Director, Market Driven Irrigated Horticulture Project at MCA Lesotho

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Director, Market Driven Irrigated Horticulture Project (MDIH) – Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Lesotho II

About MCA

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a U.S. government corporation focused on assisting countries dedicated to good governance, economic freedom, and investing in people. In May 2022, MCC signed a five-year agreement (“compact”) with the government of Lesotho (GoL) aimed at poverty reduction through inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the country.

The Millennium Challenge Account (MCA- Lesotho II), is an entity established by the Government to act as the accountable entity to implement the Compact, with the authority to bind the Government with regard to all Program activities. 

Lesotho Compact

The Lesotho Health and Horticulture Compact aims to benefit 2.5 million people by growing, strengthening, and organizing the private sector in Lesotho and improving the government’s coordination to deliver critical services necessary to support private sector development.

It will achieve this goal through investments in Health System Strengthening, strengthening of the business environment and Market Driven Irrigated Horticulture, providing sustainable income for smallholders and increasing climate resilience by replacing rain-fed subsistence farming with irrigated commercial horticulture in select locations.

The GoL is committed to passing several key reforms that will help make this compact successful, including reforms that address gender equality, working conditions and worker safety, as well as land and water rights. All of the compact’s projects focus on overcoming barriers to the economic inclusion of women, youth, and the rural poor.

MARKET-DRIVEN IRRIGATED HORTICULTURE (MDIH) PROJECT 

The MDIH Project objective is to increase rural incomes related to commercial agriculture, including for women, youth, and the rural poor, and establish a sustainable and inclusive model of irrigation, water resource, and land management. The project provides extensive technical assistance and investments in institutional reforms and capacity building of both the GOL and beneficiaries of the project’s investment in irrigation infrastructure to develop a successful and sustainable horticulture industry. The budget for this project is $118 million. 

Objective of this position

The MDIH Director, under the supervision and direction of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, is accountable for the successful implementation of the $118.6 million Market-Driven Irrigated Horticulture Project, from initiation to execution of reforms, capacity building and infrastructure development, managing contracts and building collaborative relationships with stakeholders and partners, and overseeing project budgets. The MDIH Director ensures the alignment of project execution with the overall objectives of the Compact and the judicious management of its resources.  The Director has overall responsibility for monitoring, tracking and reporting on the progress of all activities undertaken and supported by the compact and its contractors. The Director will have final approval authority over all MDIH project contractor deliverables and financial invoicing.   

Primary responsibilities

  • Under the guidance of the DCEO, lead the Market-Driven Irrigated Horticulture Project team in line with Compact requirements and coordinate collaboration with other Project Teams—particularly the BETA project-and cross cutting positions (e.g., ESP, M&E, etc.) and frameworks, i.e., stakeholder engagement, as appropriate.
  • In coordination with the Project Team, develop a cohesive management framework, including tools, that integrate project technical and cross-cutting areas to ensure they coordinate effectively; exchange relevant information; properly identify and manage risks; and comply with MCC’s requirements, standards, policies, and guidelines; and incorporate good practices and lessons learned into their work.
  • Work with the Contract Management Specialist to develop structure and processes for efficient and effective contract management. 
  • Lead and coordinate MCA-Lesotho II’s efforts to execute on key Compact reforms in coordination with relevant Government Ministries, the private sector, civil society, and other relevant funders.
  • Lead the project team to ensure the use of resources and the implementation of project activities are aligned to the overall project plan, including developing and monitoring a risk management plan.
  • Track (in collaboration with MCA- Lesotho II procurement and finance officer(s)) project financial reporting and ensure the efficient use of resources.  
  • Track (in collaboration with MCA-Lesotho II M&E officer(s)) the implementation of the project activities, reporting regularly on relevant indicators and ensure progress toward planned project outcomes.
  • Further develop and refine project designs to respond to implementation challenges and develop and utilize a work plan to ensure MCA-Lesotho II’s ability to implement the program, managing risks and delays against established program schedules through data driven monitoring tools.
  • Oversee multiple, large implementation contracts with interdependent tasks, lead team in contract management including mechanisms for communication across contracts, tracking work plans, deliverables, expiration of contract, financials, identifying working effectively to resolve risks or issues, responding to contract questions, providing technical feedback where relevant, facilitating coordination with other contractors or MCA-Lesotho II staff, and providing reports to senior management as required.
  • Oversee recruitment of the MDIH Project team as well as training, development, and performance management of staff to ensure capacity to deliver the Project’s objective.
  • Represent the Market Driven Irrigated Horticulture Project to MCC and the MCA-Lesotho II Board of directors to ensure a common understanding of project progress with a focus on significant changes to project design, issues with resources and collaborative relationships are communicated and addressed.
  • Ensure accountability for MDIH project compliance with MCC’s Gender Policy and MCA-Lesotho II’s Social and Gender Integration Plan.
  • Represent the MDIH project to project stakeholders (e.g., with national/local government counterparts, civil society, partners, project beneficiaries, etc.) and identify, and develop and manage potential partnerships that can advance MCA-Lesotho II’s work. 
  • Guide external implementing entities on compliance with the Implementing Entity Agreement, MCC technical guidelines, local regulations, and reporting requirements to ensure compliance and transparency.
  • In coordination with the Project Team, introduce tools to communicate the process and progress of the MDIH Project milestones.
  • Create and optimize approaches and build consistency in the quality of program outputs, implementation, and assessments of the MDIH project.
  • Ensure that all MCC reporting and implementation requirements are being fulfilled and that necessary responses to all MCC inquiries are provided in a timely manner.

Requirements

  • University degree in Agriculture or other field related to irrigated horticulture. 
  • Experience with institutional reform and capacity building in the agricultural sector is preferred.
  • Graduate level degree in relevant field is preferred.
  • Minimum nine (9) years of broad program management experience encompassing cross program oversight and development and management of significant resources, including:
    • Experience managing complex technical projects and multidisciplinary teams;
    • Experience in change management in policy and institutional reforms;
    • Stakeholder engagement;
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience as an effective team builder and manager.
  • A minimum of nine (9) years of experience in leading agency, project or contract implementation, assuring compliance with agency/project/contract financial, administrative and technical requirements preferably for contracts with budgets >$500,000/year, as evidenced by at least two examples of how the candidate managed a contract or grant to successfully produce deliverables or outcomes within a specified period of time and budget
  • Experience in commercial horticulture, integrated water resource management, and/or Irrigation Technology preferred.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the importance of addressing gender and vulnerable populations in development projects.
  • Project Management certifications preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate in a collaborative and respectful manner cross-culturally, in verbal (in-person or virtually) and in written form, and in managing multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize issues, direct conversation toward solutions and address concerns in a limited time frame, considering compact development timelines.  
  • Proficient in use of Microsoft Office Suite (Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Project, etc.), and file sharing (SharePoint) and learn any specific applications related to work.
  • Demonstrated work experience in Southern Africa (previous work experience in Lesotho is preferred)
  • Proficiency in English (writing and speaking) is required. Proficiency in Sesotho (writing and speaking) is preferred. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.

How to apply

Complete applications must be submitted on-line, on or before Friday 12th April 2024.

Applications should be accompanied by the following documents:

1. Curriculum vitae containing detailed work experience;

2. Cover letter confirming interest and availability;

3. Soft copies of higher education and professional certificates (if available);

4. A completed online application form (can be accessed from https://lesotho-jobs.tenderwell.app   – CV Template MCA Lesotho II)

Only applications that are submitted on or before the deadline will be considered.

We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Submit your application online via: https://lesotho-jobs.tenderwell.app . Hard copy applications will not be considered.

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