Team: Programs | Commitment: Volunteer | Location: Ethiopia

Farmer-to-Farmer Volunteer Consultant

Host Organization:                 Feed the Future Ethiopia Farm Service Center Project

Assignment Location:             Addis Ababa

Duration of Assignment:         Up to20 working days



Develop FSC Financial Management tools



May 2017/June 2017 (10 working days in country plus travel days, and up to 10 working days remotely)



Design an FSC Financial Management and Operations Standard Operations Toolkit with Templates.

Program Description:


The Feed the Future Ethiopia Farm Service Center Project (herein after called the “Project”) is a three-year initiative implemented by CNFA in partnership with USAID. The project provides technical assistance and implementation support to the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) in establishing 20 Farm Service Centers (FSCs) throughout the Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ (SNNPR), and Tigray regions of Ethiopia. The main goal of the project is to improve smallholder farmers’ access to agricultural inputs, improved agricultural technologies and good agricultural practices and improve farm productivity, food security and incomes. The Project directly addresses the USAID/Ethiopia Strategic Objective of “increased growth and resiliency in rural Ethiopia” and directly aligns with the United States Government’s (USG) Feed the Future initiative goal to “sustainably reduce poverty and hunger” and Government of Ethiopia’s (GOE) priority areas of increasing smallholder productivity through improved access to inputs and agronomic and veterinary services.

The central goal of the project is to further institutionalize the Farm Service Center (FSC) Business Model within the Ethiopian ATA’s transformation agenda, which aims to improve smallholder farmers’ production and productivity. The Project has three intervention areas, namely:

IR 1: Improved capacity of ATA to implement rural development programs;

IR 2: Increased competitiveness of EGAA agricultural input suppliers PLC; and 

IR 3: Improved Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning capacity of ATA. 

In addition, the Project intervenes across a range of cross-cutting activities including gender integration, environmental stewardship, communications and public outreach, leveraging partnerships, and coordinating with relevant local initiatives. In the implementation process, the Project combines expertise of Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) volunteers and local experts to supplement internal capabilities.  

Through the establishment of 20 FSCs, the Project is leveraging more than $3.12 million in new investments from participating Ethiopian entrepreneurs. The FSCs supply high quality and affordable agricultural inputs to more than 100,000 smallholder farmers, facilitating the creation of over 150 direct new jobs at FSCs and providing training in best agricultural practices and input-demand creation activities to 10,300 smallholder farmers.  

Assignment Description:

Currently ATA is in the process of finalizing the ribbon-cutting events that will launch 10 FSCs into operation. CNFA believes that FSC start-up operations influence the FSCs’ level of success. As FSCs emerge, it is critical to have Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in place to establish strong financial management systems and processes and ensure that FSC finances adhere to locally and internationally recognized accounting and financial management standards and protocols. Additionally, SOPs can help FSC owners maintain reliable financial statements and reports. The first year of operation is a critical time for FSC staff and managers to acquire sufficient business management experience while Project support is still available. The Project will only cover salaries and some operational costs for approximately 12-15 months with the assumption that within that time frame, the FSCs will build a sufficient customer base and generate a steady cash flow to carry the business forward in subsequent years.

Major Responsibilities:


On the first assignment day, the Project will provide sample Standard Operating Procedures for FSC administration and operations in order to demonstrate the Project’s expectations. This assignment is about the development of a comprehensive and hands-on Standard Operating Procedures Manual for financial systems tailored specifically to FSC operations.


·           Assess and gather relevant information about existing FSC financial record keeping and reporting processes (questionnaires, reviews of existing FSC processes to design SOPs that can be replicable across FSCs).

·           Develop financial management Standard Operating Procedures to be used across FSCs.

o   Accounting process descriptions from source documents to financial report preparations.

o   Design accounting codes for overall FSC operations.

o   Define an internal control system including segregation of duties and dual controls.

o   Basic accounting records tools (receipts, journals, payroll, payment vouchers) and methods of recording (e.g. depreciation, purchases, sales).

o   Financial policy, recording and accounting procedures.

o   Develop templates for all accounting systems and types.


Desired Qualifications of Volunteer:

 MA/MSc Degree and above in a relevant field with extensive experience in financial management systems development for over 10 years.

– Practical experience in financial management and systems design;

– Excellent project planning, business management and communications skills;

– Exposure to USAID or other donor-funded programs;

– Excellent financial and organization skills and attention to detail;

– Must be citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.


Desired Impacts:

·    Increased number of new FSCs with vested interest in implementation of uniform financial management SOPs;

·    Increased number of new FSCs with strong financial record-keeping processes.


Host Profile Verification Items

·     Number of FSCs implementing uniform financial SOPs increased.


Assignment Itinerary:


Day 1:

Morning: Meet with the Project’s Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party, and Finance Specialist to refine the overall expected outcome of the assignment.  

Afternoon: Meet with the DCOP to get an overview of current program assignment timetable review.


Days 2-3: Visit Bishoftu FSC to gather information and templates how existing FSCs conduct finance-related operations.


Days 4-6: Visit Shashemene FSC to gather information and templates how existing FSCs conduct finance-related operations.


Days 7-10: Begin developing SOPs and templates, develop accompany training PPTs and deliver assignment debriefing with the field office.


Days 11-18: Finalize the development of SOPs and templates, develop accompany training PPTs.


Day 19: Share finalized copies of deliverables with the Field Office for final approval.


Day 20: Incorporate any additional feedback into documents, finalize deliverables and submit to Field Office.



1. Hotel Accommodations:

·   Desalegn Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;

·   Contact Information: +251 116 624524;

·    Desalegn Hotel will arrange airport pick-up and transport to the hotel.


2. Transportation Facilities:

·    Feed the Future Ethiopia Farm Service Project will provide daily pick-up to the hotel and office and hotel;

·    Provide business trips transportation and translation facilities.


3. Communications:

·     The project will provide a mobile phone and credit for the entire assignment period.


Recommended Preparation:

·     The month of May is a relatively hot season in Ethiopia.

·      It is also recommended that the Volunteer Consultant should take anti-malarial medication and receive all necessary vaccines prior to departure from home country. 

·      It is recommended to keep medicine and other important items with you in your handbag or carry on in case luggage is misplaced during transit.



CNFA requests that each volunteer completes at least eight hours of outreach after returning from an assignment.  This includes newspaper articles, presentations, any conversations you had about your project, and other modes of communication. Please keep this in mind during your project, and ensure that you are taking notes to correspond with photographs, meetings, or notable activities.  Your Washington DC coordinator will follow up with you both during a debriefing and again several months after your assignment is completed to get an update of your outreach efforts.

Contact Information:

CNFA – Ethiopia

Martha Zewdie

Administration Officer

CNFA Feed the Future Farm Service Center Project Ethiopia

+251(0)911-468452 [mobile]

Feed the Future Farm Service Center Project Office Address

Yeshi Building, 4th Floor

Bole Road

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Azeb Teshale

Reception & Secretary

CNFA Feed the Future Farm Service Center Project


+251(0)911-747359 [mobile]


Project Host(s) in Ethiopia

·   USAID Feed the Future Ethiopia Farm Service Center Project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

·   For information regarding FSCs visit

·   For information regarding ATA visit