Senior Expert – Ethiopia – International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC)

Business Development, Development and Project Management

International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC)

The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) is a non-profit public international organization addressing critical issues such as food security, the alleviation of global hunger and poverty, environmental protection and the promotion of economic development and self-sufficiency. IFDC works collaboratively with various institutions including governments, the public sector, national agricultural research and extension systems, universities, International Research Systems and other stakeholders to implement research and training programs to enhance agricultural performance.
 IFDC is headquartered in Alabama, USA, with two regional coordination offices in Africa. The East & Southern Africa Division (ESAFD), coordinated from Nairobi, Kenya, is implementing several projects in the region.


The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) is a public international organization (PIO) governed by an international board of directors with representation from developed and developing countries. As a non-profit center, IFDC focuses on increasing and sustaining food and agricultural productivity and income in developing countries through the development and transfer of effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technologies and agribusiness expertise. IFDC has two regions in Africa (North & West Africa – NWAF) and East & Southern Africa – (ESAF Regions) as well as an Asia Region, currently covering activities in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. IFDC is a legally registered INGO in Ethiopia and actively operating Oromia, Amhara, Tigray, SNNP and Southwest regions.

IFDC seeks to recruit a Senior Expert for Ethiopia. The role will initially start on a performance-based consultancy contract to lead in-country stakeholder engagement and new business development with a focus on agribusiness and soil fertility. Building on IFDC’s long history and in-country presence, its institutional and organizational set-up in Ethiopia, and its history implementing agricultural productivity and agribusiness projects throughout Africa and Asia, the successful candidate will develop a portfolio of projects and consultancies leading to cost-recovery on the position. Once this is achieved, the position will transition to a full-time permanent position and the successful candidate can continue to build out the technical and operational team as the country portfolio grows.

The Senior Expert will report to and work closely with the Country Representative for Ethiopia, the Regional Director for East & Southern Africa. The Senior Expert will work closely with the business development teams, both at regional and institutional level as well as with the cross-cutting corporate services teams (operations, finance, security, HR, and communications). 

 Roles and Responsibilities

The Senior Expert is expected to perform the following roles and responsibilities and to achieve the deliverables therein:

New Business Development Functions/Roles

  • Maintain relationships with all key agribusiness, agriculture, and soil fertility partners at all levels of government, including relevant government entities, e.g. MoA, ATA, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, foundations, farmer cooperatives, private companies, agribusinesses and service providers,
  • Undertaking donor and stakeholder mapping and analysis to include a targeted list of donors including bilateral and multilateral donors, foundations, and companies whose policies and practices are in line with IFDC mission and vision. The mapping should include (but not limited to)
  • Donors’ key thematic/ focus areas and their relevance to IFDC work and strategic plan.
    • Donors’ key opportunities, their funding schedule/timeframe, and size of funding and current projects.
  • Donors’ COVID-19 related interventions and opportunities
  • Donors’ grant and contract process and main compliance requirements
  • List of relevant stakeholders and their ranking in terms of influence, power, and interest.
  • Advice IFDC on a fundraising strategy which includes:
  • Sources of funds the organization should prioritize, including potentially non-traditional ones
  • Key relevant fundraising methods and activities
  • Internal structure required to achieve the fundraising strategy
  • Thematic areas where IFDC can pioneer and add value, and which are prioritized in development financing
  • Lead resource mobilization in-country through opportunity scouting, partnerships creation, market positioning, opportunity profiling, capture planning, proposal development planning by working closely with the Regional New Business Development (NBD) team. This will lead to a pipeline of consultancies and projects in-country to ensure cost-recovery and growth of the country portfolio
  • Support in identifying the unmet needs of stakeholders (e.g., donors, government and important beneficiaries) including all necessary information required to make the pitch, concept note and eventually the proposal competitive
  • Review all in-country Public Relations materials and seek approval from the Global Corporate Communication Manager
  • Assist in developing program specifics by setting the agenda for a series of program design workshops and documenting the results of:
    • an initial draft development problem / hypothesis
    • initial and final theory of change
    • win themes, methods, and approaches in conjunction with project leaders, technical advisors, partnership advisors, regional NBD team, and consortium members
  • Support the development of action plans for refining program design
  • Support the development of project staffing plan – development of draft organizational chart, position descriptions, approval of ads for personnel, and interviews with key personnel
  • Support in defining the best value for donors and stakeholders (what can we do that is different, innovative)
  • Provide inputs on cost data collection, and contribute to price to win strategy
  • Provide inputs on (AfricaFertilizer.Org) fertilizer data.

Required Skills and Experience

  •  Proven experience in Business Development, Country Program Leadership and managing teams
  • Understanding all NGO regulations in Ethiopia
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial skill and initiative to develop a pipeline of projects and consultancies and leading to the development of a full country program and structure
  • A minimum of a degree in an agricultural-related program; masters-level degree preferred
  • At least 10 years of relevant work experience in an international development sphere. 
  • Strong background in soil fertility issues in Sub-Saharan Africa and in particular Ethiopia
  • Contacts with key public and private sector partners in the soil fertility and fertilizer sector space
  • Knowledge in agricultural innovations and technologies, agribusiness, value chain development and market systems development methodologies
  • Passion for market-led approaches to helping the rural poor to improve their livelihoods
  • Knowledge of input and fertilizer markets is strongly desirable.
  • Ability to perform under time pressure, be flexible, work independently, manage multiple tasks, and work effectively in a fast-paced multi-cultural environment.
  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal and communication skills in English
  • Ability to successfully perform multiple tasks.
  • High level of initiative and enthusiasm, adaptability, and flexibility.
  • Strong presentation, writing and negotiation skills, including the ability to elaborate partnership projects and grant proposals
  • Sense of initiative, discretion, mature judgment, and entrepreneurial spirit is required. Capacity to effectively interact with a multiplicity of stakeholders including senior leaders.
  • Innovation and strategic thinking are highly valued.