Environment and Innovation Specialist

  • Job Type: Full Time
  • Location: Lusaka, Zambia
  • Date Posted:

Company Name: ACDI/VOCA

Company Summary:

Job Description:

Since 1963 and in 148 countries, ACDI/VOCA has empowered people in developing and transitional nations to succeed in the global economy. Based in Washington, D.C., ACDI/VOCA is a nonprofit international development organization that delivers technical and management assistance in agribusiness, financial services, enterprise development, community development, and food security to promote broad-based economic growth and vibrant civil societies. ACDI/VOCA has approximately 34 projects in 19 countries and total revenues of approximately $128 million.
ACDI/VOCA is currently implementing a five-year program entitled “Enterprise Development and Growth Enhanced (EDGE) Activity” in Zambia funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The aim of the Zambia EDGE Activity is to increase the profitability for agricultural small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by addressing their key investment constraints on access to finance, limited business management skills and technology, and access to markets, thereby increasing SMEs’ productivity and ability to create new jobs in Zambia.
Pursuant to its mission, ACDI/VOCA is seeking experienced and talented professionals for the Environment and Innovation Specialist position. The position is based in Lusaka. The EDGE’s Environment and Innovation Specialist’s role will be crosscutting in nature. The main role will be to develop and implement the innovation agenda producing results and cost- effective technology for each targeted value chain (VC), as well as the agenda for innovation in best business practices across VCs. The Innovation agenda follows the basic principles of Collaboration, Learning and Adaptation (CLA). The position is expected to work closely with universities, research centers, private sector and other related projects. This position coordinates short-term assignments (STTA) to be provided by ACDI/VOCA’s expert volunteers.
The position is also the Environmental Point of Contact (POC) for the activity. The POC helps implement, monitor, and report on the Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plan (EMMP) to ensure that the project mitigates negative impacts on the environment, reduces climate risk to EDGE activities, and mitigates climate change. The employee will be working closely with ICT solution providers delivering capacity building to EDGE SMEs in the areas of branding & marketing and linking of SMEs to ICT platforms. The Environment and Innovation Specialist will work in three main areas namely Innovation and Technical Service Provision, Capacity Building Environmental Management and Sustainable Finance.
These activities will cut across all project technical areas to include SME Development, Access to Finance, Monitoring Evaluation and Learning, and Social Inclusion.
1. Innovation and Technical Service Provision: Develop and implement the innovation agenda of the project: Identify the needs for scalable innovation in each of EDGE’s six (6) VCs based on the evidence captured during via surveys, baseline and EDG’s VC formative analysis (including those related to climate smart technologies). Validate identified needs of innovation and assess the impact of potential innovations from intermediary service providers and new technologies to SMEs. In close collaboration with the Access to Finance and SME Development team, facilitate the inclusion and/or strengthening of key services along EDGE VCs to include but not limited to Digital Solution Services, Insurance Provision (index-based or other), Mobile Money Services, Mechanized Service Provision, Spray Service Provision, Cold Storage Services, Food Sanitation and Hygiene, etc.
2. Capacity Building: Understand and identify key bottlenecks to SMEs workforce capacities and recommend or facilitate appropriate capacity building programs to tackle these bottlenecks. Work with educational institutions (Universities, Colleges, Tevets etc) to improve Enterprise Middle Management Capacities. Facilitate the promotion and /or development of appropriate courses to cater for the needs of the market. These include key courses that will contribute towards systemic change in the market system – pertaining to EDGE value chains. Coordinate STTA for volunteers, interns and/or associates. Get familiarized with ACDI/VOCA volunteer protocols. Identify STTA needs on the field to satisfy programmatic requirements. Contribute to the development a Scope of Work for each STTA and keep records of the STTA assignments.
3. Environmental Management: Advise on climate and environmental risks, costs, and compliance:  Oversee the Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plan (EMMP) implementation and periodic reporting processes. Internalize the EMMP document and build capacities amongst EDGE and Partners on the Projects Environmental Management plan. Verify current and planned activities against the EMMP. Assist project implementing partners as required on compliance issues and on the preparation of required environmental documentation for proposed and ongoing activities. Develop and Environmental Audit System. Conduct periodic environmental audits to monitor and risk assess environmental performance. Ensure compliance with donor and host government environmental regulations. Visit project SMEs to identify potential for environmental pollution or damage and the scope and extent of the additional evaluation, mitigation and monitoring necessary to fulfill environmental requirements. Take the lead on all mitigation and monitoring activities; update project EMMP as necessary. Develop tools for screening new project activities and for monitoring mitigation and monitoring indicators. Prepare monthly/quarterly/annual written reports as directed. Prepare reports including the Environmental Status Report (ESR) on the status of proposed mitigation and monitoring measures. Prepare environmental and climate change impact studies as directed.
4. Sustainable Finance: Work closely with financial institutions and impact investment organizations for the promotion of climate impact investment for EDGE SMEs. Support financial institutions in developing score carding mechanisms as financing criteria for SMEs. Work closely with banks to encourage and promote environmental financing.
The position is expected to represent the project at government and international meetings as requested in innovation forums. Perform other duties and undertake other projects as may be assigned by the supervisor from time to time.
Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, business administration, agricultural or environmental science or similar field is required; advanced degree preferred.
Minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in promoting innovation and or conducting environment-related studies and/or advising on and ensuring compliance with environmental and natural resource conservation.
Must be familiar with the academia and research organizations of Zambia and the Africa Southern Region.
Must have in-depth knowledge of country’s climate change and use of renewal energy
Knowledge of environmental risks presented in agricultural value chains.
Good knowledge of country’s environmental regulations, international standards, and USAID environmental regulations.
Capacity of representing ACDI/VOCA effectively to other organizations and stakeholders
Strong written communication skills, including demonstrated ability to write required documents in a clear, concise, well-organized manner.
Demonstrated ability to develop and effectively present information, respond to questions before public groups, and model positive professional attitude.  Superior presentation and communication skills, both written and oral.
Capacity of representing ACDI/VOCA effectively to other organizations and stakeholders
Ability and willingness to travel at least 25% of the time
Advanced computer skills in a Windows based environment including Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel
Familiarity with USG-funded programs is an added advantage
Fluency in written and spoken English required

To Apply:
Please submit a resume to [email protected] no later than  May 19 , 2023. Please include the position title in the subject line. The resume and related application documents shall be provided as a single attachment and list long-term employment history and any relevant short-term consulting work. Due to the high volume of applications we are not able to respond to inquiries via phone or email. Only shortlisted candidates considered for an interview will be contacted. ACDI/VOCA is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities and people from diverse groups are encouraged to apply.

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