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Senior Programme Manager (Only for Ethiopian Nationals)

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Farm Africa
Closing date: 30 May 2021


JOB TITLE: Senior Programme Manager (Only for Ethiopian Nationals)

REPORTS TO: Head of Programme**

REPORTING TO POSTHOLDER: Project coordinators (up to 5)

LOCATION: Addis, with frequent field travel

DURATION & HOURS: Permanent, full time with a probation period of 60 working days


Effective agriculture has the power to change lives. It underpins prosperity, food security and stability the world over. Farm Africa focuses on transforming agriculture and managing natural resources sustainably. We champion a holistic approach that boosts yields, protects the environment, and connects smallholder farmers to thriving markets.

We work with different types of farmers in a range of regions. Their local situations vary, but the problems they face are all too familiar: lack of training and technology, inadequate inputs, no finance, vulnerability to climate change and poor links to markets.

We have an ambitious strategy to expand our work over the next five years. We’ll increase our impact, lift more communities out of poverty, work with more corporate partners who share our vision, open up more agricultural markets, provide more expertise, and make change happen.


Farm Africa has the ambition to be the leading European NGO specialising in Agriculture,
Natural Resource Management and Market Engagement. The Senior Programme Manager, Ethiopia is a key role within the Ethiopia programme team. The Senior Programme Manager, Ethiopia is responsible for supporting the Head of Programmes in the development of the Ethiopia country programme, in line with our strategic goals – ensuring that we are the go-to NGO for donors and businesses looking to fund or partner projects within the scope of our approach.

Farm Africa Ethiopia portfolio is split between ‘programmes’ (each with a budget >5M GBP) and ‘projects’ (each with a budget <5M GBP). The Senior Programme Manager will manage the pool of project coordinators (3 to 5 depending on on-going projects) and oversee the projects’ excellent design and delivery, working closely with business development and other Farm Africa support teams, maintaining strong relationships with donors, counterparts in government departments and other key projects stakeholders, overseeing the budget and activity plans, and representing Farm Africa with the local actor. The Senior Programme Manager will also support the whole programme’s smooth operations in Ethiopia by providing critical support to the Head of Programme, particularly in areas of progress tracking, budget monitoring, and lessons documentation.


1. Management of Farm Africa Ethiopia portfolio of projects

The SPM is responsible for ensuring that Farm Africa programmes and projects under her/his direct supervision are delivered to the highest quality standard, adhering to donor contract management and reporting, compliant with GoE regulations, and achieving maximum impact and value for money.

This will include the following responsibilities:

  • Start-up coordination: following proposal approval, work closely with other relevant staff to plan and coordinate for swift project start-up, including recruitment, logistics, partner support, inception and planning workshops, project documentation completion, agreements etc.
  • Project planning: supervise the development of accurate activity and expenditure plans, budgets, reports and associated project milestones to ensure timely delivery in line with contractual requirements – particularly ensuring the adherence to organisational project management and monitoring processes and tools as well as to donor requirements and donor contract obligations.
  • Financial management: in conjunction with relevant Project Coordinator and the Finance unit, support the preparation and revision of realistic project budgets, authorising and monitoring expenditure in line with the budget and donor guidelines, FA grant management and financial guidelines, support the monthly and quarterly analysis of variances, and ensuring that all project coordinators are also fulfilling their budget holder responsibilities.
  • Donor management: ensure the highest standards of donor contract management with regard to budgeting and financial management, timely and quality reporting, and overall relationship management are established and maintained.
  • Partner management: support the smooth management of partner consortia, ensuring robust Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) and Fund Transfer Agreements (FTAs) are developed and adhered to, supervising relationship management, and troubleshooting any operational glitches as they occur, reporting at organisational level on corrective actions, support needs and lessons learned.

  • Progress monitoring: in addition to the monthly review of spend/plans, provide close support and oversight to the quarterly (‘quarterly reviews’) and annual review processes (project performance review – PPR), ensuring adherence to organisational systems and tools, ensuring high standard of analysis and adaptive management, and coordinating project support requests and planning with the country and head office support teams; and undertake regular visits to project offices to attend internal meetings, monitor the implementation of operations and identify support required by the offices.**

  • Knowledge management: identify and support the generation of learning from the managed portfolio, identify synergies between them, and work closely with the MEL Coordinator and the Head of Programme to contribute to Farm Africa Ethiopia knowledge management.

  • Project close-out: for the managed portfolio, coordinate project exit/closure processes to ensure the highest standards of professionalism and administrative efficiency in line with donor and government requirements.

  • External representation: for all matters related to the portfolio managed, act as the first representative of Farm Africa with external stakeholders, including government and governmental agencies, implementing partners, and other stakeholders.

2. People Management and Leadership

The SPM will be a key factor in providing people leadership, identifying and filling capacity gaps, ensuring project teams are equipped with the right talent, challenging poor performance, and ensuring all programme staff are demonstrating Farm Africa’s values.

  • High quality line management: line manage the Project Coordinators (up to 5), ensuring clear work plans and objectives are in place, holding regular contact meetings, mid-term reviews and annual appraisals.
  • High quality recruitment: oversee the recruitment of high quality new project staff, in accordance to the staff profile required for each projects and within reasonable timelines.
  • Follow Farm & donor’s policies and processes: ensure appropriate levels of awareness and adherence to Farm Africa’s organisational policies, procedures and regulations by all project staff under the portfolio managed.
  • Mentoring and support: provide hands-on technical and managerial support to Project Coordinators to ensure approved projects are delivered according to the contractual requirements of donors or other stakeholders.
  • Performance management: support Project Coordinators to work with HR department in all HR matters arising in their project, including discipline and performance issues with project staff.
  • Gap filling: with appropriate assessment of responsibilities to be covered agreed with the Head of Programme, step in to fill gaps left by vacant positions whenever necessary within the portfolio managed.

3. Farm Africa Ethiopia programme support responsibilities

  • FA Ethiopia programmes progress monitoring: provide coordination and first level review support to the Head of Programme during progress monitoring processes (monthly activity and budget monitoring and quarterly progress reviews) for the entire portfolio. This can for example include:
    • Coordination of variance analysis processes, monitoring that all projects and programmes review and comment on BMRs;
    • Maintaining the support request planning and support planning and coordination with the support teams at head office;
    • Supporting Farm Africa’s quarterly review and annual performance progress review processes through which technical and implementation lessons are being identified learned across the teams, and adjustments made to project design or methodologies accordingly.
  • Adherence to and improvement of systems: play a key role in identifying and solving problems and issues in the implementation of project management systems and guidelines in conjunction with other senior staff members.
  • Programme learning: support the Head of Programmes in ensuring that the programmes generate high quality learning.
  • Building project pipeline: when required, work closely with the Head of Programme and the Business Development Team to identify opportunities for new projects; occasionally lead on project design and/or development of project proposals, ensuring high quality design and adherence to Farm Africa’s and prospective donor’s approaches and requirements.

These essential functions are not to be interpreted as a complete statement of all duties performed. Employees will be required to perform other job related duties as required. All work responsibilities are subject to having performance goals and/or targets established.



Education, Qualifications & other knowledge

  • Postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject, such as natural resources management, agriculture and agri-business; project management, development studies, and related fields.
  • Knowledge on agriculture, natural resource management, and/or market engagement***Desirable***

  • Programme knowledge and experience in the agricultural, forestry, natural resource management, value chain development, and sustainable livelihoods.


  • At least 7 years senior management experience, Ideally with a developmental NGO
  • Experience of relationship building and management with major institutional, commercial and private individual donors.
  • Strong knowledge on donor requirement in proposal design and project monitoring and reporting, Including with EU, DfID, other bi-lateral donors
  • Experience in working with the private sector to achieve development outcomes
  • Experience in project design, proposal development and project management, including budgets and budget monitoring and review, and project performance tracking
  • Including multi-million $ and cross-sector projects
  • Experience of staff management and commitment to staff development and team building – experience in situational management style
  • Experience of working with participatory approaches to development and capacity building of staff and stakeholders
  • Including at community level, and with local authorities and co-operatives

Skills & Abilities

  • Fluent written and spoken English and Amharic
  • Strategic thinker, and strong leadership qualities.
  • Excellent time management skills, with a proven ability to prioritise between tasks, deliver in a high-paced working environment, and self-manage
  • High level of analytical and conceptual thinking with great emotional intelligence
  • Excellent budgeting and budget management
  • Computer literacy, including proven experience with word processing and spreadsheets
  • Strong sense of integrity and personal commitment to the Goals and Values of Farm Africa
  • Excellent communication and team building skills with the proven ability to coach and mentor staff successfully
  • Ability to undertake unaccompanied travel and operate away from the work station


Investing in smallholder farming is the number one way to combat poverty in rural Africa. Farm Africa is a leading NGO specialising in growing agriculture, protecting the environment and developing businesses in rural Africa.

  • EXPERT. Deep expertise and insightful evidence-based solutions are at the heart of everything Farm Africa does.
  • GROUNDED. Positive change starts with Africa’s people, so our experts work closely with local communities, engaging them in every level of decision-making.
  • IMPACTFUL. We take a long-term view so we can deliver lasting changes for farmers and their families.
  • BOLD. We model innovative new approaches and are not afraid to challenge strategies that are failing.

How to apply:

Those who meet the above requirements should submit their short CV (maximum of 4 pages) and a cover letter (maximum 1 page) addressing with the subject Senior Programme Manager by May 30, 2021.

Documents cannot be returned, and due to a large number of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Applications are especially welcomed from female applicants.


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