Malawi Country Manager

Multi, Global



This is a Malawi-based full-time role on the FCDO-funded Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) programme, delivered by NIRAS-LTS.

Project overview:

FCDO (formerly DFID)’s approach to economic development and agriculture relies on an increasingly commercial approach to its agricultural programming by: –

• Boosting agri-business investment, financing agricultural infrastructure and supporting smallholder farmer access to markets;

• Helping farmers and their families to have opportunities and jobs outside of their farms, and supporting SMEs in rural areas;

• Supporting subsistence farmers without other economic opportunities to avoid hunger, malnutrition and extreme poverty; and,

• Encouraging commercial approaches that reduce the cost of nutritious diets.

In support of this approach, FCDO has launched the 5-year, flagship Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) programme which seeks to change how investors, donors and governments view and invest in agribusinesses that work with smallholder supply chains. In doing so, CASA will increase economic opportunities for smallholder producers by: –

a) Demonstrating the commercial viability of small and medium-sized (SME) agribusinesses with significant smallholder supply chains and attracting more investment into these businesses;

b) Deepening the smallholder impact of existing investments made by Development Finance Institutions and impact investors;

c) Enabling poor smallholder farmers to engage with and trade in commercial markets; and,

d) Researching and communicating the case for successful engagement with smallholder-linked agribusiness.

CASA has 3 components, two of which (Components A and C) are managed by NIRAS-LTS in partnership with Swisscontact and CABI. Component A will demonstrate interventions in the 3 target countries (Malawi, Uganda and Nepal) leading to mobilization of investments for partner agri-businesses (which can include commercially-minded, while Component C is a learning and knowledge-sharing component for upscaling and replication. The CASA cross cutting priorities are Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI), nutrition and food security, and climate change and the environment. CASA’s component B is separately implemented by Technoserve.

Further information can be found at


The role:

The chief objectives of this role are:

• To represent the programme and liaise with Government, Agribusinesses, Agricultural Investors and other stakeholders

• To manage the work-planning, budgeting and monitoring and evaluation for the country interventions.

The Malawi Country Manager reports to the Team Leader.

This role is based in Lilongwe, with management of work taking place across Malawi.


Specific responsibilities:

Strategic Oversight

• Ensuring all projects under the Malawi portfolio adhere to the overall strategy and vision of CASA.

• Proactively monitor overall progress of the portfolio, adjusting project strategies and partnership plans where required.

• Provide strategic oversight of the Market Managers, junior consultants and their partnership plans.

• Ensuring that GESI, nutrition and food security, and climate change and the environment are mainstreamed effectively throughout the lifetime of the programme.

• Ensure the Malawi Portfolio delivers good results and Value for Money (VfM).

Stakeholder Engagement

• Represent CASA by liaising with Government, Agribusinesses, Agricultural Investors and other stakeholders.

• Manage CASA’s relationship with FCDO Malawi.

• Establish and Act as secretariat for a National Steering Group (convening meetings, development of meeting agenda, minute-taking, etc.).

• Manage CASA’s relationship with other donor programmes operating in Malawi.

Managing Market Managers and Finance Officer

• Management of the Market Managers, junior consultants, Grants administrators and finance and admin officers engaged by CASA Malawi.

• Responsible for the delegation of assignments to the responsible personnel and for supervising their outputs & deliverables.

Managing Consultant Inputs

• Development of ToRs for Short Term Technical Experts.

• Identifying appropriate Malawian or international consultants for project work if the need arises.

• Identifying consultant input requirements in good time to allow the Programme Manager to make the necessary logistical and contractual arrangements.

• Conducting briefing and de-briefing sessions at the start and end of the assignment.

• Link short term consultants to relevant in-country stakeholders and planning and arranging meetings as required.

• Quality control on consultant outputs and providing feedback to the Programme Manager on consultant performance

Project Planning

• Developing detailed intervention and partnership work plans to guide the work of the Malawi Portfolio; ensuring that activities are delivered on time (whilst recognising that certain activities are dependent on the pace of change of CASA’s partners).

• Preparation of project budgets in partnership with the CASA Programme Manager, ensuring that activities are delivered on time and on budget.

• Managing the Malawi budget forecasting process in close collaboration with the Programme Manager & team.

Work Planning, Reporting and Administration

• Regular provision of the Malawi Portfolio’s information/data to the rest of the CASA team, including through Quarterly Progress Reports amongst others.

• Maintain an accurate and complete database of records, accounts, documents & evidence as generated.

• Manage and inform the Team Leader and Programme Manager of in-country risks as they develop.

• Manage the monitoring and evaluation of in-country projects in collaboration with the MRM lead.

• Timely submission of monthly timesheets and other documentation.

• Driving market managers and their partners towards achieving project objectives in terms of investment finance; this includes but is not limited to engaging with the investment community at all levels to discuss, promote and secure investments for partners.

Research, Learning and Communications

• Provide advice to the Programme leads on the opportunities to deliver research, learning and communications work.

• Deliver effective learning and communications materials to key stakeholders in conjunction with CASA’s communications team.

• Attend high profile events to promote CASA research products.


Qualifications required

Only the experts meeting the set criteria will be shortlisted and contacted.


Key competencies:

Communication: Confidently delivers tailored messages to various audiences using various media and tools. Asks insightful questions, validates the speaker’s feelings and points, and encourages the speaker; leaves the speaker feeling ‘heard’. Reports concisely and proactively with observations, analysis, and implications of the observations on project work and has the ability to present such findings to a variety of stakeholders in a concise and effective manner.

Relationship Builder: Quickly develops trusting relationships with others; proactively assesses and manages trust with others. Maintains industry, government and corporate networks and consistently forges new business relationships to fit strategic priorities. Identifies shared goals and develops effective strategies around those goals; follows-up on connections to catalyse positive relationships. Demonstrates neutrality and helps parties come to creative agreements and solutions, while keeping ownership with the parties.

Business Person: Understands the idea of the marketing mix (the 5 ‘P’s); can gather market info and give advice on marketing strategy; Advises on building and keeping good customer relations. Keeps records in more complex business environments; Advises on basic finances; Identifies and considers the financial risks of decisions; considers the economic value for the markets before making financial decisions. Delivers training workshops; Advises on selecting and recruiting staff; appreciates the importance of incentives for performance

Coach: in collaboration with market managers, offers regular support and mentoring to implementing partners in order to achieve their stated objectives. Regularly engages with market actors and stakeholders to uncover and identify specific needs; builds desire in the coachee to address the needs. Offers specific, constructive feedback to others; leaves the coachee feeling empowered to improve; actively seeks out feedback to improve; uses feedback in reviewing intervention strategies. Creates buy-in from the coachee to improve; helps develop action plans; provides support, while ensure coachee ownership over the process

Innovator: Tests out new ideas on an ongoing basis; failure encourages greater future effort; often demonstrates creative thinking; uses innovative approaches in the execution of work; actively searches for solutions beyond traditional boundaries. Makes time to reflect and codify learning; seeks out sources of learning; regularly adjusts actions based on comparing expected results against actual results; makes informed decisions based on lessons learnt from other interventions within the sector. Proactively shares both successful and unsuccessful endeavours; actively identifies issues that may hinder effective collaborations and devises means of minimizing these; takes a leadership role in a team.

Political Economist: Critically analyses institutions using a visual model, objectively allocating roles and functions. Can prescribe an agenda to improve the institutional arrangements for the benefit of poor people. Rigorously analyses the way power and politics affects markets and poverty; can model the power relations; and can prescribe improvements for the benefit of poor people. Collects and arranges complex evidence within an Excel workbook; cost-benefit analysis of economic options; prescription and argument for pro-poor improvements in markets.


Professional experience required


The Country Manager should have:

• A Master’s degree or similar qualification in Business, Economics or Development Studies;

• Previous experience as a team leader on a development project, in Malawi or regionally

• At least 5 years’ experience leading a busy team and coordinating across teams;

• A minimum of 10 years’ experience in implementing and managing projects with at least three years spent in the field on market research projects;

• Experience in business strategy development with focus on agricultural value chain support

• Experience reviewing and writing reports

• Experience in the development of surveys and data collection instruments for monitoring programmes;

• Previous data analysis experience using Microsoft Excel or any other data analysis tool;

• Previous experience using the Market Systems Development (MSD) approach would be of great advantage.

• Knowledge of the institutions, organizations and/or businesses that provide services to the agricultural sector in Malawi

• Experience dealing with donor organisations in particular and the development sector in general




to March 2024




Mid-January 2021


Deadline For Applications


To apply for this job please visit


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