The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership organization that promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector. WCF provides cocoa farmers with the support they need to grow more quality cocoa and socially and economically strengthen their communities. WCF’s members include cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80 percent of the global cocoa market. WCF’s programs benefit farmers and their communities in cocoa-growing regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Americas.
Job Title: Agricultural Productivity Director & Chief of Party
WCF seeks a Director of Agricultural Productivity to provide thematic leadership on agricultural productivity issues and also serve as Chief of Party to lead its new African Cocoa Initiative Phase II (ACI II) program in West Africa. ACI II is managed by WCF in partnership with twelve industry partners, four government partners, and its principal donor USAID. The program is an agricultural development program that closely support industry’s new CocoaAction strategy and will be implemented across four countries (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria). The second phase of the initiative is an entirely new program that began in late 2016 and will build on the successful work of its predecessor program—African Cocoa Initiative (2012-2016). The new program will directly address two key constraints in the cocoa sector, namely access to sufficient quality planting material and improved financial services, that have been identified as priority constraints to increased productivity and professionalization of the West African cocoa sector.
In this new phase of this partnership with USAID (2016-2020), ACI II will focus on targeting the same farmers identified through the CocoaAction strategy in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, and enhancing cross-regional collaboration in the area of cocoa plant breeding and disease control and resistance. In line with WCF’s new strategic focus, the position will also serve as the global head of the new thematic technical practice area–Agricultural Productivity. This practice area will interact with two other new practice areas for Social Development and the Environment, and new Country Directors who are responsible for managing country relationships. In this capacity, s/he will provide foundation-wide guidance and leadership to WCF staff and programs involved in the following technical areas: improved planting materials, distribution of agricultural inputs, soil and water resource management, farmer training and extension, access to financial services, agriculture technology and innovation, policy and institutional reform as it relates to productivity, and global cocoa research priorities.
Candidates must possess proven technical leadership, program management experience, and experience working on both the public and private sector development programs. The ideal candidate would also bring a proven track record in developing collaborative partnerships with both public and private sector stakeholders around agricultural value chains and have demonstrated knowledge and experience in cocoa planting material propagation, breeding/research, and/or distribution strategies.
This position is based in Accra, Ghana and reports to the Senior Director of West Africa Programs, based in Washington, DC.
- Oversee the achievement of ACI II program objectives, including accountability for making strategic choices, managing quality and risks, coordinating with origin governments and participating companies, and delivering high quality and timely results;
- Provide effective management of ACII program activities, including preparation of annual work plans, program reports, budgets, financial updates, and progress reports on monthly and quarterly basis as required in the project plan;
- Provide technical leadership in the area of agricultural productivity across WCF to identify and promote best practice, innovation, and scalability in the areas of: improved planting materials, distribution of agricultural inputs, soil and water resource management, farmer training and extension, access to financial services, agriculture technology and innovation, policy and institutional reform as it relates to productivity, and global cocoa research work;
- Facilitate and coordinate collaborative external partnerships related to ACI II and agricultural productivity (including with industry, government, technical, donor, and civil society stakeholders) to deepen results and impact;
- Represent WCF in global research organizations and other global fora as needed, including the Cocoa Research Center at the University of West Indies, International Cocoa Quarantine Center at Reading University, and the Global Network for Cacao Genetic Resources;
- Foster learning and knowledge sharing to widely disseminate lessons learned and good practices related to ACI II and agricultural productivity, and ensure that clients and stakeholders receive the highest quality support and knowledge they need, through multiple venues and channels, including academic writing, media, professional conferences, and public speaking engagements;
- Oversee monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities in conjunction with WCF M&E staff to ensure effective monitoring of project inputs, outputs, and outcomes, and continuous feedback loops and mid-course adjustments in implementation as needed;
- Conduct productivity analysis to identify key constraints to improved cocoa productivity, including policy considerations, training and capacity building, agricultural extension organization, input delivery and agronomic considerations;
- Model exemplary leadership behaviors in managing staff mapped to the ACI II and agricultural productivity teams, including appropriate strategies for staffing, performance management, and talent development;
- Contribute to WCF leadership team and strategic directions, including effective collaboration with other Thematic Directors and Country Directors, and ensuring integration of ACI II and agricultural productivity issues into broader strategic directions of WCF and other programs in West Africa cocoa sector, recognizing opportunities for synergy in program implementation and addressing challenges; and
- Ensure cost-effective use of resources (human and budget) within the agreed work program, and in full compliance with WCF policies and procedures, and sound internal controls.
- Graduate degree in agriculture, rural development, or other related field, with ten or more years’ experience managing and implementing agriculture/agribusiness development projects or programs;
- Deep technical knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas: improved planting materials, distribution of agricultural inputs, soil and water resource management, farmer training and extension, access to financial services, agriculture technology and innovation, policy and institutional reform as it relates to productivity, and/or global cocoa research;
- Substantive experience working in developing countries, with work experience in West Africa preferred;
- Significant experience developing effective collaboration and partnerships with private sector, government, civil society organizations, research and/or extension agencies, and donor stakeholders;
- Track record of coordinating and managing private foundation or government funded, especially USAID, regional-level projects and programs, from start-up through final implementation;
- Demonstrated track record of managing, leading, and coaching individual staff, and in creating an enabling and inclusive work environment;
Strong teamwork and collaboration skills, with demonstrated ability to work effectively in teams; with a high degree of discretion, tact and sensitivity in dealing with stakeholders; and