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Job For Short Term Consultant at Mercycorps AgriFin

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Mercycorps AgriFinMercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action – helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

We invite applications from suitably qualified candidates to fill the position below:

 

Job Title: Short Term Consultant
Location: Lagos

Program Context

  • The AgriFin Digital Farmer program is a two-year, $5 million program funded by the Gates Foundation. The core problem AgriFin Accelerate seeks to address is the inclusion gap for smallholder farmers (SHF) who lack access to affordable, accessible, demand-driven financial products and services that drive higher productivity and income for farm families. The ecosystems required to serve smallholders are both complex and fragmented
  • Market actors are often hampered by lack of strong understanding of smallholder needs and are therefore unable to design impactful products, channels and other relevant services for them. At the same time, farmers often lack the information, trust and capacity to access and productively utilize new products and tools. This is a key area related to AgriFin’s nascent communications strategy.

AgriFin Digital Farmer Program Overview
Drawing on Mercy Corps’ experience implementing the AgriFin Mobile and AgriFin Accelerate programs and years of work in the agriculture, finance and ICT sectors, the AgriFin Digital Farmer (ADF) program. Mercy Corps’ AgriFin Digital Farmer (ADF) is a two-year, $5 million initiative that will support the expansion of high-impact, digitally-enabled services to at least one million farmers over two years across four countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.

ADF will increase smallholder income and productivity by 50%, reaching at least 40% women in the process. The program will result in increased smallholder farmer inclusion, productivity and income, as well as a range of digitally-enabled models and institutional partners to drive inclusive agricultural transformation with direct benefit to smallholders throughout Africa. AgriFin’s primary target group is unbanked smallholder farmers living on less than $2 per day.

Across all four target countries, ADF’s approach will be grounded in our technical engagement model consisting of:

  • A rapid iteration, fail-fast approach to drive innovative, client-centric product development;
  • Support to design and broker new types of partnerships to transform product delivery capacities; and
  • Work with partners to develop high-impact “bundles” of digitally-enabled services offering farmers affordable access to full suites of affordable, relevant services at scale.

We work with farmers, buyers, suppliers, banks, mobile network operators, research institutes and other ecosystem players in well-defined partnerships to leverage the offer and outreach of all partners while increasing the range of services, access points, and value for farmers on shared platforms.

The program will support partners and engagements in the following areas of innovation:

  • Interactive technologies to support rural advisory and smart farming tools for farmers
  • Human-centered design to develop flexible financial products informed by farmers’ needs
  • Digitally-enabled logistics and distribution solutions to address underlying market constraints
  • Digital market platforms are accessible and relevant for farmers and market actors
  • Use cases of digital data to support credit scoring, smart farming and agricultural data exchanges.
  • ADF will develop tailored approaches to each of the four countries of engagement linked to ecosystem research and partner due diligence and engagement structuring linked to strong partner co-investment, with a consistent focus on women’s inclusion.

Kenya: Deep Dive Support with Safaricom’s DigiFarm and other Partners:

  • Kenya is the world’s leading market for digital inclusion and innovation reaching smallholder farmers. Over the past three years, AgriFin Accelerate has worked with 22 partners in Kenya, including leading mobile network operator (MNO) Safaricom, reaching more than 800,000 smallholders.
  • ADF will expand select platform services across Kenya, deepening the range and outreach of services, and increasing impact for farmers. With key partner Safaricom, the program will focus on expansion of the “DigiFarm” platform to include a digital marketplace, smart farming solutions and deeper financial services for farmers, while driving public learning to encourage replication and ecosystem development across the region as a public good.
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Tanzania: Deep Dive Support with Vodacom’s DigiFarm and Partners:

  • Mercy Corps’ AgriFin Accelerate programming has worked with 15 leading institutions in Tanzania, including banks, MNOs, government, agricultural companies, and technology innovators.
  • ADF will support partners that are improving and scaling their product offerings to farmers, including the National Microfinance Bank, the World Food Program’s Farm to Market Alliance and leading MNO, Vodacom, which plans to adapt the DigiFarm platform for Tanzania.

Ethiopia and Nigeria: “Light Touch” ADF programming:

  • ADF will rapidly map potential transformative partners linked to BMGF priorities for each country, including core digital platforms and value added service providers (VAS).
  • ADF will carefully select two to three partner engagements per country per year, bringing the ADF expertise and approach into these markets to help accelerate development of services to farmers.
  • Both Mercy Corps and existing partners have established offices in Ethiopia and Nigeria and extensive programming in agriculture and financial services. Given the nascent development of digital solutions for agriculture in these markets, Mercy Corps will deliver a “light touch” ADF approach in Ethiopia and Nigeria to minimize operational expenses and maximize investments in private sector partners.
  • ADF will support three to five partner engagements in each country to support emerging innovations and partnerships that will seed growth, new products, and solutions for future scale.

In partnership with BMGF, ADF will support the expansion of high-impact, digitally-enabled services to at least one million farmers over two years, across Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria, increasing farmer income and productivity by 50% while reaching 40% women. Three outcomes will contribute to the achievement of this goal:

  • Outcome 1: Smallholder farmers increase income and productivity through increased access to demand-driven, technology-enabled rural advisory services, smart farming solutions and more efficient, inclusive financing and markets;
  • Outcome 2: Private sector actors increase quality and reach of services to farmers through scalable and high-impact Digital Financial Services and Digital Information Services products, services and delivery models that are tailored to the needs of smallholder farmers
  • Outcome 3: Public learning and program activities increase private sector and governmental engagement in effective delivery of digitally-enabled rural advisory, market access, financial and farm management services to smallholder farmers, leveraging improved data exchange environments.

Purpose of the Engagement
AgriFin Digital Farmer has recently completed a number of scoping missions in Nigeria and has established relationships with a number of partners major ones listed below:

  • The different partners are at various stages of project development and the short term consultant will be required to further these partnership relationships and support the ADF technical team in successful implementation and evaluation of the same.
  • Partners met include; FarmCrowdy, Flower Mills of Nigeria, AgroMall, AFEX, NIRSAL, Thrive, CropIT, Quick Check, Cellulant, UBA, Sterling Bank, Thrive, Hellotractor, Kobo 360, Dangote, Olam, Ignitia, Viamo, Flutterwave, Paga, Zenvus and Mines.io.

Scope of Work

  • This scope of work sets the terms of reference for individual consultant for AgriFin Digital Farmer Nigeria Implementation. Under the direction of the ADF Technical teams, the consultant will be responsible for the following key activities and is expected to provision for 30 man-days per month.
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Partner Engagement Support

  • Assist the program in identifying technical consultants as needed, in preparing terms of reference and scopes of work, and provide support and oversight for consultants as required.
  • Assist in development of partner business and work plans, reviewing research, marketing plans, business processes, operational manuals, product and technology specifications, and financial statements to do so.
  • This project implementation shall be fully consultative with key stakeholders and all learning outputs will be developed in close coordination with ADF and related partners to ensure recommendations and final learning outputs remain strategically aligned the program strategy.
  • Support strong partner relationships, project plans and product roadmaps.
  • Perform tasks based on project plans, those agreed with ADF management, and those assigned by program management.
  • Monitor project progress, report and resolve, or assist in resolving issues, under direction of ADF management
  • Prepare project progress reports and status updates.
  • Conduct due diligence on prospective partners, compile required legal documents and share reports on the same.
  • Conduct desk review of Nigerian ecosystems as well as ongoing learning meetings with program stakeholders related to program focus areas, working in coordination with technical team managers.

Deliverables
The Consultants will provide ADF with the following deliverables, with specific timelines to be agreed in the approved consultant workplan:

  • Weekly back to office report (BTOR) following partner meetings and engagements, including a summary of project status, potential project risks, and any other updates from partner meetings with ADF partners, existing donors, contractors, and other ecosystem members.
  • Weekly check-ins minutes with the Task Managers – this is outside of the standing Technical Team meetings.
  • Monthly report updating project status, potential risks and any other updates from partnership implementation in the month.
  • Final/handover report on activities with partners and future prospects for developments in additional program areas with working partners.

Project Learning Agenda
The following Key ADF Learning Agenda questions will be addressed:

  • What financial and value-added products and services do SHFs, including women and youth, value most and why?
  • How does bundling of products and services impact uptake and usage of digital financial services?
  • What capacity building tools have the highest impact on SHFs willingness and ability to use digital financial services?
  • How and to what extent have ADF partners have been successful to achieve scale and commercial sustainability?
  • What are the main drivers of success and failure of different partnership and bundled approaches?

Ownership/Control of Work
Product/Publication:

  • Matters relating to ownership and control of work product and publication of materials produced during course of this engagement are addressed in the main contract agreement entered into between Mercy Corps and the Consultant for performance of services for AgriFin Digital Farmer.

Authorship and Acknowledgement:

  • Matters relating to authorship and acknowledgment of any materials produced by the Consultant during the course of this engagement are addressed in the main contract agreement entered into between Mercy Corps and the Consultant for performance of services for AgriFin Digital Farmer

 

How To Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV, Cover Letter and references to: mnzaumi@mercycorps.orgusing the Job Title as the subject of the mail.

 

Application Deadline 19th June, 2019.

 

Note: Please give detailed information on your qualification and experience demonstrating your ability to undertake the assignment illustrated in our scope of works.

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