Agronomes et Vétérinaires sans Frontières (AVSF / www.avsf.org) is an international NGO based in France, working on rural development and supporting small-scale farmers and animal keepers in developing countries while advocating on their behalf.
AVSF Laos is recruiting a Lead Project Manager based in Vientiane for the project Mekong Tea.
Team Leader “Mekong Tea Project”
I - CONTEXT
Laos is part of the endemic tea zone. However, unlike neighboring countries, this sector is barely developed and there is generally speaking few know-how in the country. Furthermore, tea is relatively little consumed in Laos and therefore the market remains undeveloped. The production is mainly sold to China, where the main stakeholders have developed efficient sectors but which leave little added value to Lao stakeholders, because most of the processing and added value is done by the post production stakeholders of the sector, in China.
However, Laos has some interesting comparative advantages, which should allow to sell a high quality tea in diversified markets, especially in Europe. The objective of the Mekong Tea project is to improve the incomes of smallholder tea farmers through better governance of the value chain and better access to the market through quality and certified products. Funded by AFD and implemented by the Department of Agriculture (DoA) of the Ministry of Agriculture, the project has two components, one at the national level for developing value chain, the other at the local level in support of two pilot projects. In partnership with GRET and Lao Consulting Group, AVSF is the leader of the consortium which provides Technical Assistance to the DoA for the implementation of the project.
II – JOB DESCRIPTION
Job Title : Team Leader (Laos) - Technical assistance for the Mekong Tea project
Creation / replacement: Replacement
Desired date of arrival: 1st March, 2022
Contract length : 6 months (with possibilities of extensions up to 2 years)
Gross monthly salary : Working conditions and salary to be discussed according to the experience and competencies of the candidate.
Under the hierarchical responsibility of AVSF Laos Country Representative and in close coordination with the rest of the AVSF team, the Team Leader of the Mekong Tea project will be responsible for supporting the National Project Coordinator (Department of Agriculture employee) to implement the project as a whole.
The Lead Project Manager will be especially in charge of the following tasks:
- Support the ministry’s Department of Agriculture, and particularly the National coordinator of the project to manage the project, overview all activities and write the progress reports detailing the implementation of the activities.
- Coordinate and animate the Technical Assistance team staffed with experts and representative of the consortium’s (AVSF, GRET, LCG) and commercial partners such as Ethiquable.
- Coordinate the elaboration, monitoring and updating of project documentation (procedures Manual, annual work plan and budget, procurement plan, environment and social management plan), prepare and support the implementation of the communication plan.
- Coordinate, in support to the national project coordinator, all project activities aimed at achieving project results:
o Consultation of the sector at the national level, mobilization, and coordination of key tea actors.
o Capacity building of the farmers cooperative(s) in terms of organization and financial models’ implementation.
o Provide technical backstopping in the introduction of agro-ecological practices for a sustainable and organic certified tea production.
o Commercially empower the farmers through enabled processing and quality control procedures, with facilitation of commercial partnerships with various kinds of buyers.
- Coordinate the implementation of the project Monitoring and Evaluation system.
- Write the Terms of Reference of the experts mobilized for specific missions, coordinate the missions and monitor the progress of activities and deliverables;
- Prepare, when necessary, requests for the donor’s non-objection for the approval of field missions or any other activities not anticipated or insufficiently detailed in the annual plan.
- Lead the preparation and drafting of all contractual deliverables, periodic technical and financial reports.
III- KEY REQUIREMENTS
- Degree (Master or equivalent) in agronomy, agroeconomics, and/or value-chain development.
- Minimum 10 years’ experience as project manager within an international NGO or international organization or similar institutions and / or government technical assistance in a southern country.
- Aptitude for teamwork and fieldwork, and strong analytical and synthesis skills, as well as a good personal capacity for autonomy and adaptation to work with a mixed team (government partners, local and international consultants, backstopping of headquarters and partners);
- Strong interpersonal and editorial skills in English.
Skills and experience required:
- Experience required in program management or technical assistance to government programs, skills in Monitoring & Evaluation and capitalization of experiences.
- Technical skills in crop production, knowledge and interest in tea, support for strengthening cooperatives and small producers, development of international agricultural sectors, experience in organic and fair-trade certifications.
- Experience of institutional networks and collaborations, particularly in multi-actors’ context and in the technical assistance to public organizations, with strong diplomatic and facilitation skills
- Knowledge of the procedures and operation of projects financed by AFD would be an advantage.
- Fluency in English is essential, Lao would be an advantage;
- Computer skills are compulsory.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested candidates are invited to send their application (Cover Letter + Resume) by email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org with reference “Recruitment: Team Leader (Mekong Tea)” (please copy-paste as Email subject).
Applications should be sent by 28/02/2022, at the latest.