Senior Project Officer I – ICT – Helpdesk and Surveys at Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA)

Job Description

                                                                        Vacancy Announcement

ETHIOPIAN AGRICULTURAL TRANSFORMATION AGENCY

 

Position:                          Senior Project Officer I – ICT – Helpdesk and Surveys   

Term of Employment:   One year with possibility of extension

Duty Station(s):              Addis Ababa

Required Number:         One

Salary & Benefits:           Competitive

Application Deadline:    February 20, 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 (MoA), 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 (MoA), the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), and Ethio Telecom launched 8028 Farmers Hotline, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Short Message Service (SMS) system, to disseminate agronomic best practice advice to farmers/ development agents (DAs) year round.  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 40 million calls from 4.5 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. The 8028 Farmers Hotline has recently 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 Senior Officer (SPO) is to manage the implementation of the of the various project features and ensure that the service is operational, and experiences little down time.   The SPO will work with the other 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Project Officers, the 8028 Farmers Hotline Communications SPO to ensure that the projects and targets are successfully accomplished.  The 8028 Farmers Hotline SPO will be responsible for implementing the various project enhancements, overseeing the projects expansion into the regions, and supporting the IVR Helpdesk across selected woredas, in Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, and Tigray.  The SPO will split his/her work between the implementation stakeholder coordination and supporting the Helpdesk system by backstopping the respective regional and federal project officers. The SPO will also be responsible with coordination of expanding the 8028 Farmers Hotline to incorporate additional content, implementing key recommendations generated from the major evaluations and diagnostic studies, and supporting our regional offices and partners initiate surveys and collect data.   This position will officially report to the ICT Team Lead.

 

 ESSENTIAL DUTIES:

  • Work with ICT4AG Team Leader to manage and implement the planned 8028 Farmer Hotline system enhancements, telecom related requests, project expansion related activities
  • Coach and backstop the federal and regional 8028 Farmers Hotline project staff implement their respective related activities.
  • Provide support to the regional project officers tasked to manager the Helpdesk for smallholder farmers and DAs, by providing team with best practices and guidance on to ensure questions get responded to within 72 hours.
  • Support the federal and regional project officers familiarize themselves and support the expansion of the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline and helpdesk.
  • Support regional project officers analyze the 8028 Farmers’ Hotline Helpdesk results and share with ICT Team Lead.
  • 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.
  • Engage with Government of Ethiopia and external stakeholders on the 8028 Farmers Hotline.
  • Plan, organize and conduct 8028 Farmers’ Hotline and Helpdesk trainings for various stakeholders, with consultation, guidance and supervision by the team lead and ICT team lead
  • Collect feedback from subject matter specialists and smallholders.
  • Coordinate and support 8028 Farmers Hotline project staff conduct trainings and other related events related to the 8028 Farmers Hotline or the ICT4AG team.
  • Participate and support the ATA HQ and ATA regional offices in participating in 8028 Farmers Hotline related events.
  • Engage with other program teams within the ATA and ensure their activities and inputs are being implemented into the 8028 Farmers Hotline.
  • Coordinate with relevant internal and external stakeholders to integrate additional content and information into to the 8028 Farmers Hotline and ensure that it is accessible via the hotline
  • Coordinate with relevant internal and external stakeholders make updates to the existing 8028 Farmers Hotline and support stakeholders design and develop approaches to expand content to be included in the system.
  • Support the livestock sector to expand the IVR/SMS system to include livestock related contents and eventually launch 8038, a hotline dedicated to the livestock sector.
  • Support and coordinate with internal and external stakeholders to broadcast pertinent messages
  • Backstop and support regional Project Officers utilizing the 8028 Farmers Hotline, conduct regional helpdesk and DA trainings.
  • Assist the 8028 Farmers Hotline Communications SPO in organizing popularization and awareness creation activities.
  • Provide technical backstopping to Government of Ethiopia, MoA, and RBOA experts.
  • Identify additional approaches to create awareness at the region, zone, and specifically with farmers and DAs at the woredas level.
  • Lead and manage respective work streams of the 8028 Farmers Hotline project with consultation, guidance and supervision by the team lead.
  • Engage with program teams within the ATA and ensure their activities and inputs are being implemented into the 8028 Farmers Hotline.
  • Onboarding regional Project Officers on the 8028 Farmers Hotline, supporting the regional offices with troubleshooting major issues, resolving Ethio Telecom outages.
  • Support the 8028 Farmers Hotline and coordinate and conduct regional 8028 Farmers Hotline workshops and trainings.
  • Backstop and manage the expansion and implementation of the 8028 Farmers Hotline Helpdesk system across the four main regions (Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray regions).
  • Backstop and support regional Project Officers in utilizing the 8028 Farmers Hotline, conduct regional helpdesk and DA trainings.
  • Coordinate directly with service vendors to identify bugs and irregularities, incorporate 8028 Farmer Hotline related updates and enhancements.
  • Support the Remote Sensing & Crop Modelling (RSCM) project, specifically the by managing the Crop health monitoring pilot.
  • Lead the 8028 Farmers Hotline Disease Surveillance workstream, Wheat Rust, Fall Army Worm, and other surveys based on the direction of the ICT Team Lead.
  • Support the MoA utilize the 8028 Farmers Hotline Survey tool for their respective data collection needs.
  • Work with the relevant stakeholders, such as Ethio Telecom, MoA EIAR, Digital Green, and Regional/Zonal/Woredas BoA to expand and roll out services.
  • Report and/escalate major issues to 8028 Farmers’ Hotline SPO, team lead, and Agribusiness and Markets Senior Director.
  • Liaise with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Take and share meeting minutes within 48 hours or attending the meeting.
  • Assist ATA program teams and stakeholders develop IVR and/or SMS alerts and surveys.
  • Occasionally, support the ICT Team Lead and other ICT Project Officers on project related activities.

Job Requirements

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor or master’s degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Agriculture, Rural Development, Psychology, statistics and other related fields.
  • At least 8 years of experience for Bachelor and 6 years for master’s in managing projects and implementing projects.
  • Experience working on ICT4D and/or ICT4AG related projects, preferably in Ethiopia.
  • Familiarity with project/ development, project implementation/management, funding flows tracking and reporting.
  • Experience in developing and maintaining large datasets, data analysis tools.
  • Familiarity with IVR and/or SMS technologies.
  • Familiarity with web-based helpdesk management systems.
  • Strong understanding of computer systems, mobile devices and other tech products.
  • Good analytical skills, experience using excel to analyze call traffic types of calls into the system.
  • Ability to diagnose and resolve basic technical issue.
  • Ability to build relationships with stakeholders.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-moving environment, with an emphasis on high performance, teamwork, accountability and results.
  • Excellent analytical, problem-solving, and data gathering skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Fluency in English and Amharic is essential.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Experience training end-users and conducting small to medium scale training sessions.
  • Basic understanding of Ethiopia’s agricultural system.
  • Experience/familiarity with digital data collection (i.e. web/ mobile technology).
  • Knowledge and/or experience with any of the following: Advanced Excel and Access, ArcGIS, QGIS, SQL, PostgreSQL, SPPS, Stata.

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