Support Marketing Strategy for Agricultural NGO in Jamaica

Activity/project background

Partner: USDA Food for Progress Jamaica Spices (JaSPICE) Project - ACDI/VOCA (International NGO)

The Food for Progress Jamaica Spices (JaSPICE) Project, awarded to ACDI/VOCA by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), is a five-year (5) project focused on revitalizing Jamaica’s ginger, turmeric and pimento sectors through sustainable agricultural practices, innovations, and robust market led approaches to expand the sale of Jamaican spices products in both the local and export markets.

The JaSPICE project operates on four key pillars which are: to increase access to clean and high-quality planting materials for Jamaican farmers of turmeric, ginger, and pimento; to increase sustainable production and farmer resiliency by providing Jamaican farmers with the requisite technical training required to improve their agricultural competence; to strengthen market connections by improving local and export buyer–seller relationships for targeted spices; and to increase access to funding by strengthening the agricultural linkages with financial institutions and the development of sector appropriate financial products.

In support of the third pillar, a VSPP is being requested to support the marketing functions of the JaSPICE project. This will assist in improving market arrangement, buyer-seller relationships, and coordination within the value chains.

JaSPICE has not previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer or a VSPP. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Assist in interviewing value chain partners to identify strategies to scale production to local, regional, and national markets
• Co-create end market analyses and a market positioning strategy that is in harmony with opportunities identified for the targeted spice products
• Support the identification of opportunities to improve the value chain partners understanding of marketing and business-related functions in their enterprise

This engagement is expected to be approximately 27 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Virtual meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Jamaica time. Specific days and times for weekly meetings will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Microsoft teams meeting platform, emails, WhatsApp, and a shared Google drive for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business management, marketing, finance, or related field

Experience: 3 years’ experience in marketing

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in business management, international business, marketing, finance, or related field

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Familiarity with brand and marketing management, value chain assessment expertise, marketing and branding communications toolkit development, market positioning strategies, and end market analysis

Experience: Experience in the development of private sector landscape analysis (PSLA) tools marketing in agribusiness

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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