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Program Associate

One Acre Fund | New York NY 10014 USA | Full Time | Posted: 12/19/2012

Job Descriptiontop

Program Associate

Private-sector style career development in a field setting
Excellent career development opportunity emphasizing management and leadership skills

Industry: Nonprofit/International Development
Function: Operations Innovation
Employer: One Acre Fund
Job Title: Program Associate
Job Location: Rural Rwanda or Burundi (French required), or Rural Kenya (English required)

Organization Description

Most of the world's poor are farmers, representing the largest and most uniform group of poor people in the world. One Acre Fund is a start-up NGO in Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi that is innovating a new way of helping farm families to achieve their full potential. Instead of giving handouts, One Acre invests in farmers to generate a permanent gain in farm income. We provide farmers with a "market bundle" that includes education, finance, seed and fertilizer, and market access. Our program is proven impactful – every year, we weigh thousands of harvests and measure more than 100% average gain in farm income per acre. We have laser-like focus on generating better lives for the people that we serve.

We are growing quickly. In six years, we have grown to serve 130,000 farm families with more than 1000 full-time field staff. In three more years, we will at least quadruple in size, while adding several new countries. Our approach has won widespread validation, winning grants from the highly competitive Echoing Green and Skoll Foundations, and the global Financial Times/ IFC award for "basic needs financing" in 2010 and 2011. Website:

Job Description

Rapid organization growth translates into great career opportunities for our staff. We invest heavily in careers – we want to develop our next group of country directors, R&D directors, and partnership leaders. In their first year, our program associates lead 3-5 internal consulting projects, such as:
• Impact innovation: A program associate recently designed a new harvest storage product and farmer training, and tried it with a few hundred farmers. The trial demonstrated an increase in harvest profits by more than 10%. Next year, we expect to sell this product to over 40,000 farmers.
• Growth innovation: A staffer recently designed a new viral marketing initiative. She identified our best and most enthusiastic farmers, and turned them into volunteer "replication agents" who are empowered to recruit new groups of farmers. Our staff person designed the trial protocols, trained 10 field staff to test the idea, and observed the trial in-field, resulting in 25% higher client enrollment. We are now rolling this out across more than 200 field sites.
• Operations rotation: In addition to internal consulting projects, program associates also spend time paired with a regular "operating unit," which has 50+ staff. This is an opportunity to observe how regular operations work, while also building leadership skills by mentoring a larger number of staff.
In their second year, our strongest performers take leadership over a relatively independent pilot within the One Acre Fund network, while earning a significant and sustainable salary increase. Examples include:
• Burundi: One Acre Fund plans to launch one new country per year, for the next five years. A program manager moved to Burundi early in 2011 to direct field operations for an initial 400-farmer pilot. Six months later, that pilot is now being quadrupled in size and is our newest country launch.
• Farmers United: One of our program managers piloted an innovative trial in a new area of Kenya. This trial helps farmers to save up for farm inputs over time, in addition to taking loans, and has high potential to scale rapidly. Over two years, he has created a field organization of 80 staff from scratch. His organization, called "Farmers United," cooperates closely with our existing field units, but also operates with a high degree of independence within the One Acre Fund umbrella.

Career Growth and Development: One Acre Fund invests in building management and leadership skills. We provide constant, actionable feedback delivered through weekly mentorship and through regular career reviews. We also have regular one-on-one meetings, where we listen to and discuss career goals, and work collaboratively to craft roles that each person can be passionate about. Because of our rapid growth, we constantly have new high-level roles opening up and opportunities in many functions and countries. This results in fast career growth for our staff.


We are seeking exceptional professionals with 2 to 5+ years of work experience, and a demonstrated long-term passion for international development. They will serve in a career-track position that combines both field and management experience.

We are looking for truly extraordinary candidates that will help take our organization to the next levels of impact and scale. This is not a short stint in Africa – this is a competitive posting for a career-track role. Only 3% of applicants make it to a phone screen. Therefore, please only apply if you fit these criteria:
• Strong work experiences. Examples include a demanding professional work experience, or successful entrepreneurial experience (e.g. starting a field program in a developing country, leading a conference, starting a business, solid Peace Corps accomplishments).
• Leadership experience at work, or outside of work
• Top-performing undergraduate background (include GPA and test scores on your resume)
• Humility and personal stability. We have a fantastic and likeable team. We are looking for passionate professionals that combine strong leadership skills with good humor, patience, and a humble approach to service
• A willingness to commit to living in rural areas of East Africa for at least two years - this is a long-term, career-track role. The ideal candidate will have at least one year demonstrated experience working in the developing world, although this is not a strict requirement.
• Language: English required in Kenya, and French required in Rwanda and Burundi. French-speakers are particularly encouraged to apply
• Ability to cook / laugh – desirable

Preferred Start Date: Flexible

Compensation: Starts very modest. However, this is a career-track role with fast raises for performance, paying a meaningful salary for long-term placement in developing nations.

Benefits:Health cover, immunizations, flight, room and board.
Career development: Quarterly management consulting-style career reviews and constant feedback. Your manager will invest significant time in your career development.

Sponsor International Candidates: Yes

To Apply
Email cover letter and resume to (Subject line: "Program Associate Search" + name of the site that referred you).

Job Detailstop

Location New York, NY, 10014, United States
Categories Community Improvement/Capacity Building/Economic Development, Food/Nutrition/Agriculture, Other
Function Other
Experience Years 2 yrs
Visa Sponsorship Sponsor with full visa costs paid.

Location Maptop

Contact Informationtop

Contact Name Leah Kumayama
How to apply Applications are no longer accepted for this job posting.
Job Code Program Associate