The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the primary voice for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For over 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 100 countries in the areas of food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
NCBA CLUSA is currently seeking a qualified candidate for the role of the Director of Cooperative and Producer Organization Development (The Director) is to provide leadership to NCBA CLUSA’s Cooperative Development Practice Area in the design and implementation of high-quality cooperative programs that are innovative and forward-thinking, as well as, responsive to donor requirements. The Director will help NCBA CLUSA expand the organization’s strengths in cooperatives and producer organizations and its sub-disciplines, including but not limited to, cooperative organization and assessments, training and coaching, business planning and management, governance, and enabling environment. Also, the Director will lead NCBA CLUSA’s Cooperative Development Program, a core USAID-funded program for specific cooperative initiatives such as Coop-to-Coop Trade, cooperative innovation, knowledge management (e.g. Learning4Impact), and targeted research.
The Director will lead a Practice Team made up of Headquarters and field staff, and when needed, external technical experts. They will ensure that the team identifies, documents, monitors, and trains staff on proven implementation approaches, taking into account NCBA CLUSA’s unique competencies, culture, and values. The Director will provide leadership to improve and integrate new ideas and evidence-based learning mechanisms that will empower NCBA CLUSA to achieve an enhanced level of technical quality, learning, visibility, credibility, and thought leadership in the Practice Area of Cooperative and Producer Organization Development, and its sub-disciplines.
Essential Areas of Responsibility
Practice Leadership, Technical Backstopping and Quality Assurance (30%)
Assist NCBA CLUSA country projects and programs in the evaluation and refinement of their technical activities ensuring that NCBA CLUSA’s lessons learned and best practices are used most effectively. The Cooperative Development Practice Director will provide technical assistance to field programs and ensure that programs are current on best practices and approaches. S/He will manage the Practice Team (staff and outside experts), which will serve as a key resource to COPs and Project Managers during the project life-cycle (start-up through closeout) and provide assistance to them in the development and implementation of a “holistic” vision.
Business Development (40%)
Lead Practice Team’s business development strategy for Cooperative and Producer Organization Development, including research and design of new projects that incorporate NCBA CLUSA’s Cooperative and Producer Organization Development best practices. Ensure collaboration and coordination with the Business Development Team, and integration of Practice Team members into BD processes, proposals and deliverables.
Thought Leadership (30%)
The Director will work with and lead an inter-departmental effort in the conceptualization, development, and implementation of a comprehensive thought leadership strategy. NCBA CLUSA’s Cooperative and Producer Organization Development Practice will exemplify the organization’s history, comparative advantages, and will be based on a body of knowledge accumulated from NCBA CLUSA’s historical and ongoing activities around the world. S/He will lead the Practice Area team to identify, refine and highlight NCBA CLUSA’s specific contributions to achieving scalable impacts in coop/producer organization development, governance, capacity building, and livelihoods. S/He will also identify the key drivers of each activity type so that they can be packaged into flexible approaches which will take the form of specific branded “products” and “services” going forward.
- Lead the Practice Area team, including staff and technical specialists (field and Headquarters) in sub- and cross-cutting disciplines who have experience, interest, and knowledge about cooperative development. Ensure the delivery of the team’s planning, calendar, workplan, and practice documents, including a strategy paper, technical assistance plan, capability statements, new business strategy, thought leadership strategy, and other documents and tools as needed and defined by the team.
- Actively cultivate and manage relationships with existing donors to secure project renewals.
- Identify and cultivate new donors and alliances to expand NCBA CLUSA cooperative development funding and partnership base.
- In conjunction with the Director of Programs, review project reports and talk to donors, Chiefs of Party and Project Managers to ensure that there is a holistic, shared vision resulting in impacts for each program project, that the correct indicators are in place that correspond to this vision, and that there are mechanisms for learning and reporting.
- Develop, expand, implement, and update a series of “toolkits” that includes work plans, learning agendas, surveys, PMP indicator sets and log frames, training modules, technical manuals, and position papers in the area of cooperative development. Update and refine toolkits to respond to new or emerging issues within the practice area and include active identification and capture of innovations in the field.
- Help lead cooperative and Producer Organization development training in HQ and in the Field to propagate proven NCBA CLUSA practices and approaches, culture, values, and to disseminate learning from seminal projects outside of NCBA CLUSA.
25%-30% travel expected
To perform this job successfully, the individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential duties.
MINIMUM SKILLS AND EXPERIENCES:
- Master’s degree in cooperative management, business management/administration, agriculture or another relevant field;
- Minimum of 15 years’ experience in international development in Africa, Latin America or other developing regions; strong knowledge of local political institutions and culture;
- Prior experience in cooperative formation, building capacity and management is a must.
- Past exposure and/or experience working with financial institutions and other business related environment.
- Experience with USAID Rules and Regulations, and other USG compliance requirements;
- Previous experience leading USAID and other donor-funded projects, with preference for NCBA CLUSA experience; strong technical experience in cooperative development models and related areas; experience in managing multiple partnerships.
- Experience in field-based training and technical assistance; proven experience in working with rural business groups.
- Demonstrated experience with knowledge management and MEL activities, CLA and creating/implementing evidence-based learning mechanisms;
- Demonstrated ability to lead flexible, fluid work teams and oversee multiple workplan priorities; Ability to deliver quality work processes and products through a team with minimal supervision, to be able to accept and discharge substantial responsibilities, to prioritize work assignments, to meet deadlines, and to exercise professional judgment;
- Previous experience interfacing with donors and governmental representatives;
- Strong organizational skills, high levels of management ability and emotional intelligence required to keep teams focused and functioning; excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to work productively with peers across departments;
- Exceptional writing and communications skills, particularly technical writing in a clear and concise manner; Ability to develop and deliver strong presentations in public, and mentor others to do the same;
- Ability to manage different work styles and ensure delivery of team objectives;
- Excellent computer skills (Outlook, Word, Excel);
- Commitment to organizational mission, vision, principles, and values;
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NCBA CLUSA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, and legally protected characteristics for non-merit factors.