Program Officer, RPL Management Unit (Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India)

About the Regenerative Production Landscape

Regenerative Production Landscape: People, Nature, Economy is an innovative jurisdictional model to foster agricultural ecosystems which conserve and enhance natural resources and build community resilience whilst enabling businesses to source responsibly.

It is a partnership, between Laudes Foundation, IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative and WWF India, that aims to create systems level shifts to catalyse and scale a model where;

  • producers grow agri-commodities using natural and regenerative farming principles that restore, rather than deplete, natural resources and reduce emissions from farming systems; and
  • smallholder farmers and communities thrive, through improved economic stability, enhanced livelihoods and greater participation in decision making
  • businesses can source responsibly while creating inclusive supply chain relationships

To achieve this, the partnership will support a locally-driven, multi-stakeholder governance structure to drive market transformation – bringing together companies that commit to sourcing responsibly, community and producer organisations for more inclusive decision-making, government institutions that enable sustainable and green growth; and impact investors and funders who seek scalable solutions that deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Key Objectives and KPIs

In Madhya Pradesh, IDH will convene key landscape stakeholders, including governments, businesses, farmers, communities, and civil society organizations. Applying the Production Protection Inclusion (PPI) approach, this coalition will create systems level shifts to catalyse and scale a model that meets the following objectives:

  • Restorative and regenerative production practices wherein producers are encouraged to grow their crops using natural and regenerative principles
  • Engagement of public and private stakeholders – including governments, impact investors, donors, brands and producers – in order to build a strong multi-stakeholder governance for the program
  • Commitment of all stakeholders towards a living income for the producers and fair and inclusive engagement with farmers and communities (with a focus on greater gender parity and empowerment)
  • Access to finance to producers and value chain actors for sustainable and inclusive service delivery
  • Ecosystem benefits such as reduction in emissions, improvement in soil health, better water management practices and biodiverse-friendly agriculture
  • Improved market access for sustainable produce from the region
  • Support to Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and agri-entrepreneurs as aggregators in the development of viable business models that provide quality inputs and services to smallholder farmers

Indicative KPIs till 2025

  • 100,000 hectares of cropland where Sustainable Land Management practices are applied based on natural and regenerative principles
  • 30,000 Ha of forests under effective conservation
  • 30% improvement farm level profitability from sustainable practices
  • 15+ companies working towards business cases benefiting people, planet and profit.
  • Improved Service Delivery Models to form a business case for companies and service providers
  • 100,000 farmers with access to service delivery that adopt effective sustainable and regenerative practices.
  • Reduced GHG emissions and improved storage
  • Reduction or elimination of biodiversity risk, ecosystem degradation and loss from commodity production

Implementation and Roll Out

By 2025, we aim to implement this program in three- five districts in Madhya Pradesh, and hosting learning opportunities in 5 additional districts.

While we will implement a pilot phase in the district of Chhindwara; we look continually scope and assess the expansion into other districts in close alignment and consultation with the Government.

The pilot program will be launched in Sausar and Mohkhed blocks in the Chhindwara District, Madhya Pradesh, India.  This is an ecologically sensitive area situated in Central India and home to two of the country’s oldest nature reserves.

 

RPL Management Unit (MU)

The core role of the MU will be to provide strategic support and have operational ownership over the delivery of the program initiatives as ratified by the governance body of RPL.

Regarding strategic support, the MU, in consultation with the core partners and the Multi-Stakeholder Coalition (a public-private platform), will develop an overarching strategy for the next five years and consequently implement this. This includes at least the following topics:

  • Strategy and roadmap. Support the development of a vision on where the RPL can jointly be by 2025, and an effective strategy and roadmap to reach the shared goal (with target markets, actions, key milestones and outputs).
  • Internal governance. In cooperation draft a work plan detailing the governance set-up and cooperation, including the priorities across implementation pillars, how decisions are made, reporting & monitoring, if working groups are required and if yes how these will function.
  • Engagement. Develop and maintain an engagement/information exchange strategy with key stakeholders, including state and district government, sector associations, civil society, and other initiatives. Through the creation and maintenance of a strong partner network of organizations and initiatives, the MU will ensure that RPL Advisory Board stays updated and engaged with the latest developments.
  • Communication. Draft a joint strategy on external and internal communication. A key task of the MU is to facilitate communication and exchange between local stakeholders, as well as the PPP. The communication plan will also identify opportunities for the program to communicate progress at key events and/or fora.
  • Outreach. Develop a strategy for engaging and supporting the development of new projects and financing opportunities that accelerate the achievements of goals sets for the program

The Management Unit will have a direct, day to day reporting and engagement with the IDH program team in India; and will be accountable to the Management Board of the Program, comprising of the core partners Laudes Foundation, IDH and WWF India for the delivery of the annual plans.

The Management Unit will be based in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. All applicants should be aware this is a mandatory requirement, given the high stakeholder engagement locally.

 

MU Operational Deliverables

From January 2021 to December 2025, the following on-going tasks will be delivered by the MU:

Task 1: Organize and manage the Governance structure and Public-Private Platforms

  • Organize and facilitate quarterly/semi-annual (physical) meeting of the MSC each year.
  • Organize and facilitate a tele-conference update meeting of the program management board every 8 weeks (or more frequently as required).
  • Agendas, pre-reads, meeting minutes including action points for the above meetings are produced and delivered efficiently in good time.
  • If required, organize and facilitate working group meetings of the program.

Task 2: Manage implementation and evaluation of initiatives

  • Provide ongoing, support to implementing partners including (but not limited to) supporting initiative development and providing or signposting to technical support on sustainability.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the implementation on the ground on a common framework, and in accordance with the KPIs and indicators set by the program management board.
  • May support the facilitation of funding agreements with implementation partners by performing the background due diligence, and outlining of scope of work, roles, expected financial and M&E reporting

Task 3: Communication, outreach and stakeholder engagement

  • Maintain a partner network of organizations/initiatives useful to RPL and ensure strong alignment and regular contact with other stakeholders and/or initiatives at the public, private or CSO level
  • Ensure RPL stakeholders stay engaged and updated on the latest developments by:
    • Commitment on co-funding (cash or in-kind) towards the program
    • Developing regular internal newsletters summarizing developments;
    • Acting as a central point of contact through which other key stakeholders can engage with RPL
  • Identify opportunities to communicate about the RPL and the MU, and represent RPL at key fora and events as applicable.
  • Occasionally present collective positions on behalf of PPP.
  • Engage with and support the development of other sustainability initiatives across the state, for example building capacity through sharing learnings on facilitation and set up of multi-stakeholder and industry groups.
  • In the future, the intention is to conduct broader outreach and engagement activities on behalf of the RPL, sharing lessons and building alignment with other related markets, funders, supply chains.

Task 4: Supporting development of markets and financing:

  • Identify opportunities to encourage and support the development of new markets, supply chain linkages and service delivery models at the local level for RPL initiatives.
  • Secure MoUs for offtake with supply chain and buyers.
  • The MU will also engage with the IDH team and other stakeholders to explore alternative and innovative financing/ funding opportunities for increased leverage.

Task 5: Management

  • Lead the development of ambitious annual workplans and the subsequent narrative (and if relevant: financial) reporting
  • Quarterly report synthesizing progress across all MU and RPL activities, updating the Annual Workplan and summarizing learnings. The first quarterly report will be submitted three months after the start the delivery phase.
  • Regular (minimum monthly) calls with IDH and the Management Board to review:
    • progress against MU deliverables;
    • progress of the collaboration of RPL partnerships and programs.
  • Maintain a document library including annual workplan, newsletters, publications, and reports of interest to RPL, where possible in collaboration with other initiatives and programs

Task 6: Learning

  • Participate in cross-learning opportunities with other PPI landscapes as relevant and required; and contribute to the development of a business case for the PPI approach in a global community of practice.

 

About the Role

As Program Officer, you will have the opportunity to contribute to facilitating and driving impact across value chains in Madhya Pradesh. You will work in a team with the MU Head, M&E Manager and RPL program management and liaison with a diverse set of local implementation teams. As Program Officer, you will help to translate strategic plans and decisions into actions and help to ensure that the RPL programs run smoothly. You will provide all-round key support to the MU Head and local team.

Key Responsibilities

  • Program Development: Responsibilities will include creating concept notes, project applications management and negotiations, contract management, budget management on a project level and monitoring & evaluation activities, as well as gathering, collating and analysis of required information.
  • Management of Implementation Partners: Responsible for working with the implementation partners to ensure achievement of deliverables according to RPL reporting guidelines and set KPIs.
  • Stakeholder management: Maintain connections with existing program stakeholders and supporting outreach to drive the adoption of more sustainable practices in the industry by convening key stakeholders. Support the multi-stakeholder process in enhancing program governance and partnerships between RPL program management board, PPP and other stakeholders for joint interventions and co-funding
  • Meetings, events and workshops: Responsible for logistics, reporting and review of meetings, events and workshops for RPL. Support the planning, organization and coordination of the mentioned above meetings, events and workshops as required.
  • Learning & Communications: Working with the learning & Communication working groups to facilitate the and position RPL.
  • Other Programs: You provide all around key support to the Head- MU. The PO will be guided and expected to take up certain roles, as required by the Head-MU and the program team at IDH.

What you bring:

  • 3-5 years of professional experience
  • Working and thinking at Master’s degree level, preferably in business, agricultural economics, sustainable development or another relevant field of expertise;
  • Experience in project management and operations eg: Working on ERP, CRM, monitoring and evaluation frameworks, Project reporting and budgeting
  • Proven ability to establish strong relationships and build rapport with stakeholders and clients;
  • Knowledge and thinking on agri-value chain development and understanding of international trade and critical sustainability challenges in (agricultural) value chains.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially a very good working knowledge of Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Professional level of English language speaking and writing skills, fluency in Hindi
  • Experience in research, writing papers/ proposals
  • Willingness to travel

Other preferred qualities:

  • Experience in an international environment
  • Private sector experience
  • Working experience and knowledge of the agri sector and sustainability issues in Madhya Pradesh
  • Experience in working with virtual or remote team members.

 

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to apply by submitting their motivation letter (one page) and CV at this link: https://idhtrade.inhroffice.com/en/job/182526/apply

Please also fill in this short form in addition to applying on the website.

Owing to an expected high volume of applications, we will only be able to get back to shortlisted or screen candidates.

We encourage applicants to respond as soon as possible, and latest by 10 April 2021.

The position will be based in Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal with frequent travel to Chhindwara and other districts based on expansion; and is open to all applicants that have permission to work in India.

In case of any queries, please feel free to reach out to Jasmer Dhingra, Senior Program Manager at IDH at dhingra@idhtrade.org; cc: Isha Chauhan, Assistant Program Manager at chauhan@idhtrade.org.

If this job does not match your profile, sharing this vacancy with your network is highly appreciated.

 

What we offer

The Regenerative Production Landscape program offers a challenging position within an enthusiastic and passionate team. As a member of this Program, you contribute to improving local economy, nature, and livelihoods, while simultaneously influencing state-wide policies and business practices.

The program offers a competitive salary.