Agribusiness Manager - Mosul, Iraq
About Mercy Corps
Mercy 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.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has worked across Iraq’s 18 governorates since 2003, providing support to more than 5 million people affected by war, violence, and displacement. Mercy Corps Iraq focuses on (1) a relief-to-resilience pathway to meet the needs of conflict-affected communities leveraging agency expertise in conflict management and civil society development (2) a humanitarian response that empowers conflict-affected populations to meet their own needs (3) partnering with conflict-affected adolescents to address their diverse needs, promoting leadership and linkages with civil society, as well as access to education, psychosocial support, and economic opportunities; and (4) promoting reconciliation and foster trust across community divisions by strengthening conflict management and prevention mechanisms and enhancing social cohesion.
Mercy Corps Iraq will implement PERMA 2, an agriculture program that aims to improve the business environment and improve access to financial services as well as reactivate agriculture value chains in Salah al-Din and Ninewa governorates. Efforts toward agricultural and rural economic recovery must target the rehabilitation of both the public and the private (at micro and small enterprise levels) infrastructure through an integrated approach, while also taking into account the social and cultural complexity of Salah al-Din and Ninewa. In response, PERMA 2 has outlined three main objectives aimed at supporting rehabilitation, reconstruction, and overall economic recovery of the agriculture sector in Salah al-Din and Ninewa:
- Financial institutions are providing appropriate and affordable financial services to enable MSMEs to start, re-start and grow agricultural activities;
- Small-scale farmers have improved access to services, inputs, information, infrastructure and markets that increase their productivity and profitability; and
- Local institutions and leaders are promoting intra- and inter-community interactions that contribute to the reintegration of returnees in the agricultural sector and conflict-resolution.
General Position Summary
Reporting to the MSD Consortium Manager, the Agribusiness Manager is a technical position for Mercy Corps with supervisory responsibility for a team of intervention leads for agricultural market development. Technical responsibilities include conducting business capacity assessments and research; capacity building support to program targeted agribusinesses, including technical advice, mentorship and coaching; and facilitating linkages to support services for improved coverage and outreach. The Agribusiness Manager will work closely with the field team under the three components to ensure quality program implementation and will be responsible for serving as a thought leader within the consortium in designing and implementing program activities using a market systems development approach.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Work closely with the Agriculture Consortium Manager and all other teams in designing and implementing business capacity building interventions of the project according to the approved work plan and budgets, project documents and implementation strategies.
- Provide technical leadership for design and implementation of activities using a market systems development approach for all program consortium partners.
- Identify and manage partnerships that contribute both to sustainable and inclusive growth of private sector partners and to anticipated project results.
- With supervision and guidance from the MSD Consortium Manager, conduct assessments, design projects, and lead strategy development.
- Identify the capacity gaps of small and medium businesses working with the program design and implement feasible capacity building activities based on identified gaps.
- Build the capacity of project staff, partners, and stakeholders to foster market system upgrading.
- Strengthen private sector development in Ninewa and Salah al-Din through new ideas and initiatives using a market systems development approach.
- Conduct due diligence on potential partners and support the negotiation process, as requested, in finalizing teaming and partnership agreements.
- Provide continuous capacity support and oversee activities of the agribusinesses identified for capacity building support.
- Work closely with all other program teams to ensure synergies and to maximize program impact.
- Work closely with the monitoring, evaluation and learning and communication teams in setting baseline indexes of targeted businesses and track progress against set business capacity performance parameters.
- Actively participate in regular program planning, review and reflection meetings and sessions.
- Build field team capacity in the areas of market systems development, agribusiness, business mentorship and coaching.
- Provide managerial and supervisory support to a team of agricultural market development intervention leads.
- Prepare periodic work plans and progress reports.
- Prepare accurate and timely reports and other project documentation and communication that contribute to a learning environment.
- Coordinate with other Mercy Corps programs and local government bodies to ensure coherent program implementation and to capitalize on business opportunities in Mercy Corps’ target communities.
- Conduct herself/himself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its mission.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Train and mentor staff in Market Systems Development (MSD) approaches to ensure successful program implementation.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Supervise, hire, and orient new team members as necessary.
- Provide team members with information, tools, and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
- Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem-solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
MONITORING, EVALUATION AND LEARNING (MEL)
- Take a leadership role in development and revision of the MEL system linked to indicators, and information management, in close coordination with the MEL team.
- Coordinate data gathering and management with all district-based program staff and take overall responsibility for MEL.
- Oversee scheduling and production of formal and informal reports on all aspects of the program, with a high level of quality, requiring minimal revision.
- Ensure coordination and sharing of information with other district level stakeholders.
- As part of Mercy Corps’ agency-wide Organizational Learning Initiative, all team members are responsible for spending 5% of their work time in formal and/or non-formal professional learning activities. Project Manager is responsible for ensuring that other staff are able to engage in this organizational learning and career development opportunities.
PROGRAM SUPPORT OPERATIONS
- Coordinate and support finance, operations and administrative staff to ensure operational systems are in place to support field activities, including logistics (transport, warehousing and asset management), procurement, security, administration and human resources.
The agribusiness manager will supervise three Intervention Leads - Agriculture Market Development.
Reports Directly to: PERMA 2 MSD Consortium Manager
Works Directly with: PERMA 2 program team, PERMA 2 consortium partners, MEL team, Finance team, Operations team, private sector partners, and government stakeholders
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Knowledge and Experience
- A degree, preferably graduate level, in Agribusiness, Business Administration, Economics, or Development studies.
- Minimum five years of professional experience in managing and implementing market systems interventions for international development projects
- Minimum five years of private sector experience and/or experience with development agencies in the agribusiness sector is preferred
- Understanding of Market system development approaches and market facilitation approaches, including coaching, relationship building, communicating, entrepreneurial/business understanding, and innovating.
- Deep understanding of the interplay between key agricultural market actors like financial service providers (MFI, Banks, and insurers), input suppliers, producers, traders, intermediary and terminal markets, governance frameworks (formal and informal); and all support markets and functions.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English; Arabic is preferred.
- Excellent computer skills, specifically in MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- Excellent attention to detail and ability to complete tasks in a timely manner.
- Excellent teamwork abilities and interpersonal skills.
- Strong analytical and quantitative skills as well as familiarity with the agribusiness sector is required.
- Demonstrated flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm as well as a willingness to learn and to be continually adaptive within a dynamic and often self-directed working environment mandatory.
- Ability to focus on day-to-day tasks at hand while also working towards longer-term objectives with an understanding that these will change continuously.
- A dynamic, “outside-the-box” attitude is required, with proven ability to think and act creatively in challenging environments.
- Willingness to spend much time in the field and work closely with program target groups.
- Conscientious, with an excellent sense of judgment.
- Business minded, entrepreneurial, adaptive, curious, great problem-solving skills, unafraid to ask questions, and results motivated
- Ability to foster solid working relationships with communities, private sector, government representatives, NGOs, UN staff and other stakeholders.
- Willing and able to implement MC security protocols even when they impact upon projects and personal time.
- Personally, and programmatically sensitive to cultural, ethnic, gender and diversity issues.
- Ability to work simultaneously on multiple tasks and meet deadlines in an insecure, stressful environment.
- Ability to work self-sufficiently but as part of a team and coordinate with project personnel.
- Effective verbal and written communication skills in English are required.
- Computer literate and strong organizational skills.
- A sense of humor.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position will be based in Mosul and is an unaccompanied position. This location is eligible for hardship allowance and R&R breaks. Travel within Iraq is required (20% minimum) to support Mercy Corps Iraq’s offices and programs. This will include the Iraqi Kurdish Region, Center and South Iraq. Living conditions are in group housing: water, electricity and internet are present with some cuts.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and
values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.