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Program Management Officer-Africa

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) – a member of the CGIAR Consortium ( – develops technologies, innovative methods, and new knowledge that better enable farmers, especially smallholders, to make agriculture competitive and profitable as well as sustainable and resilient. CIAT conducts research for development in tropical regions of Latin America, Africa, and Asia (

CIAT Africa currently works on four key themes: 1) Leveraging markets through improved productivity and competitiveness, 2) Agriculture for improved nutrition and health, 3) Transforming farms and landscapes for sustainability and, 4) Investment planning for resilient agriculture. From its regional hub in Nairobi, CIAT engages with a broad range of institutions and groups for collaborative research, capacity building and knowledge networking across Africa.

Position Summary:

CIAT is seeking to recruit an innovative, dynamic professional with a development-oriented background and strong interest in private sector engagement and science management for an international organization. The position assists the Director for Africa in: managing the regional research program, developing new projects and activities, seeks opportunities for resource mobilization, and coordinates a team of over 100 researchers/support staff members/affiliates.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Research facilitation: Manages regional portfolio of projects and activities, including institutional support systems for science-quality assurance and data/information management; liaises with program coordination/support services units at Headquarters and in other regions.
  • Resource mobilization: Coordinates regional proposals pipeline by helping nurture science creativity for novel project ideas, facilitates team-based proposal development and grant-writing, seeks donor intelligence and engagement, and explores innovative program financing schemes for priority themes.
  • Program development: Assesses and monitors regional trends, needs and opportunities in Africa’s agricultural research-for-development sector; facilitates CIAT regional agenda setting, program planning and strategy development; participates in implementing key strategic research initiatives.
  • Thought leadership: A collaborative yet entrepreneurial individual, with demonstrated interest in agricultural development in Africa, and the ability to provide thought leadership on a range of agricultural development challenges.
  • Partnership and capacity building: Assists in institutional representation, partnership building and external communications; coordinates capacity building schemes for research teams and partners

Qualification and Experience:

  • MSc degree (MPA, MBA or PhD preferred) in interdisciplinary programs related to agriculture, environment and development studies.
  • Minimum 3 years of relevant work experience, with proven capacity for program coordination/management and external engagement with partners.
  • Professional exposure to an international institutional/program setting, including multi-cultural and interdisciplinary working environment.
  • Broad understanding of agricultural research-for-impact challenges in Africa; any region specific work experiences and professional networks would be considered an advantage.
  • Successful track record in partnership building and resource mobilization with public/private sectors.
  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and oral, for diverse audiences including technical specialists and decision/policymakers.

Terms of employment:

This is an internationally recruited position and will be based at the CIAT Africa regional office in Nairobi, Kenya, reporting directly to the Regional Director. The initial contract will be for up to two (2) years, subject to a probation period of three (3) months, and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources. CIAT is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity


Applicants are invited to visit to submit their applications for this position, clearly indicating position title as Program Management Officer. Applications should be saved as one document using the candidate’s lastname, firstname for ease of sorting.

Applications closing date: 17th November, 2017

Only short listed candidates will be contacted.

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