Hiring: Africa Program Manager

Crystal Beasley News



Whole Planet Foundation (WPF) is a US 501c3 private foundation established by Whole Foods Market (WFM) in 2005. WPF was born from the WFM core value, Caring About Our Communities and Our Environment, an idea of shared fate with WFM’s global communities. WPF provides financial support to partner organizations (including social microfinance Institutions, social enterprises and NGO’s) in countries that supply Whole Foods Market with product. WPF partners provide entrepreneurship opportunities for financially excluded and last-mile communities.

• WPF’s first microfinance projects were launched in 2005 and a large part of its portfolio has historically been dedicated to best practice, socially focused microfinance institutions (MFIs). This means those MFI’s who use responsible lending practices to provide tailored financial services to entry-level clients, the very poor and financially excluded communities.
• WPF also supports social enterprises serving low-income communities with financing products for agriculture inputs or clean energy products. WPF is especially interested in scaling up its “agriculture finance” work.
• WPF also supports the Ultra Poor Graduation methodology.
• WPF seeks partnerships with established and autonomous organizations who share its mission to increase the income of micro-entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers.
• WPF exclusively provides no cost capital (grants and 0% interest loans), which is reserved for scaling programs to new communities.
• WPF currently supports microfinance projects in 80 countries, including 28 countries in Africa.
• Visit www.wholeplanetfoundation.org

In 2023, WPF is hiring a Contractor to increase its portfolio management capacity mainly for the Africa/MENA regions. The contractor may also lend backend support for the Asia/Pacific region. The contractor will facilitate monitoring and evaluation of existing programs, document project progress through media materials, and support the implementation of the regional strategic plan. Additionally, the successful candidate will assist the Global Programs team with improving monitoring practices, as well as responding to changes and challenges in the micro-credit and social enterprise sectors, as part of the Foundation’s global learning efforts.

It is imperative that this person have experience working in rural Africa with an understanding of the reality facing the poor – particularly in relation to rural business and economic systems. Knowledge of microfinance or social enterprises benefiting the poor is important. The successful candidate must have a passion for supporting local development that enables the poor to increase their incomes. This requires experience assessing this sector, evaluating organizations’ financial viability, and monitoring the effectiveness of pro-poor social finance and enterprise support services. Experience with agriculture finance, regenerative agriculture, climate change adaptation and value chains would be valuable.

This job requires extensive travel to remote and rural areas, applicants should be excited to travel up to 50% of the time. This will typically be independent, self-led travel to conduct due diligence with partners that the Foundation has partnered with or is considering partnering with. The candidate will need to independently represent the Foundation in project countries.

The ability to speak and write fluent English is a requirement. Strong French language skills would be highly valued. Other languages such as Spanish, Arabic or Hindi are a plus.

This is not a Whole Foods Market position. This person will be hired as an independent contractor and responsible for settling in the region, obtaining all work permits, paying taxes, and any other aspect of working abroad. As a remote-based, contract position, there is flexibility in working hours and timing with performance, analyzed based on deliverables.


1. Assist Whole Planet Foundation to carry out a rigorous and comprehensive monitoring and evaluation program of current funded projects across Africa/MENA regions, including both remote reviews of project progress and annual site evaluations. Program Manager may provide remote support for the Asia region as well.
2. Build and maintain relationships with the Foundation’s portfolio partners in the region, keeping the management team informed of project progress.
3. Tell the story of WPF partners, clients, and the realities of poverty through various mediums including photography, blogs and documentation of individual micro-entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers.


1. Project Management (60%)-

  • M&E: Manage funding, reporting, and monitoring requirements for a portfolio of currently funded projects across Africa/MENA regions. This will include annual on-site visits to partners, remote review of partners’ financial statements, tracking of quarterly outreach metrics, in some cases resulting in substantive recommendations and feedback to partners and the Foundation management team.
  • Project management: Develop strong relationships with partners, including onboarding, finalizing project agreements, monitoring repayments and adjustments.
  • Desk due diligence: Research local market conditions and potential partners that may qualify as a WPF partner through remote research, as needed.
  • Develop project proposals for WPF Management approval, as needed.

2. Global Learning Support (10%)- Improve processes for collecting and disseminating vital information on advances, changes and challenges facing the global financial inclusion and social enterprise sectors to WPF stakeholders. This is done through desk research, networking and engagement with field implementation partners. Help leverage WPF field visits generally with this research and information.

3. Outreach and Media (15%)- Coordinate and carry out the strategy for outreach, media and guided site visits by Whole Planet Foundation representatives and stakeholders for the project portfolio.

4. Project Logistics (15%)- The position will require independent management of all living, travel and communication logistics required to carry out the job. Travel to countries where the Foundation has partners will often require advance logistical planning for the successful execution of site visits and evaluations


1. Program Manager’s home base should be out of a regional flight hub, such as Dakar, Abidjan or Accra. The Foundation is flexible to a preferred base station, as long as it is compatible with conducting extensive travel throughout Africa/MENA.

2. Most of the work will be carried out independently at home or on assignment in project countries. Meetings will often be conducted via remote means. However, in-person meetings with WPF management will be organized throughout the year.

3. Position involves exposure to conditions found in low-income countries and requires complete immunization as recommended by the CDC.

4. Additional job demands include a wide range of adaptability to move between extreme poverty and professional environments.


1. Minimum bachelor’s degree in international development, business, economics or related studies.

2. Fully fluent in English with strong writing skills.

3. At least 2 years of progressively responsible work experience in a relevant position, including minimum 2 years of experience working in a grassroots/community-based position in the field.

4. Experience with business systems and rural economies in developing countries.

5. Experience with producing basic media content for a wide audience, including social media, high quality photo/video, etc.

6. Understanding of financial statements and basic accounting.

7. Strong analytical skills to assess potential WPF partners.

8. Ability to interview micro-entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers in the field.

9. Self-learner and independent worker.


1. French language skills are highly preferred. Other language skills such as Spanish/Hindi/Arabic would be a plus.

2. Experience with grassroots financial services, smallholder livelihoods or climate change adaptation.

3. Experience managing a regional portfolio or impact investment.


Using the link below, interested candidates will reach the Whole Foods Market Job Portal, which includes Whole Planet Foundation opportunities. By adding your name and resume, you’ll initiate the remote interview as the first step in the application process.


Deadline to submit application through the link: June 30, 2023

A diverse and inclusive workplace is important to Whole Planet Foundation. We welcome people of different backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives.