Position:        Business Partnerships Director (BPD)

Program:       Strongim Bisnis

Location:         Honiara, Solomon Islands with provincial travel

Duration:         Full time

ARF Group/Level:   D3

Direct reporting:     Strongim Bisnis Chief Executive Officer (CEO)




Strongim Bisnis, which commenced in July 2017, is an initiative of the Australian Government in Solomon Islands. The program utilises a market systems development (MSD) approach in its goal to stimulate growth in specific value chains (cocoa, coconut, tourism, timber, horticulture, waste management and financial services). Through its activities it seeks to catalyse innovation, improve business practices, strengthen collaboration, manage risks, build resilience, increase women’s participation and empowerment, and actively involve youth and people with disability. In 2021, Strongim Bisnis commenced its second phase and benefits from significant learning opportunities identified and written up from Phase One.

The program has three end-of-program outcomes (EOPOs):

  1. Private sector enterprises have demonstrated potential for: increased productivity; greater resilience; better risk management; increased income earning opportunities and access to higher value markets; increased efficient use of assets and labour; and use of new business models that promote increased employment, income and trade;
  2. The private sector and government have worked together to increase opportunities for trade and investment, and form external partnerships that encourage business growth and accelerate changes in business practices which result in a more favourable investment climate; and
  3. Women, youth and people with disabilities have improved economic empowerment, measured by their participation in EOPOs 1 and 2 above, and demonstrated success of specific social inclusion measures.

In addition, due to the extraordinary current operating circumstances in the Solomon Islands due to the COVID-19 pandemic and exacerbated by the November 2021 riots, Strongim Bisnis is supporting the private sector, state owned enterprises (SOEs) and key SIG ministries in the short-term to minimise disruption and job losses from the economic impacts of these events.

The team is led by the CEO, with program activities being implemented and monitored by the Program’s technical team comprising the BDP, MSD Adviser, Women’s Economic Empowerment Director, Monitoring and Results Measurement Manager, Communications Manager and eight local technical adviser with short-term technical specialists’ support as required.


Position Summary

The Business Partnership Director (BPD) is responsible for the design, implementation nd management of MSD-based partnerships and representation of the Program in stakeholder engagement. The BPD shares responsibility with the MSD Adviser for the technical design and implementation of MSD strategies for Strongim Bisnis, including identifying and developing strong partnerships with businesses, relevant associations and Solomon Islands Government (SIG) to deliver inclusive and resilient growth.

The position is based in Honiara where the Strongim Bisnis Office is located. The program’s business activities are being implemented nationally, focusing on stimulating pro-poor growth and maximising impact to scale up long term production and opportunity across the provinces. The BPD supports engagement with all stakeholders in target market systems, from smallholder producers within local communities to government ministries, service providers, manufacturers, exporters and investors for sustainable prosperity.

In 2020, the Program updated its market systems analyses (MSAs) for cocoa, coconut products and tourism and researched new MSAs for horticulture, financial services, timber and waste management. These and program learning to date guide the BPD’s work program and approach. This role drives innovation and flexibility, and contributes new thinking across existing and new markets with the aim of developing and facilitating key high-profile partnerships to drive systemic change in the selected sectors towards greater productivity and inclusivity, and increased incomes for poor households in Solomon Islands.

The BPD works closely with the CEO to manage business case development and intervention design for the selected sectors – currently financial services, horticulture, timber, tourism and waste management.  With the MSD Adviser focusing on cocoa and coconut sectors.

The BPD collaborates with the Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Director and the local WEE and Youth Adviser to ensure the development of inclusive MSD analyses and strategies.  They also work closely with the MRM Manager and the local MRM Coordinator to ensure interventions are effectively monitored, implemented and managed using tailored and adaptive approaches, and consistently learn from new information and the changing context over the life of the program.

The BPD manages a team of local Business Advisers (BAs), with each adviser focusing on one of the Program’s target market sectors.  The BPD works closely with their team of BAs prepare business cases, budgets and partnership agreements, implement partnership activities and procurement, and manage partner relations.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Design, in collaboration with stakeholders, activities with a strong MSD rationale including plans for monitoring and reporting results
  • Apply the MSD approach, identifying key constraints and innovative opportunities for business development, diversification and growth
  • Build and maintain productive relationships with relevant stakeholders and key partners in selected sectors, and conduct regular meetings seeking their input and buy-in for the proposed initiatives
  • Build on existing MSAs and program learning to inform clear, relevant and achievable strategies for inclusive MSD in selected sectors
  • Manage partnership negotiations, business case development, partnership agreements development, drafting of ToRs, and other relevant documentation leading to signed partnerships
  • Assist business advisors to prepare business cases and other documentation required by the Assessment Panel
  • Participate in workshops and meetings with partners and support with business advisors to lead in discussions
  • Support business advisors to develop strategic responses to constraints and opportunities identified by partners
  • Work with WEE Director to incorporate WEE and youth and disability inclusive objectives as part of intervention designs
  • Manage partnership budgets and partnership agreements, and oversee the implementation of partnerships and procurement following guidelines set out in the Strongim Bisnis Operations and Flexible Fund Manuals
  • Build and maintain productive relationships and coordination with the AHC and other donor programs in Solomon Islands, and align activities with wider developmental and private sector initiatives conducive to Strongim Bisnis’ objectives
  • Work alongside the CEO to ensure the program builds and maintains a strong reputation within the DFAT portfolio in the Solomon Islands and the Australian Government ownership of the program is visible and acknowledged
  • Represent, alongside with the CEO, the Program at meetings, conferences and other forums as required
  • Provide technical advice and inputs to research and analytical processes to feed into the development of the Annual Plan
  • Work with the CEO and ASI Team to support budget planning, operations and DFAT reporting requirements
  • Support the application of MRM frameworks and data collection and analyses to prove, and improve, program results
  • Work with and provide technical support to the Communications Manager to develop promotional and educative materials to promote the program and events, inform or support partners and other stakeholders
  • Train, mentor and manage all program staff, particularly the BAs, in MSD approaches
  • Lead and build a strong and motivated team of BAs within the Strongim Bisnis team, ensuring effective capacity-building, mentoring and performance management, and promote knowledge sharing within the team
  • Manage Short-term advisers and subcontractors’ inputs for certain activities as agreed with CEO to ensure they fulfil their responsibilities

Required qualifications and experience

  • Ten years’ experience designing and implementing systemic interventions and building strong partnerships with the private sector
  • Demonstrated experience working collegially with various stakeholders across markets, including in remote and rural areas, the private sector, public sector and alongside other complementary developmental activities
  • Applied knowledge, and strong understanding and experience of the MSD approach for pro-poor economic development
  • Experience and quantifiable successes working in thin markets with various impediments to economic growth, ideally in South Pacific island countries
  • Proven capabilities in undertaking MSD analyses including application of participatory research and planning processes; extensive experience in leading assessments contributing to overall socio-economic analysis of communities and development of tailored interventions to suit their characteristics
  • Demonstrated commitment to, and experience in implementing, the principles of gender equality and youth and disability inclusion
  • Experience in capacity building, including training and on the job mentoring of staff
  • Excellent cross-cultural communication skills
  • Relevant degree in international development, economics, business, agriculture or similar

Key Performance Indicators:

  • A portfolio of program activities, including planned expenditure budgets will be agreed after a reasonable settling in period. Delivering on agreed partnership outcomes and meeting agreed budgets are the position’s key deliverables.
  • Delivery of results as outlined in Annual Plans
  • Delivery of results as agreed in the MRM Plan
  • Adaptive management and strong performance management of the business adviser team
  • Strong DFAT annual performance assessments

Please submit your application before Friday 17 June 11:59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to: Molly Bowers at Molly.Bowers@adamsmithinternational.com. Please use the following title: Business Partnerships Director.

Applications should include two pages cover letter addressing the job specifications and required qualifications and experience, a CV of no more than four pages and two professional referees.


Adam Smith International values a diverse workforce and encourages applications from candidates of all background, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisers, as well as Solomon Islanders and regional advisers.