USAID GHG Project Agricultural Economist Jobs – Mercy Corps

Organisation: Mercy Corps
Project Name: USAID Growth Health and Governance (GHG) Project
Duty Station: Uganda
About US:
Corps is an international non-profit organization which implements
high-quality, analytical development programmes in very difficult places. Mercy
Corps has been operating in Uganda since 2006. It has and continues to
implement programs in Acholi and Karamoja sub regions. Mercy Corps is taking a
community-led, market driven approach to address poverty and food insecurity
needs through interventions that get to the root causes and contributing
factors of economic vulnerability. Donors include the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID), the European Commission (EC), United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).
About USAID GHG Program:
Corps implements a market-development focused 5-year USAID/Food for
Peace-funded program working in the northern half of Karamoja, and are in
search of Health Facility Support Officers for Abim District with support to
Kaabong District. The project, called Growth Health and Governance (GHG) 2012-2017,
aims to support the immediate needs of program beneficiaries while promoting
long-term development by spurring systemic improvements in key economic sectors
of northern Karamoja.  Mercy Corps plans
to expand its GHG livestock activities to identify and pilot key interventions
that have the potential to improve the productivity and competitiveness of
Karamoja’s livestock producers – including cattle for meat and dairy, goats and
Job Summary: The Agricultural Economist will actively participate
in the daily implementation of the development programming through supporting
key stakeholders to ensure the desired outcomes and targeted behaviours are
achieved at household level.  The Agricultural
Economist (AgE) will support livestock producers to improve their household
incomes through improved livestock production with clearly defined cost benefit
analysis. The AgE will provide training and assistance directly to targeted
livestock farmers and entrepreneurs to help them assess the profitability of new
potential activities, including agrovets models, animal feed manufacturers,
CAHWs services, livestock traders, feedlots/backyard fatteners, among others.
The AgE will also work with these farmers/entrepreneurs to track their actual
profitability using standard cost/benefit modelling. The intermediate goals are
to increase livestock productivity and household income to improve nutrition
and reduce poverty. To achieve this, the AgE will focus on cost benefit
analysis of livestock sales, animal feeding, livestock production and health,
farm business management, dairy production and small scale preservation, and
meat production through backyard fattening at the community level. Through
increased productivity and marketability of healthy and fat animals, smallholder
farmers will be able to increase their competitiveness, income and household
nutrition levels.
position’s three success factors include;
  • The ability to push forward market-driven
    approaches at all stages of programming,
  • Identify the best alternatives and advise
    producers on how to improve profitability by conducting cost benefit
    analysis of possible interventions
  • Her/his passion to drive results, make
    critical decisions and produce scheduled outputs at deadline and to the
    expected quality.
Key Duties and Responsibilities: 
1. In collaboration with
team members and supervisor:
  • Provides financial forecasts for livestock
    production and business activities, and then assist beneficiaries and
    staff to monitor actual profitability levels.
  • Work closely with the GHG livestock team to
    identify and pilot interventions in a way that maximizes productivity and
    competitiveness of small-scale livestock producers and accurately captures
    production and economic data
  • Determine which activities are the most
    profitable or productive for the family, and then give directions and
    advice to producers to make refinements that further improve profitability
    and productivity.
  • The job holder will make calculations and
    economic forecasts of various aspects of livestock production that can be
    used by policy makers, private sector, and other stakeholders to more
    effectively develop Karamoja’s livestock sector.
  • Support businesses, farmers and youth groups
    to plan for, develop, and monitor the performance of new livestock-related
    businesses, such as feed block manufacture, silage production, milk
    distribution, and fattening activities.
  • Work closely with livestock health companies
    and service providers to address livestock health issues that improve
    productivity through creating commercially viable businesses.
  • Assist businesses, farmers and youth groups
    to conduct cost benefit analysis so as to show the viability of the
    business to demonstrate use of local agro-resources; crop and garden
    bi-products, mineral blocks and industrial bi-products to improve animal
    body condition and add value to marketable livestock.
  • Keenly monitor intervention activities and
    collect beneficiary qualitative and quantitative information, document
    success stories and maintain proper records and filling systems;
  • Prepare and submit periodic work plans and
    activity reports to the project manager;
  • Apply a gender and youth lens to activities
    in the program cycle;
  • Guide government, private sector,
    associations and unions on the economic implications of livestock policy
2. Partnership
  • Identify, assess and develop networks and
    strategies for potential private, banks, public and civil society sector
    partnership with GHG program
  • Build and strengthen productive working
    relationships with community, sub-county and district level leaders and
    soliciting their participation in all activities where appropriate
  • Carry out on-site field visits regularly to
    monitor progress of activities and provide strategic measures for progress
    to maximize the programmes’ economic and social impacts to the community
  • Work in liaison with team leader(s) and Mercy
    Corps technical staff in order to bring synergy among different components
    of the project
3. Monitoring and
  • Create a dynamic program environment that
    promotes inquiry;
  • Take primary responsibility for
    sector-focused data gathering;
  • Establish procedures and guidelines to
    monitor and evaluate the progress and impact of economic development
    support work including setting and measuring benchmarks along results chains;
  • Keenly analyze project implementation
    strategies to identify constraints to program success and provide timely
  • Develop tools to simplify data gathering and
    reporting and ensure teams gather and report necessary data, including
    maintaining Podio entries for mapping progress with partners;
  • Prepare data analyses to be used in quarterly
    strategic reviews, annual reports, and a midterm evaluation.
  • Provide data in support of team’s submission
    of timely monthly and quarterly reports that will be indicative of program
    progress during implementation.
  • Work closely with Monitoring, Evaluation,
    Learning and Information Officers (MELIOs) to ensure accurate and timely
    flow of information from the field into database and for preparation of
    communication reports
4. Research:
  • Carry out research projects on specific
    subjects critical to team success and recommend hiring of external
    support, where necessary;
  • Where needed, support external evaluations by
    research partners;
5. Communication and
  • Actively contribute data, analysis and
    write-ups to regular organizational publications and reports;
  • Work closely with the Monitoring, Evaluation,
    Learning and Communication Manager to develop publishable communication
    material about GHG;
  • Author occasional papers for wider
6. Other:
  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally
    and personally in such a manner that brings credit to Mercy Corps and to
    not jeopardize its humanitarian mission;
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the
    line manager.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience: 
  • The ideal candidate for the USAID Project
    vacancy should hold a degree in Agricultural Economics with major focus on
  • A minimum of five years’ experience in
    livestock production or marketing activities especially in a rural or
    pastoral community.
  • Working knowledge of Uganda’s economy and
    business environment, particularly in the context of rural development and
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively
    with a wide range of partners; private sector, banks, government and civil
  • Demonstrable quantitative skills, including
    familiarity with database management and analysis
  • Proven skills in networking, assessing
    information needs and developing appropriate tools
  • Proven skills in team work, holding community
    consultations and organizational development
  • Excellent reporting, communication and
    representation skills
  • This opportunity requires a result oriented
    and self-motivated individual capable of taking on  complex challenges that can make a real
    difference in people’s lives.
  • Willingness to work in the field with
    livestock producers, community animal health workers, kraal leaders,
    businesses in the value chain and communities;
  • Good spoken and written English. Fluency in
    Ngakarimojong and Ethurr is an advantage
How to Apply:
suitably qualified and interested candidates should send their E-mail
applications including a cover letter clearly stating the salary requirements,
updated CV (with three professional referees), and copies of academic
qualifications/certificates to the Human Resource Manager, Kampala Head Office
on 4th Floor Embassy Plaza, Plot 1188-1190 Ggaba Road. The E-mail applications
with cover letter should be sent to:
Deadline:  5th February
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