Chief of Party YBAIF

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The Chief of Party provides overall leadership and direction to the Youth Business Acceleration and Investment Facility (YBAIF). YBAIF is a five-year (2021- 2026) innovative program supported by USAID, and led by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT.

Overview of YBAIF

Framed around resilience-led sustainable strategy, the Youth Business Acceleration and Investment Facility (YBAIF) aim to leverage the power of the private sector to reduce the need for long-term humanitarian assistance. It’s objective is to accelerate and invest in youth owned or youth-led enterprises or those entities that employ a significant number of youth to generate greater access to financing, diversified incomes, job creation, gender equality and women’s empowerment, a more inclusive private sector ecosystem, and improved resilience of communities in targeted vulnerable districts. YBAIF will develop an investable pipeline of businesses, de-risk and mobilize capital, and build confidence in and leverage the private sector to foster economic and social impact that fosters Malawi’s self-reliance, laying the much-needed foundation for a long-term approach of establishing an inclusive and diversified private sector ecosystem.

Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT, through YBAIF represents an innovative model to implement USAID/Resilience Challenge Fund (RCF) strategy, playing both a facilitation a role and a leadership role in monitoring, evaluation and learning by establishing robust long-term methodologies and tools that evaluate how private-sector led collective actions, partnerships, leadership and investments impact community well—being.

The Position

The YBAIF Chief of Party, based in Malawi will be responsible for overall project management, including: providing vision, leadership, and guidance for the project team; developing and implementing work plans; overseeing operational budgets and performance monitoring plans; liaising with the USAID mission, key government stakeholders at the national and subnational levels, and other research and private sector organizations; identifying and mitigating project risks; and ensuring achievement of project results and objectives.

The Chief of Party will supervise project staff and ensure strong coordination, communication, and adaptive management across partners, for all elements of the project components, and with USAID/Malawi and private sector companies. He/she is expected to have strategic vision, strong leadership qualities, depth and breadth of technical expertise in project management related to the program’s objectives, and the professional reputation, management experience, interpersonal skills, and written and oral presentation skills to fulfill the diverse technical and managerial requirements of the role.


Strategic, operational and management oversight and leadership of YBAIF

  • Provide strategic direction, technical and management leadership to produce project results
  • Collaboratively creates and implements a strategic, long-term programmatic vision
  • Manage program operations, leading and ensuring the development of annual planning and timely, high quality implementation of activities and deliverables
  • Manage the overall work plan and budget and ensure the submission of timely and accurate program/technical, financial, and procurement reports
  • Monitors the progress and pace of project implementation, assuring that the full potential of the program is realized through the promotion of high quality work and internal control
  • Ensure excellent team performance through leadership, supervision and strong coordination across the YBIAF team members, including multi-disciplinary team of experts made up of direct hires and consultants, MEL and research members, and broader YBAIF teams
  • Ensure close collaboration with Nairobi based administrative, technical, financial, legal and contracts staff of Alliance, to ensure that operational systems are in place to support local YBAIF team and partners’ activities including contracts design and payments
  • Ensure that high quality technical and financial reporting are delivered and timely responsiveness is provided to USAID requests.
  • Select and oversee partners and sub-grantees, monitor project milestones, and ensure that deliverables are submitted in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that the project is responsive to partners.
  • Provide technical leadership for project activities in close collaboration with USAID, through a co-creation approach, including conceptualizing, designing, implementing and monitoring innovative, cutting-edge private sector led, evaluation and learning approaches;
  • Proactively identifies, communicates and addresses obstacles and risks related to implementation in a timely manner and implement strategies to overcome them
  • Exercise sound financial management skills including effective project spending and communicates proactively when changes occur


  • Serve as the principal interlocutor with USAID; Establish and maintain strong relationships with USAID to ensure effective coordination, financial and technical reporting, communication, adaptive management, and learning of project activities, including contract, procedural, and substantive matters, and be responsible for quality control of the technical aspects of performance, procurement, personnel, reporting, and other management-related contract requirements; ensure that the project team adheres to the USAID’s Activity Description and to the procedures, rules and policies of USAID and Alliance of Bioversity-CIAT.
  • Develop and maintain a strong understanding of the national context and relevant initiatives related to resilience, agriculture, community well-being, private sector led development, and social and economic aspects related to resilience in order to ensure that Program outputs and outcomes are relevant to Malawi.
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with local stakeholders, including private sector organizations, relevant ministries and agencies, civil society, international donor institutions, various project stakeholders, and other USAID and U.S. government-funded initiatives, as needed.

Ensure strong performance of YBAIF’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Component

  • Provide thought leadership and technical vision for the learning agenda for the project, use lessons learned to modify project approaches and strategies, and disseminate findings
  • Oversee and ensure the project implementation and deliverables related to Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL)
  • Ensure efficient management and coordination of implementing partners and local partners across the country;
  • Supervise a team of professionals and experts across various technical and functional areas
  • Engage with local stakeholders and community of practice to disseminate lessons learned

Required Qualifications:

  • A minimum of five years of experience as a Chief of Party, Deputy COP, or Project Director with proven success in the design, management, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation on a project of similar size and scope (USAID experience preferred) with skills in strategic planning, work plan and deliverables management, adaptive management, team supervision, complex budgeting, and consortium building, preferably in the areas of resilience, private sector engagement projects and/or program evaluation.
  • Demonstrated understanding of social, economic, legislative, environmental, and cultural contexts, challenges and opportunities in Malawi especially with regard to sustainable economic development and resilience issues;
  • Experience living or working in Malawi preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience working with private sector engagement, business development, innovation and public-private partnerships
  • Proven ability in establishing relationships with public and private sector networks required
  • Masters degree in a relevant field required.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English required

Terms of Employment

This is an international recruited position, the initial contract will be for up to two (2) years, subject to a probation period of six (6) months and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources. The Alliance offers a multicultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits. We are an equal opportunity employer, and strive for gender, diversity and inclusion in our staff, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, marital status, or any other characteristic.

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