Hivos International

Program Development Manager Sustainable Food

Hivos is looking for a Program Development Manager
Vacancy Name: 
Program Development Manager for Sustainable Food
Latin America
San José, Costa Rica

Hivos is an international non-governmental humanist organization. Together with local and global partners, the organization seeks to contribute to a free, fair and sustainable world in which people have equal access to resources and have the power to control their lives and their future. Hivos believes in the creativity and capacity of individuals. Quality, co-operation and innovation form the core concepts in Hivos’ philosophy.

More than a billion people do not have access to reliable, affordable and clean energy. This affects negatively on their health, education, livelihoods and employment Hivos focus its work on the transition to a 100% renewable, sustainable and inclusive energy system that drives economic growth, broadens the supply of social services, protects and strengthens the livelihoods of the population and mitigates the effects of climate change.

In this area, Hivos works in three broad areas of change: More access and availability of energy, more income, entrepreneurship and employment and more transparency and accountability. 

The Green and Inclusive Energy partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs focuses on lobby and advocacy that will influence the public and political debate on energy, with the ultimate aim of transitioning towards greener and more inclusive energy systems. Only then, will renewable energy become more available and widespread, so that the energy needs of women and men are met for their daily activities, livelihoods, education and health, creating economic opportunities and growth whilst mitigating climate change.

1. Position within the organization

The position is based in the Hivos Hub Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) office in San Jose, Costa Rica. The position reports to the Regional Director, Hivos Hub LAC. The PDM Sustainable Food is a member of Hivos Hub LAC team and a member of the Hivos’ global Green Society programme cluster team.

2. Thematic area: Sustainable Food 

Healthy, affordable and nutritious food that is produced sustainably is vital for a green society. The world is producing more food than ever; however, the growing world population and rising income levels are posing enormous challenges to our global food system. Over 800 million people are food insecure and several billions of the world’s population suffer from malnutrition, both undernutrition and overweight. Currently the world wastes food on a large scale, depletes ecosystems, and erodes agro-biodiversity. This all threatens our future food security. We therefore need a radical rethinking and change the way we produce and consume food. 

Hivos strives for a world where all people have access to 100 per cent sustainably produced food. To achieve this vision, we stimulate food entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs to produce sustainable foods products, services or product-market combinations that cater to the needs of smallholder producers and consumers. At the same time, we work with consumers and small-scale producers on their role in the process and aim to have them adopt sustainable food solutions. Changes in international and national policies are visible, albeit slow. We therefore do our utmost best to have national and sub-national governments and local and international companies to adopt policies and programmes that promote sustainable food production and consumption. 

For the next 5 years, the Program aims to promote:    

  • Social entrepreneurship on sustainable food production and consumption, with special emphasis on women and youth. 
  • Creating co creation spaces of public, private and civil society actors to develop joint strategies on sustainable food consumption and eco-landscaping of cross-border food production.
  • Inclusive governance of urban food systems
  • Evidence based lobby and advocacy processes to improve the institutional environment for sustainable food systems. 

We develop these strategies together with research centers, the private sector and civil society.

3. Job description 

The PDM Sustainable Food is a thought and innovation leader on the sustainable production and consumption of food in the LAC context. He/she does this by contributing towards Hivos’ sustainability by developing a strategic portfolio of programs and partnerships that lead to the compliance with the strategic objectives 2020. 

More specifically this PDM is responsible for:

  • Leading the Hub LAC programme and business development agenda on Sustainable Food
  • Drawing from an understanding of Hivos’ organisational values, its global Green Society programme strategy (Sustainable Food theme), s/he builds a solid project portfolio that address persistent challenges in the food system at local, regional and national levels. Relevant issues that have been priorized, are: sustainable food and urbanization, sustainable food landscapes, local food production and the gastronomic movement.   
  • Strategic sparring partner for project teams responsible for implementing the projects designed. 
  • S/he organises internal/external process for idea co-creation. S/he responsible for translating these ideas into viable solutions, and securing funding opportunities for the resulting projects.
  • S/he identifies and builds a network of key stakeholders from government, international organisations, civil society and the private sector, and works with them to co-create solutions.
  • S/he identifies funding opportunities and builds donor relationships within the LAC region.
  • S/he collaborates with the Global PDM Food on the development of global opportunities and donor relationships. 
  • Is a member of the Global PDM Food team, to align, coordinate and develop together the global Hivos Sustainable Food strategy.

4. Functional context

The PDM Renewable Energy (Ref. the footnotes below), and the PDM Sustainable Food together coordinate Hub LACs Green Society Programme Cluster. Both PDMs are tasked with ensuring communication and information exchange within the Green Society Programme Cluster, and between Hub LACs Green and Open Clusters. The PDM Sustainable Food works closely with the finance team on the design of project budgets, and with the Design, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (DMEL) position. S/he works closely with the leads of other Hivos themes on strategic direction, programme and business development.

5. Results

Result Areas Result description Result Indicator
Enhancing social innovation Identifies and facilitates ideas for social innovation based on an understanding of the major challenges; developments, existing and future agendas in the area; knowledge of the actions of relevant players; and understanding of techniques and processes to generate ideas and solutions. Recognized innovator in the professional arena.
Fund raising  Transforms ideas into relevant proposals and negotiates new funding opportunities with a broad base of funding agencies. Average annual target >3 million euro. Pipeline performance.
Donor intelligence & business development Develops and maintains market intelligence information and based on practice (pipeline performance & success rate) advices regional director Hub LAC and Director Green Society on risks and opportunities of strategic choices. Internal client satisfaction.

Project management

Initiates, hands over and strategically monitors acquisitioned projects and the team involved. Ensures the standard of quality of Hub LAC project management conditions and relationships with internal and external key stakeholders regarding progress, results, compliance and risks management. Success rate individual project approvals.
Network development Builds and maintains strategic relationships with key institutional partners, donors and other stakeholders; creates the right conditions for co-creation & partnership; and represents and positions Hivos Hub LAC at key national, and regional events. Invitations to create or co-create by leading market players.

6. Roles and responsibilities

Programme Development

Working with stakeholders and frontrunners develop innovative ideas for new projects and programmes in line with Hivos strategy.

Fundraising/ Business Development

  • To develop strategic and long term sustainability portfolio for Hub LAC, as well as smart business models and fundraising. 
  • To identify and access funding sources for the program and together with Global Office, to develop and implement fundraising strategy to support a successful implementation of the program.
  • To provide input and contribute program highlights for funding proposals, communication materials etc. for stakeholders and audience, both in Hub LAC and in Global Office.
  • To take the lead on fundraising initiative in close coordination with programme and finance departments. Annual fund raising target: >3 million EUR. 

    Managing portfolio

  • To manage the Hub LAC Sustainable Food portfolio through supervision and support of Project Managers.
  • Planning, report-writing 
  • To coordinate plan and report on the development of the Sustainable Food theme in Hub LAC.
  • To ensure knowledge exchange among staff.
  • Representing the organization
  • To present Hivos’ vision on Sustainable Food in an attractive and leading way during conferences and seminars.
  • To provide input to the financial planning, budgeting, performance, capacity development and risks management of projects. To contribute to Hub LAC overall organizational and policy development.

7. Person Specification

  • Knowledge and experience
  • An advanced university degree in a relevant field (social science).
  • At least eight years of working experience in the field of sustainable food in Central and South America. Experience in the food consumption strategies and/or eco landscaping is an advantage. 
  • Strong affinity for Hivos’ mission and for social and environmental concerns.
  • Strong motivation to contribute towards real and lasting change.
  • Able to ‘think outside the box’ and connect to various actors (facilitating of multi-actor initiatives) to develop new solutions.
  • Have a convincing track-record in multi country/ multi annual program development and resource mobilization.
  • A leader as well as reliable and supportive team member.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbally and in writing in English and in Spanish.
  • Competencies
  • Institutional: Cooperation; Influence; Conceptual skills; Persuasiveness; Decisiveness.
  • Functional: Innovative; Networker; Entrepreneurial.
  • General: Professionalism; Respect each other’s role; Accountable’ Level of initiative; Transparency.

What do we offer?

We offer a stimulating work environment in a professional international organisation with very dedicated staff. We offer competitive labour conditions. You will be based at the Regional Office for Latin America in Costa Rica. Frequent travelling in the region is part of the job. Employment is initially offered for the period of 1 year, but will be extended depending on good performance and available funding.

Preference will be given to candidates holding local citizenship or residence status. However, having as a priority the suitability of the profile, and with the understanding that the working conditions correspond to a local post, Hivos may apply for a temporary visa.

Do you want to know more?

For more information please contact: Myrtille Danse, Director LAC, or Rocío Rodríguez, Operation Officer, phone: +506 22310848.


[1] Hivos Green Society Programme Cluster has 2 themes: Sustainable Food and Renewable Energy. In Hub SEA structure we have 2 PDMs for the Green Society Programme Cluster: one responsible for the Sustainable Food theme and the other responsible for Renewable Energy.

[1] Hivos has 2 programm clusters: 1. Open Society; 2. Green Society.