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Project Officer I – 8028 Farmers’ Hotline

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Agricultural Transformation Agency

Job Position: Project Officer I – 8028 Farmers’ Hotline

Term of Employment:   One Year possibility of extension

Duty Station(s): Oromia, Addis Ababa

Required Number:   One (1)

Salary & Benefits:  Competitive

Application Deadline: 16 March 2020

BACKGROUND

The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) is a strategy and delivery-oriented government agency created to help accelerate the growth and transformation of the country’s agriculture sector. The ATA envisions that, by 2025, smallholder farmers are commercialized with greater incomes, inclusiveness, resilience and sustainability, contributing to Ethiopia’s achievement of middle-income country status.

The agency focuses on two primary national approaches to catalyze agricultural transformation. First, we support the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resources (MoALR), its affiliate institutions, and other partners to identify and address systemic bottlenecks within an Agricultural Transformation Agenda. Second, we support Regional Governments to accelerate development of high-priority commodity value chains in clearly defined geographic clusters, through the Agricultural Commercialization Clusters (ACC) Initiative.

Our major activities include conducting strategic and analytical studies, providing technical implementation support, coordinating platforms to better integrate partners and projects, and designing and directly leading a number of implementation projects. Our headquarters are in Addis Ababa, and we have regional offices in Amhara, Oromia, SNNP, and Tigray regional offices, allowing us to work closely with a wide range of public, private and development sector partners across the country.

Our Culture

We have an exceptional team of highly competent employees with a proven track record of success in managing complex activities and achieving transformational results.  Our culture is one where talented, dedicated and adaptable individuals are committed to doing their best and exhibit great team work to achieve excellent results.

At ATA, we provide an exceptional platform for people who want to achieve their highest potential and make a meaningful contribution in changing the country’s agricultural sector.  We offer rewarding work in a young, fast-paced growing organization with passionate, committed, motivated colleagues and excellent career development and training.  We recognize our most valuable assets are our staff and are committed to providing our employees with the tools, training and mentorships necessary to achieve their career goals.

POSITION SUMMARY:

The ATA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR), the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), and Ethio Telecom launched an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Short Message Service (SMS) system, the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline, to disseminate agronomic best practice advice to farmers/ development agents (DAs) year round. These agronomic best practices are encouraged to be utilized throughout the year and intended to improve the flow of information (1) between stakeholders implementing farmer-targeted interventions, and (2) towards the farmers that these interventions are intended to benefit. This system provides and collects information to farmers and decision-makers in four ways: (1) a call-in automated hotline (2) a push-based alert system using IVR/SMS (3) an IVR helpdesk that allows farmers to ask question and experts to respond to their inquiries (4) an IVR Survey that is pushed to all users of the system and the information is aggregated and shared with experts.

The 8028 Farmers’ Hotline was first piloted in February 2014, in 21 woredas (districts) in the four main regions Oromia, Amhara, SNNPR and Tigray for approximately five months. Following the pilot, the ATA, in collaboration with its partners, expanded the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline nationwide. To date, the system has handled more than 30 million calls from 4 million registered callers. Users of the system can call into and receive information on a wide range of agricultural activities on all major cereal, pulses and high-value crops. Keypad menu options allow farmers and Development Agents to select their particular areas.

Currently, the ATA has integrated a Helpdesk mechanism into the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline. This Helpdesk will enable smallholders and DAs to call into the system and ask specific agriculture related questions and have experts in their woredas answer these questions. The role of the Regional 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Project Officer (PO) is to assist smallholders and DAs by redirecting and managing the questions and responses submitted into the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Helpdesk.

The Regional 8028 Farmers’ Hotline PO will be responsible for implementing, expanding, and supporting the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Helpdesk across designated woredas, in their respective region, Oromia. The PO will primarily work on the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Helpdesk; reviewing incoming questions and answers, coordinating woreda experts and subject matter specialists, . The PO is also responsible with creating awareness at the various bureaus and offices of agriculture.

The ATA is looking for one PO who will be expected to support the Oromia region

  • The candidate, fluent in Afaan Oromo, will be stationed at the ATA Oromia region branch Office, in Addis Ababa, and take field trips to various zones and woredas in the region
  • This position will officially report to the ICT Team Lead. The position will be a 12-month contract, starting with a six-month probationary period.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES:

  • Work with 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Senior Project Officer to manage implement the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Helpdesk across the designated woredas in your respective regions
  • Provide Helpdesk support for smallholder farmers and DAs, by reviewing and curating all the submitted questions, and regularly follow up with woreda experts and subject matter specialists as needed
  • Review the quality of each of questions and answers, and follow ups with both smallholders and responders
  • Conduct visits to selected 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Helpdesk region/zone/woredas periodically to create awareness, build capacity, and ensure the system is being used properly
  • Identify additional approaches to create awareness and train/inform smallholders and DAs about the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline at the region, zone, and specifically with farmers and DAs at the woredas level.
  • Collect feedback from subject matter specialists and smallholders on how the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline can be updated to improve their experiences
  • Work with the relevant stakeholders, such as Ethio telecom, MoANR, EIAR, Digital Green, and regional/zonal/woredas BoA to identify/resolve issues
  • Work with the your designated woredas to ensure that woreda experts and subject matter specialists respond to user’s questions within 72 hours
  • Work with Regional ATA office, Bureau of Agriculture, Woreda office of Agriculture to identify motivate and skilled woreda agronomist, crop protection, and subject matter specialists to support future expansion of the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Helpdesk
  • Analyze the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Helpdesk results and share with ICT Team Lead and 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Senior Project Officer
  • Draft and share minutes of meetings attended and/or conducted
  • Report and/escalate major issues to 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Senior Project Officer, ICT Team Lead and Regional and A&M Senior Director
  • Liaise with a wide range of stakeholders to promote and popularize 8028 Farmers’ Hotline
  • Assist ATA program teams and stakeholders develop IVR 8028 Farmers’ Hotline alerts and surveys
  • Occasionally, support the ICT Team Lead and other ICT Project Officers on project related activities
  • Follow up regional activities related to the comprehensive outreach strategy implementation and share updates

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Minimum Masters or Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Agriculture, Rural Development, Psychology, and other related fields
  • Experience working on ICT4D and/or ICT4AG related projects, preferably in Ethiopia
  • 3 or 5 years of relevant experience for Masters or Bachelors degree respectively highly preferable as help desk technician, training coordinator, coach and/or other customer support roles
  • Familiarity with IVR and/or SMS technologies
  • Experience utilizing Information Technologies to collect, share, and disseminate information
  • Good understanding of computer systems, mobile devices, smart phones, and other tech products
  • Basic analytical skills, experience using excel to analyze 8028 Farmers’ Hotline traffic and other data being generated into the system
  • Ability to diagnose and resolve basic technical issues
  • Excellent telephone presence with organized follow-up skills
  • Ability to be proactive and able to take direction and establish ownership of projects
  • Proficiency in English and Amharic
  • Proficiency in Afan Oromo (Oromia Region), language is required to support Oromia, ATA Regional Office
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships is key is expanding this system nationwide
  • Excellent communication skills

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Familiarity with the ATA’s IVR/SMS system
  • Basic agriculture knowledge is desired; ideal candidate has awareness of different crop names, pesticides & fertilizers available, etc.
  • Experience working with agriculture related organization is highly preferable
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a demonstrated ability to work as part of a larger team
  • Experience working within a fast-paced organization, similar to the ATA

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

We invite all candidates meeting the required qualifications to submit (i) a cover letter and (ii) CV (maximum 5 pages), at http://apply.ata.gov.et  and include “Application for 8028 Regional Project Officer, Oromia” in the subject line.

Also, please DO NOT submit scans of certificates with your application form.

Women are highly encouraged to apply.

  1. Only short listed candidates will be contacted.


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