STARS Deputy Project Manager

we are looking for an experienced and high-performing: Deputy Project Manager (DPM), full time.

ICCO Cooperation is an enterprising global development organization, that seeks motivated colleagues to support our mission. Are you committed to create a world where people can live in dignity and secure their livelihoods? Then we would like to meet you.

From a coherent Theory of Change, ICCO Cooperation designs, manages and implements
programs with focus on economic empowerment, food and nutrition security and emergency response. Responsible business and inclusiveness are cross-cutting issues. We not only implement programs that help farmers and small agribusinesses grow, we also offer brokering services for public-private partnerships. ICCO Cooperation is experienced in working with a wide range of financial tools. 

The Strengthening African Rural Smallholders (STARS) program is implemented by ICCO Cooperation and ICCO Terrafina Microfinance in partnership with Mastercard Foundation; targeting 210,000 rural farmers in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Senegal. STARS is addressing challenges that smallholder farmers (SHFs) face such as limited skills, minimal access to markets and limited access to appropriate financial products such as loans. The STARS program runs till beginning of 2021 and applies the Market Systems Development approach (M4P) in its interventions with partners.

In order for ecosystems to develop in their local context, STARS influences market sectors by building and showcasing successful market-models and interventions that can scale-up, ultimately creating wealth for more SHFs. The STARS program is organised in three pillars; Access to Finance, Value Chain Development and Monitoring Evaluation Learning. Given the diversity of the program and the need to scale up, we are looking for an experienced and high-performing:

Deputy Project Manager (DPM), full time.

As STARS’ DPM you are responsible for developing and implementing our annual strategy in the four countries. Your base is preferably in the capital of one of the implementing countries.

Your work includes:

  • Monitor performance of the country teams to ensure all milestones set in the annual work plan are met, develop mitigation plans to reduce risks and take corrective actions to remedy any deviation from the work plans;
  • Together with the other MT members, create synergy between program implementation, MERL and planning and budgeting, and contributes to a culture of organizational learning and adaptive management with the implementing team
  • Guide team members to fulfill the project’s strategic and intermediate goals and objectives.
  • Manage and mentor senior staff, delegate responsibilities as appropriate. Clearly communicate expectations for staff performance.
  • Lead the use of Market Systems Approach (M4P) in all aspects of program design and implementation
  • Account and report to Programme Director and partner on project performance;
  • Guide knowledge development, documentation and communication 
  • With staff and partners, translate project goals and objectives into implementable strategies and plans. Oversee the preparation of quarterly and annual project activity reports, M&E reports, and other deliverables, as specified in the agreement.
  • Provide coaching that emphasizes strategic collaboration and effectively facilitates behavior change among market actors
  • Provide in depth analysis of agricultural market ecosystems, including new linkages, new markets, potential buyers and investors, product trends, etc.
  • Establish and develop strategic partnerships in each of the markets
  • Further build, strengthen and manage partnerships with government bodies, key partners, institutions and stakeholders;
  • Bring and leverages private and public sector partnerships and relationships to overcome market system constraints.
  • Represent the project at meetings, conferences, and other events.

 You will work with our program staff, stakeholders on the ground in the implementing countries and partners including Microfinance Institutions (MFI), Banks, Producer Organizations (POs), NGOs, agri-businesses, donors and corporates who share an interest in advancing the professionalism of POs. You will collaborate closely with the operations team to ensure our communications help us increase STARS’ visibility, to strengthen our role as sector influencer, and to enhance stakeholder satisfaction. You will be part of an international and ambitious team, working locally from the four country offices and from our global office in The Netherlands.

You are a professional with the drive to take ICCO-STARS to the next level in the last two years of implementation. You will set and manage our agenda, while doing hands-on work to improve and co-create our products and services.


  • Member of senior management team overseeing project delivery. 
  • Based on your vision of the opportunities and considering the available resources, you can translate this vision into an actionable roadmap, setting clear priorities.
  • The DPM is responsible for the operational implementation of the program and works alongside the Finance manager and the MERL manager.
  • Responsible for managing four country leads, VCD / MFI implementation in-country.


  • 5 years minimum proven experience in economic development program; design and implementation using market systems approach, either in the field of agriculture or in fInancial sector development;
  • Excellent social and networking skills, ability to engage with the private sector, civil society and governments;
  • Strong strategic decision-making and communication skills including reporting and presentation skills;
  • Able to strategically inspire and energise multi- partner project teams;
  • Attention to detail and ability to effectively and efficiently perform multiple tasks and balance competing priorities;
  • Is a team player, has a ‘can do’ and hands-on mentality, imperative for a small team;
  • Is an extravert, confident, as well as a good listener and a good communicator;
  • Is fluent in English and preferably French;
  • Shares wide responsibility with the program director and takes up tasks outside the job description if they are imperative for ICCO-STARS.

We offer

Be part of a motivated group of colleagues with ambitious goals and working in a professional, though informal, working environment;
Preferably based in one of the implementing countries, 40% travel and a competitive salary.

How to apply

Please send your CV of not more than 3 pages and a motivation of interest to Mrs. Victoire Umutesi Only email applications shall be considered. All applications should be clearly marked: “ICCO Cooperation – DPM “STARS” and no email should exceed 3MB. Please note that only those selected will be contacted. Any form of lobbying will lead to automatic disqualification. 

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