Title: Bangladesh Digital Agriculture Activity - Digital Tools Lead
Company Name: Development Alternatives Inc (DAI)
Job Location: Dhaka
Employment Status: Full-time
∎ Masters degree in any discipline, Master of Science (MSc), Master of Social Science (MSS), Master of Arts (MA)
∎ Skills Required: English Language, Strong communication skills
∎ At least 5 year(s)
∎ The applicants should have experience in the following area(s): agricultural sector, Digital Tools, digital tools in education setting, digital tools in marketin, Gender Sensitive Programming, USAID
∎ The applicants should have experience in the following business area(s): Development Agency
∎ Project Background
∎ Digital Frontiers is a $74.4 million buy-in mechanism available to USAID Bureaus and Missions from 2017-2022. DAI implements the Digital Frontiers project, which works closely with USAID`s Global Development Lab (GDL), the Center for Digital Development (CDD), USAID Missions, the private sector, and international and local development organizations to identify successful and sustainable digital development approaches and scale their impact globally.
∎ As the U.S. Government`s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future (FTF) works to give families and communities in some of the world`s poorest countries the freedom and opportunity to lift themselves out of food insecurity and malnutrition. By equipping people with the knowledge and tools they need to feed themselves, the program is addressing the root causes of poverty and hunger, helping people end their reliance on aid, and creating important opportunities for a new generation of young people-all while building a more stable world. Over the past eight years, over $300 million of US Government investment has been used to implement FTF activities within the program`s Zone of Influence (ZOI) and Zone of Resilience (ZOR) in Bangladesh, which have an estimated population of approximately 30 million people. However, the maximum number of beneficiaries reached over this period has been less than 3 million and the sustainability of these FTF interventions beyond the cessation of USAID funding is yet to be fully proven.
∎ USAID/Bangladesh, working with Digital Frontiers, therefore seeks to promote the efficient and effective use of digital tools and technologies to build the capacity of value chain actors (e.g. livestock service providers, market vendors, artificial inseminators, and feed dealers/distributors) under a market systems approach. These value chain actors should then be able to use the same tools to sustainably and effectively build the capacity of their clients/customers (smallholder farmers, pregnant/lactating women and vulnerable households) during and beyond the period of Activity implementation.
∎ To enable the interventions of FTF activities to reach more beneficiaries and to better ensure the sustainability of these interventions beyond the period of USAID-supported implementation, this Activity will pilot existing digital tools and scale up those that are proven to be effective to build the capacities of value chain actors. The Activity will also motivate these value chain actors to use digital tools to build the capacities of their clients and customers towards improving their agricultural productivity, resilience and household nutrition. Increased agricultural productivity will sustainably increase the competitiveness of value chain actors` agricultural products and services, and enhance domestic, regional and international trade, increasing the country`s foreign exchange potential and making it less vulnerable to malign influence. Finally, this Activity will also sustainably increase the number of clients and customers reached by FTF activities as these value chain actors will continue building the capacity of new and existing clients and customers during and beyond the period of USAID-supported implementation.
∎ This is anticipated to be a two-year Activity with the possibility of extension.
∎ Position Objectives
∎ Digital Frontiers seeks a Digital Tools Lead for the USAID-funded Feed the Future Bangladesh Digital Agriculture Activity. With the support of other Activity staff in Dhaka and up to four field offices, Digital Frontiers, and a pool of short-term technical advisors, the Digital Tools Lead will oversee the implementation of activities related to the development, modification, piloting, testing, and iteration of digital agriculture tools as well as support the other Activity tasks designed to more effectively apply those tools to the challenges of improving food security in the ZOI and ZOR.
∎ Digital agriculture tools offer significant potential to improve yields, input efficiency, farm gate prices, and access to nutrition, but the viability and effectiveness of these tools can be inhibited by non-responsive design, limited capacity on the part of potential customers, flawed business plans, and lack of investment. The BDAA aims to bridge some of these gaps to help put more digital agriculture tools usefully into the hands of farmers and other value chain actors.
∎ The Digital Tools Lead will work with other Activity staff in country with support from Digital Frontiers, technology partners, and consultants to:
∎ 1. Identify digital tools from a candidate list that are technically sound, viable, and sustainable.
∎ 2. Work with technology partners to pilot or adapt these tools in selected geographies and value chains.
∎ 3. In coordination with Montoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) team members, work with technology partners analyze data on use of tools and their impact and make adjustments accordingly.
∎ 4. Support the Capacity Building Lead on developing and deploying appropriate capacity building materials and activities.
∎ 5. Other duties as required.
∎ A gender sensitive approach is central to the success of the Activity. The kind of roles women perform in the agriculture sector clearly reflect the social and gender norms in Bangladesh. The division of labor and opportunities are shaped by socially acceptable 'women's work' versus 'men's work'. Due to social and religious norms, rural women are mostly excluded from updating themselves with modern agriculture knowledge and nutritional behavioral change communications. The Digital Tools Lead will be responsible for integrating gender considerations as identified in the Activity's Gender Analysis into all aspects of the tools.
∎ Working with technology firms and other stakeholders in Year One, the activity will identify appropriate and gender sensitive agricultural digital tools within and outside Bangladesh that can have a near-term positive impact on a diversity of agricultural activities (e.g. smallholder production, distribution of inputs, marketing, etc.) within the ZOI and ZOR. Together with a representative group of relevant stakeholders and other FTF activities, the Activity implementer will identify a set of these tools to adapt or pilot with selected groups of value chain actors, including smallholder farmers, pregnant and lactating women, and women with children of less than five years of age. These pilots will demonstrate new technologies and improved management practices as well as identify technical, operational, and implementation issues to be addressed before these tools can be effectively scaled to benefit the target groups. Simpler or smaller scale pilots will be undertaken in the second half of Year One; more complex or second stage pilots will commence at the beginning of Year Two.
∎ In consultation with USAID and other FTF activities, Digital Frontiers will identify the most compelling tools emerging from this process and will propose and implement partnerships with private and public sector entities to sustainably scale these tools for greatest impact. In Year Two, the Activity will provide identified partners with technical assistance, business planning, and other forms of assistance, including sustainability plans in order to ensure the most conducive environment for widespread sustainable availability of the identified tools.
∎ The Activity will work with any other relevant entities to document and, to the extent possible, standardize any application programming interfaces (APIs) of these tools in order to provide for future extension and interoperability.
∎ The Digital Tools Lead will continually reinforce Bangladesh Digital Agriculture Activity's agreed-upon core purpose and principles, and ensure all decision-making is rooted in Digital Frontiers' purpose and principles. S/he will contribute to fostering a learning environment in which personal and team growth is supported, with a shared understanding that the "team" always comes before the "individual."
∎ The Digital Tools Lead will direct:
∎ 1. Selection of digital agriculture tools for pilots or adaptations in various geographies and value chains in Bangladesh;
∎ 2. The conduct of those pilots or adaptations, in coordination with technology partners, other FTF projects, field office staff, the Capacity Building Lead, and MERL staff; and,
∎ 3. Technical interactions with technology partners and any development subcontractors or consultants.
∎ • Master's degree in the social sciences or other relevant field is preferred
∎ • Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience related to applying digital tools in market and/or educational
Compensation & Other Benefits:
Application Deadline: 19 Nov 2020
∎ 16 Nov 2020
∎ Development Alternatives Inc (DAI)
∎ Address : 7600 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
∎ Web : https://www.dai.com/
∎ Business :
DAI is an international development company. For more than 50 years, we have worked on the frontlines of international development, tackling fundamental social and economic development problems caused by inefficient markets, ineffective governance, and instability. Currently, DAI is delivering results that matter in some 80 countries. Our development solutions turn ideas into impact by bringing together fresh combinations of expertise and innovation across multiple disciplines. Our clients include international development agencies, international lending institutions, private corporations and philanthropies, and national governments.
: Please submit a CV and cover letter specifying the position.