Director, Policy Unit

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Position :                          Director, Policy Unit

Term of Employment :   One Year with possibility of extension

Duty Station(s) :              Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Required Number:         One

Salary & Benefits :           Competitive

Application Deadline :    May 27, 2021


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 smallholder farmers are commercialized with greater incomes, inclusiveness, resilience and sustainability, contributing to  transformed agriculture by 2030.

The agency focuses on two primary national approaches to catalyze agricultural transformation. First, we support the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), and its federal and regional affiliate institutions and other partners to identify and address systemic bottlenecks within the sector’s development plan. Second, we support Regional Governments to accelerate the development of high-priority commodity value chains in clearly defined geographic clusters, through the Agricultural Commercialization Clusters (ACC) Program.


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, with regional office representations 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.

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 teamwork 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.


About the Policy Unit :

ATA’s  Policy Unit  Director is a leadership position that works with other Senior Directors and Directors across the Agency, as well as senior leadership at key government, development, and private sector partners, to execute high-impact, policy related assignments. The team consists of a Director, Senior Policy Analyst (Economist), and Senior Legal Expert.

The   Policy unit  is a distinct unit of ATA to support the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) to drive the revision of the Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) Policy and its implementation. The Ministry of Agriculture has initiated a revision of the ARD policy in line with the country’s broad economic reform program. The drafting process has engaged government institutions and experts from across the sector. Major policy departures and revision ideas have been outlined with a clear policy direction and they will be presented to senior government leadership including the Macro Economic Committee and the Cabinet of Ministers. As the draft has reached a stage where it requires detailed analysis and stakeholder linkage and coordination to translate the policy directions into policy instruments, the Ministry of Agriculture has delegated the Agriculture Transformation Agency (ATA) to drive the revision effort on its behalf. To support this objective, ATA has set up Policy Unit to provide technical and strategic coordination to effectively align and ensure synergies among the various streams of work and engagements that support the ARD policy revision and reform process. The Unit will be at the center of the ARD policy reform serving as a secretariat to ensure timely and effective implementation.

Position Summary:

The Director for   Policy unit  is a critical senior role and will be involved across institutions with major emphasis on the agriculture and rural development policy revision. In particular, the Director will coordinate the execution of policy-focused studies, directives, rules and regulations, which focus on identifying, assessing policy and drafting instruments for the implementation of the series of policy directions provided under the revised ARD policy.

The Director supports the preparation & planning phase for establishing the Unit and its role in the policy revision: setting up detailed work plan for obtaining all the necessary stakeholder engagement and implementing the draft policy; results framework for tracking and measuring the effectiveness of the overall policy revision as well as identification of areas that require studies/analyses and development of analytical plan and terms of reference for each policy thematic area.

He or she will work closely with other ATA and MoA Management Team, to provide thought partnership, guidance and support for the approval of the draft revised policy, how policymakers can be most effectively engaged, and the specific policy and economic analysis required to draft and approve the associated policy instruments.

He or she will also manage several policy partnerships and studies outsourced to local and international firms/experts/think thanks. He or she will review and input to policy study TORs, plans and reports, facilitate interaction between study partners and other key stakeholders, and manage regular updates and other activities to ensure the studies are completed on time and to the quality required.

To ensure the impact of the work of the  Policy Unit,  the Director will need to maintain strong relationships and lead discussions with senior policymakers across government, as well as relevant development actors and private sector partners. Monitoring, coordination, and long-term implementation support: supporting and monitoring the implementation of the ARD policy reform.

Significant experience and proven success leading and delivering high-impact, challenging policy-related analysis, stakeholder consultation, and engagement with policymakers is therefore required. A strong passion for transforming agriculture and improving the lives of smallholder farmers and pastoralists is highly preferred.


The Director for Policy Unit  is accountable for ensuring:

  • Implementation framework for ARD policy issues that are identified for revision as well as for new policy issues is developed through extensive stakeholder consultations and submitted.
  • Results framework for tracking and measuring the effectiveness of the overall policy revision is prepared and submitted.
  • Analytical plan and terms of reference for policy thematic areas that require studies/analyses is prepared and submitted.
  • Action plan for engagement with policy implementing public institutions is prepared and submitted to and endorsed by the MoA and communicated to all such institutions.
  • Regular and other reports on the implementation of revised and new policy issues are prepared and submitted to MoA/ATA on time

  Essential Duties:

  • Coordinate and/or participate in joint planning and alignment workshops with partners focused on the consultation and approval of the draft revised ARD policy as well as policy instrument development once the policy is approved at the Council of Ministers.
  • Preparation of a short-term, medium –term, and long-term plan for the implementation of the revised policy
  • Resource mobilization and partnership building for the implementation of the revised policy.
  • Coordinate the analytical works required to develop the policy instruments to support the implementation of the revised ARD policy
  • Collaborate with the Analytics team in the ATA to the development of the Analytics approach to policy focused work, including prioritization of policy analyses, preferred analytical approaches and tools, engagement model with clients, local partners and senior policy makers, standard output formats, and other areas
  • Join case teams to take on policy-focused work, including problem structuring, data collection, quantitative and qualitative analysis, leading stakeholder engagement, drafting policy documents (i.e. proclamations, regulations, guidelines, directives), and presenting to senior policy makers
  • Provide expert guidance and advisory support to other Analytical case teams where lighter support such as validation of methodology, modelling approach, assumptions or outputs is required
  • Develop the approach to contract out policy analysis to partner institutions and service providers, locally and internationally, and oversee quality control of the deliverables
  • Manage relationships with specific partners and service providers for externally contracted work, and oversee specific engagements to ensure outputs are fit for purpose
  • Oversee policy assessments to inform agenda?setting and identification and prioritization of sector-wide or sub-sector policy issues
  • Share or present studies to policymakers and at existing policy forums or by organizing roundtables
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships and lead discussion with senior policymakers across government partners, as well as relevant development sector and private sector partners
  • The position reports to the DG of ATA and Matrix Managed by the Minister, MoA

Job Requirements

  • PhD in Public Policy, Economics or closely related fields from a reputable University is required.
  • At least five years of combined experience required in structuring and managing policy analysis within the government, at a research or think-tank organizations.
  • Proven ability to develop credible, evidence-based policy advice and effectively liaise with senior policymakers, as well as development partners, non-governmental and private sector organizations
  • Policy analysis experience in consulting or government setting, in areas such as program design and evaluation, cost-benefit analysis/investment cases, price stabilization and minimum support prices for agricultural commodities, investment incentives and private sector development, design/enhancement of regulatory processes and enforcement.
  • Exceptional ability to communicate clearly and effectively with a range of stakeholders in a cross-cultural environment (fluency in English is essential)
  • Highly collaborative management style and demonstrated success in managing and developing high-performance policy staff and teams
  • Strong understanding and appreciation of the country’s broad economic reform program, the rationale and what it will mean for agriculture and rural development
  • Strong set of personal values including integrity, honesty and desire to be of service

How to Apply

We invite all candidates meeting the required qualifications to send (i) a cover letter, (ii) CV ( maximum 5 pages),  and (iii) a completed  online ATA Application Form at

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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