Project Extension Officer, Technology Innovation

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Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.


Creating Wealth in Malawi’s Groundnuts Value Chain through Digital Solutions & Investment ‘nDi Chuma’ is a project-based in Mchinji, Malawi which seeks to create wealth in Malawi’s groundnuts value chain through digital solutions and investment. The Technology Innovation Project Officer will report to the nDi Chuma Project Manager while working in concert with Technology Innovation Manager and relevant local staff to develop and test planned digital interventions which will: 1) maximize smallholder farmer’s yield, 2) defend their rights to a fair market, and 3) enable their access to affordable capital. To support the testing of digital solutions, this position will focus on facilitating educational workshops, supporting technology set-up, supporting testing, and performing qualitative assessments which will inform feedback cycles through user-centric interviews with project participants. While this position will be supported with a comprehensive onboarding process, applicants should have a working knowledge of blockchain, cryptocurrency, smart contracts, and (preferably) DAOs so they can ‘hit the ground running’. This role is extremely hands-on, entrepreneurial, creative, and interactive, and will require strong communication and organizational skills. Applicants must have experience conducting human-centered/user-centric design exercises and be comfortable working within uncertain innovation environments. It is expected that the Technology Innovation Project Extension Officer will be able to maintain reliable communication across time zones and among relevant local staff and a 65% estimate of field hours.

Essential Character Traits:

You will thrive in this role if you are: naturally curious and resourceful; you have excellent observational skills and deeply understand what it means to see things from a ‘user’s perspective’; you have high organizational skills and can naturally synthesize field observations into meaningful insights; you can manage uncertainty and are familiar with methodologies like Agile, Lean, Human-Centered Design; and you have enough background in blockchain and cryptocurrencies to learn and operate the technical parts of the project.


A. Facilitate, Educate, & Onboard (10%)

  • Develop materials to inform community participants of the technology intervention(s) and benefits.
  • Facilitate workshop/training activities with community members.
  • Onboard community members onto the DAO and related tools and support testing as needed.
  • Develop high-quality workshop materials to be delivered to project participants at each workshop.
  • Successfully facilitate community workshops and trainings at the initiation, mid-term, and conclusion of the project.
  • Submit workshop reporting as needed.
  • Onboard all project participants onto technology platforms and support testing (training will be provided).

B. Support Intervention Operations (25%)

  • Support project processes on the DAO and related tools.
  • Manage in-field project requirements in a timely manner.
  • Interface with SMEs to support relevant project areas that require groundnut-specific expertise.
  • Support write-ups as applicable.
  • Participate in stakeholder meetings and serve as a representative of the project’s end-users.
  • Perform operational roles as needed and defined throughout the course of the project’s implementation.
  • Perform key project operational processes in a timely manner, including management of the DAO and related tools (trainings will be provided).
  • Collaborate with SMEs to complete operational processes which require groundnut-specific expertise.
  • Identify and raise risks and issues in a timely manner.
  • Attend project meetings and report on project status as needed.
  • Produce writeups, meeting notes, and project status reporting as needed

C. Design, Test, Interview, & Report (65%)

  • Participate in design workshops to identify in-field experiments to conduct user tests.
  • Perform user tests and collect detailed feedback from interviews with project participants.
  • Facilitate qualitative assessments with relevant project staff.
  • Participate in synthesis exercises to extract key insight from in-field testing and assessments.
  • Perform project reporting as needed in required formats.
  • Perform user testing in-field with project participants.
  • Perform user interviews in-field with project participants.
  • Deliver high-quality qualitative data collection- inclusive of audio, visual (photographic), and written summaries.
  • Submit 3 blog posts with photos at the initiation, mid-term, and conclusion of the project

Minimum Requirements:

  1. Applicants should have a minimum of 2 years working on technology innovation, or design thinking, or user research, or product management.
  2. Applicants should also have a working understanding of blockchain technologies (smart contracts, cryptocurrency, DAOs, NFTs, etc).

Most Critical Proficiencies:

  1. A degree in Business, Product Development, Software Development, Design Thinking or a related field, or related experience.
  2. Demonstrated ability to carry out User Research/ Human-Centered Design/ Design Thinking work
  3. Working knowledge of blockchain technologies
  4. Demonstrated ability to learn about technical concepts independently and quickly
  5. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  6. Strong writing skills (ability to be brief, clear, and deliver quality information in writing)
  7. Extremely organized, responsive, and accountable
  8. Fluency in both spoken and written English and Chichewa

Desired Proficiencies:

  1. Experience working in blockchain product development
  2. Proven experience in generating innovative solutions and engaging in Lean methodologies
  3. Experience working with women and men smallholder farmers
  4. Basic knowledge of the groundnuts value chain
  5. Basic knowledge of issues associated with poverty, hunger, and the environment
  6. Basic knowledge of community development in principles and practices

Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands:

  1. Digitally proficient
  2. Ability and willingness to work a flexible schedule
  3. Ability and willingness to travel extensively and use a motorcycle.
  4. Good interpersonal skills and an ability to work cooperatively, tactfully, and diplomatically with a culturally diverse group of people
  5. Demonstrate honesty and integrity, and commitment to a high standard of accountability
  6. Ability to foster and maintain a spirit of unity, teamwork, and cooperation
  7. Sensitivity in working with multiple cultures and beliefs, and to gender equity

To apply for this job please visit .

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