Program Innovations Trial Lead

Own the scope, design, planning and execution of what is likely our biggest bet ever - the High Impact/Lean Model Trial which ambitiously targets increasing our total impact whilst also lowering our operating costs.

Job overview

Various teams
Location Type


Currently serving over 50,000 farm families, One Acre Fund has continued to expand their operations throughout Tanzania since opening in 2013.

Job Description

Innovation and constant improvement is the life blood of One Acre Fund. Our Program Innovations Department sits under our Field Operation Division and is tasked with designing, launching, and measuring the success of a portfolio of trials which all aim towards improving our Social Return on Investments (SROI). This can be achieved either by driving impact (through scale building trials) or by reducing our spend by farmer by various efficiency plays.

In this role you are owning the scope, design, planning and execution of our highest priority project - The High Impact/Lean Model Trial which ambitiously targets increasing our total impact whilst also lowering our operating costs. With the High Impact/Lean Model Trial we aim address some of our biggest challenges and opportunities in Tanzania:

  • Low farmer retention/low village penetration
  • High maize dependency/lack of crop diversification
  • High operating costs following low population density/vast distances

In short, we are interested in exploring if a set of combined and well chosen interventions around product pricing, product offering, and staffing could lead to significantly higher farmer interest and retention - thereby increasing impact. In order to fund these investments and decrease the complexity of our traditional core model we are interested in exploring some radical simplifications (e.g. meeting frequency/staffing structures) and/or tech solution (e.g. ‘paperless’ using tablets). We would look to trial this in a 20-25 village size pilot (~6,000 farmers) in one isolated district in the first year. Ultimately, the goal of this trial is to to scale up our Tanzania program with a higher SROI.

Responsibilities & Expectations

Project/Trial Management

  • Build out a detailed trial project plan (incl. Theories of Change/identifying Leap of Faith) and calendar which you hold you and your team accountable against.
  • Work with our Finance Advisory Services to build a detailed financial model including a basic sensitivity analysis.
  • Evaluate and determine what to adopt, adapt or redesign in order to meet the trial objectives:
    • Field strategies and tools
    • Management structures
    • Team Structures
    • Systems Support
  • It’s important to note that we are not to looking to change what already works - but to choose specific components of our current core model which we would like to re-design with clear arguments and/or data backing up why.
  • A critical component of the trial design is to work with our Monitoring and Evaluation team to ensure we can measure the effectiveness of our interventions.

Operations Management

  • Once the design phase is over, this role includes preparing, closely monitoring and reporting progress/results around:
    • Hiring and onboarding a strong Field Team and thereafter ongoing field staff performance and motivation.  
    • Facilitate Government introductions and communication.
    • Execute Enrollment in collaboration with Business Operations & Input Delivery in collaboration with Logistics.
    • Monitor our important agricultural season/track Key Performance Indicators throughout the year track .

People Management

  • Directly manage a Trial Coordinator/Field Director and a Operational Support/Training Supervisor.
  • Ensure everyone—from your direct reports to the newest Field Officer in our program—is continually mentored, challenged, and supported by the organization. This can include, but is not limited to, regular performance reviews, active development/promotion plans and weekly check-ins providing actionable and constructive feedback.  
  • Constantly reassess the critical path of your team and allocate resources accordingly.
  • Field staff performance is a top priority and you will foster collaboration between your team and the People Division in order to explore powerful strategies to create a step change in our field staff’s performance - striving towards an ‘excellent customer experience’ for our farmers as well as building a strong culture of Wakulima Kwanza (Farmers First!) within your Trial Team.

Change/Risk Management  

  • Identify what are the most critical components of change and how this trial will affect other divisions and departments in order to communicate and prepare/secure buy-in and support from external and internal stakeholders for the trial.
  • Evaluate hurdles and risk involved with the trial (both internal and external) and address them via excellent communication, coordination and tracking mechanisms (e.g. by creating a Risk Control Matrix).
  • If the trial is successful - build out a detailed plan for how to address various risks to scale and get buy-in from key stakeholders.

Career Growth and Development

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.


You are a talented professional with solid experience in designing and executing trials. You have strategic thinking skills as well as enjoy problem-solving and working in a fast-paced and high-stakes environment. In addition, you have a solid track record of fostering professional growth in others. Other criteria are:

  • You are a mission-driven individual that can align 100% with OAF’s values in putting farmers first.
  • You have 3+ years of professional experience and can demonstrate exceptional results. Relevant experience includes:
    • International development/NGO/Agricultural work - preferably in East Africa.
    • Private sector business, start-up or government work in a developing country.
  • You have at minimum 2 years direct management experience with strong examples of people development.
  • Strong general management skills and ability to manage a wide range of topics across different teams.
  • Ability to lead a team in setting a vision, annual strategy and goals and hold everyone accountable to it.
  • You are humble and you combine strong leadership skills with good humor, patience, and a humble approach to service.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • English and Swahili required.  

Preferred Start Date

As soon as possible


Commensurate with experience


Health insurance, housing, annual flights and other quality of life benefits

Sponsor International Candidates 

Yes. 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

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