Grants Specialist Consultant

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Description :
Grants Specialist Consultant


Duration of Assignment: 3-6 months, beginning as soon as possible

Assignment location: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


Project Background

This Scope of Work provides details for the Grants Specialist STTA assignment for the USAID-funded Amalima Loko program. This is a short-term assignment located at the program office in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Amalima Loko is a $75 million program that seeks to elevate the livelihoods of more than 67,000 vulnerable households across five districts of Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland North. The program’s approach aims to enhance inclusive local ownership over food security and resilience planning and development through Community Visioning which strengthens the ability of communities to identify their own priorities and define solutions to support social cohesion and resilience; Advance health and availability of soil, water and plant resources within the watershed by working at the micro-catchment level and using a water resource management approach to improve community ownership; And improve human health and livelihoods by strengthening individual and household capacities to weather shocks and stress.

Amalima Loko has a $300,000 Innovation Fund to catalyze entrepreneurship and private sector growth through grants. The Innovation Fund has two categories. The first category will support development of income generating activities by individuals and community groups. Grant value for this category will start at $500 up to $5,000. The second category will support the private sector, NGOs, and community-based organizations to establish or expand activities that promote economic growth and innovative solutions. These grants will range from $5,000 to $25,000 and require an equal match (cash or in-kind investment). The Activity anticipates awarding 30 to 40 IGA grants and five to ten in the higher-value category.


Main Duties and Responsibilities

The Grants Specialist will lead the development of the program’s grant making strategy and processes to meet technical objectives and ensure compliance with USAID rules and regulations. The Grants Specialist will support the hiring of the long-term Grants Manager and grants team and will set the program up for success by establishing strong, but manageable, processes and templates and mentoring the grants team in effective grants management. The Grants Specialist will work closely with the Chief of Party and Amalima Loko technical team as well as the CNFA home office support team. The ideal candidate will have experience with a variety of different sizes and types of grants in order develop effective approaches for both the small grants under $5,000 which will require a very streamlined process and larger grants that may include in-kind, fixed amount awards, simplified grants, and pay-for-performance type grants to a variety of different types of entities.


Specifically, the Grants Specialist will:

  • Lead the design and development of the program’s grant making strategy to meet the program objectives and ensure compliance
  • Pursue strategic grant making opportunities identified by the technical team. Design appropriate grant mechanisms and strategies for specific opportunities.
  • Lead hiring and training the long-term Grants Manager and grants team.
  • Review and operationalization the Amalima Loko grants manual. Make recommendations to streamline processes for efficient and compliant implementation.
  • Together with the COP, CNFA HQ, and technical team, establish and lead the grantmaking process, while mentoring long-term staff. Draft grant solicitations, support grantees in developing proposals, participate in the selection process, conduct pre-award risk determinations, and prepare/review documentation for CNFA HQ and/or USAID approval.
  • Develop strong grants management processes from solicitation to selection/award to post-award monitoring and reporting. Develop tools and mentor staff to continue effective and compliant implementation after the assignment.
  • Ensure that grants files are complete including solicitations, related correspondence, selection memos, pre-award risk assessments, approval requests and memos, grant agreements, and monitoring and reporting documentation.
  • Coordinate and liaise directly with CNFA HQ on grants and compliance questions and issues.
  • Ensure compliance with the approved grants manual and all USAID rules and regulations governing grants as well as CNFA best practices.


Job Requirements

Candidate Qualifications:

  • Bachelors’ Degree in a relevant field (Business, agricultural economics, international relations) required;
  • A minimum of 8 years of experience implementing USAID-funded development projects required;
  • Significant grants management experience for a variety of types and sizes of grants for USAID-funded programs required;
  • Strong understanding of USAID rules and regulations/compliance issues required;
  • Ability to develop innovative solutions to achieve program objectives and streamline processes;
  • Must have the necessary experience and desire to develop strong processes and mentor staff to effectively implement those processes;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, and clear, concise written communication skills required;
  • Ability to maintain composure and flexibility under tight deadlines, and collaborative approach to facilitating communications between various stakeholders including colleagues, grantees, CNFA HQ, USAID, and partners;
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize effectively and manage multiple competing priorities;
  • Ability to work independently and a self-starting work style;
  • Southern Africa experience preferred. Southern Africa experience preferred;



To apply

? CNFA IS PROUD TO BE AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER It is the policy of CNFA to provide equal employment opportunity to all persons, regardless of age, race, religion, color, national origin, gender identity, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, veteran status, or on the basis of personal favoritism or other non-merit factors, except where otherwise provided by law.

REASONABLE ACCOMODATION & CONTACT INFORMATION CNFA provides a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. Please contact the CNFA Home Office Human Resources Department via email at [email protected] or via phone at 202-296-3920 if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job with us.

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