East Africa Director – Regional Impact Center at Echo Inc. | May 2024

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Job Description

Since 2012, ECHO’s East Africa Impact Center has been serving our network across the region. The second of four RICs around the world, they have proven the adaptability and robustness of the RIC model to contextualize ECHO’s services to the unique needs and ecological/cultural contexts of those we serve. The first ECHO East Africa Director is now planning to retire in late 2024. This will allow the right candidate time to overlap with this passionate and highly effective individual.

The new director will expand and strengthen the capacity of the diverse regional network to defeat hunger and improve lives through sustainable food and agricultural strategies in East Africa. The director is responsible for building upon the current regional network and serving that network with joy by identifying, validating, sharing, and measuring the efficacy of contextualized agricultural strategies (4 core functions of ECHO) with technical excellence for the Glory of God. In short, network building and training experience will be essential qualities of an effective director. ECHO is a global, Christian organization that exists to reduce hunger and improve lives through agricultural networking, training, and resourcing. ECHO promotes sustainable farming techniques, nutritional plants, and appropriate technologies that help small-scale farmers improve productivity, feed their families, and improve livelihoods. ECHO shares proven resources with a diverse network through the internet, printed materials and outreach events. ECHO also saves and distributes seeds of highly beneficial, underutilized plants and empowers others to save and share their seeds.

Through ECHOcommunity.org and ECHO’s Regional Impact Centers (RICs) in Asia, East Africa, West Africa, and North America, ECHO has become a trusted information hub for development practitioners and workers. Through partnerships with academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, mission agencies, and the global Church, ECHO has developed a vibrant network that extends to over 190 countries worldwide.

A transformed world honoring God by

Strengthening the capacity of a diverse global network to defeat hunger and improve lives through sustainable food and agroecosystem strategies because

As Jesus first loved us, as agents of restoration we seek to glorify God and love our neighbors.

We are followers of Jesus who value stewardship, partnership, and the dignity of all.

1. Develop partnerships
• Develop intentional partnerships between ECHO and like-minded individuals and
organizations (regional and international) working to improve the productivity of small scale farmers in East Africa.
• Introduce ECHO resources to change agents previously unfamiliar with ECHO and
connect regional change agents to one another.
• Develop relationships between ECHO and like-minded individuals and organizations
interested in partnering with ECHO financially.
• Develop a robust network of local and regional seed banks and suppliers in each
country throughout East Africa. Increase the capacity of this network through seed
exchange training, seed system technical resources, and services including the
development of the ECHO East Africa Seed Bank.

2. Oversee technical support and training events for network members working to improve the lives of small-scale farmers, pastoralists, and gardeners in East Africa
• Ensure the planning, promotion, and implementation of at least two training and
networking events per year in the East Africa region. Examples include symposia,
workshops, and seminars which may be jointly organized with collaborators.
• Oversee close consultation between ECHO Global and ECHO East Africa staff to develop training curricula relevant to the diverse needs of small-scale farmers, pastoralists, gardeners, and those working with them in East Africa.
• Oversee provision of technical support to agricultural questions through online platforms, phone, and face-to face-consultations in the region.
• Oversee production of articles and technical materials that address needs in the region. Coordinate the translation of technical materials into regional languages, in collaboration with the Director of Global Research and Publications.
• Offer evaluation and consultation services for regional development organizations.
• Ensure coordination of ECHO East Africa research projects with the Director of Global
Research and Publications and research initiatives worldwide.
• Identify and develop innovative technologies appropriate for smallholder farmer
and pastoralist families which can be scaled up locally. Coordinate and communicate
innovations with ECHO Appropriate Technology staff globally.
• Solicit and secure funding to support these efforts throughout the region.

3. Ensure follow-up to training events and monitoring, evaluation, and learning.
• Develop follow-up strategies ensuring that participants attending ECHO events in East
Africa receive follow-up appropriate to their situation including correspondence, visits,
technical advice, surveys, and access to ECHO materials.
• In consultation with the COO and M&E team, evaluate the impact of training events and a diversity of approaches to improve their effectiveness and ensure relevance and efficacy for the regional network.

4. Coordinate Communication.
• Develop ECHO East Africa as an integral and closely-linked element of ECHO’s global
outreach and engagement. Share best practices with peer RIC directors.
• Based on weekly, monthly and annual schedules and protocol, develop ECHO East Africa plans, proposals, budgets, and reports. Ensure close communication with ECHO Global
• Advise ECHO Executive team on operations, management, and expansion regionally
and internationally.
• In consultation with the Advancement team, supervise the writing and distribution of
reports and impact stories, collaborate on Vision Trips and fundraising activities.

5. Lead ECHO East Africa operations with humility, integrity and vision.
• Determine and review appropriate facilities development for the continued relevance of ECHO East Africa. Ensure the operational and financial integrity and accountability of ECHO East Africa, and periodically assess risks.
• Recruit, direct, and empower ECHO East Africa staff, volunteers and interns.
• Remain current with pastoralist and smallholder agriculture techniques and issues through continuing education, research and engagement in regional and global meetings and conversations.
• Work with and develop the ECHO East Africa Board to increase the capacity of members and further the work of ECHO in the region.
• Ensure appropriate accountability for resource and facilities usage.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty with excellence. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills and/or ability required.

1. Must subscribe to and affirm the ECHO Statement of Faith, Vision, Mission, Motivational Statements, and possess character traits consistent with ECHO’s core values.
2. Must have international agriculture experience in the East African context.
3. Master’s degree in agricultural development, livestock development, environmental science or other commensurate field desired.
4. Must be proficient in common office computer programs such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
5. Must possess excellent skills in written and verbal communications.
6. High proficiency in an East African language desired.
7. Must have the ability to work independently and in concert with staff members and volunteers.
8. Must have the availability to travel out of the country and work some weekends and evenings for occasional meetings and events.
9. Must have the ability to identify potential problems and make necessary and creative plans for corrective action.
10. Embrace the dignity of pastoralists and small-scale farmers and the importance of caring for creation.

For 42 years, ECHO has been equipping a diverse network of thousands of development workers, missionaries, local leaders, and organizations around the world to better access vital information and other resources needed to improve food security and livelihoods for small-scale farmers and the poor.
As a Christian networking and technical resourcing organization, ECHO uses science to bless others. ECHO operates Regional Impact Centers (RICs) and Teams (RITs), strategically located around the world to bring much-needed locally contextualized agricultural resources within reach of the small-scale farmers who need them. Regional Impact Centers are located in: Chiang Mai, Thailand; Arusha, Tanzania; Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; and Fort Myers, Florida.

Nurturing the unique and professional calling to missional holistic development among staff is crucial to carrying out the vision God has given ECHO. Consequently, the right professional background, passion for training and teaching, networking ability, desire, and leadership fit will be a key determinant of whether someone is a candidate for the Director role.

There is a strong element of gratitude, anticipation, and excitement based on what the staff has witnessed of God’s work in their midst since ECHO was founded in 1981. ECHO has grown from one building on 5 acres to now having 26 buildings located on 55 acres in North America along with three other RICs. The staff recognizes that ECHO is an invigorating, inspiring, and unique workplace that provides an environment of professionalism, passion, and potential based on the notion of using science to bless the poor. This is a hard-working and fervent team who are highly motivated and passionately committed to ECHO’s mission and purpose while seeking to carry out their mission with excellence.
Staff members are encouraged to engage strategically, broadly, and effectively with the network in a relevant way while keeping the mission central. Everyone at ECHO is a networker, trainer, learner, and advancement officer. While they work hard, there is an emphasis on maintaining strong family life and achieving balance.

The ECHO East Africa Regional Impact Center, located in Arusha, Tanzania, is made up mainly of Tanzanian staff. However, network members, volunteers, and visitors come from all over the world to work with us. Engaging effectively with our multi-cultural team requires patience and humility but is also extremely rewarding!