West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD)
Location: Dakar, Senegal
Last Date: July 31, 2010
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Reference:
Conseil Ouest et Centre Africain pour la Recherche et le Développement Agricoles
West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development CORAF/WECARD
FULL-TIME – Based in Dakar, Senegal
Call opening: 1st July, 2010
Call closing: 31st July, 2010
WHO WE ARE
Created in March, 1987 upon a call of the Conference of African and French Directors of
Agronomic Research, it became the Conference of Directors of Agricultural Research in
West and Central Africa in 1995, then the West and Central African Council for
Agricultural Research and Development in 1999. CORAF/WECARD is now one of the four
Sub-regional Organizations (SROs) in Africa under the Forum for Agricultural Research in
Africa (FARA), which brings together 22 National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS).
The revision of CORAF/WECARD’s Strategic Plan (2007-2016) was completed and
endorsed by the CORAF/WECARD General Assembly in May, 2007. This revised plan aims
at achieving the goals of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme
[CAADP] as well implementing the Agricultural policies of the Regional Economic
Communities of West and Central Africa (ECOWAS, UEMOA, ECCAS and CEMAC). Within
this context, CORAF/WECARD’s strategic intentions are articulated in its Vision and
CORAF/WECARD’s Vision is for a sustainable reduction in poverty and food
insecurity in WCA through an increase in agricultural-led economic growth and
sustainable improvement of key aspects of the agricultural research system.
CORAF/WECARD’s Mission is to sustainably improve the competitiveness,
productivity and markets of the agricultural system in West and Central Africa
by meeting the key demands of the sub-regional research system as
expressed by target groups.
CORAF/WECARD’s Operational Plan (2008-2013), designed to implement the revised
Strategic Plan is underpinned by a centrally managed and programme-based approach
with the following main advantages:
· Excellent opportunities for inter-programme linkages and planning;
· More effective monitoring, evaluation and learning;
· Simplified streams for knowledge and information;
· Independence from undue non-programme influences;
· Clear lines of accountability;
· Strengthened corporate cohesion;
· Clear focus for resource mobilisation and development partners;
· Coherence of all work conducted with the new Strategic Plan.
Currently, there are eight new Programmes in the Portfolio. This number may, however,
increase or decrease as demands and needs vary. The new programmes fall into the
following three broad categories:
Technical research – around four Programmes:  Livestock, Fisheries and
Aquaculture;  Staple Crops;  Non-staple Crops;  Natural Resource Management;
and  Biotechnology and Biosafety, - which use an integrated research approach based
on systems and commodities, but employing new holistic and participatory
Policy research – around one Programme:  Policy, Markets, Trade, Institutions and
Socio-economic - which, through research, identifies and responds to key issues
preventing achievement of improved markets, competitiveness and productivity.
Efficient research delivery – around two Programmes:  Knowledge management
and  Capacity strengthening and coordination - to improve access to information and
knowledge management, including research into mechanisms and methodologies.
The eight Programmes are managed by Programme Managers, who are answerable to a
Director of Programmes based also at the CORAF/WECARD Secretariat. Programme
Managers are responsible for developing high quality programmes and associated priority
projects. They are also responsible for delivering Programme results, which would make
significant contributions to CORAF/WECARD’s overall objectives. Projects are
implemented through the networking of appropriate stakeholders led by NARS-based
centres. Project leaders focus on implementation with oversight from appropriate
In May, 2008, the Australian Government committed itself to addressing the long term
impacts of the global food crisis on developing countries. This commitment was
confirmed through a four-year “Food Security through Rural Development Initiative”,
structured around three Pillars.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has been
working with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) in
developing a research partnership with CORAF/WECARD that will address the first of
these three pillars, which is "Lifting agricultural productivity through increased
investments in international agricultural research and development". This partnership will
also contribute to the implementation of CORAF/WECARD’s strategic plan and CAADP
Pillar IV in particular. Research within the context of this partnership will focus
specifically on the improvement of mixed crop livestock farming systems in the subhumid
to semi-arid zone of West Africa.
This partnership is planning for an additional support to the Executive Secretariat in
order to facilitate its implementation.
The present vacancy is for the position of Programme Officer, who will provide
management support to CORAF/WECARD’s Executive Secretariat in the implementation
of the AusAID-CSIRO-CORAF/WECARD partnership.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Under the authority of the Director of Programme, the main roles of the Program Officer
· Manage the allocation of project resources – human, financial, material,
information – in collaboration with the relevant Directions/Units at the
CORAF/WECARD Secretariat, so as to ensure that the project teams have all what
they need to carry out their work.
· Connect and create synergies between project teams and key stakeholders.
1. Facilitate communication and liaison
· Develop and maintain strong relationships with research collaborators – at the
individual and institutional levels.
· Facilitate project team communication, through meetings, regular contacts and
using communication tools.
· Manage daily interactions with clients and provide timely and appropriate
information as needed.
· Develop appropriate materials in collaboration with the Communication Unit at the
CORAF/WECARD Executive Secretariat, which will facilitate information sharing
with the general public (eg web and media material) as well as with key
stakeholders (eg local farmers and communities, relevant local authorities,
· Oversee planning, structure, evaluation and reporting of major project meetings.
2. Monitor milestones
· Create, implement, monitor and revise work plans and timelines for project
activities and ensure the appropriate allocation of resources.
· Play a central role in project planning, review and evaluation.
· Coordinate project reporting.
3. Coordinate internal operations
· Manage internal processes on behalf of the project team e.g. archiving, IT
requirements, internal reporting.
· Support project teams so that they comply with organisational policies and
guidelines e.g. publication policy, travel policy, social ethics guidelines.
4. Manage project accounts
· Track project expenditure with the relevant unit concerned at the Executive
Secretariat of CORAF/WECARD, and give feedback to project leaders and teams.
· Ensure that funds are transferred on time from CORAF/WECARD towards project
collaborators and consultants, and address any issues related to finance.
· Ensure that clients are provided with acquittal and invoicing information.
5. Support the Director of Programmes
· Manage the daily administration of the project.
· Draft general correspondence and responses to enquiries and field requests for
· When required, represent the Director of Programmes at project meetings and
EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
· A PhD degree in an agriculturally related topic.
· At least 5 years experience or interest in international development issues and
particularly in rural regions of West and Central Africa.
· Experience or interest in farming systems research, education, capacity building
and/or sustainable agriculture.
· Demonstrated experience in CORAF/WECARD and its operations, philosophy and
approaches and possession of a broad vision of national, regional, international
research issues, placing CORAF/WECARD’s Programmes and initiatives into this
· Capacity to hit the ground running, and bring in ideas for entry points, initiatives
that could be pursued, and good networks in the area of the partnership.
· Diplomacy, persuasion and negotiation skills.
· Fluency in both French and English languages.
· Ability to work independently in a range of environments and situations.
· Propensity for working in multi-disciplinary, multi-country teams.
· Willingness to travel extensively within the sub-region and internationally.
· Good communication and interpersonal skills and ability to get your point across to
senior government and development partner officials, succinctly and diplomatically,
and to be responsive to inputs.
· Well-organised, with good planning and problem-solving abilities.
· Flexible, quick-thinking, and ability to remain calm and positive in response to the
challenges of travel and work.
· Skills in writing and editing scientific literature and/or ‘general’ material
· Skills in data collection, management and/or analysis.
· Computer literate and fully familiar with the Microsoft Office® Suite of software.
· Ability to remember people’s names and position.
WORKING WITH CORAF/WECARD
CORAF/WECARD is not just looking to fill a vacancy. Whenever it recruits, it is looking for
individuals, who share its values, are adaptable and resourceful, and who will
complement the team and contribute to the development of the Organisation.
Salary and remuneration will depend on the skills, experience and track record of the
successful applicant, and will be internationally competitive.
CORAF/WECARD invests heavily in creating a culture of quality, professionalism, mutual
support and team work. It creates opportunities for continuing formal and informal
professional development and training.
The candidate must be a national of a CORAF/WECARD member state.
The Programme Officer will be based at the CORAF/WECARD Secretariat in Dakar,
The Programme Officer will report directly to the Director of Programmes, and comply
with the reporting requirements of CORAF/WECARD for its senior management.
A two-year initial contract, subject to positive performance evaluation of the
selected candidate for the first year will be proposed. The renewal is based on
execution of the contract satisfactorily judged and on the availability of financial
resources of the project.
If you are interested in applying, please e-mail a covering letter and your detailed CV,
which must also include the names and contact details of three of your referees.
The application should be addressed to the Executive Director of CORAF/WECARD,
Executive Secretariat, N° 7 Avenue Bourguiba, BP 48 Dakar-RP, Senegal and emailed to
The application should be received at the CORAF/WECARD Secretariat no later than midnight
on the 31st July, 2010. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for
As required by CORAF/WECARD, the selected candidate will undertake and pass a
medical clearance prior to acceptance by CORAF/WECARD.
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