Monday, February 13, 2012

Lead Extension Agents

Job Description: Lead Extension Agents
Location (based in)  :Patharghata Union, Barguna District (1)
Kurigram Municipality, Kurigram District (1)
Supervisor  :Project Manager in either Barguna or Kurigram
Technical Supervisor : Homestead Nutrition Coordinator – Dhaka
Supervises :Garden Extension Agents based in Kurigram and Barguna
Direct Coordination :Area Supervisors in Kurigram and Barguna

Terre des hommes Foundation Lausanne (Tdh) is a member of the International Federation of Terre des hommes. Its Bangladesh Delegation office (BDO), situated in Dhaka, oversees the Foundation’s ongoing mother and child health & nutrition (MCH/N), and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities. Tdh’s model of action focuses on preventing acute malnutrition in disaster prone areas per recognised standards of good practice. Eliminating the environmental causes of waterborne disease and promoting dietary diversification are key components to improving children’s health and nutrition. Disaster risk reduction is a key component of all activities.

In the northern District of Kurigram, Tdh has been operating since 1974; implementing its work directly, with 170 staff members. MCH/N initiatives (including WASH software) cover one rural riverine area and two peri-urban areas (pop. ~150,000). Tdh also administers two health centers and a therapeutic feeding center known as a Specialized Nutrition Unit (SNU).

In the southern Borguna District, Tdh has maintained a presence since responding to 2007’s Cyclone Sidr. Since January 2011, Tdh and his local partner Multi-Task are piloting a MCH/N project with WASH initiatives in Patharghata Union using the core methodology of its work in Kurigram, with added intervention in drinking water (pond sand filters) and latrines (UDDT – “Ecosan”) in 12 villages.

To augment the integrity and quality of its MCH/N interventions, in 2011 Tdh piloted a homestead gardening component within its model of action.  The garden designs are specific to DRR needs in peri-urban slums in Kurigram and coastal areas along the Bay of Bengal. The roles and responsibilities of the Lead Extension Agent will help Tdh to develop the homestead gardening project with community-led systems for monitoring and evaluation. Position holder will liaise with national and international experts to establish and implement the project.

General responsibilities:

The Lead Extension Agent (LEA) will work closely with Garden Extension Agents (frontline workers among women’s groups) under the technical supervision of the Homestead Nutrition Diversification Coordinator. Her/his main duty is to ensure learning related to homestead gardening techniques both on the part of Tdh and in the local communities. S/he encourages participation of the women’s group members to practice Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture on their homesteads.

Specific Responsibilities

  •     Provides training and technical support for Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture in the homestead; however also learns from farmers rather than only transferring new techniques
  •     Liaises with Garden Extension Agents and directly with women’s groups formed within Tdh’s existing mother and child health project
  •     Supervises work of Garden Extension Agents, per action plans as agreed with the HNDC
  •     Receives monitoring  data at the Union-level from Garden Extension Agents, which includes household self-monitoring exercises and direct collection and synthesizes for project reporting on a monthly basis according to prescribed formats
  •     Coordinates with the Project Manager for the health,  nutrition and WASH aspects of Tdh’s work in the Union
  •     Assists Project Manager to network with local authorities (DAE) and other agencies and stakeholders doing similar homestead gardening work
  •     Extensive field visits (75%) to accomplish all of the above, especially for assisting Garden Extension Agents
  •     Respects the Tdh Child Protection Policy and commits to inform the Country Representative and head office in case of any allegations or possibility of child abuse.

Candidate Profile

  •     Diploma in Agriculture, BSc or BA
  •     Field experience minimum 2 years working with farmers is desirable but willingness to learns from farmers is essential
  •     Women are particularly encouraged to apply
  •     Familiarity with low external input or organic systems is an advantage
  •     Personal social skills in rural communities more important than overall years or work experience
  •     Job almost entirely field based, must be willing to spend most of the day visiting farmers and sharing with them on garden progress and production, listening to their issues, learning and documenting any adaptations of the new designs.  Patience as rural women with little formal education will need you to understand their lives and priorities

Preference given to candidates ready to start working on or before 12th March

Language – Bangla and English (this management position requires a level of English that allows interaction with international consultants)

Attributes: Willingness to undergo practical garden training and provide hands-on demonstrations to staff and beneficiaries alike is essential. Likewise, the position calls for willingness to learn from farmers as well as share new ideas with them; must be willing to roll up the sleeves and spend considerable of the time in the field – this is not a “desk job”. Interpersonal social skills in rural communities more important than overall years of work experience

Gender Policy – women encouraged to apply, point of entry to this programme through rural women already involved in attending MCH; project will target whole family

Child Protection Policy – To prevent abuse of children in any and all forms, Terre des hommes requires utmost respect for its institutional Child Protection Policy. A pre-hiring background check, and on-the-job orientation and training are part of the induction process.

Salary Range: 
18,000 per month (13 months per annum)

Interested candidates are requested to send their curriculum vitae and cover letter in English through email to before the 25th February 2012. Any sort of persuasion will be treated as disqualification.

The following elements have to be mentioned in cover letters:

  •     Current salary
  •     2 professional references (former supervisors) with contact information
  •     Earliest date of availability

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