Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation
Closing date: 14 Mar 2020


This Access to Finance advisor Role is an 11-month deployment opportunity by ICCO in Ethiopia. The senior Aid Volunteer will mainly be working for the Strengthening African Rural Smallholders (STARS) programme in the areas of access to finance for smallholder farmers, cooperatives and other actors in the agricultural ecosystem. A part of the time will be spent on developing businesses and fundraising.

ICCO STARS program is implemented in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Rwanda and Ethiopia. We work in two market systems that are critical to Smallholder farmers (SHF);

1) A2F, primarily agri-loans of MFIs for SHF.

  • Agri loan products are tailored to specific crops and allow the typical group-loan borrower (max US$100) with little collateral to graduate to individual loans allowing for larger loan amounts to meet the needs for farm inputs. The loan assessment can be done on paper or in excel but also through an Android app. Essentially, collateral is replaced by a tailored repayment plan and farmers revenue increases with more farm inputs.
  • To achieve scale, capitalizing MFIs partners through deposit mobilisation and international finance.
  • Agricultural lending implies higher credit risk, hence more risk management for MFIs

2) Value Chain development; in each country we work in two VCs e.g. Vegetables and Malt Barley in Ethiopia. Each VC has various shortcomings through which either yield and quality remain low or farmers face low or fluctuating prices.

In each of the four countries, we have a specialist Market Systems Development (M4P) team partnering with private sector, Producer Organisations (Coops), large off-takers and various government bodies to create lasting and innovative change in the interest of the SHFs.


ICCO Cooperation as part of the ACT has been active in Ethiopia for 30 years in both humanitarian and development sectors responding to the refugee crisis and supporting local communities in rural areas.

Ethiopia’s population is roughly split in 35% Sunni Muslims and 60% Christians

(40% Orthodox and 20% protestant) who have been living peacefully together. However, in 2012 protests were happened by muslim community at specific areas. The leaders of muslim community and accused of leading the protest were imprisoned until the arrival Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed. Currently the relationship among the majority religious groups is relatively stable and peaceful.

Unemployment is very high in the country. The youth labour market is of particular concern due to a high proportion of youth in the demographic profile (nearly 30%).This leads to migration in search of employment and increased crime rates. Government is reviewing approaches of accommodating unemployed youths through small scale enterprises.


Access to Finance Strategy Advisor

  • Assess current practices and needs for agricultural finance in different situations
  • Assist in and guide development of financial products to be introduced in the market by MFIs and value chain actors.
  • Advocate for the interest of the MFIs in the consortia in order to secure a sustainable linkage of financial services in the selected value chain development trajectories.
  • Facilitation, brokering and follow up on refinancing to MFIs and financial cooperative.
  • Maintain contacts with banks in Ethiopia and privileged international partners of ICCO Terrafina Microfinance, ICCO Investments, Rabobank Foundation and Oikocredit and others.

Support in programme implementation

  • Support the STARS Country Lead in the implementation of the STARS program and Value Chain Development and access to finance.
  • Mentor Microfinance staff on improving the microfinance performance and product development.
  • Support in conducting capacity development training for partner organisations and key value chain actors and microfinance institutions in areas needed to promote agribusiness development.
  • Support in monitoring the performance progress of the MFIs, producer organisations (POs) and other VC actors in testing and upscaling M4P mechanisms.

Linking and Learning

  • Support in organizing learning, exchange and knowledge-sharing within the two selected VCs and selected MFIs.
  • Provide support in the development and dissemination of case studies and other relevant learning documentation, in order to contribute to the scaling up of methods and approaches that have proven to be effective.
  • Assist the Communication department with information on STARS programme for campaigns, press and dissemination.
  • Perform additional tasks as assigned by the STARS Director and Country Lead.

NOTE: An apprenticeship is not part of this role.


  • Master’s degree in economics, business or other related field.
  • Extensive (5-7 years) experience in project or program management.
  • Specialist skills on access to finance/banking or behavioural science.
  • Excellent planning, organizational, interpersonal and communications skills.
  • Negotiation skills.
  • Entrepreneurial attitude and open to learning.
  • Excellent English communication skills.
  • Fast learner.
  • Highly motivated person with a keen interest to work in team.
  • Flexible, open and trustworthy and reliable.
  • Medical aptitude to travel and work in developing countries.


ICCO Cooperation applies a policy of equal opportunities and accepts applications without distinction on the grounds of sex, race, color, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.


Applications are made directly within the sending organisation, please check out the how to apply .

Eligibility and exception criteria:

The candidate for EU Aid Volunteers must be a citizen of the EU or a third-country national who is a long-term resident in an EU Member State, and must have a minimum age of 18 years.

In addition, the candidate must demonstrate:

  • Strategic orientation;
  • Excellent writing skills and ability to develop sound funding proposals;
  • Fluency in English;
  • Ability to manage available time and resources and to deliver timely; -Demonstrating integrity - please note that volunteers bear great responsibility and are expected to live up to high ethical and professional standards – both in relation to the people we support and in relation to each other. Hence the ICCO Cooperation’s Code of Conduct applies to EU Aid Volunteers in the same way as for ICCO Cooperation staff.


Learning Opportunities

  • Participation in staff meetings and close cooperation with project staff will result in knowledge sharing and learning.
  • Opportunity to acquire experience of working at an international NGO in a developing country.

Working and Living Conditions

All costs associated with the deployment to Ethiopia are fully covered providing a subsistence allowance, medical, travel and accommodation as well as insurance coverage. The volunteer will be based at ICCO office in Ethiopia, in a safe designated area in Addis Ababa.

  • Regular working hours shall not exceed 40 hours per week on average.
  • The volunteer shall have access to a dedicated working space in accordance with their task assignment and with agreed-upon safe, secure and healthy working conditions.
  • All costs will be covered for the volunteer during deployment, and this includes accommodation in-country for the entire period of deployment, travel, and monthly subsistence payments per month (430 Euros per month).


  • A roundtrip flight from/to the home country will be provided.
  • The cost of pre-departure preparations, including medical checks, vaccinations, visas, etc., will be provided.
  • he volunteer will be covered by a travel insurance plan provided by the sending organization.


  • A resettlement package will be provided to the volunteer in which a standard of 100 Euros will be provided for every single month spent in-country upon return to Europe, as well as a group debriefing.

Accommodation in the cities where deployed will be provided.

  • The EU Volunteer shall have a clean lockable room with access to clean water and sanitation facilities. The room shall be located at a reasonable distance from the EU Aid Volunteers main working location.
  • To the extent possible, the communication shall facilitate the integration of the EU Aid Volunteer into the community and it will enable the volunteer to interact with the expatriate community.
  • The EU Aid Volunteers shall have access to means of communication enabling contact to the hosting and sending organisations as well as the volunteer’s relatives
  • When travelling in-country in other (rural) areas for work, accommodation in local hotels or guesthouses will be provided for.


Shortlisting and Interviews:

  • 14/03/2020- 20/03/2020

Interview Process:

  • The interviews will be held face-to-face or by an online interviewing process.

Expected date decision on outcome:

  • 23/03/2020


Date of training:

  • April/May 2020

Apprenticeship Placement:

  • N/A

Pre-deployment preparation and induction:

  • 25/05/2020 - 27/05/2020


  • 01/06/2020 - 30/04/2021

Post-deployment activities:

  • Debriefing and follow-up

How to apply:

Applications are made directly within the sending organisation, please check out the how to apply.


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