The five-year (2019 – 2024) Feed the Future Policy Leadership, Interactions, Networks and Knowledge (Policy LINK or LINK) project will strengthen the capacity of local actors and institutions to lead and manage the agricultural transformation process and contribute effectively and collectively to improved, broad-based food security policy outcomes.
Specifically, the program aims to strengthen food security policy systems by investing in and reinforcing productive human and social capital and developing strategic partnerships that help bring these innovations and capacity investments to scale in order to achieve a critical mass of local actors with the ability and opportunity to effect positive policy change through collective action.
LINK’s general approach is grounded in facilitative leadership and collaborative governance, which emphasize engaging stakeholders from civil society and public and private sectors in consensus-oriented decision making, collaborative problem solving, and adaptive learning.
Policy LINK in Bangladesh
DAI Policy LINK will implement a five-year USAID Feed the Future Bangladesh Agricultural Policy Activity (the Activity) with the goal of “strengthening the capacities of Bangladesh’s key agricultural actors and institutions, improving the policy environment and cultivating the policy-making processes that will enable inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led economic growth, strengthen resilience among people and systems, and create a well-nourished population, especially women and children”.
Launched in fall 2020, the Activity is focused on addressing the following interrelated objectives:
- Enhance Food Security Leadership and Management Capabilities;
- Strengthened Communication, Coordination, and Cooperation for More Effective Policy Implementation;
- Increased Influence of Local Actors and Communities to Affect Food Security Policy and Governance Decisions; and
- Increase Excellence and Collaboration in Participatory Policy Learning and Knowledge Sharing Practices.
The Activity builds on 10 years of policy formulation, analysis, and national level dialogue implemented by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). It will strengthen capacity and participation of a more diverse set of agricultural stakeholders and institutions in Bangladesh, contributing to improved governance, greater private sector engagement, trade and competitiveness, and market system linkages, consistent with the Indo-Pacific Vision (IPV).
The Activity will employ a collaborative governance approach to leverage the resources of Bangladesh’s committed public and private institutions as they seek to address both development challenges and ongoing crises. Using tested tools and approaches, the Activity will build a shared understanding and commitment among stakeholders as a foundation for collaborative action. To implement this collaborative governance approach, the Activity will also apply a facilitative leadership approach in which the facilitator—the Bangladesh Agricultural Policy Activity team—helps stakeholders identify and work toward a common purpose, ensures all partners contribute to and have ownership of the activity, and develops and maintains open lines of communications. Specifically, the Activity will identify and strengthen the capacity of a diverse set of key agriculture actors and institutions in the policy and regulatory processes around four key pillar areas, namely the seed sector, food safety, social safety net system, and nutrition. Inclusion of a more diverse set of agricultural stakeholders will not only improve the efficacy of the entire policy process, but also strengthen stakeholder investment.
The Agricultural Policy Activity will establish a main office in Dhaka and four regional offices in the USAID Feed the Future Zone of Influence (ZOI) and Zone of Resilience (ZOR). This operating model will maximize engagement with a diverse set of key agricultural stakeholders and institutions at the national, regional, and community levels.
The Bangladesh Country Buy-in Lead is a senior leadership position based in Dhaka and responsible for overall planning, delivery, monitoring, and reporting of the Agricultural Policy Project in Bangladesh at the national, regional, and community levels.
The Bangladesh Country Buy-in Lead will ensure effective program management, administrative supervision, high level representation, and technical excellence consistent with the goal, objectives, and activities implemented by the Agricultural Policy Activity. The Lead will promote the use of proven Policy LINK tools and approaches and ensure the technical quality of the Agricultural Policy Activity services, emphasizing the principles of facilitative leadership and collaborative governance.
The Lead will supervise national staff and serve as the central point of interlocution between the Bangladesh team and other Policy LINK country offices. Position objectives are summarized as follows:
- Overall program management, delivery and achievement of program activities and deliverables per the activity description, workplan, and organizational policies and procedures.
- Managing stakeholder relationships to advance technical engagement in a coordinated and coherent manner.
- Providing technical leadership to the Agricultural Policy Activity team, including support with design, operations, training and facilitation, mentoring and relationship management.
- Serving as the local bank signatory and reviewing and approving and the work of Policy LINK’s finance and procurement teams in Bangladesh. Ensuring systems are in place for proper administrative management in compliance with DAI and USAID policies and procedures.
- Coordinating and leveraging specialized technical expertise from Policy LINK and DAI.
S/he will continually reinforce Policy LINK’s agreed-upon core purpose and principles, and ensure all decision-making is rooted in those purpose and principles. S/he will contribute to foster a learning environment in which personal and team growth is supported, with a shared understanding that the “team” always comes before the “individual.”
The Bangladesh Country Buy-in Lead will be responsible for the following anticipated tasks, though others may be added as appropriate:
Technical Program Management
- Maintain continuous interface with USAID Mission and implementing partners to advance Activity objectives.
- Manage overall design, delivery, and accomplishment of Activity deliverables in Bangladesh in accordance with Policy LINK and USAID guidelines. Provide facilitative leadership and support to partners to improve coordination, collaborative governance, collective impact, and better achievement of technical objectives.
- Support the local Bangladesh team by providing technical advice and executive decision making to ensure they effectively implement activities.
- Contribute to program efforts to facilitate and implement activities that are inclusive, gender sensitive, and responsive to local context in target regions.
- Coordinate regular internal team meetings and debriefs to set targets, review progress, leverage lessons, and ensure successful implementation of program activities.
- Ensure overall proper documentation, monitoring, and reporting of the status and performance of the Agricultural Policy Activity’s implementation in Bangladesh, including setting targets, monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and learning, including providing regular updates and submission of program reports internally or to USAID and partners as appropriate.
- Ensure effective management of Activity consultants and service providers to produce high quality deliverables.
Administrative Program Management
- Ensure that accurate budget updates from the Policy LINK office in Bangladesh are communicated to the global management team, including technical implementation and general administrative expenses.
- Serve as the primary local bank signatory for payments originating in Bangladesh up to the threshold specified in Policy LINK’s Project Schedule of Authorities.
- Provide a thorough review of documentation prepared by staff performing finance and procurement tasks, ensure that necessary systems are put in place and actions are taken to procure, and pay local vendors contracted to provide technical and operational goods and services. Actions should be compliant with Policy LINK, USAID, and local requirements.
- Ensure Activity staff and teams are adequately supported to execute program activities and have access to appropriate opportunities for mentoring and coordination with the Policy LINK core team located in Bethesda, Maryland, Kenya, and worldwide.
The Buy-In Lead will ensure that Agricultural Policy Activity staff understand and embody Policy LINK principles, management, and standard operating procedures, and that they are put in place for effective implementation and management of Policy LINK program in Bangladesh.
The Country Buy-In Lead will report to the Policy LINK Chief of Party.
The Country Buy-In Lead will directly supervise the Deputy Country Lead, Learning & Knowledge Management Director, Program Director, and M&E and GIS Director. S/he will indirectly supervise Regional Program Managers and Regional Program Coordinators reporting to the Program Director that will be located in four regional offices in the USAID Feed the Future Zone of Influence and the Zone of Resilience .
Though the operations team will report to the remotely based Global Finance & Operations Manager, day-to-day tasks carried out by this team will be reviewed and approved via DAI workflows by the Bangladesh Country Buy-in Lead. The Country Buy-In Lead may also supervise consultants recruited by Policy LINK to provide technical services in Bangladesh .
Local Bangladeshi candidates are encouraged to apply. Additional qualifications include:
- Minimum of a Master’s degree or equivalent experience in development or relevant field, including economics, agricultural economics, public policy, business management , or similar relevant area ;
- AT LEAST10-15 YEARS of progressive/ leadership experience in program management , the agricultural policy process, stakeholder engagement, capacity strengthening of individuals and institutions, and organizational development. Applicants with LESS THAN 10-15 years of program management experience will not be considered;
- International experience is recommended ;
- A good understanding of donor-funded compliance requirements, with prior experience reviewing and approving procurement actions and financial transactions;
- Strong leadership, program management , and coordination skills with ability to mentor and build strong cross-functional and cross-organization teams; and to design and rollout program activities;
- Demonstrated ability to provide facilitative leadership, engage senior organization leadership , and build strong partnership with diverse partners;
- Strong strategic thinking and organizational skills with ability to work in a complex, rapidly changing environment and respond to changing donor and partner demands;
- Experience in organizing and facilitating multi stakeholder planning and learning events and conferences;
- Good English communication and report writing skills;
- Good computing capabilities with working knowledge of MS Word and Excel; and
- Deep familiarity with Bangladesh, and willingness to travel throughout the country .