- Company: Better Cotton Initiative
- Location: Kenya
- State: Nairobi
- Job type: Full-Time
- Job category: Agricultural Jobs in Kenya
About this role
We are looking for a Digital Agriculture Manager to lead the effort to digitalise Better Cotton’s approach to field data. The project will include the coordination of updating data collection requirements, and testing and rolling out digital data collection tools in close collaboration with Better Cotton country teams and Programme Partners. The digitalised approach to field data will aim to improve data quality, lessen burdens on Better Cotton and Programme Partner field staff time spent in data collection and cleaning, add value for key stakeholders including cotton farmers, and maximise process efficiency.
This role joins Better Cotton’s Data and Traceability team, reporting to the Senior Manager of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning and matrix reporting to the Senior Manager of IT and Data. The position holder will work closely with teams across the organisation. The role will not include line management initially but instead focus on matrix and project working relationships.
The Manager will deliver a step change in the way Better Cotton and its partners collect and ultimately gain insights from the critical field data collected at scale in a variety of farming contexts globally. This challenging role offers excellent opportunities for personal and professional development, together with a competitive benefits package. This is a 2-year contract, with possibility of rolling over to a permanent role.
- Overall project management.
- Lead on overall project management, oversight, and administration
- Devise a strategy and plan for delivery of the required project components
- Work cross-functionally, both with staff who are tech-savvy and not
- Manage relationships with any endorsed tool provider(s)
- Monitor budget approvals and expenditures
- Develop strong relationships with team members, stakeholders, vendors, and Programme Partners
- Manage financial and human resources, ensuring timely delivery of project activities
- Supervise and coordinate activities of the project team and other stakeholders
- Prepare progress reports and updates for senior stakeholders
- Proactively manage risk and resolve issues as they arise
- Identify the project’s critical success factors, and ensure successful delivery
- Help determine what data Better Cotton will collect in the future at field level.
- Field-level data needs to be useful in supporting change in sustainable cotton production practices, possible to be shared back to field staff and farmers, align with Better Cotton’s needs to report against its 2030 targets, and incorporate landscape approaches and geospatial data where relevant.
- Determine Better Cotton’s approach to data collection – identify, test, and roll out solution(s)
- Operationalise digital data and information collection from field-level. Likely this will not take the form of one tool, but many, depending on context. Existing tools used by Programme Partners are to be incorporated into the approach to enable localised technology solutions (mapping of this in larger programme countries is ongoing and will be provided to the incoming manager)
- Ensure data collection tools can feed into a central analysis point supported by the current Better Cotton cloud-based data warehouse
- Ensure data collection tools follow good practice in data governance, including clarifying the processes of obtaining informed consent from data owners
- Enable reporting or feedback loop to Better Cotton Growth & Innovation Fund (GIF) and donors (as relevant)
The Manager will work with various Better Cotton teams to ensure success. Illustrative examples follow of the kind of coordination and engagement expected:
- Country Teams – Field level coordination between Better Cotton Programme teams and Programme Partners to identify relevant tools and approaches that respond to national-specific issues: languages, locally relevant project information, specific rollout plan.
- Global Programme Team – Build feedback loops to IPs, field staff, and farmers to improve programme delivery and to add value for farmers. Also, enable effective oversight of Better Cotton-funded programme activities.
- Global Assurance Team – Collecting data around compliance with the Standard and continuous improvement objectives.
- Global MEL Team – Provide Data Analysts with information that enables the development of technical requirements to link to the Cotton Cloud, Better Cotton’s cloud database. In coordination with the Data Quality Coordinator, develop technical requirements to check data quality as live data is coming in. And with MEL team, ensure the data collection approach aligns with plans for global and localised indicators.
- IT-Data Team – Together with the Data Services Manager, ensure adequate data governance and compliance. With the Senior Manager of IT & Data, ensure proposed solutions are in line with Better Cotton’s IT & Data enterprise strategy.
- Traceability Team – Explore whether farm-level data needed for the identified traceability solution(s) can be managed via the same tool(s) as for other field-level data.
Skills, Knowledge and Experience
- Proactivity and passion to deliver change and technology adoption
- Demonstrated ability to manage complex projects across multiple countries
- Experience implementing digital data collection tools for international development programmes
- Strong IT skills, in particular with Excel and databases, and business intelligence and analytics tools (PowerBI in particular)
- Strong capability to train non-technical people on technical concepts and tools
- Experience managing IT service providers, keeping to schedule and within budget
- Fluency in English, written and spoken
- Demonstrated understanding of agricultural production and value chain data, especially in the smallholder farming context
- Experience working in one of Better Cotton’s production countries
- Degree in environmental science or social science; data science; or related field
- Experience with geospatial data and associated collection and analysis tools
- Familiarity with advanced agricultural technologies used in large scale farming contexts
- Experience managing interdisciplinary project teams in an international, multi-cultural setting
- Knowledge of French, Portuguese, Hindi, Urdu, or Russian