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Operations Specialist (ATA)

Location : Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA
Application Deadline :25-Mar-11
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :English  
Duration of Initial Contract :12 Months


The newly-created Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency seeks a Operations Specialist to join its founding leadership team. The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (the Agency or ATA) is an initiative of the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) established by federal regulation. The primary aim of the Agency will be to promote agricultural sector transformation by supporting existing structures of government, private-sector and other non-governmental partners to address systemic bottlenecks and deliver on a priority national agenda to achieve growth and food security.
The formation of the ATA is a result of two years of extensive diagnostic study across eight sub-sectors of Ethiopia’s agricultural system in a highly-consultative, multi-stakeholder process led by the Ministry of Agriculture with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Modeled after similar public-sector bodies in Asia (i.e. Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, etc.) that played important roles in the growth of those national economies, the Agency’s structure and function is focused on nimble, innovative and results-oriented support to a range of partners in the agricultural sector.
The ATA will be led by a Chief Technical Advisor and a high-caliber staff of senior leadership. Governance will be provided by an inter-ministerial council, chaired by the Prime Minister. The Minister of Agriculture will serve as the deputy chair with additional representation from other relevant federal ministries and regional governments. The ATA will be headquartered in Addis Ababa with a foreseeable ad hoc and potential standing presence in the regions.
Programmatically, the ATA will focus on a set of high priority initiatives identified by the Council. There are expected to be approximately 5-6 initial areas of focus, including seeds, markets/cooperatives, technology access and adoption and extension and research. Across the thematic initiatives, the ATA engages public, private and non-governmental stakeholders to support strategic planning, manage and strengthen implementation capacity and test innovative models. The ATA will be financed by GOE and supported by a range of development partners.
The Operations Specialist  will have primary responsibility for establishing and leading the organizational and operational systems critical for the ATA to realize its strategic objectives. The Operations Specialist will ensure that the ATA is a high-performing organization, with superlative internal systems (finance, HR, IT, administration, etc.) that are seamlessly coordinated and integrated.
This position will report to the Chief Technical Adviser and will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Duties and Responsibilities

Major Responsibilities:
1. To establish, manage and maintain the basic internal systems the ATA requires for operational effectiveness, particularly for finance, human resources, information technology and administration.
2. To build exceptionally high-performing ATA team and culture. 
Key Functions
• Serving as a member of the senior leadership team, responsible for the overall direction, values, culture and management of the Agency.
• Establishing an effective accounting, budgeting and financial management system characterized by superlative financial controls, transparency, accountability, clear analysis, timely financial accounting and useful reporting, etc. An early key deliverable will be the creation of financial policies and procedures guidelines for use by ATA staff.
• Establishing an effective human resource management system. The system will cover a broad range of issues including hiring and orienting new staff; codes of conduct; protocols for vacation, compensation, benefits, termination; etc. An early key deliverable will be the creation of human resource policies and procedures guidelines for use by ATA staff.
• Supporting Chief Technical Adviser, Technical Adviser (Executive Office) and others to identify, hire and orient an exceptional set of ATA staff members.
• Designing and overseeing internal processes to develop organizational culture, values and norms and the performance management system and incentives that create and reinforce a high-performance orientation at the ATA.
• Creating an effective IT system that meets the needs of ATA leadership and staff.
• Organizing effective internal communications and administrative systems, to allow for overall smooth and effective operations within the ATA.
• Managing the Agency office and adapting physical infrastructure to the emerging needs of the ATA.
• Ensuring the long-term maintenance and management of finance, HR, IT, communications and other systems, adapting systems over time as needs change.


• Ability to thrive in a fast-moving, start-up environment, with an emphasis on high-performance, teamwork, accountability and results.
• Highly collaborative leadership style.
• Results orientation.
• Excellent adaptive problem-solver.
• Strong set of personal values including integrity, honesty and desire to be of service.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:• Master’s degree in Business Administration or other relevant graduate-level degree.
Experience:• 5 years as COO, Operations Director or Senior Manager in government, international agency or private sector.
• Track record in organizational development, systems creation and management, leadership of complex organizations, etc.
• Demonstrable experience in developing, implementing and managing HR, finance, IT, communications and administrative systems.
• Deep knowledge of Ethiopia and at least 5 years working experience in Ethiopia or on initiatives related to Ethiopia, with strong understanding of legal, administrative and operational standards and procedures in the Ethiopian context.
Language requirements:• Fluency in English is essential.  Fluency in Amharic and other Ethiopian languages is desired. 
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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