Head, Delivery Unit (Re-advert)

at Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA)
Location Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date Posted January 24, 2020
Category Business Administration
Job Type Full-time
Currency ETB



The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) is a strategy and delivery-oriented government agency created to help accelerate the growth and transformation of the country’s agriculture sector. The ATA envisions that, by 2025, smallholder farmers are commercialized with greater incomes, inclusiveness, resilience and sustainability, contributing to Ethiopia’s achievement of middle-income country status.

The agency focuses on two primary national approaches to catalyse agricultural transformation. First, we support the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Resources (MoA), its affiliate institutions, and other partners to identify and address systemic bottlenecks within an Agricultural Transformation Agenda. Second, we support Regional Governments to accelerate development of high-priority commodity value chains in clearly defined geographic clusters, through the Agricultural Commercialization Clusters (ACC) Initiative.

Our major activities include conducting strategic and analytical studies, providing technical implementation support, coordinating platforms to better integrate partners and projects, and designing and directly leading a number of implementation projects. Our headquarters are in Addis Ababa, and we have regional offices in Amhara, Oromia, SNNP, and Tigray regional offices, allowing us to work closely with a wide range of public, private and development sector partners across the country.

ATA had launched a Delivery Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) to directly support MoA’s work on the Transformation Agenda and key priority areas of the Minister. Delivery Units have played a critical role in accelerating execution of development initiatives in many countries, particularly in East and Southeast Asia, and today are also present in Ethiopia’s Prime Minister’s office and the Revenue and Customs Authority. The Delivery Unit will be jointly overseen by the Minister of Agriculture and ATA senior management. The Delivery Unit team has been playing a highly visible and pivotal role in accelerating agricultural transformation and development in Ethiopia. These Delivery Unit will be active in several key areas:

-          Support roll out of enhanced planning, project management and reporting tools, processes and systems to track and report on progress of priority activities.

-          Support development of robust targets plans and budgets by initiative owners.

-          Strengthen execution and day-to-day project and activity management capacity of staff.

-          Strengthen preparation, quality control and close follow up of activity reporting by staff.

-          Support proactive identification of key issues in specific activities or overall initiatives, analytical and technical problem solving on these issues, and escalation for senior decision-making.

-          Provide independent view of progress being made in key priority areas.

-          Ensure Delivery Unit staff catalyse transformational mindset as opposed to status quo mode of operation.

-          Provide timely reporting support to the Minister office.

-          Ensure Delivery Unit team preparedness to co-create solution to clear implementation bottlenecks.

-          Provide light analytical problem-solving support to senior leadership on high priority requests, such as analysis of trends, strategic planning or policy analysis.

-          Facilitate provision of or directly provide technical advisory and input, contributing to ToRs, concepts notes, studies and workshops and develop training materials on specific topics.

-          Support the execution and tracking of Minister’s key priorities and ad-hoc requests as needed by the MoA senior leadership.

Our Culture

We have an exceptional team of highly competent employees with a proven track record of success in managing complex activities and achieving transformational results.  Our culture is one where talented, dedicated and adaptable individuals are committed to doing their best and exhibit great team work to achieve excellent results.

At ATA, we provide an exceptional platform for people who want to achieve their highest potential and make a meaningful contribution in changing the country’s agricultural sector.  We offer rewarding work in a young, fast-paced growing organization with passionate, committed, motivated colleagues and excellent career development and training.  We recognize our most valuable assets are our staff and are committed to providing our employees with the tools, training and mentorships necessary to achieve their career goals.


The Head of the Delivery Unit will be seconded at the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and report to the Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture where the DU is placed, with a second functional reporting line to the Senior Director of Implementation Support oversight Team at ATA. He/she will work closely with the Minister and office of the Minister to align on strategic DU priorities, agree annual plans and targets, put in place regular performance monitoring and management routines, seek feedback on DU performance, and escalate critical issues that require the senior leaders’ involvement. The DU Head will also be responsible to produce a monthly performance report on the DU to ensure issues in implementation of this new model can be quickly identified and enhancements are proactively made.

The DU Head’s primarily responsibility is to effectively deliver against the agreed strategic priorities through day-to-day management of the DU staff and activities, and establishing strong relationships with and regularly engaging relevant internal external senior stakeholders and initiative owners to ensure strong buy-in and support achievement of targets for priority initiatives. The DU Head will oversee or directly manage a team of DU staff including a core team composed of Delivery Manager, Senior Data and Reporting Officer, Senior Delivery Analyst, and Program Assistant; and a large technical team composed of Transformation Agenda Advisors, and Senior Transformation Agenda Specialists. The DU head will also work closely with other senior leadership in the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure effective engagement with the DU to support delivery.

Candidates for these roles must therefore bring an entrepreneurial, can-do attitude, and enjoy working in a fast-paced organization that is mission and results driven. They will have to have a very strong leadership, senior stakeholder management, and team management experience, and a track record of effectively leading planning and execution of major programs, projects or initiatives. They will also demonstrate very strong analytical and critical thinking skills, attention to detail, and excellent written and verbal communication, and program and project management skills. Strong candidates will also could exercise good judgment in a variety of situations, multitask and work under pressure and competing priorities.


  • Ensure the effectiveness of the Delivery Unit through regular engagement with MoA senior leadership as well as senior management at ATA.
  • Develop annual plans, targets and budgets for the DU around critical focus areas including stakeholder engagement, initiative planning, tracking, reporting and escalation, execution capacity building, problem-solving and light analytical support, change management and office management.
  • Establish strong, trust-based relationships with and regularly engage relevant internal or external senior stakeholders and initiative owners around annual planning and target-setting for priority initiatives, enhancing execution effectiveness, tracking, reporting and escalation, and problem-solving, to ensure strong stakeholder buy-in and achievement of initiative targets.
  • Put in place robust annual planning, target-setting and budgeting process with owners of priority initiatives, and regular performance monitoring and management routines with senior leadership, initiative owners and relevant stakeholders.
  • Contribute to recruitment, onboarding, and initial and ongoing capacity building of staff in DU.
  • Oversee and manage the staff in the DU day-to-day, ensuring effective engagement with stakeholders and initiative owners, and coaching, providing feedback and performance reviews for these staff.
  • Input to the design, development, roll out and continuous improvement of enhanced planning, project management and reporting tools, processes and systems for the DU to track and report on progress of priority initiatives and activities, and ensure effective use of these tools, processes and systems.
  • Provide guidance and direction to DU staff as well as TAD implementers and initiative owners in identifying, developing and implementing strategic solutions for challenges around implementation and reporting.
  • Provide effective upward reporting and timely escalation of critical issues to the Minister of the MoA, and the Minister’s office leadership and the senior director of the Implementation Support at ATA where relevant, on prioritized initiatives as well as progress, challenges and constraints of the Delivery Unit.
  • Proactively seek and action feedback on DU performance from the Minister and the Minister’s office as may be appropriate, through production and discussion of a monthly performance report on the DU.
  • Oversee identification, prioritization and effective delivery of technical and analytical problem-solving support for challenges in implementation of priority initiatives, as well as light analytical support to the MoA senior leadership provided on a demand basis: -
  • Proactively engage ATA teams or external partners for heavier or more problem-solving analytical support where needed.
  • Ensure Delivery Unit staff catalyse transformational mindset as opposed to status quo mode of operation.
  • Ensure Delivery Unit team preparedness to co-create solution to clear implementation bottlenecks.
  • Perform other related duties as may be required.

Job Requirements

  • Minimum of MBA, MA, MPA, or Master’s degree in management, leadership, business administration, project management, economics, public administration, and other relevant field of study.
  • At least ten years of work experience, preferably in a management consulting or large program management setting, or other roles focused on strategic planning, program/project design, management and reporting, and applied analysis; five of the ten years of experience should be in a leadership or managerial position.
  • Broad experience in leading, structuring and managing programs/projects, analytically focused work, and senior management reporting and decision support, in a range of sectors or topic areas.
  • Strong understanding of public and development sector issues and organizational culture, and ability to effectively liaise with senior and mid-level leadership in government organizations.
  • Understanding of the Ethiopian Agricultural Sector and its various challenges and possibilities with a broad perspective on how the entire system operates and how public, private and non-government organizations operate.
  • Hands on experience on Delivery Mechanisms in public institutions highly desirable.
  • Self-starter with strong motivation, vision, ownership and commitment to drive transformation
  • Highly collaborative leadership style and demonstrated success in leading, motivating, managing and developing high-performance teams.
  • Exhibits an innovative and high-performance mindset and culture, and can perform at a high level under pressure, with high workload and in challenging environments.
  • Highly results-oriented and delivery focused, with ability to strengthen accountability of others.
  • Promotes data-driven and evidence-based problem-solving, and timely, effective decision-making
  • Can act as a champion for change and can effectively support change management efforts.
  • Strong team player with excellent relationship building skills, ability to promote dialogue and communicate clearly and confidently.
  • Proactively seeks and acts on feedback to drive own development and contributes to others’ development through active coaching and sharing knowledge and best practices.
  • Strong knowledge and skills in Microsoft Office Suite, and various program / project management and data and reporting systems.
  • Strong set of personal values including integrity, honesty and desire to be of service.
  • Fluency in English, Amharic languages required; fluency in additional local Ethiopian language is a plus.



Applying Instructions

We invite all candidates meeting the required qualifications to send (i) a cover letter and (ii) CV (maximum 3 pages) at http://apply.ata.gov.et

Also, please DO NOT submit scans of certificates with your application form.

Women are highly encouraged to apply.

NB. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. 

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