Cooperatives Specialist at Land O’Lakes Venture37(Deadline: 5pm Kigali time on September 20th 2022)
Cooperative Development Activity-4 (CD4)
Land O’Lakes Venture37 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening agriculture from farm-to-fork, helping businesses grow, and linking farmers to markets. Since our start in 1981, we have been leveraging nearly 100 years of expertise in crop inputs, agricultural insights, dairy and animal nutrition from our close affiliate, Land O’Lakes, Inc., a farmer-owned agribusiness committed to fulfilling its purpose of feeding human progress.
Our team is made up of nearly 350 employees who are committed to market-led approaches, and passionate about collaborating locally to create lasting inclusive economic growth. By unlocking the potential of agriculture for the last 36 years, the lives of more than 3 million people have been transformed through nearly 300 programs in more than 80 countries. Venture37 has been operating in Lebanon for over 10 years.
Venture37 is seeking candidates for the Cooperative Specialist position for a 5-year Cooperative Development Program (CDP) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The project will run until December 2023 and is in its fourth year of implementation. CDP is advancing dairy, horticulture and maize cooperatives in Rwanda; horticulture and dairy cooperatives in Malawi; and Mouneh cooperative in Lebanon. The project aims to improve capacity, the enabling environment, and resources to meet the evolving needs of their members.
Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until a candidate is chosen.
Position Summary and Primary Responsibilities
The Cooperative Specialist will be responsible for overall coordination, management, and quality of the project’s technical assistance initiatives to cooperatives in Rwanda. S/He will conduct capacity needs assessments of partner cooperatives, work with the Cooperative Development Manager in finalizing scopes of work for responsive technical assistance as well directly manage individual consultants and/or firms executing short-term technical assistance assignments or long term coaching assignments in support of cooperatives and apex organizations.
Detailed responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Initiate capacity building efforts to improve business performance of partner cooperative enterprises (40%)
- Conduct and oversee annual capacity needs assessments at partner cooperatives to inform performance priority areas of improvement.
- Collaborate with the Cooperative Development Manager to conduct periodic performance assessments at partner cooperatives organizations.
- Draft scopes of work that respond to identified performance areas.
- Follow Venture37 procedures to mobilize and manage individual consultants and firms providing technical assistance to partner cooperatives and apex organizations.
- Ensure consultants and firms providing technical assistance use vetted manuals and materials that are harmonized across technical areas.
- Monitor and track cooperative business performance in but not limited to areas of Good Financial Management and Cooperative Business Development Services.
- Regulary liaise with Cooperative Developmemt Manager for reporting of cooperative performance and thoughtful planning of future technical assistance, including uploading information to Venture37’s IMPACTs system.
- Monitor and track any trainings provided directly by CD4 staff, consultants and firms and regularly liase with the Monitoring Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Specialist to ensure reporting requirements are being met on a timely basis. Develop and manage a folder of final training materials and store on Venture37 sharepoint/Devlink site.
- Assist in project studies and data collection initiatives as appropriate.
- Work with the Cooperative Development Manager to plan and execute impactful study tours for cooperatives in Rwanda.
Planning, execution and follow-up for workshops, symposiums and other meetings with stakeholders and project partners (40%)
- Work directly with the Deputy Chief Of Party “DCOP” to organize stakeholder meetings – this will include but not be limited to procuring meeting venue, drafting & distributing invitations, following up with participants, setting agendas, ensuring adequate materials and audio-visual equipment for each meeting and capturing meeting notes.
- Serve as a thoughtful link between the project and project partner organizations implementing the cooperative Learning Platform. This may include close collaboration with DCOP to organize successful Cooperative Learning Platfrom meetings at both national and district levels.
- Liase with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Specialist to track outputs and outcomes associated with any workshops, symposiums, and other stakeholder meetings. This will include, but is not limited to: attendee data/list, meeting notes
- Support project team in organizing annual symposiums/workshops – which would include expositions, research symposium, and financial services symposium; these will entail large gatherings of key stakeholders. Work will include similar tasks to the stakeholder meetings, but on a larger scale and with more time involved to plan, organize and execute.
- Assist with other event planning, coordination and logistics.
Assist in Implementation of Project Objectives (20%)
- Regularly visit partner cooperatives organizations for meetings; participate in and monitor consultant led trainings, and follow-up on technical support.
- Work with the Cooperative Development Manager to mobilize the right cooperative membership to project trainings.
- Track key implementation lessons, and liaise with Cooperative Development Manager and MEL Specialist to properly document.
- Convening and supporting procurement committee to evaluate bids for firms and/or individual consultants.
- Represent the organization at meetings, as may be delegated by the Cooperative Development Manager, DCOP or COP.
- Work with Project Accountant – Rwanda to ensure timely and accurate payments are made to consultants and contractors.
- Regulary meet with district officials, and represent the organization at Government’s meetings as may be delegated by the DCOP.
- Collect project’s useful information (e.g. M&E, match and leverage) as requested by the Cooperative Development Manager, DCOP
- Attend project team meetings.
- Assist in other tasks as called upon.
Reporting & Supervision:
- Supervised by the Deputy Chief Of Party, based in Kigali, Rwanda.
- Bachelor’s degree in business or any other related development subject or equivalent years of experience in cooperative development.
- 3 years or more providing business development services to farmer cooperatives and/or SMEs.
- Proven background as an assessor of farmer cooperatives and/or SMEs.
- Proven experience in producing and analysing financial reports/statements for farmer cooperatives and/or SMEs.
- Relevant track record and understanding of agricultural cooperatives development.
- Minimum of five (5) years experience providing and or managing training or coaching of farmers and or leaders of producer organizations (Cooperatives).
- Qualified trainer who can command attention and respect from diverse audience.
- Fluent in English and Kinyarwanda.
Interested candidates are encouraged to submit their applications through CD4 Rwanda Cooperative Specialist – Careers (avature.net), not later than 5pm Kigali time on September 20th 2022. Candidates will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
Please note only finalists will be contacted. No phone calls please.
We are an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. Venture37 enforces a policy of maintaining a drug-free workforce.
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