Senior Program Officer - FPO Strengthening

Job ID 856

Program / Project Management India   Bihar-(Darbhanga/Madhubani)


Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with some form of specially-abled.


The Senior Program Officer – FPO Strengthening connects producer-owned cooperatives with the public and private sectors to develop the rural enterprise and financial ecosystem. Following the strategy of Public Private Producer Partnership (4P model), the SPO will explore and collaborate with various stakeholders to strengthen forward and backward linkages in the value chain. S/he will also train and build capacity of the FPO board members, partner and Heifer team as well as coordinate with the technical agency for the effective implementation of FPO level activities and will support the FPOs in achieving sustainability.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND DELIVERABLES: (including approximate percentage effort)

Facilitate in FPO Formation and Strengthening (40%)

  • Assess the current capacity of the farmer producer organizations (FPOs) and identify areas to be strengthened regarding governance, financial management, organizational development, networking, coordination and business.
  • Orient FPO leaders and staff as needed to support FPOs to develop/update their policies, manuals, guidelines.
  • Review, update and orient the roles and responsibilities of boards, committees, and sub-committees.
  • Ensure compliance with government standards in governance and financial management practices.
  • Prepare guidelines for business plan formulation, annual plan, code of conduct and other important guidelines that would be beneficial for long term visioning of FPOs.
  • Attend project and market cluster meetings, and share project progress as needed.
  • Attend periodic meetings of implementing partners and share status and progress as needed.
  • Develop functioning market linkages and business opportunities for the FPOs.

 Networking and Coordination (30%)

  • Map the value chain actors, flow of information and products, infrastructure, and financial institutions to help strengthen the FPOs.
  • Build relationships with external agencies (public and private including the 4P model) for leveraging support and resources and facilitate engagement with similar enterprises for cross-learning.
  • Link FPOs with different government programs, agencies and institutions like banks, NABARD, SFAC etc. to leverage key support for FPO development.
  • Facilitate functional relationships with value chain and market actors to overcome bottlenecks in the market system.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with potential financing partners for investments in the FPOs.


Training and Capacity Building of Heifer and Partner Staff (20%)

  • Build the capacity of partner staff as needed to support FPO development.
  • Build FPOs’ board and staff capacity through organizing trainings, orientations, field coaching, regular monitoring and follow up.
  • Prepare/update training manuals and materials on FPO management, financial management, pre-cooperative/collectivization trainings.
  • Provide facilitation support to reform and integrate primary FPOs.
  • Collaborate with banks and financial institutions (BFIs) to develop, improve, and scale up appropriate financial products and services for FPOs.

 May perform other job-related duties as assigned (10%)


  • Master’s degree in social work/rural development/business administration or a related field
  • Five (5) years of experience in FPO governance, formation, capacity building, management.
  • Proven track record of working with and strengthening FPOs.
  • Demonstrated expertise in linking market actors with FPOs and establishing functional backward and forward linkages.
  • Thorough understanding of legal, financial, and other statutory compliances needed for FPOs.
  • Prior experience of working with women led FPOs, preferably in Bihar.


  • Have an interest in business development of agriculture/livestock and related products/services.
  • Proficient in Hindi, English and regional language, both spoken and written.
  • Excellent organizational skills including strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to prepare and present documents in a well-designed and attractive format with superior attention to detail.
  • Computer proficient in word processing, spreadsheets, electronic mail and internet (Microsoft preferred).
  • Motivated to work responsibly.
  • Excellent leadership qualities and communication skills.
  • Ability and willingness to work with a flexible schedule.
  • Ability and willingness to travel extensively in the field.
  • Demonstrate a high degree of honesty and integrity.
  • Ability to foster and maintain a spirit of unity, teamwork and cooperation.
  • Sensitivity in working with multiple cultures and beliefs, and to gender equity.