Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA)

Category:Agriculture, Development and Project Management
Location:Addis Ababa, Addis Ababa
Career Level:Senior Level (5+ years experience)
Employment Type:Full time

Job Description

Vacancy Announcement


Position:                            Senior Transformation Agenda Specialist- Soil Health and                                                 Fertility, MoANR

Term of Employment:   Through July 2020

Duty Station(s):              Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Required Number:          One (1)

Salary & Benefits:           Competitive

Application Deadline:    August 5, 2018


The Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) was established by the Government of Ethiopia with assistance from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to identify and address systemic bottlenecks in Ethiopia’s agricultural development. The ATA does this through planning, analysis, implementation support, and reporting on the interventions outlined in the Agricultural Transformation Agenda. The Transformation Agenda is a set of prioritized interventions to accelerate the transformation envisioned as part of Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan II. The ATA is accountable to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Secretary to the Agricultural Transformation Council chaired by the Prime Minister.

ATA has launched a Delivery Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR) to directly support MoANR’s work on the Transformation Agenda. Specifically, the Delivery Unit supports owners of Transformation Agenda Deliverables (TADs) within MoANR, with planning, reporting, project management and technical and strategic analysis. Delivery Units have played a critical role in accelerating execution of development initiatives in many countries, particularly in East and Southeast Asia, and today are also present in Ethiopia’s Prime Minister’s office and the Revenue and Customs Authority. The Delivery Unit will be jointly overseen by the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources and ATA senior management. The Delivery Unit team plays a highly visible and pivotal role in accelerating agricultural transformation and development in Ethiopia.


The Senior Transformation Agenda (TA) Specialist for Soil Health and Fertility will report directly to (MoANR/Soil Fertility Improvement Directorate (SFID) Director who is the Implementing Coordinator for the Soil Health and Fertility Program of the Transformation Agenda. The Transformation Agenda Deliverables and Sub-deliverables for this program area are as follows:

1.       Improve fertilizer use efficiency to inter alia enhance crop productivity, reduce GHG emissions, and improve nutrient value

  • Develop soil test -crop response index-based fertilizer recommendation and incorporate within the agricultural extension system
  • Establish (mini & mobile) and strengthen soil testing laboratories
  • Fine-tune, develop and implement solutions to address acidity, salinity, and waterlogging problems to increase fertilizer use return
  • Identify and implement decision support tools to enhance nutrient use efficiency
  • Complete national soil fertility and soil resource map; develop national soil test based fertilizer recommendation atlas at woreda level

2.       Develop, validate and scale up ISFM technology packages for major cropping                 systems

  • Identify best combinations of organic, inorganic and bio fertilizers and cropping practices to enhance nutrient supply, storage and availability to sustainably increase system productivity
  • Identify/ validate appropriate conservation agriculture techniques for major copping systems
  • Integrate ISFM and conservation agriculture best practices into extension package,
  • Develop a holistic strategy and implementation guidelines to promote adoption of best soil health and fertility management practices

The Senior TA specialist will agree with the Director, SFID in consultation with Regional Agricultural Research Institutions on a prioritized set of sub-deliverables from the above list to focus on and each year develop an annual work plan accordingly.

He will also have a second, functional reporting line to the MoANR Delivery Unit Head, and will work closely with other staff engaged in the implementation of the TA Sub-Deliverables listed above as well as other staff in the Delivery Unit to support effective implementation of Deliverables and Sub-Deliverables of the Soil Health and Fertility Program.

The Senior TA Specialist will therefore bring the requisite interpersonal and stakeholder management skills, technical expertise and problem-solving experience, as well as initiative design, planning, implementation management and reporting experience, to effectively support in relevant focus areas of the Delivery Unit described above. The ideal individual will also demonstrate an entrepreneurial, can-do attitude strong attention to detail, excellent written and verbal communication, and enjoy working in a fast paced organization that is mission and results driven. Strong candidates will also have the ability to exercise good judgment in a variety of situations, multitask and work under pressure and competing priorities.


Planning, execution effectiveness, tracking, reporting and escalation

  • Provide input and overall support to ensure effective annual planning, budgeting and target setting activities for all Sub-Deliverables
  • Identify and escalate challenges around implementation of and reporting on prioritized sub-deliverables, as well as providing solutions, options and recommendations for effective implementation.
  • Undertake regular follow-up and monitoring of all activities of Sub-Deliverables, engaging with relevant Activity and Task Owners to ensure reporting through key reporting systems and tools is timely and accurate
  • Support data collection for timely and accurate reporting

Problem solving and technical support

  • Identify critical technical issues directly related to implementation and/or design of prioritized Sub-Deliverables
  • Analyze and develop solution options and recommendations for these critical issues, and engage with relevant staff within the Ministry and external partners to align on adjustments required
  • Proactively engage other DU staff on problem solving and with ATA’s  knowledge center on Soil Health and Fertility and/or external partners for heavier or more analytical problem solving support where needed
  • Contribute to ToRs, concept notes, studies, workshops, and training materials, directly related to prioritized Sub-Deliverable and areas of technical expertise
  • Provide other technical advisory and input needed for effective Sub-Deliverable implementation, as necessary

Job Requirements

  • BA/BSc required in agriculture, agriculture development, soil health and fertility (preferred) or related areas.  MA/MSc/PhD is preferable.
  • More than 8 years of experience (with BA/BSc) or more than 6 years of experience (with MA/MSc/PhD) in government, non-government, international or private sector organizations, and in areas directly relevant to soil health and fertility
  • Deep understanding of Ethiopia’s agricultural sector as well as more specifically to soil health and fertility —with a broad perspective on how the entire system operates and how public, private and non-government organization operate in the system
  • Deep technical expertise in soil health and fertility
  • Specific experience in planning, prioritizing, sequencing, managing, problem-solving and reporting on implementation of both programmatic and operational activities
  • Fluency in English and Amharic
  • Self-starter with strong motivation, ownership and commitment to drive transformation
  • Highly results-oriented and delivery focused, with ability to strengthen accountability of others
  • Exhibits an innovative and high-performance mindset and culture, and can perform at a high level under pressure and in challenging environments
  • Demonstrates leadership, vision, and ability to motivate and inspire others
  • Promotes data-driven and evidence-based problem-solving, and timely, effective decision-making
  • Can act as a champion for change and can effectively support change management efforts
  • Strong team player with excellent relationship building and management skill, ability to promote dialogue and communicate clearly and confidently, and a network of professional contacts
  • Proactively seeks and acts on feedback to drive own development and contributes to others’ development through active coaching  and sharing knowledge and best practices
  • Strong set of personal values including integrity, honesty and desire to be of service

How to Apply

We invite all candidates meeting the required qualifications to submit (i) a cover letter, (ii) CV (maximum 5 pages), and (iii) a completed ATA Application Form at

Please note that CVs, cover letter and other application materials WILL NOT be considered unless accompanied by a fully completed ATA Application Form.  Also, please DO NOT submit scans of certificates with your application form.

Women are highly encouraged to apply.

NB. Only short listed candidates will be contacted.

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