitates open exchange of ideas and information; uses appropriate non-verbal communication.
- Decision making/Problem Solving: Is able to analyze situations, diagnose problems, identify the key issues, establish and evaluate alternative courses of action and produce a logical, practical and acceptable solution. Is able to make effective decisions on a day-to-day basis, taking ownership of decisions, demonstrating sound judgement in escalating issues where necessary.
- Results Oriented/ High Quality Deliverables:Stays focused on the efforts necessary to achieve quality results consistent with programmatic or departmental goals. Demonstrates the ability to achieve effective results; works persistently to overcome obstacles to goal achievement. Accomplishes tasks by considering all areas involved, no matter how small; showing concern for all aspects of the job; accurately checking processes and tasks.
- Planning & Time Management: Establishes a course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a specific goal. Effectively plans, schedules, prioritizes and controls activities; identifies, integrates and orchestrates resources (people, material, information, budget, and/or time) to accomplish goals. Prioritizes work according to the program or department’s goals, not just own job responsibilities; manages own time effectively.
- Business Acumen:The ability to use information, ask the right questions and take decisions that make an impact on the overall business performance.
Job Specific/Technical Competencies include:
- Computer Literacy: Demonstrates knowledge and ability to use specific computer programs or applications for own functional area. Has the ability to improve performance by integrating new and existing technology into the workplace.
- Donor/Partnership Management: Identifying opportunities and taking action to build strategic relationships between one’s area and other areas, teams, departments, or organizations to help achieve business goals.
- Analysis, Research, Report Writing: Experience in business planning and analysis, modeling for feasibility and execution. Able to analyze and express oneself clearly in business writing.
- Innovative Mindset: Curious inquiries, asks questions and seeks out information from multiple sources, learns from mistakes, sees change as an opportunity.
VI. Career Pathways:
The positions that may be a next career opportunity for employees in this job title include Senior Program Manager or Senior Portfolio Manager.
VII. Application Instructions
Qualified and interested applicants should submit a non-returnable single Word-formatted document consisting of cover letter, resume and salary history to HR officer Mkayiranga@tns.org. Due to a high volume of applicants, please understand that we are able to contact only those who meet the minimum qualifications. No phone calls, please. The final deadline for submission is February 13th, 2018.
Women are encouraged to apply.
TechnoServe encourages diversity in all levels and across all facets of our organization. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ages, HIV/AIDS status, protected veteran status, disability and all other protected classes.