Reporting Unit/Supervisor: Deputy Regional Program Director
Location: Blantyre, Malawi
Travel: Local travel up to 40% of the time
I. TechnoServe Background:
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. Our work is rooted in the idea that given the opportunity, hardworking men and women in even the poorest places can generate income, jobs and wealth for their families and communities. With more than four decades of proven results, we believe in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.
II. Program Description:
Solutions for African Food Enterprises (SAFE) is a TechnoServe (TNS) program in partnership with USAID and Partners in Food Solutions, with the aims of increasing the competitiveness of the African food processing sector and expanding availability of affordable and nutritious foods. Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) is a non-profit organization formed by General Mills to link the technical and business expertise of volunteer employees from General Mills, Cargill, Royal Dutch DSM and Bühler. This program provides knowledge and technology transfer to build the capacity of African food processors, improving availability of nutritious foods and creating market opportunities for small holder farmers.
III. Position Description:
TechnoServe is seeking a Senior Food Technologist for Malawi. This role is critical to the knowledge and technology transfer model and the individual will be responsible for identifying appropriate processors to work with; determining their capacity building needs; defining those needs as projects for PFS volunteer experts; and facilitating the implementation of the feedback and capacity building advice. The Senior Food Technologist will also be responsible for identifying industry sector knowledge gaps and working with PFS and local institutions to conduct sector wide trainings to close these industry gaps.
In addition, the Senior Food Technologist will act as the in country program manager overseeing the activities of the Malawi team and working in close cooperation with our PFS partners to develop a pipeline of appropriate food processing companies and select companies for engagement. They will identify their capacity building needs; draft project charters and support volunteer technology/knowledge transfer. This role will supervise the Senior Business Advisor and have overall accountability for delivery against targets in Malawi.
Specifically, the Senior Food Technology (SFT) will be responsible for the following activities:
1. Strategy Development and Country Management:
The SFT will work with the Deputy Program Director, M&E manager and other management support to develop a work plan and strategy for activities towards delivering against targets, supporting target setting and monitoring and evaluation parameters. The SFT will manage a Senior Business Advisor and have oversight of the entire Malawi program. S/he will represent SAFE at a national level, including participation in program leadership meetings alongside other SAFE country program managers.
2. Identification of Local Processors:
The SFT will be responsible for implementing an equitable and transparent process for processor selection. S/he will consider the program selection criteria and make special effort to reach out to women processors for the broadest representation. Once local processors have submitted concept papers outlining their interest in participating in the “receiver network”, the Food Technology Specialist will be responsible for evaluating the concept notes against the selection criteria, conducting interviews and site visits, and verifying information presented in the application (including assessments with third parties, an analysis of financial health and business performance, interviews with senior management, suppliers etc.) S/he will consult with the Deputy Program Director and PFS counterpart/s to make a final selection.
3. Technology Transfer Support:
Knowledge and technology will be transferred by (a) customized interventions with selected food companies and (b) delivering workshop trainings to a broader audience on select knowledge gaps.
(a) Customized Interventions:
Once the local processors have been brought into the program, the SFT will be responsible for:
- Assessing the needs of the Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs), which will include conducting a diagnostic assessment, translating the needs into specific project charters and prioritizing them, and identifying relevant SGB technologies.
- Managing progress of the local processors, including identifying their resource needs, working with the SGBs to develop a suitable program strategy and assisting the processors in developing new products/markets.
- Facilitating Technology Transfer, including helping the local processor bridge any cultural differences between itself and PFS, identifying resources required for implementation of the program, and ensuring practical knowledge transfer.
- Developing the SGB through coaching.
(b) Sector wide trainings:
- Identify relevant food sector knowledge gaps
- Identify local institutions and service providers to support the training in identified knowledge gaps
- Develop with PFS and the local institution the required training manuals and modules
- Facilitate with the local institution the training to the food sector
4. Monitoring and Evaluation:
The SFT will also be required to support project Monitoring and Evaluation (with the support of the project M&E Manager). Specifically, s/he will be required to:
- Support the business analysts to ensure they are able to collect the required impact data accurately and in a timely manner
- Contribute towards explanations of metric results and provide input to reports
- Provide anecdotal evidence of impact, including success stories, case studies and lessons learnt
IV. Required Skills & Experience:
- Malawian national currently based in Malawi.
- B.Sc. in Food Technology or related degree, Master’s degree preferred.
- At least 5 years’ experience in food processing, preferably at least 2 in the private sector.
- Personnel management experience required.
- Strong private sector experience and entrepreneurial skills.
- Proven track record in providing technical solutions to food processors.
- Excellent problem solving and analytical skills.
- Strong interpersonal and management skills.
- Ability to generate innovative solutions in work situations.
- Good computer skills in business software (Excel, MS Project and PowerPoint).
- Excellent communication skills in both written and spoken English.
- Willingness to be based in Blantyre, ability to travel to remote rural locations and internationally.
- A valid driving license and passport.
V. Application Instructions:
Qualified and interested applicants should submit a Word-formatted single document consisting of cover letter, resume and salary history to email@example.com. Please identify the position for which you are applying in the subject line.
Only applicants meeting minimum qualifications will be considered or contacted. No phone calls please.