Uganda Program Design Associate

Average: 3.3 (364 votes)

One Acre Fund is an agricultural NGO that is innovating a new way of helping farm families to achieve their full potential. In more than five years in Rwanda, We have grown to serve more than  180,000 farm families with 1,500 full-time staff in Rwanda. In Burundi, We have grown to serve 40,000 farm families with over 400 full-time staff. Organization wide, we are on track to serve one million farmers across 10 countries by 2020. We only serve farmers, and we always put Farmers First.


Founded in 2006, One Acre Fund supplies smallholder farmers with the agricultural services they need to make their farms vastly more productive. We provide quality farm supplies on credit, delivered within walking distance of farmers’ homes, and agricultural trainings to improve harvests. We measure our success by our ability to make farmers more prosperous: On average, farmers harvest 50 percent more food after working with One Acre Fund.

We are growing quickly. We currently serve more than 800,000 farm families in Eastern and Southern Africa, with more than 7,500 full-time staff, and we aim to serve 1 million farm families by 2020.


The first half of your job is to ensure our farmers understand our wide set of products and are changing their behaviors accordingly through highly impactful trainings. You work closely with:

  • Our M&E team to understand how we can maximize impact from existing products and behaviors and you update and innovate on our training content accordingly. 
  • Our Product Innovations team to maximize impact from new products, services, and practices
  • Our Field Operations team, who ultimately delivers all the content you are creating, to ensure strong understanding and buy-in behind our products, services and impact strategy. 

Success in your role is measured by our ability to optimize each season’s impact and thereby hit our impact targets.

The second half of your job is to help build our field-facing strategies, setting our Field Team up for success:

  • Work with Operations (Field Operations and Systems) to develop practical solutions to field challenges
  • Design and build the enrollment and repayment strategies for our field team and transform them into understandable training elements for our FIeld Leaders and Field Officers
  • As part of the Steering Committee for Uganda, help to build the long-term country programme direction and strategy
  • Undertake post-mortems at the end of each major programme phase and develop action-focused recommendations for future programme improvements
  • Manage the field team calendar and seasonal activities, support in price setting and product selection. 
  • Sit on the impact working group

Success in these areas will be measured through Field Team performance, specifically repayment of our credit portfolio and hitting growth metrics such as overall farmer numbers.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Creating, monitoring, executing and adjusting (if needed) an Annual Impact Strategy:

  • You will work with the Impact Lead, and in close collaboration with  PI, M&E, Field Ops and our Systems Teams to create/update and present an outstanding Impact Strategy every season.  
  • In addition, to help to create the annual Impact Strategy, you also own the creation of an execution plan to ensure that this strategy is effectively implemented. This includes the coordination of key stakeholders who may be implementing certain aspects of the strategy. 
  • Once launched, you are responsible for monitoring how this strategy plays out in the field and if needed adjust and respond to challenges and opportunities as they unfold   

Optimizing our Impact Training Portfolio/Farmer Training Uptake/Retention: 

  • As we are growing our product portfolio and our program is becoming more complex and  tackling a wider range of challenges such as income diversification, soil health, nutrition, etc. you will need to explore new and innovative ways of delivering training content and/or techniques for better knowledge retention 
  • We expect you to frequently spend a lot of time in the field with our farmers and with the field team to understand what works and what does not so that you constantly re-iterate and improve our techniques for behavior change.
  • Lastly, it’s critical that you operate through the formal processes set up by the Field Team to ensure the right content goes out at the right time - in each and every district  

Protecting our Farmers from External Impact Threats: 

    • To minimize the time spent on responding to unforeseen impact threats, you will: 
      • Work with our global/in-country team to prevent/prepare our farmers for the biggest impact threat.
      • Work across our Field and Systems team to ensure we have the systems/protocols build-out to respond to risks with minimal disruptions 
    • Keep a close eye on our Client Engagement database and foster an ongoing dialogue with Field Leaders to pick up challenges as early as possible.
    • In the event of unforeseen challenges, you will help: 
  • Prioritize the response: Deprioritize and carefully weigh the cost of the response against the risk.  You quickly and systematically quantify an impact risk and advise if/how we respond 
  • Coordinate/optimize the response: Your leadership skills here could range from ‘only’ securing agronomic advice from experts and ensuring Field Ops update next week’s meeting agenda to rapidly aligning the organization behind a seed swap
  • Learning for the future: Ensure that lessons learned to reach the team that can proactively prevent the risk in the future

Planning Field Activities

  • Building out detailed processes and plans for each seasonal activity. 
  • Monitoring and trading off activities for the field team were needed to prioritize tasks at the appropriate time. 
  • Coordinating between different departments to feed into field-based actions

Team Management

  • You manage the Programme Design team. You will be responsible for their professional development, performance, efficiency and team culture in accordance with One Acre Fund management principles and expectations.


We have a strong culture of constant learning and we invest in developing our people. You’ll have weekly check-ins with your manager, access to mentorship and training programs, and regular feedback on your performance. We hold career reviews every six months and set aside time to discuss your aspirations and career goals. You’ll have the opportunity to shape a growing organization and build a rewarding long-term career.


We are seeking one exceptional professional with 5+ year(s) of work experience and ideally a demonstrated passion for our mission.  Candidates who fit the following criteria are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Strong educational background; degrees in Rural Development, Agronomy, or research in rural environments preferred.
  • 5+ years of relevant work experience which includes qualitative and quantitative research on smallholder agriculture, with an emphasis on behavior change and adoption of improved technologies (products or practices), preferably including some work around agroforestry.
  • Experience of working in Extension Services, or implementing development programs in rural locations preferred.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience at work, or outside of work, enthusiasm for learning, and openness to feedback.
  • Ability to build teams and collaborate with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
  • Language: English required. Luganda and/or Lusoga strongly desired.
  • Prior experience with research and extension project design and management, ideally including participatory methods, on-farm trials, surveys, and focus groups  
  • Strong interpersonal skills to effectively collaborate and coordinate work across multiple teams
  • Ability to easily explain complex technical concepts in plain language
  • Strong ability to stay organized to simultaneously manage the complexity of our products, regions, calendars, effectively prioritizing to meet short- and long-term deadlines 
  • Analytical ability to effectively identify and prioritize impact opportunities 
  • Passion for collaborating with and training others, with strong experience in contributing to capacity building and professional development of colleagues and direct reports 
  • Humility. We have a fantastic and likable team. We are looking for passionate professionals who combine strong leadership skills with good humor, patience, and a humble approach to service. 
  • We place a lot of value on the ability to proactively respond to open and frank feedback in order to grow as individuals and a team as well as constructively and respectfully give feedback 


As soon as possible


Jinja, Uganda


Commensurate with experience


Full-time job.


Health insurance paid time off


Yes. Uganda country nationals / East Africans are strongly encouraged to apply.

One Acre Fund never asks candidates to pay any money or pay for tests at any stage of the interview process. Official One Acre Fund emails will always arrive from an address. Please report any suspicious communication here (