Global Practice Specialist (Grades 10-12), Agriculture, Market Systems and Resilience

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Job Title/Grade: Senior Global Practice Specialist I/II/Principal Global Practice Specialist (Grades 10-12), Agriculture, Market Systems and Resilience

Department: Development Innovations, Economic Growth

Reports to: Practice Manager: Agriculture, Market Systems and Resilience

Date: January 26, 2021

Function of the Position:

The Global Practice Specialist (GPS) will support the Agriculture, Market Systems and Resilience (AMSR) Practice within Economic Growth in Development Innovations. The GPS will be responsible for supporting the Global Practice including leading and supporting new business efforts in this thematic area, developing technical solutions, knowledge management, and product development, with a primary objective of demonstrating DAI’s thought and technical leadership and increasing sales and marketing. The GPS will serve as an in-house technical specialist across the organization and will augment his/her capabilities through a professional network of external technical experts and strategic partners to provide technical support to DAI globally. Under the leadership of the Practice Manager (PM) for Agriculture, Market Systems and Resilience, this position is responsible for delivering superior technical support on projects and proposals in the USG and International Business Unit, growing DAI’s market share for development services within the agriculture and market systems sector, and building a network that connects DAI projects, staff, and clients. The GPS will collaborate with other specialists across Development Innovations to create a competitive advantage in delivering Development Innovations to DAI’s donor, government, and corporate clients.

Specifically, the GPS would be engaged in the following thematic areas: resilience, agriculture (crops and livestock), value chain development, market systems, agribusiness, food security, nutrition, and private sector engagement. Cross cutting areas in Economic Growth include trade, investment promotion, access to capital, business enabling environment, ICT, youth, gender, and grant/partnership fund design.

Roles and Responsibilities:

The following percentage time allocations are notional and will be tailored based upon individual capacity in key areas and evolving company needs.

Business Development and Growth (40%)

  • Collaborates with colleagues in DAI’s Development Innovations Business Development Quality team, the DAI’s Regional Delivery/Project Management Teams, and other business units, to identify technical trends and capabilities which guide annual new business plans and technical requirements for proposal support; participates in setting bidding priorities;
  • Prepares for, leads and/or supports new business efforts including responding to specific Requests for Proposals (RFPs), particularly in the Practice area for which the GPS is responsible. The GPS will also directly support the Practice Manager for AMSR in their efforts to submit winning proposals to DAI’s main clients in a range of capacities. Responsible for championing/lead writing a minimum of two proposals per year and supporting or contributing to several other proposals over the course of a calendar year. Serves as a reviewer on bids in the trade, investment and competitiveness topic area as well as in other technical discipline areas;
  • Supports the EG Sector to develop and maintain a new business pipeline; identifies and develops a network of consultants (especially local consultants) that can provide surge capacity for the sector. The GPS will work with the broader Development Innovations team to promote synergies on business development between practices and sectors;
  • Responsible for building and growing strategic client relationships, with USAID and supporting colleagues in other DAI offices when needed, particularly those in Europe focused on Her Majesty’s Government and the European Union/European Commission (EU/EC) but also with other implementing and donor organizations;
  • Markets the Practice’s services and portfolio, specifically but also DAI as a whole. Contributes to the marketing of DAI’s thought leadership specifically, building recognition of DAI’s capabilities, experiences, and results/impacts, by positioning DAI’s brand of quality and value; and
  • Supports the development of a multi-year, multi-client plans to expand DAI’s work in the global practice’s technical areas, focusing on products and services that address the needs of clients in local, national, regional, and international locations;

Technical Delivery (30%)

  • Participates in the technical leadership and services provided by the Practice to projects, new business endeavors and other internally and externally facing initiatives;
  • Supports global practice engagement with Chiefs of Party (COPs) and project teams to identify, adapt, and refine technologies, tools, solutions and approaches that advance the project’s goals. These solutions may be both technical or operational;
  • Supports the development and dissemination of DAI’s thought leadership in the area of agriculture, agribusiness, market systems, resilience and food security with the aim of building and advancing DAI’s technical reputation and competitive position through participation in conferences, events and seminars, and through written publications, blogs and posts on social media;
  • Participates in cross-sector, cross-practice and cross-business unit initiatives that foster and build DAI’s technical leadership or advance process improvements across teams;
  • Responsible for leading activities, efforts, trainings, and research in the areas of trade, investment and competitiveness. Develops integrated technical solutions that leverage technical skills and capabilities in other Practices, in other DAI business units. Promotes and supports technical staff to widely disseminate DAI’s development solutions through multiple venues, including social media, professional conferences, video, and public speaking engagements; and
  • Undertakes short-term technical assignments providing expertise to DAI Bethesda and DAI Europe field projects including training, high quality technical reports, assessments, recommendations and other deliverables as requested.

Strategic Marketing and Thought Leadership (30%)

  • In concert with the Practice Manager, the GPS will be responsible for enhancing DAI’s brand to our main clients, USAID, HMG (United Kingdome) and the European Union (EC)/ European Commission (EC). The GPS will produce content for the DAI website, internal and external publications including blogs, articles, reports, videos, presentations and other multi-media forms, and internal business development resources from DAI’s work in the technical area to enhance proposal quality;
  • Supports projects as requested by USG Delivery to ensure a high standard of technical excellence in delivery of results according to client expectations. Actively participate across practices and regions to integrate with other core DAI competencies; and
  • Works closely with Delivery and other business units to capture technical achievements, lessons learned, and best practices to build on and advance DAI’s reputation as a thought leader in this technical area.

Additional responsibilities as deemed necessary.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Grade 10: Minimum of 9 years of relevant professional experience and a bachelor’s degree; or 7 years of relevant professional experience and a master’s degree.
  • Grade 11: Minimum of 11 years of relevant professional experience and a master’s degree; or 9 years of relevant professional experience and a master’s degree.
  • Grade 12: Minimum of 13 years of relevant professional experience and a master’s degree; or 11 years of relevant professional experience and a master’s degree.

Equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.

  • Relevant experience includes work experience supporting designing, leading and/or evaluating projects that contribute to agricultural economic growth related to one or more of the following areas: resilience, market systems and value chain development, private sector engagement, production (crops, livestock), food security, nutrition, and/or agri-business.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with and lead teams to win new business and deliver excellent results to clients.
  • Ability to take on both leadership and support roles in the development of plans, proposals and technical work.
  • Excellent writing skills and demonstrated experience writing strong technical proposals for USAID or other international donor clients. Has the ability to work effectively across technical areas, to develop technical approaches that integrate or leverage resources in different parts of the company.
  • Ability to travel up to 33% of the time (Post COVID) for proposal reconnaissance and for technical support to projects.
  • Possesses technical knowledge and skills as evidenced by project results, publications, reports, and/or public presentations

Strongly Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated knowledge and competencies related to resilience programming, design and implementation (especially humanitarian assistance and livelihoods in fragile states).
  • Demonstrated competencies related new business success with DAI’s primary client base- USAID and DFID.

  • Ability to support DAI delivery teams in the home office and project field staff with administrative support and troubleshooting issues is a plus.

  • Demonstrated knowledge and competencies related to cross-cutting areas in trade, investment promotion, access to capital, business enabling environment, ICT, youth, gender, and grant/partnership fund design.

  • In addition to English, Spanish or French language skills strongly preferred.

Supervisory Requirements: None.

DAI and its employees are committed to confronting racism and holding ourselves accountable for positive change within the company and in the communities, cultures, and countries in which we live and work. DAI is committed to attracting and retaining the best employees from all races and backgrounds in our continued effort to become a better development partner.

DAI upholds the highest ethical standards. We are committed to the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment as well as other ethical breaches. All of our positions are therefore subject to stringent vetting and reference checks.

DAI is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.

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