Position: Workstream Lead : Market Systems Development

Location(s): Durba (Haut-Uélé Province)

Dates of proposed engagement: June or July 2021

Number of days: Full time





Adam Smith International is a global advisory company that works locally to transform lives by making economies stronger, societies more stable, and governments more effective. We work on behalf of governments, foundations and companies that share our ambition to take on the big challenges facing the world. We have a distinguished track record in the DRC, where we have been implementing market systems development programming for seven years. We follow a “market systems development” approach, which seeks to develop and promote sustainable and scalable solutions to systemic constraints in markets that prevent poor producers and consumers from benefiting from their participation in them.

We are recruiting a full time MSD Lead to work on an upcoming USAID programme. The Garamba Alliance will work under USAID’s HEARTH (Hearth, Ecosystems, and Agriculture for Resilient, Thriving Societies) grant. The activity will bring together a group of local actors from the private sector, civil society, government, and donors to establish a shared view of development for the region surrounding Garamba National Park. By applying a private-sector approach to interventions across Agriculture, Artisanal Mining, Conservation, Renewable Energy, and Vocational Skills Training, the activity will counter the incentives of local populations to pursue environmentally damaging behaviours.

Our key partner in the area is Kibali Mining, the largest gold mine in the DRC and a key driver of development in the region.


Drawing on his/her expertise and previous experience in the area, the Market Systems Development lead will develop and deliver a strategy to establish, nurture, and grow nascent markets in the Agriculture and Renewable Energy sectors. They may also provide support to entrepreneurs in the area who capitalise upon the support offered by the programme. They will work closely with the Vocational Training Lead to provide key support to businesses. Their portfolio is likely to include partnership and grants monitoring with several private sector enterprises, drawing upon and managing short-term consultants to take creative approaches to problem solving and regularly interfacing with our key partner and co-funder, Kibali mining. They will be expected to identify opportunities to bring private sector leverage to the funding: negotiating partnerships and incentives with Congolese enterprises to enter this thin, though high potential market.

Technical knowledge of Agriculture is desired (specialty crops, grains, horticulture, nutrition, and pisciculture) as direct support in this area is likely; we are willing to coach the right candidate on the Renewable Energy sector. The overall objective of the MSD Lead is to attract businesses into the area to create gainful employment for local people and diversify the economy beyond mineral exploitation. As such, an existing knowledge of the Congolese private sector is favoured. 


The Market Systems Development Lead will work in close collaboration with our team in Durba to manage private-sector interventions, reporting directly to the Chief of Party and managing relationships with our key partners in the region (businesses, donors, government agencies, and institutes). She/he will be responsible for the following tasks:

  1. Portfolio
  • Review and implement the strategy for Agriculture and Renewable Energy interventions and annual sector work plan;
  • In collaboration with the team, ensure the delivery of sector-focused targets as agreed with and approved by the Senior Management Team;
  • As appropriate, identify opportunities to engage partners and create growth, and propose these to the Senior Management Team;
  • Effectively manage partner relations including providing support when appropriate for the development of innovative intervention strategies;
  • Work with others sector leads to identify cross-cutting opportunities, such as in Artisanal Mining, Conservation, and Vocational Training;
  • Ensure implementation of inclusive MSD interventions, resulting in concrete and specific outcomes for marginalized groups such as women, youth and minority groups, and reducing the risks of furthering exclusion;
  • Ensure implementation of conflict-sensitive MSD interventions, building off recommendations made by Garamba Alliance’s Political Economy and Conflict Analyst, approved by the Senior Management Team;
  • Identify a series of “quick wins” to build momentum and further opportunity;
  • Identify and liaise with relevant partners and stakeholders to support the replication of the results and good practices generated by our pilot projects. Wherever possible, connect actors within our network to find mutual opportunity and benefit;
  • Ensure that lessons learned are disseminated and applied.
  1. Programme
  • Hold biweekly sector meetings.
  • Lead on submitting inputs to programme and sector reports as required, including:
    Annual report and strategy plan;
  1. Quarterly report;

iii. Regular work tools (such as MSD tools, Sector Tracking Tool, Concept Notes, Partnership Agreements, Invitations to Tender etc.);

  • Participate in other meetings as needed to provide sector inputs;
  • Contribute effectively and efficiently to programme processes including the review of documents related to partnership management;
  • Contribute effectively and efficiently to the Garamba Alliance’s internal and external communication efforts, around programme’s approaches, partnerships and outcomes;
  • Feed in to the monitoring strategy and contribute to reporting. 
  1. People
  • In collaboration with SMT, identify human resource needs for the sector (targeted short-term expertise), draft scopes of work and recommend (or request) the approval from the SMT that will ensure that programme priorities are met;
  • Build strong relationships with counterparts at Kibali Mining and provide support and coaching on the MSD approach. This may include a mentorship scheme;
  • Other tasks as reasonably required by the needs of the project.


All of the Market System Development Lead’s deliverables should follow the standards, templates and procedures set by the programme and Chief of Party. 


  • University Degree or equivalent (MSc preferred) in Agriculture, Development, Economics, or applicable Social Sciences;
  • At least 5 years of experience in development programming in sub-Saharan African (or similar) economic contexts;
  • Familiarity with the Market Systems Development (MSD) approach;
  • Significant experience in Agriculture strongly preferred, particularly relating to value chain, access to and usage of inputs, agribusiness, product marketing, and experience providing technical assistance to smallholder farmers and other Agribusinesses;
  • Knowledge of the DRC Renewable Energy sector and private-sector led electrification solutions is preferred but not essential. Strong quantitative skills and business acumen are essential;
  • Ability to think strategically and design feasible interventions to address systemic constraints in a market system;
  • Excellent negotiation and relational skills to build partnerships with market actors and act as a facilitator in the market;
  • Experience supervising consultants and training junior staff;
  • Excellent analytical and team-working skills;
  • Oral and written fluency in French and English.


The consultant will report to the Chief of Party on technical issues; the Project Management Team on all contractual and financial matters; and the Operations Team on all operational and security-related matters.


  • The consultant will be based in Durba, with travel around the region expected (in accordance with Security and Duty of Care SoPs). For the right candidate, working location can be negotiated with the expectation of at least 50% time in the field.
  • The programme will run for a duration of five years, we expect to receive the outcome in May or June of this year.


Please send a CV and short cover email to Jobs.AllianceGaramba@adamsmithinternational.com with a subject line of “MSD Lead – Name”. Applications will be reviewed periodically, therefore applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.