One Acre Fund is growing quickly, and we plan to at least quadruple our
farmer impact in the next five years. Program Associates play a major
role in driving that growth and ensuring that this growth is stable and
systematic – while also adding major innovations and improvements to our
quality. This offers Program Associates a strong career
opportunity: the ability to learn from a successful field operation,
contribute to aggressive growth, and also make improvements to our
One Acre Fund is recruiting to fill the position of:
Job Title: Program Associate
Duration: Minimum 2 years commitment, full-time job.
Operations: Our country operation teams face a classic leadership and
management challenge: how to keep a large country operation growing at
40-75% per year while also making significant improvements to our
operating model. Program Associates first learn from our organization’s
deep knowledge on scaling rural field programs; then, they are
challenged to find new ways to stretch, grow faster, and increase our
quality of service.
- Field operations staff focus on farmer-facing services. They
start as generalists, with overall responsibility for executing our
program in a region. Over time, they can continue to rise as a general
leader, possibly growing to manage an entire country’s field operation.
Or they may specialize, for example, in the creation and roll-out of
staff development training for hundreds or even 1,000+ team members.
- Support operations staff build the infrastructure required for
growth. These teams proactively eliminate barriers to scale in a diverse
range of areas – processing millions of farmer payments, communicating
to farmers via tens of millions of SMS, hiring hundreds of new staff per
year, and physically moving 20,000+ tons of farm inputs to thousands of
- Program Associates also make steady improvements to accelerate
growth – for example, setting up mobile money integration for a country.
Innovations: Our Innovations teams discover new ideas for our programs
and conduct dozens of trials to test these ideas. As an organization, we
constantly seek to learn and improve, and our Innovations teams lead
- Product Innovations staff improve our core agricultural products
or run new experiments in energy and health products. The ideas they
discover may eventually scale to hundreds of thousands of households.
- Product Innovations staff design trials, execute trials together
with thousands of farmers, synthesize trial data, and make constant
revisions to the product offering. For example, our Product Innovations
team is currently testing delivery of live chickens and preparing the
product for full-scale rollout.
- One Acre Fund is also increasingly delving into energy and
health, and we are currently one of the largest sellers of solar lights
in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Scale Innovations staff seek to improve our core operating
model. By running trials with tens of thousands of farmers, they analyze
targeted questions such as: does moving from a group liability loan to
an individual liability loan improve repayment and customer
satisfaction? Or they might investigate more radical ideas, such as
setting up physical One Acre Fund shops to see if there are more
efficient ways to deliver high-quality service to farmers.
- They try variations on our program with the goal of improving our scalability, impact, and financial sustainability.
On a day-to-day basis, nearly all roles involve a mix of activities:
- Understanding and solving problems: observing field operations,
meeting with leaders of our field staff , running surveys, conducting
desk research, analyzing KPIs, etc. Then creating simple and lasting
solutions to complex problems.
- Building teams: hiring staff using One Acre Fund’s unique
“experiential hiring” system, mentoring key deputies, and steadily
handing off responsibility to your team as you build it.
- Communicating with other teams: working in coordination with One
Acre Fund’s other teams on the ground to execute a smooth customer
experience in the simplest way possible.
- Planning and executing large projects: identifying clear goals,
creating project calendars, designing workflows, creating field tools
and talking points, designing incentive systems and understanding
stakeholders, following up and monitoring project execution in the
One Acre Fund has deep operational experience running rural field
programs at a scale of 1,000+ full-time staff per country. Program
Associates benefit from this past experience, quickly building their
skill-set through immersion in our operating environment. At the same
time, the main role of Program Associates is to accelerate growth and to
constantly stretch and improve our operations. This presents an
excellent career opportunity to both learn from One Acre Fund’s
accumulated experience and constantly improve and enable 40%+ program
growth per year.
We are seeking exceptional professionals with 2 to 5+ years of work
experience, and a demonstrated long-term passion for international
development. Candidates who fit the following criteria are strongly
encouraged to apply:
- 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 Volunteer Service Organization
accomplishments (VSO, Peace Corps, JICA, etc).
- 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
- Language: English required in all locations. French required for
Burundi placement. Other notable and useful languages are Swahili,
Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Chichewa, Amharic.
- Ability to cook/laugh – desirable.
- Leadership experience at work, or outside of work.
- Top-performing undergraduate background (include final grade/marks/GPA).
- Humility. We are looking for passionate professionals who
combine strong leadership skills with good humor, patience, and a humble
approach to service to join our growing family of leaders.
Preferred Start Date
Starts modest. However, this is a career-track role with fast raises for
performance, paying a meaningful salary for long-term placement in
Health insurance, immunizations, flight, room and board.
How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidate should:
Click here to apply