PMU Farmer Field School Technical Lead (based in Lilongwe)

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Job Title: PMU Farmer Field School Technical Lead
Company: Self Help Africa
Department: Programmes
Location: Lilongwe
Reports to: Programme Manager

Job Purpose: BETTER is a five-year EU funded programme that aims at increasing resilience, food, nutrition and income security of smallholder farmers in 10 districts (Karonga, Chitipa, Mzimba, Kasungu, Nkhata-Bay, Nkhotakota, Salima, Chiradzulu, Thyolo and Mulanje) across the country. The programme will be implemented by five NGOs namely SHA Malawi (Lead), Action Aid, Plan, ADRA and EAM. The project has the following specific objectives:

  1. To strengthen agricultural extension services through 13,400 FFS groups in order to secure effective and productive services for smallholder farmers in 10 KULIMA districts.
  2. To increase the resilience of 402,000 smallholder farmers to adapt to adverse effects of climate change and improve food security in 78 EPAs in 10 KULIMA districts.

The FFS Technical Lead will be responsible for ensuring successful use of the Farmer Field School Approach in the implementation of climate change adaption and resilience initiatives among the smallholder farmers in all the targeted districts. This will include among others ensuring that strong and functioning Farmer Field Schools are established across the districts.

Key Responsibilities:

• Lead in the establishment of Farmer Field Schools in close collaboration with FAO and Consortium Partner Agriculture Focal Point persons.
• Adapt existing Master Trainers’ training curricula and materials to Malawi context and tailor existing Training of Facilitators curricular to respective agro-ecological needs across the targeted 10 districts.
• In collaboration with the CGIAR centres support the design and set up field studies (experiments/validation/comparative) with clear objectives, parameters for observation and protocols for analysis.
• Facilitate capacity building for FFS Master Trainers, Community Based Facilitators and Program Staff in Farmer Field School operationalization.
• In collaboration with FAO and other implementing partners, contribute to developing standard operating procedures/guidelines for implementing FFS within the framework of DAESS to ensure uniformity of the FFS implementation approaches across the 10 districts.
• Ensure that there is learning among Farmer Field Schools within and across districts especially from districts that are advanced with the Farmer Field School implementation.
• Support the District Project Managers and M&E Officers in the collection and analysis of data from FFS to help strengthen documentation of best practices for the purposes of learning.
• Provide technical support and guidance to field technical staff, partners and communities around Farmer Field Schools implementation guidelines including hands-on mentoring of participants on the FFS methodology and various tools including agro ecosystem analysis (AESA), group dynamics and facilitation skills.
• Ensure that the project implements climate change adaptation interventions through FFS throughout the programme areas.
• Provide regular reporting to the Programme Manager as per reporting guidelines including preparation and consolidation of monthly, quarterly and annual project reports.
• Monitor the context and carry out adjustments to project plans and management on an on-going basis in light of changing context, resources, and opportunities.
• Develop and maintain strong relationships within and outside SHA including with the Government of Malawi ministries and its departments relevant to resilience building for smallholder farmers.
• Contribute effective teamwork, coordination and work planning among development facilitators, technical specialists, and administrative staff in support of project objectives.
• Facilitate a working environment of mutual trust, respect, and care among all staff.
• Responsible for building the capacity of all project staff, enhancing their commitment, character, competence, and critical thinking. Work with them to develop and implement personal capacity building plans.
• Perform any other duties assigned by the PMU Programme Manager.

Key Relationships:
• Report to PMU Programme Manager
• Collaborates with PMU Resilience Technical Lead, PMU Communication & Learning Specialist, PMU M&E Officer, District Project Manager/Coordinator, District M&E Officer, SHA HQ Agriculture Advisors, Self Help Africa Staff, Consortium Partners, FAO, GIZ, EU, Partner District Project Coordinators/Project Managers, District Agriculture Offices in the 10 BETTER districts and CGIAR centers.

Essential Qualifications and Experience
• Minimum of MSc in Agriculture Extension.
• Minimum of 5 years’ experience in agricultural extension, with at least 2 years’ experience in the implementation of Farmer Field Schools.
• Experience in training extension staff and managing extension programs (government, NGO or commercial).
• Up to date knowledge of new approaches in extension and current research on extension.
• Previous experience in delivering extension programs for CSA, including CA.
• Strong computer skills especially with Ms Word and Excel and experience of digital data gathering and ICT4D.
• A good understanding of project cycle management approaches and tools – including Participatory Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment and Planning, project appraisal, monitoring and evaluation and partners’ capacity building.
• Skills in training/facilitation of development processes, including organisation and mobilisation of communities and networking among different development partners such as community-based organisations, government officers and SHA staff.
• Good communication skills, excellent people management and interpersonal skills.
• Proven ability to motivate, provide technical support and guidance to a diverse team of staff and partners with minimum direct supervision.

Desirable Qualifications and Experience
• Registered FFS Trainer (Registered with the FFF).
• Previous experience of integrating gender and nutrition training into FFS.
• Crop protection experience or qualification, with experience of FFS for IPM.
• An understanding of monitoring and evaluation principles.
• Good data analysis skills.
• Previous experience of using on-line climate change modelling resources.
• Experience on other similar donor funded projects, prior experience on EU funded programs preferred.

Role Competencies:
• Considerable experience writing technical reports.
• Ability to work as part of team across different cultures.
• Ability to work with minimum supervision and take initiative.
• Ability to solve problems and take corrective action.
• High level of integrity and high standards of personal conduct.

Please submit by 5pm of 30th September, 2019 a completed application form, CV and motivation letter to

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Safeguarding Statement:
“Any candidate offered a job with Self Help Africa will be expected to sign Self Help Africa’s Safeguarding Policies and Code of Conduct as an appendix to their contract of employment and agree to conduct themselves in accordance with the provisions of these documents. Specific roles may require police/DBS/garda vetting.”

SHA is an equal opportunities employer